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I can’t exactly remember what I did for the rest of that train ride. I think I terrorized the other passengers by screaming bloody murder in their faces, but I don’t know. I might have tried to kill myself by going into the coal room and throwing myself into the fire thing, but I think I dreamed that. When I woke up a man all in black came and basically dragged me to a car. My jumper and cardigan were soaked with tears by the time we got to the airport, not to mention the seat where I was sitting. I admit it: I wet my pants. I was out of tears by the time I was sitting down in my plane seat. It was a small plane, one isle with two seats on each side and about 14 rows. The person who sat next to me had a crisp accent and was college-aged.
“I am Dr. Calvin B. Martin, pediatrician.”
“I’m Katherine James.”
“How old are you Katherine?”
“Why are you going to Hawaii?”
“Do you have a mom or dad?”
End of conversation, I thought to myself.
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
Um, I thought again, end of conversation!
“How about pets? Do you have any pets?”
I thought doctors were supposed to be smart. End of conversation means END OF CONVERSATION! I just wasn’t sure if I should tell him that: I’ve got a long ride ahead of me
“Please fasten your seatbelts as we take off. Remember, no smoking aboard the plane…” Blah, blah, blah!
Dr. Martin began reviewing his medical notes. Note to self: ask what a vaccine is. And a virus. And a pediatrician. Don’t think I’m dumb or anything. I am, or was, the smartest kid in my class! I can read, write, add, subtract, AND multiply! Beat that! Learnin’ is just natural. But I don’t know nuttin’ ‘bout science.
“ Erm, Katherine we’ve arrived,” Dr. Martin gently shook me. I dunno what to call him. I personally, like to call adults by their first name: it really annoys them.
I think I fell asleep. Yep, I had marks on my face from where I had lain down. The leathery surface was sticky with sweat. The first thing that swamped into my head was it was HOT! I followed the other passengers as we stepped on to the new land. If this weather is the usual weather, I will have melted before the week is up. But it isn’t just hot, oh no. The air is heavy and moist and heavy and moist!
“ Do you feel the humidity? Katherine, you should take off your cardigan: you could get heatstroke.” What is this doctor guy? My nanny?
“No I’m fine.”
“I insist.” Dr. Calvin pulled off the ragged excuse for clothing before I could protest. Then I protested.
“Katherine! Where did you get such horrible bruises and cuts?”
I rearranged my over-sized shirt so that it covered the worst of my mother’s wrath.
“Got inna fight, that all,” I mumbled as a car horn beeped.
“Lisa! Love of my life you’re here!” A guy in a Hawaii shirt ran out of a car and swept up a young, pretty girl. While the doctor as still staring I ran, straight down the street. The road ran right along the beach, where emerald and navy waves pounded gently against the fine sand.