Hello once again on this rare Saturday. This is going to be the second last (If i did this right) update for this series, and then as usual I will wrap everything up in one neat post for any future goers. Funny story about this mini series, I actually wanted to incorporate the cat a lot more, considering I named it “Friends of a Cat” but I think somewhere in my mind, I just decided to let it be. I mean don’t get me wrong, the cat definitely has some important aspects in the story, but I think I wanted something more… maybe I’ll try again next time. But that’s not to say I didn’t like how this story turned out, I rather like it, to be honest. But anyway, here you go, “Friends of a Cat:Mark 4”.
“Hey! Running a bit late now are we?”
“As if!” I ran over to where Tail was standing. It was the last day of spring break, and there was a firework event going on, so we planned to go. It was the dead of night, and so…. well, no it wasn’t the dead of night. But it was night all right. It was pretty strange. Out of the blue, Tail just up and asked me to come, and of course I had nothing better to do. I brought Chi-Chi along as well, she had nothing better to do either.
“You sure love cats, don’t you.”
“Well, they’re nice, at least,” I almost forgot the reason I even got Chi-Chi in the first place. It was because I was lonely. Sure I love cats, but… to actually get one is something else entirely. That was, a rough time indeed. But now I love Chi-Chi with all my heart.
“Hey! Where do you think you’re going!” Chi-Chi suddenly ran out of my arms and started rummaging around some thrown out cardboard box. I sighed and then bent over to pick her up, “Jeez, don’t do that.”
“Looks like she found treasure.” I looked at her mouth, and there was something dangling from it. It was pretty dark, so I couldn’t exactly tell what it was until I picked it up.
“A necklace?” I said out loud.
“Really? Let me see.” It was a pretty plain necklace, with a silver four leaf clover as it’s center. I handed it to Tail, but when he got a good look, something odd happened. I couldn’t tell that much from the darkness, but I could almost swear he was trembling. His hand seemed shaky, but… maybe it was my imagination.
“Tail?” He didn’t answer, and just simply looked at the necklace, like he saw a ghost or something. I began shaking him, and that’s when he snapped out of it.
“Oh! Winter, sorry. It’s nothing.” I didn’t even get the chance to ask him if there was something wrong.
“Shall we go?” He handed me back the necklace, which I accepted with a questioning look from me. He didn’t want to say anything more, so I didn’t press him. But, maybe that would have been better. To let it all out then.
When we arrived at the festival, it was almost time for the fireworks. But, if we were going to a festival, there was one thing I wanted to try. I looked around all I could, until I finally found it. A candy apple stand. I walked up with probably the happiest face I could ever make, only being interrupted when Tail grabbed my shoulder.
“Yes!!” I said without hesitation.
“You really are honest.” At the time, I didn’t understand what he meant by that. I mean, all I could think was sinking my teeth into candy, even Chi-Chi was grumbling away in my arms. But now, I think I know what he wanted to imply.
“Here you go!” Tail handed me one, although, with Chi-Chi still in my arms, it was a bit hard to grasp. I put Chi-Chi down on the ground, and kept a good eye on her. I grabbed the candy apple dexterously and kept a stink eye on Chi-Chi. Who knows where she would go one of these days, I thought. I took a quick bite of the candy apple, and as soon as my teeth sunk into that delicious skin, I couldn’t help but physically show my appreciation to it. My eyes widened and my mouth curled up, my cheeks grew red with satisfaction and it was simply bliss.
“Hey Winter! Winter!”
“Huh? Tail? What’s up? Can’t you tell I’m busy enjoying this.” Without a word, he simply pointed down to my feet, where Chi-Chi was nowhere to be seen. I looked around frantically until a shrill scream resounded in one of the stalls. I hoped for the worst and assumed it was Chi-Chi. If I knew her, then she was probably causing a ruckus, probably having to do with squid or something. Cat Instincts I assured myself.
I ran over to the stall, and to my expectations, Chi-Chi was standing on a table, with a fried squid in her mouth. She leapt from one ledge to another, causing a huge scene, until finally leaping over my head and running down the festival grounds. I chased after her while the stall managers began yelling down the lane where she ran. This couldn’t get any worse, I thought. But at least I still had the candy apple, I thought as I stuffed my face down while running.
As I was busy chasing Chi-Chi, I remembered that I left Tail behind, and wondered what he was doing, which completely synched with the fact that Tail appeared right in front of Chi-Chi. I yelled out to him, “Right there! Catch her!” Tail got into position and blocked Chi-Chi’s path, which, at the spur of the moment, looked like a triumphant victory, until Chi-Chi jumped up, dodged Tail’s two hands and bounced off his head. Tail fell to the floor looking dejected, but I couldn’t give up, and continued my goose chase. My candy apple was all but finished at this point, and I feared that continuing this run would only cause more troubles for my stomach. Chi-Chi liked acting on her own sure, but, this was getting out of hand. I may just have to put her on a lease after all, I thought.
Just as my breath was finally waning, and the prospect of beating my cat in a wild chase was fading away, I saw a figure stand before me. She was tall, her eyes were like jewels shining in the night light, and her hair was kept flowing behind her, as if worries washed down. Her posture and her whole presence was just divine, a true dignified woman I thought, down to the tee. And in her arms, was Chi-Chi, Unmistakably. I was almost out of breath and this point, and before I could even mutter a response, she had handed me Chi-Chi. She had a gentle smile on her face, a smile that seemed like it could wash away all my worries, a smile that seemed like it could protect anyone. It was a used smile.
“Thank you…” I could barely say that.
“No problem.” But her voice was as clear as the morning sky.
“Really. This damn cat just causes too much problems,” I said while ruffling around Chi-Chi’s fur. While I was angrily playing with Chi-Chi, the necklace I picked up earlier dropped to the floor; the one with the four leaf clover. The lady picked it up and examined it in the lowlight. Her reaction was synonymous with Tail’s. The symbol of luck, the symbol of power, no, the symbol of memories was written on her face. There was something going on, and I had absolutely no idea what, but despite that, I realized that these two people, were connected, in one way or another. At that moment, I realized just how little and just how distant I actually was. I was so separated, so captivated by my own bubble, that I could hardly breathe. These people were in their own worlds, and I was in mine. I didn’t know anything about Tail’s past, or his personal life nor did I know what relations he has with this lady, but I knew. That was the fact, I knew. Somehow one way or another, my brain told me that they were one and the same. Their problems were not different, and…. one way or another, I had been placed right in the middle of it all.
“I’m sorry, here you go,” The lady said, while handing me back the necklace.
“You like clovers?” I said without even realizing it.
“I just…. thought you liked them, because you seemed so fixated on it,” I was referring to my necklace.
“Ah… did it seem that way?”
“I don’t know, that’s just what I saw, I’m sorry if I’m wrong.”
“Hmm. I see. I guess, I’m still like I was back then.” She was speaking from memories, speaking from the past, she wasn’t with me, no, I was an observer. She was in a world far from my own. She was a person that I didn’t even know the name of, but despite that, she seemed so warmly familiar. I just couldn’t help but be warmed by her presence.
“Don’t mind an old lady’s ramblings.” She smiled in jest.
“I think, clovers are awesome. ” And then I went ahead and ran my mouth, like usual, “You know, it’s kind of like, a charm. When you find a four leaf clover, you just can’t help but be happy, you know.”
“A charm huh? Just how much have I heard that?” She smiled at me, and once I realized just what I had said, I began growing embarrassed. I just stated the obvious, something everyone would know. But I was determined to keep going.
“But, it isn’t just that. A four leaf clover is kind of like… a star.” The moment I said that, the look in her eyes grew wide. Without warning, her whole focus shifted onto me, it was an unwavering focus. She was, captivated.
“You know how stars are so distant, and so brilliant? When I reach my arms out, I feel like I can almost reach into the sky. But I know that the sky wouldn’t be enough. I have to aim for the stars, I need to go into space, into a world beyond mine, and for that, I need strength.” I was on a tangent, but my mind was slowly arranging itself so that I could properly express my words to her.
“When I reach out into the grass, into the fields, I feel like, I can get anything. Everything is within my grasp, I can control what I have, but that isn’t enough. I know that isn’t enough. To get a four leaf clover, I need to focus, I need to be more than myself, I need to be determined. Just like if I wanted to get a star, if I ever wanted to be up there with them, I need to be determined. ” As I finished my long and probably nonsensical soliloquy, I noticed the lady had stopped staring, and instead had looked up into the sky. The stars were out tonight, I thought. Just as I said, I felt like I could touch the sky as I stretched my arm out, however, that wasn’t enough. It would never be enough. The stars were so distant, just like a four leaf clover. It would forever be flowing in the wind, just out of arms length, until I finally get the push I need.
“You know, someone I knew… a long time ago said something similar.”
“Except, she wasn’t that passionate.” She smiled at me, mockingly, but she smiled at me, with a warmth that I couldn’t explain.
“My friend… she told me that she liked four leaf clovers. She said, that they reminded her of stars, because, just like stars, the clovers would soon be forgotten.”
“She told me that, legends will always remain. Myths will become rumors, and eventually, the commonplace, will be forgotten. ”
“Jeez, you said I wasn’t passionate. Whoever your friend was, she was clearly thinking about this way more than I did.”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Really? That stuff sounds so complicated.”
“I really don’t think so. She was just being, normal. What she meant was that, we take things for granted. Just like the stars in the sky, or the clovers hidden in the grass. We pass them by without really thinking. They are forgotten.” She smiled at me. You know, this lady was always smiling. Everything about her was so mysterious, so well hidden behind that smile.
“Hey Winter! Where are you!” I heard Tail call for me, which I reacted out of instinct. I guess the lady figured from my reaction and said her farewell. She’s still a haze to me.
“Hey! Chi-Chi’s alright,” Tail said.
“You alright Winter?” I guess I did seem a little out of it. After all that happened, and all of the stuff the lady said and whatnot, but I didn’t think at the time that I was that out of it.
“It’s… nothing.” I never did ask him about that lady. I never did, I wonder why that was. Either way, that spring break, ended without any more problems. Chi-Chi was enjoying herself in my arms, and the fireworks went off. They were beautiful, but something in the back of my mind nagged me. I couldn’t push it away. A few words and thoughts popped across my mind, just like when I was gathering words to explain to the lady: Tail, four leaf clover, past, flowers, connection, lady. And, just somewhere in that jumbled mess, was…. Winter.