Hello once again, this time to the last part of this series. I’m actually quite satisfied with the length of this one, I didn’t think that I could actually blow up this story to such amounts. At first, I thought maybe a few parts, but then I just really wanted to see this through and see how much I could get. The characters problems, the things they talk about, their ideas, and just the fact that, it’s sometimes okay to just let things through. That the best medicine is to just talk. There doesn’t need to be change, and that change is scary, but not always, and that you have to press on, regardless. A lot of things came out of this one, some I may even revisit. And of course, I left just had to tease a bit with the last paragraph of this final part (mark). The way I always tease and attempt to make the story seem more than what it looks on the surface (Hint: who is the lady? Or maybe, what?) But anyway, here it is, “Friends of a Cat:Mark 5”.
In the end, we ended up exchanging contact information. And this is he part where things start wrapping up, where loose ends meet beginnings, and where everything falls apart. I got a text from Tail saying he’d be sick. In other words, I didn’t need to worry about him meeting me at the intersection to talk. However, he mentioned if I could replace the flowers for him. I figured his being sick messed up his replacement schedule or whatever. He was always so diligent when it came to that flower-in-a-bottle.
On my way back from home that day; after buying the flower, I noticed that there was a strange person at the bottle. Chi-Chi was also surprisingly active this afternoon, running all the way to greet me as I came to the street. She snuggled on my legs and decided to climb me until she sat on my shoulders. She wasn’t that heavy or anything, but for some reason, I felt weighted. When I saw the person who was there, I immediately recognized her. It was the lady from the fireworks event. She was… just staring at the bottle, and at the flower. There was a certain pity in her eyes, perhaps to the person who placed it there, or perhaps to the reason as to why it’s even there.
She heard my footsteps close in, and turned around. As she noticed the flower in my hand, and who I was, her eyes grew wide. But they soon settled down. She wanted to say something, but I just had to interrupt her first.
“If you’re wondering, I’m not the one who put that there.” I went over to the bottle and kneeled in front of it. I grabbed the flower there, and placed the new ones I got, “A friend of mine put this here, and ever since he’s always kept good care of it.”
“Yeah, he’s not here today because he’s sick. What about you, miss? Why are you here?” I honestly with all my heart wondered that.
“Why indeed.” No, miss, you’re supposed to tell me, not make my life harder.
“Perhaps…” I was going to drop Tail’s name, but… that’s not even his name. I mean, she might know him… or she might think I’m talking about Chi-Chi or something, after all, she was still here, “Anyway, you look good today miss. That fireworks festival last time was really great huh?” Perhaps I changed the subject.
“Yes, and you seem to be doing good as well. You too, little cat.”
“Her name’s Chi-Chi,” I said with a smile on my face. I grabbed Chi-Chi and placed her down onto the ground, “At least she hasn’t been up to anything lately.”
“I see, that’s good to hear.” Without warning, Chi-Chi leapt up to the lady, which she reacted in kind by holding her.
“I guess she likes you,” I remarked. Chi-Chi slipped out of her arms, and then began circling around her neck, like a cat finding a new perch. The lady seemed intrigued by this behavior, or perhaps amused. Either way, she had a gentle smile on today. If she wasn’t going to tell me why she was here…. perhaps she could tell me a little about herself, I thought.
“Hey! You like…. flowers?” Okay, I didn’t really know how to start a conversation, but I thought anything would do.
“Winter…. was it? Well, I guess they are nice.” She looked wistfully at the new set of flowers I placed in the glass bottle, with the old one still in my hand.
“How about you? I realize you were not the one to place this, but you seem diligent in helping your friend.”
“It would be a shame if his record was broken just because he was sick. And besides, I think he has his reasons.” Despite me not knowing anything at the time.
“You know, Winter. Today is a special day.” From the sounds of a special day, I had a feeling that I heard this before. That phrase, it was so nostalgic to me now…. no, it was cliché.
“Just where have I heard that before? What’s so special?”
“My mistake. I guess I wouldn’t call today a special day. It’s rather morbid, to be here.” Morbid… huh.
“Rather, me simply visiting, is special. In of itself, I guess. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t often come here.
“Right. ” She said visit.
”You live, far away?” I asked.
“No, I’m…. relatively close, I guess.” She said visit.
“Hmm, well if you are, then I guess we’ll be seeing each other more often.” Why would she say visit? Is there anything to see at this odd intersection? I would hope not. It’s rather modern. Rather bland, to the unknowing; such as myself. I wanted to ask, I really did.
“Say….” And I did, “Do you know, a guy named Tail?” She didn’t make an expression to show an emotion. She was stiff, like always, I thought. She was normal, maybe… I was wrong?
“Yes, I do.” Or maybe not.
“Really?” I began describing him, I mean, it could be anyone. But, a guy with a pony tail like his? Not likely. She really did seem to know him, however. She picked up Chi-Chi and placed her back on the ground, as she herself spoke up to me.
“I guess, you don’t know, about why this place is special. And about how Tail and I are related. And about those flowers, about the clovers, about…. everything.” I didn’t respond, which was enough of an answer to her. She was right, I didn’t know anything.
“Do you still have that necklace?” I took the silver necklace out of my bag. A four leaf clover. I handed it to the lady, which she then proceeded to place around the neck of the bottle.
“She would like it,” It wasn’t directed to me, or anyone for that matter. She spoke, to no one.
“She loved clovers. Because –”
“They would be forgotten, just like stars.” The lady nodded.
“But with clovers, at least, you can touch, and at least you can preserve. I’m sure she thought like that too. ” That’s right. Clovers are tangible, more tangible than stars.
“You see, Winter. A lot of things happened here, in this town…. but more specifically, right here, on this spot. Do you know why, this street…. no this part of town even exists?” It was an odd question, I thought. Why else? To house? Was that not the right answer? But if it was, then why didn’t I speak?
“It’s because, an accident happened here, on this spot. Well, not just that accident, but this spot, this place was known for it. Accidents. A lot happened here in the past.” When she said that, I began to remember something about this area. My parents had told me about it when we were moving in. Apparently, before this area began being a… housing area, I guess, it used to just be a commercial street. Or something like that. In other words, there weren’t even any houses here, I thought as I looked around. This place used to just be a street and cars would pass by freely, now you don’t see that very often here. It was remodeled, and a lot went into making this a housing area. I think one of the reasons was because kids used to play on these streets a lot because of the park nearby. But even that was re done. I saw pictures of this place before, but they were far too old. Too old for it to match what it is now. But even if I did remember all those details, I knew that I had no business here. I wasn’t concerned with the past, so I didn’t give her a reply.
“You must be wondering then, why this all matters. Why the remodeling plan was such a big deal. Or rather, why it’s such a big deal to us.” To us?
“Because to the people who have lost the ones they loved on here, it really was a big deal.” Oh.
“And to the people who still hate the ones who caused them grief. But, it doesn’t matter now. Because, we should move on. Some of us has, and maybe some of us haven’t. But that’s fine.” I… sort of understood what was going on. However I still had some questions, one of them, had to be, “You lost someone precious to you?”
“Yes. So did Tail.”
“I see. I’m sorry.” I was sorry for mentioning the past, and for getting her all worked up over it. It looks like someone precious to both this lady and Tail was lost. They were lost on this street of misfortune. But it looks like, it was rebuilt. And now, it is just another old street, a boring one, where people seldom tread. But to people like Tail and the lady, it is a street of mourning. I never knew, and once I realized this , once I realized the meaning behind those flowers, I began crying. Tears poured out of my eyes before I could even do anything about it, I was crying. For the first time, I was crying, not for myself, but for someone else. I was crying for them, I was crying because they lost a person dear to them. I was crying, because I didn’t know what to do. I’ve never felt like that before. I’m happy, that I could finally cry for another, I realize this now. Chi-Chi saw this, and went up to try and cheer me up, in whatever way a cat could. It made me happy, a cat’s warmth, a cat’s cradle, a cat’s affection is anything but sloven.
“Winter….” Even the lady wanted to comfort me, but I was the only one, who didn’t want that. No, I didn’t want to be comforted. I wanted to share in the pain. I wanted to be there with the people I care about, I wanted to know. I wanted to experience, and feel. I wanted to be in their world. I wanted so much to be a part of their world. No matter what, I would from that day on, always strive to be more than what I can be. I wanted to break out of the bounds of my world. There was so much going on, so much around me that I just couldn’t take it. I was a stranger. I still am. But at least, I’ve learned. Eventually, even the lady began tearing up. And, we spent a good amount of time just letting it all out. For those deceased, for those to come, and for those always having to bear the pain, we cried.
“She loved clovers, and flowers.” The lady said.
“But, even so. People like you and Tail, will never forget her. Even if she has become commonplace, is that right?”
“That’s right.” She smiled her usual tune.
“I guess, I have to tell Tail about myself then. It just wouldn’t be right if I knew about his grievances, and he didn’t know mines.”
“Thank you, for… being there. For being here.”Before I could respond, the lady had already begun walking off. For some reason, at that moment, I felt a tinge of nostalgia. But not only that, I felt… longing. I think that’s what I had felt back then. A sort of strange but mystic longing. It was the kind of longing, that will never come true. But you wish for it anyway. It was bitter. That’s what I felt from her. To this day, I still don’t know the name of the lady I saw that day. But whoever she was, she was precious to me, Tail, and her deceased friend. I’m sure, wherever she is now, she will find sanctum. Just like Tail, and just like me.
In the end, nothing changed. Tail went about doing what he did, and so did I. However, I think we got closer, I told him about what happened to me, and I explained to him about the lady who told me about him. Except… oddly enough, Tail seemed confused whenever I mentioned her. Even when I described her. Strange…. maybe… they weren’t connected? Maybe just friends of a friend or something, I thought at the time. It’s been years since I’ve been there however. Right now, Tail’s off doing his own thing, chasing his dreams, and so am I. Chi-Chi’s doing great nowadays. Not up to as much mischievous as before. Oh shoot! Look at the time, I better catch some shut-eye. Don’t want to miss tomorrow’s lecture.
Hailey, Winter…. signing out.