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Kitten is Angry
He stared at her with a growing sense of disbelief. Had she just said what he thought she said? He voiced his wonder, and she frowned at him from over her shoulder. She was multi-tasking, something he had always admired her for doing. She squirted a glob of purple paint in with the blue and began stirring it in an irritated fashion. “Kris, please answer me.” His voice came out weak and pleading. Not what he intended.
“I said I’m going with Mike to Sadie’s.” she repeated for the third time since she had told him. “Why is that so hard for you to comprehend? Pass the yellow please.”
He obliged, handing her the sickeningly bright tube of paint. It seemed to sneer at him in its cheerfulness as it passed into her hands and she squeezed it into the red. He watched her, as if hypnotized, stir it into orange. Presto-chango, there it was. Things changed quickly. Too quickly. “I thought-“he began.
“You? Thinking? Well that’s a first.” She scoffed. She slapped the orange onto the canvas in her anger. “Maybe you should have thought before you snubbed me the last time I talked to you about these things.” She glared at him and caught sight of his face. “You don’t remember. What a shocker.” She added some blues for effect.
Without so much as glancing at him, she retold the story. As she did, the images came back to him like wasps stings. He remembered her breaking down in the middle of the hallway, on her knees sobbing her eyes out. He remembered standing there, suddenly not sure what to do. He remembered people glaring and whispering to each other. He remembered the need to empty his stomach. That feeling rose into his throat as she mocked his voice with his exact words from that day, “Don’t be stupid, I can’t.” And when she had asked why, he had been ashamed to tell her. He had been afraid of her. She was powerful, and confidant, and smart. Three things he wasn’t, but wished he was. And he had brought her tumbling down. He remembered trying to help her up, and how she clawed at him, only shredding the air inches from his face.
“Kris- kitten, that was a long time ago.” He watched her shoulders tense at his nick-name for her. She was a kitten after all. Energetic and wide-eyed at everything. But you had to watch for the claws… wicked shredding claws. The kitten had come to his open arms with mewing innocence. It had been hopeful, sweet and soft. Now, her ears pinned back and her back arched, she glared at him from her position at one of the many art tables. He could see the spite in her sweet kitty eyes. He had opened his arms again, and she had rejected the gesture with a swipe at his legs with her sharpened claws.
“Not long enough.” Was all she said before turning to her artwork again.
There was an unwanted silence, which gave him time to think even more. He thought about her, about all the other girls in the school, about this… Mike character, and about himself even. “No.” he said quietly. Kris didn’t look at him, but her hand paused in mid-stroke. He could almost see the kitten’s ears flattening against her head. He felt the intensity of her pupils dilating into primitive threatened slits. He rushed the rest out, “I don’t want you going out with this guy. You won’t be happy with him.”
Her voice was strained, but she managed to get it to cut him down to the bone. “And who says that you should decide who I see and don’t see?” He wisely didn’t answer. He could see the tawny fur of his kitten bristle. She suddenly didn’t look like a kitten anymore, she looked like a wildcat. And he had just aggravated her.
This was bad.
He wasn’t giving up, and that was worse.
“I just don’t want you to, Kitten.” He worked to control his voice. “You know I-“ He didn’t get the rest of his statement out, because that was when she hit him. It wasn’t the usual cat-fight (ha ha, pun not intended) kind of hit. She HIT him. The two biggest knuckles dug into his gums and cut his cheek on his teeth. Blood spurted into his mouth, and he thought he saw some of it fly onto the floor. Some art of his own. Ha ha. He fell to the floor, hitting his head on the tiles with a dizzying “thud”. She towered over him, her chest heaving and her fist still raised. Her eyes were shining. He had seen them shine like that before, when he had reduced her to tears. Now they shone with an anger that knew no limits. He found himself cowering. He was right back where he started with her: afraid.
“I-" she panted, clenching her fists tighter, “am not your, or anybody else’s kitten. I’m a human being. And if you can’t get it through your skull to quit treating me like a pet and like an actual person, then I’ll have to hit you again.” She bent down, and he flinched away. A merciless smile crept onto her face, and her eyes shown brighter. She reached up a
[claw? Paw? Put those claws in kitty, I don’t want to see them]
hand. Her nails shone a little too bright in the fluorescent lighting of the school. If she had a tail, he was sure it would be twitching with the delight of capturing her prey. Now was the part where she played with it. “I wanted to do this the last time we talked.” She whispered. He felt her [claws] nails dig into his cheek. There was a sharp pain, and then the warm trickle of blood down his face. “You forgot- this kitty hasn’t been declawed. You stupid p****.” She straightened, gathered her paints and her canvas, and briskly left the room without looking back.
He was alone again. Alone and afraid and bleeding a little bit. He didn’t want to get up, he didn’t want to go after her and he certainly didn’t want to let anyone see him, so he stayed as he was. He had let the cat wander into his home, and when he scratched the cat, the cat scratched back. That was how it was supposed to be… wasn’t it? She got her revenge; she’d realize that she still loved him and come back. She couldn’t leave him alone like this. She couldn’t leave him so afraid of her. It just wasn’t right. It wasn’t right at all.