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A Day in the Life
And with a flash, Katie was down. In the water. Struggling. Drowning.
“Caity! Caitlyn. Caityyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”
Is anyone going to help her? I can’t see her anymore.
Vaelan’s looking over. . . Does he think I should help her?
“What the heck? I was asking if you’re ready for the quiz today.”
No. No he just wants me to look at something funny.
“Quiz? Oh. Oh, yeah. Sure. I read the chapter.”
That is not funny. That is her mangled body being carried by a crane.
“What’s up with you?”
It’s okay. It’s kind of funny. He thinks it’s funny. I think it’s funny.
“Um. I was just thinking of the dream I had last night. It was weird.”
He put his arm around me! Yes. Yes, her dead body is definitely funny.
“Oh. What was it about?”
He’s getting closer. He’s going to kiss me.
“What? Uh. Nothing. I can’t remember much.”
With a quick flick of my wrist, ‘Expelliarmus!’ Ha! I got him. Now he’s wandless. I’ll show him. I’ll show him how us muggle-borns deal with prats who make fun of our ancestry. Give him the old one-two. . .
Suddenly my face is a lot closer to the table. Cade had pushed my elbow over the edge.
He points at Mr. Birrell.
“Caity. Which law required religious toleration?”
Shoot. Shoot. SHOOT. I don’t know. I have no idea. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.
“Stop squirming. Answer.”
My face burns as I fold my body in half. Smaller. . . Have to make myself smaller. Wriggle. Squirm. Smaller. Smaller.
“Stop MOVING. You KNOW this. I know you know this. STOP SQUIRMING.”
Fire. Burning. Burning. Flames. ‘Flames. . . On the sides of my face!’ Ha. Resignation. “I don’t know the answer.”
“Religious Toleration Act.”
‘Well she’s all you’d ever want, she’s the kind I like to flaunt and take to dinner.’
THAT is a broken bottle. Perhaps I should practice some caution and put my shoes back on. Nah. Hoppin’ time.
I hop, quite masterfully, between the tiny pieces of brown, broken glass.
‘Well she always knows her place. She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a winner.’
I look up between deciding whether I should continue on the sidewalk or in the beautiful mud pit to my left.
Darnit. I’m going to miss the light.
Look around. Do a little jig as I mouth, ‘She’s a lady. Whoa whoa whoa, she’s a lady.’
Someone jerks my backpack.
I hate that. I hate that.
“Caity! I’ve been calling your name for like five minutes, feeling like an idiot. I could hear your music from across the street.”
I pull my headphones down and pause the song. “Oh. . . Yeah. It’s kind of loud. Sorry I didn’t hear you.”
“It’s okay. What are you listening to?”
“Tom J— Who’s that?”
“This hairy man.”
“Oh. Well. There’s my mom. See you around.”
I put my headphones back on.
The doorbell rings.
My mom shouts at me. Isaac is here.
“Hi, Isaac. How are you today?”
Some mumbled reply rolls out of his teeny mouth.
The lesson drags on until the doorbell rings again.
“Hey. . .”
Slowly, slowly, the minutes snailed by.
The doorbell rings for the third and final time.
“Hi Caity. Guess what. I need to go to the bathroom.”
“. . . Alright. You know where it is.”
I collapse on the foot stool. Waiting.
What the heck. Is he giggling? Who is he talking to? He’s in the bathroom, for goodness sake.
He comes out of the bathroom. “Spencer. Who were you talking to?”
“What? Oh. No one.”
“I heard you giggling.”
“Well, what were you giggling at?”
“I was thinking of this one Chowder episode. . .” He rambles off some nonsense.
He should go outside more often.
“Let’s get started with the lesson.”
“Spencer. . . Please.”
He lays under the piano.
Giggling. Not today.
With much convincing, Spencer now sits on the piano bench with his hands on the keys.
“Okay. Let’s see how well you do the staccato notes.”
He picks up his right hand and starts delicately hitting the note, taking the “pretend that the keys are hot,” concept to heart. After twenty quick, dainty attempts, he finally gets the note to actually make a sound.
I ask him to excuse me while I go into the kitchen and cry. Half from laughing, half from frustration.
I walk back into the front room. He had been searching through his book. He turns to me with a horrified look on his face. He points to a picture of a separated chord and whispers, “He’s losing his body!”
I have to leave the room again.
“Caitlyn. Come eat your dinner.”
Broccoli. Gross. I’ve eaten this broccoli for sixteen years straight. Can’t the woman come up with something new to feed us? Kidding. I love her.
She hands me a plate. I look at the broccoli.
I suppose I should try and eat it first since it is the most disgusting.
Stab. STAB THE BROCCOLI. Speared. Ha HA! Eat that, vicious green vegetable.
“Caitlyn. Sometimes I like it when you act your age.”
I put it in my mouth.
“Hey. Mom. Guess what. I found all of those clothes of mine that you were GOING TO THROW AWAY. Trying to pull a fast one on me, eh?”
“I only hate some of your clothes. We’ve been over this. You look. . . Unisex. Sometimes. Sometimes, you look unisex. You’re a girl, Caity! A girl!”
“I’ll wear a dress tomorrow. Just for you. Remind all of those boys who don’t ask me on dates that I am actually of the female type.”
She heaves a great sigh. “Fine.”
“CAITY. Why are you running around? You’re agitating the dog.”
“Sorry dad. I get really excited after I watch the figure skating.”
“Go to bed.”
Psh. Like I actually sleep once I’ve retired to me room.
I pause. I hear my mom say something.
“You know she doesn’t actually go to bed once she goes into her room, right?”
“What does she do?”
I don’t wait to hear the answer. I know what I do. Harry Potter! Harry Potter!
I lay in bed. Trying to keep my eyes open.
Oh no. Dolores Umbridge. I can’t handle her when I’m this tired. . . Time to sleep.
I put the book back down on the ground. Shift Monty so that he’s not directly on my legs. He whimpers. The silly dog thinks he has the right to take up over half of the bed. I reach over and turn off the lamp and begin to dream.
I’m inside a canoe. Have to beat Lord Voldemort. . . Can’t let him win. . . I row faster, with more strength. . . I can see the end. . . It comes closer. . . Closer. . .