Pink Secrets & Little-White-Lies: Cat Returns

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 6 (v.1) - Rustling Up Old Skeletons

Submitted: March 05, 2014

Reads: 103

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Submitted: March 05, 2014

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4.

Once the bell rang, I hurried to gather up my things off of the floor. I was so wrapped up in sharing my experiences with someone so willing to listen that I had scarcely noticed how quickly the time had passed.

"I talked too much," I said, pulling my bookbag over one shoulder.

"No, not at all," Dr. Leighland responded with a reassuring smile.

I nodded in appreciation and turned to open the door.

"Ms. Brighton--" 

"Hm?"

"You don't have to wait until homeroom to come see me, you know--I'm here if you need to talk..."

I feigned a smile and once again nodded in his direction. Then, I opened the door and hurried to third period.

*

Rustling Up Old Skeletons

"Alright, once you pair up with your partners, I'll give you your cameras and maps and split you up. You and your partner will storm the school in squadrants. Try to take as many meaningful shots as you can. You will be awarded for your effort, creativity, and unique perspectives--"

Cat grabbed the camera and made her way over to my desk. I opened the map and tried my best to avoid bringing up the novel-length text she sent a few nights ago.

"Where should we go first?" I asked, spreading the map across my desk.

"Well... I think we would have the most fun taking pictures outside, so--maybe we should save those shots for last."

"Yea, I think you're right--"

"Wait, let me see?"

Cat rotated the map and leaned down over my desk. A few thin strands of white-gold hair slithered down beside her face. She brushed the unruly wisps back behind an ear and suddenly, a sea of locks splashed down over her shoulder.

"Hair never does what you want it to," she said with a smile. Then, she took her hands and brushed it all to one side.

"Yea, it doesn't--" I responded with a small grin. "Cat--?"

"Yea, what's up?"

I bit my tongue. She was so beautiful... and so innocent... and so sweet. She was in love with me, of all people, and I blew it... Maybe she just needed to tell me those things so that she could move on... Maybe she said what she needed to say, and it doesn't matter what I think anymore...

"Um, Jen...? You okay?"

I was staring--

"Yea, yea sure! I was just--" I placed a finger on the map. "What if we start here first? It seems like as good a place to start as any."

"That's... actually a good spot to start," she began. "It's dark--it's choc-full-of action. Sure, let's go--!"

After putting on my deflated backpack, I grabbed the map and quickly glanced at the area. I had chosen the Theater Department. 

I followed closely behind Cat. She grabbed her bag, and we both headed out towards the Arts hall.

***

We stood all the way in the back watching as the Theater teacher, more frustrated than anything else, threw his hands towards the heavens in an awkward display of exasperation.

"Looks like they're attempting to do Macbeth again," I said, softly nibbling at my thumb-nail.

"You'd think they'd try something else instead of The Scottish Play for a third year in a row."

A thin smile snaked across my face until I was grinning from ear to ear.

"The first year, let's see... The curtain-reel got jammed and couldn't be fixed."

"They had to replace the entire damn set," Cat said snickering. "The second year, Mr. Harvey fell from the stage and down into the orchestra pit--"

"Yea, he broke his leg, I think--" I said. "What do you think'll happen this year?"

"Who knows... the theater might catch fire or something ridiculous like that," Cat said, softly beginning to giggle. Then, she raised her camera and snapped a shot. 

"Can I see that? I think I've got a good shot--"

"Sure," Cat said, handing me the camera. 

I shoved the map into her lap and happily trotted down the dark, carpeted steps towards the front of the theater. In all of two minutes, give or take a few seconds, I had snapped the most perfect picture of Mr. Harvey yelling his most colorful obscenities at his talented troupe. 

He had thrown his head back and his mouth was wide-open. A deep-green vein could be seen in his reddish-orange throat underneath his unraveling, purple scarf. And his hair, more present in the front of his head and in sparse portions in the back, waved carelessly whilst he whipped his head backwards and forth. 

I took a second picture, too, of his students. They stood about the stage staring down at him in disbelief. But, I'm sure they were accustomed to his yelling. I suspect they were just embarrassed that someone outside of their tight-knit circle had to bear wittness to Mr. Harvey's child-like tantrum. 

"I got it--I got it!" I exclaimed in a rasp whisper, hurrying back up the steps to meet Cat at the back of the theater. "Look at these two--"

Cat smiled and grabbed the camera. She played back the last two pictures and once she got to the one of Mr. Harvey, she burst into a fit of laughter.

"IF YOU DON'T MIND--!"

Mr. Harvey pivoted slowly on the tips of his toes. He was a stout man but graceful--painfully graceful--and a very meticulous dresser. Once he turned his attention to the back of the theater where we were, he slowly brought each finger to rest underneath his round chin--a chin that was barely distinguishable now that he had readjusted the thick, indigo scarf about his neck. 

"IF you are GOING to WATCH," he began, "PLEASE do so QUIETLY! IF NOT, PLEASE EXCUSE YOURSELVES!" 

He whisked his hand to the side of his face and curled it into a ball with his thumb and forefinger loosely extended. Then he slowly pivoted back around--this time on his heel--and clapped his hands twice to draw the attention of his young actors and actresses. 

Cat, still smiling and unsuccessfully trying to restrain her laughter, held a hand over her mouth.

"Let's go," I whispered. "We have a lot more shots to get on this hall anyway--"

Cat nodded and raced out ahead of me.

Once I exited the theater, I called out to Cat but could not find her. I went towards the stairwell and found her sitting on the bottom stair cradling the sides of her face in both hands.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing," she said, a warm smile adorning her beautiful face. "I just--I feel really good."

"You laughed so hard you're turning red in the face," I said and began to laugh again. 

She slowly rose to her feet and brushed a few loose wisps of wavy, blonde hair behind her ear. "I like being around you like this."

I reached out slowly and touched her shoulder. Then playfully, I pushed her away.

"I like being around you too," I said with a shy smile. "I haven't laughed like this in a long while."

Cat reached out and slipped her narrow fingers betwixt mine. Then, as if she were silently thinking, she gently bit her plump, bottom-lip and leaned in towards me.

Within moments, her soft, pink lips were upon mine. Our hands stayed at our sides, tightly clasped one in the other. Her free hand rose to the side of my face and then stroked the length of my hair.

Something in me was coming back to life. But--I was too afraid to find out what it was. I raised my hand and thrust it into my pocket. I wanted so badly to touch her and to feel the soft, waxen tresses between my fingers, but I restrained myself.

Once the kiss ended, she leaned her head back and looked me over. Her large, green eyes searched my face for a sign. And when she could not find one, she smiled nervously and glanced down at the camera in her hands.

I stood in the shadow of the looming stairs overhead and eyed Cat curiously.

"I just--" She took a deep breath and began again. "It felt right to me. I don't--I don't know what I was thinking. I'm sorry."

"N-no, no don't be sorry--"

"I guess you're over me... huh?" She said, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear.

I looked off to the side and bit my bottom lip.

"You don't know how crazy I am about you. You don't have a fragment of an idea... how crazy I am about you, Cat."

I glanced over at her once more, and she stopped fidgeting with the camera in her hands. Her head rose slowly, and her eyes fluttered up to meet mine.

"You mean--"

"I still have feelings for you."

Cat ran both hands through either side of of her head then took a deep breath and exhaled. 

"Then why didn't you kiss me back?"

"You know I can't," I said, a frown slowly forming. "I'm with Jesse now--I just can't."

"But, you're head over heels for me--" she teased.

"But, I love him... That's the thing."

"Okay... I can deal with that. As long as you still feel something for me, I have a chance."

"Cat..."
"--Maybe not today!" She said, a playful smile coming to life on her face. "Maybe not tomorrow... Maybe not even in the next few weeks and months--but, as long as we still have feelings for each other, we've got a chance."

Cat then returned the playful push I had given her a few minutes prior and smiled reassuringly.

"You weirdo," I teased, and returned the smile.

"Alright, let's go get those other shots!" she exclaimed, grabbing my hand and rushing out of the stairwell.

I trailed behind her, cherishing the pink and golden profile of her soft face and waving hair as we headed for the heart of the Arts hall.

*

 


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