It was Friday morning and Kat woke up to the thumping sound of raindrops hitting the roof. ‘Oh, great!’ she thought, trying to roll out of her full-size bed. Her feet were twisted in the comforter and she fell to the floor. She heard the sound of footsteps heading in her direction. “Kat, are you alright?” asked her dad, before opening her bedroom door.
Kat was sprawled out on the floor trying to unravel the comforter from her legs and feet. Mr. Smith smiled at his daughter and assisted in removing the tangled comforter. He tossed it back on the bed and then gave Kat a hand in getting off the floor. “There’s not much for breakfast, “said Mr. Smith. “I forgot that we had run out of milk and eggs.”
“That’s okay, Dad. I’ll have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” replied Kat.
Mr. Smith frowned and shook his head. “Kat, that’s not a good breakfast for a growing girl.”
“No, it’s alright, Dad,” said Kat, heading for the bathroom. She closed the door assuming that would be the end of their conversation. But, she was wrong. Her father stood outside the door and said, “Kat, I’m going to the market to get some eggs.”
‘Geez, can’t I get any privacy,’ she thought before saying, “No, Dad, you’ll just be late for work. I’ll get something in the school cafeteria. So, don’t worry.”
“How long has your high school been serving breakfast?
That’s the first time you ever told me that,” he replied.
“Dad, I’m kind of busy right now. Could we talk about it, later?” Mr. Smith mumbled something under his breath and walked away. The clanking of his tool belt could be heard before he yelled, “Kat, don’t forget to lock up.”
Kat was swishing mouthwash and nearly swallowed it, before spitting it into the sink. “Yes, I know! See you, later.” She heard the door closed, but knew that he would be back in less than a minute. She slowly counted the seconds, one, two, thirty, forty, and the front door opened and Mr. Smith called out, “Kat, do you have a game tonight?”
“Yes, I do!”
“What time should I pick you up?” he asked.
“I’ll call you.”
“Okay, well, have a good match,” he replied, closing the front door again. She heard his truck start up and knew she would not see him until the evening. After Kat took a quick shower and washed her hair, she searched her closet for something to wear. Coach Wallace always wanted the team to dress up before a game. For the boys, that meant a shirt and a tie. For Kat, it meant anything other than jeans, shorts, or sweatpants. If she did not wear a dress or a skirt, she would not be allowed to participate in the match. Now, Kat eyed the pile of skirts and dresses, tossed on the floor in a corner she wore for church, that needed to be washed. ‘Oh, well, I’ll just have to put it on my to-do list,’ she thought while scouting through her closet to find something suitable to wear. Lifting one coat hanger after another, all she could find were an assortment of sweatpants, jeans, and colorful t-shirts. She nearly gagged when she stumbled across a couple of dresses hanging in the back. “I can’t believe I still have them,” she muttered, recognizing her cousin, Joanie’s, recent handiwork in sewing her own designer dresses. Her cousin was an absolute geek when it came to academics, but when it came to sewing, her taste and style was a bit old-fashion. She enjoyed creating dresses designed for girls living in the seventies and actually gotten ideas for her creations from dress patterns her grandmother had kept. She had designed a few for Kat to wear and kept asking Kat when she might wear one of her designs to school. For now, Kat had kept up a good excuse, wrestling. She made it clear to Joanie that since the school allowed her to wear sweatpants, she didn’t have to change her clothes in order to wrestle, like in the old days when the school had a much stricter dress code. Now, if Joanie had asked Kat to wear one of her designs to church, Kat would give in to appease her cousin. Yet, she didn’t and Kat was puzzled by this. The only explanation she could come up with was peer pressure. Perhaps, since Joanie was always wearing one of her designs and getting teased about it, if Kat wore one, too, then maybe the teasing would stop. Kat knew she would never jeopardize her reputation, what there was of it, by wearing one of Joanie’s off-beat designs.
“Well, finally I found something,” smiled Kat. “My one and only jean skirt. Now, I just need a top to go with it.” After several minutes of scanning over the contents in her closet, Kat chose a bright pink, long-sleeve top poking out from under a button-up sweater. The top had the word, ‘angel’ written on the front in rhinestones. She removed the top and a jean skirt from her closet.
Kat brushed her curly strands and swept them up into a pony tail using a wide, pink band. She glanced at her reflection in the wall mirror on her door and thought, ‘not bad.’ Then, she rushed into the kitchen and made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat on the way to the bus stop. She quickly picked up her book bag and sports bag. Kat opened the door and stepped outside into the pouring rain.
“JEEPERS!” Kat screamed, running back inside.
Since she had misplaced her only raincoat, she was stuck with carrying an umbrella. The umbrella was faded and the handle was rusty. Naturally, she had left it out one day in the rain. Kat trudged through the pouring rain wearing her backpack along with her sports bag slung over one shoulder. She held her umbrella in one hand and the sandwich in the other.
“Woo, woo, woo,” came the sound of the wind as it snatched the umbrella from Kat’s grasp. Kat tried to catch the umbrella and, in the process, lost hold of her sandwich. She stared at her breakfast in the mud and then watched the umbrella skate down the road in the hurling wind. Kat rushed towards the nearest tree, drenched from head to toe. “Just great!” she murmured, against the scaly trunk of an oak tree.
In the distance, she heard the bus coming, but did not bother to run towards the bus stop. She was too wet and too miserable. Her only choice was to walk home and call her father. Kat left the comfort of the oak tree and headed home. She used the sports bag to shield her body from the endless downpour. The wind stung her eyes and she walked blindly into the middle of the road. Suddenly, she heard a loud horn and the sound of skidding brakes. Kat dropped her sports bag and stared into the bright lights of a black mustang. The car stopped two feet away from where Kat was standing.
The driver got out and shouted, “Are you crazy?”
Kat replied tartly, “Your momma’s crazy!”
The driver walked towards her. The rain was getting into Kat’s eyes and she could not see who the driver was, but she knew by his voice that it was Jack when he asked, “Kat, is that you?”