Hello once again on this fine Friday, or maybe it’s not Friday, that’s cool. You know, I was thinking about this one morning (Or was it night?) about how I have a really bad fetish for winter(season) and stars. You know, when I say fetish I of course mean in the most…. normal way possible if that’s even possible. But it’s more like… a hobby? I wouldn’t call it a hobby, but I just have a really strong fixation towards winter and stars. I think It’s clear that I love winter from you know… “That Day In Winter” But I never really got a chance to fully deck out a series or story dedicated to stars. So, as I said, I was thinking about that one morning, and it dawned on me that this series that I’m working on, is quite an irrational one for me to actually conceive. You’d think that after making a winter story, I would go ahead and make a star story or something, but I guess my mind works in funny ways. It’s cats for now… or at least that’s what I wanted, but, the cat aspect is just there for an add-on I guess. I also happen to like cats. Anyway, enough mindless rambling (Damn, my intros have just been anything these days huh) here you go, “Friends of a Cat:Mark 3”.
From that day on, Tail and I would always talk. It was our little secret. No one else was there, and we would always talk after school. It was our own time. Our time to be ourselves. Sometimes we talked for a long time, and other times, it was really short. But, we talked, and I enjoyed it. That was about a month from when I first met him. So, let’s fast forward to post-month.
It was now spring break. You know how it is, kids are out, students are free, and distance is made. You know, Tail and I kind of had a secret rule. Not so much a secret rule, but an unspoken one. Like how you always walk one way up the stairs, and one way down the stairs. I always had a bad tendency to break these unspoken rules. I mean, who can blame me? They were unspoken after all. For us, it was the weekends, and breaks. Whenever we had a break, it was common courtesy to stay home from school. We wanted to be away from it, and, the feeling was sure to be mutual. That meant that there was no after schools. I wouldn’t be able to innocently walk home and “bump” into him, nor would he be able to simply brush off the fact that he had taken this route home. No more of his special days, whatever that meant. I mean, his special days were just so vague to me back then. Sometimes, he said that he was taking a breather because he just had a test. Other times, because of stress from work. And sometimes, he would bring me food. I love food. And if he equals food, then did that mean…. well, that’s a funny way to put it. But I was always bad at math.
So, spring break meant that we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a while. And of course we obviously did not have each other’s mail addresses or anything. I mean, I could have asked him, but…. the thought never crossed me. He would always be within my grasp, but not anymore. It saddened me. I wanted to see him, I wanted to talk to him. I wanted, to be around him. This lasted for about a week. I finally got tired from being stuck up in my room and decided to just head out for a walk. I hoped to see him.
I felt a little lonely being on a walk all by myself however, so I brought Chi-Chi with me. She was so rowdy that day, always purring around me, and then running off to play with something. I just couldn’t keep up with her. Neither did he. Before my eyes, Chi-Chi had sprung up on Tail’s legs. He was racing up and I couldn’t help but laugh. So did Tail.
“Hey! Haven’t seen you in a while,” He started the conversation first.
“Yeah! It’s been about a week.” I continued.
“Chi-Chi.” And then I sunk into the dirt. He wasn’t even looking my way, did he even realize I was here? I must have been so mad that day, but, his gentle smile while holding Chi-Chi must have calmed me down. He was always good at taking care of animals. Chi-Chi absolutely loved him.
“Oh! Winter, what a funny coincidence!” I think he struck a nerve. Maybe three.
“Yeah! What a funny coincidence indeed!!” I ran over and placed him in a head lock for being an idiot, all to his detest of course. When I was done pouring out my rage for his poor vision, I asked him, “What are you doing out here anyway?”
” I could say the same to you. I’ve always taken walks.” I think at the time, I took it the wrong way. I used to over think things a lot. With Tail especially, he would always say something simple, and I was the one who blew it up. At the time, I thought he was implying that he always passed by our spot and since I was holed up in home, he thought I was ditching. But of course, it wasn’t like our after school outings were a club meeting or anything, nor did I have any real oblige. But I did feel really bad.
“Oh. I was just… taking Chi-Chi out, is all.” A lie through my teeth. I think I chipped them.
“Taking Chi-Chi out? ” He looked at me suspiciously, but he soon gave up.
“Say, why don’t we head into town today?” He was the fisherman, I was the fish.
“Town? Need to do something?”
“Yeah. It’s for….a friend.” He looked, so sad. Almost like he was reminiscing, Whatever the matter, even a person like me could figure out when to stop prying. And so I did. But, I couldn’t take him off my mind throughout the entire time we walked to town. Something about him being so sad when he mentioned a “friend” just made me want to ask. It made me want to be useful. I knew he had his problems. And I knew he was the only one who could fix his own problems, and that a person like me, an outsider, had no place in it. But, I just couldn’t stop myself. It was an unspoken rule to pry too far. Now I’m just making excuses.
“Where are we going?”
“A love hotel.” My heart might have skipped a beat. Two, at most. My face grew beet red, and let’s be honest, I was a naive kid. I was half expecting him to scratch it off jokingly, and half expecting him to be serious. I think I was rooting for the latter half. After all, I enjoyed the time we spent together, and I don’t know, maybe I did have romantic feelings for him after all. If not for a certain part of my brain telling me that this isn’t the right order of things, I might have accepted. Well, I already accepted to go into town, but not this kind of development anyway. Just what was he thinking, I thought.
“Come on, stop kidding around Tail.”
“I’m serious.” Without warning, he suddenly grabbed onto my wrists and began dragging me. At that moment, my brain must have flipped multiple switches. I Immediately pulled my hand back with as much force as I could. I held onto my wrists, and then looked straight at him. I think I might have begun tearing up, or at least, I felt something strange about my eyes. I was angry, of course. Who wouldn’t be. Even if I said how I may have wanted it, deep down, I knew that I didn’t want it to end up like this. That wasn’t how things went, that’s just not how I wanted things to go. I’m not that kind of a girl, I may be lonely, but I’m not desperate. At least, that’s what I told myself. He looked at me, with such kind eyes, that I thought he was another person. That I thought the Tail that wanted to drag me off was just… a stranger. He smiled pitifully, but I felt that the pity wasn’t aimed towards any one person.
“I’m sorry. I was just kidding. I shouldn’t have said that, or did that.” His words, were monotonous, his eyes were strained, and his body was shaking. I didn’t know why he did that, nor why he was so regretful. I didn’t know. But, I wanted to know. Is that enough reason?
“Tail, look….. next time you pull off a stupid stunt like that… just be ready for payback.” I lightly punched his shoulder, but…. I was too scared to look him in the eyes.
“Yeah, I’m sorry, Winter.”
“Jeez, you really had me worried too.”
“Worried? That I would do weird and indecent things to you?”
“Not just that. But, if that ever did happen, we wouldn’t be the same, you know?”
“You think so?”
“I know so. ”
“Maybe…. change isn’t so bad.”
“Yeah right, keep dreaming. Besides, we’re not even an item or anything.” But maybe if you want to be, of course I never said that. But I was scared of change, and that was the truth. I found a friend, it was so long since I had this feeling. And, I wanted to cherish it, for just a little bit longer. I didn’t want to lose this feeling. I didn’t want to lose a friend.
“So, what’s the real reason you had me come with you?”
“Over there.” He pointed to a flower shop. At that moment, I began remembering how every few days he would bring flowers to that intersection. He would place it in the bottle. I always wondered why he wanted to replace those flowers so often. But I never got around asking, because he always seemed so sad around them. He always seemed so distant when he brought those flowers. For the rest of the time, we never spoke. He got what he needed, and then we began heading back. Another flower for that intersection even at a time like this. He was really dedicated, I thought. I was fixated, and I wanted to know more about that dedication, but…. I knew we never talked about personal matters before.
“Something on your mind?” Is what he said to me. I wasn’t surprised, nor did I give him an instant reply. I took my time, I thought about it. Whether I wanted to ask, or just feign ignorance.
“Perhaps, perhaps not.” Instead I gave him a vague statement.
“Change, isn’t scary. I’ll tell you that.” I didn’t even tell him what was on my mind, but he went with some invisible flow anyway, and so did I.
“I’ll tell you what’s scary. The present.” After all, he was touching on a topic that I could relate to.
“Every day is like a dream. The day before comes off as a haze, and you don’t even know if there is a future. But you stop and realize, that to be alive now, is something to be grateful for. And so you do. You move on, and that’s the scariest part. You move on. Change is inevitable, I think.”
“But, it isn’t scary?”
“No, it’s not because–”
“You expect it to happen, so it’s not scary in that sense, right?”
“But even change, is unexpected at times, don’t you think?” I gave him a question.
“You may be right. There’s always an exception, there’s no hiding that fact.” He answered.
“Sometimes, however, change happens so quickly, that you can’t keep up. Your heart races, and your eyes shut closed, but your mind is open. You try and climb, but you always fall. You need to climb, but you find yourself so far behind.” And I chimed.
“And even then, somehow, one way or another, you’ll find your own footing. That’s change. Even if you’re swept up, there’s always a way, to make up for lost time.”
“Yeah.” I smiled at this notion. There’s always a way, to make up for lost time. That’s change. It moves on, it doesn’t care about repercussions. That’s your job. That was my job.
“By the way, Winter?”
“What’s up Tail?”
“Have you gained weight?”
“How cliché!” I knocked him over the head for that notion. But I can’t lie when I said I honestly began feeling around to see if I actually did. Perhaps I did gain weight. Or maybe, I gained a little bit of something else.