FFF – Accepting Cat
Once again I’m attempting to break into the flash fiction world.
Today’s fiction is something I just came up with at the spur of the moment. It’s probably not done very well, but I blame it on not having a moment to myself due to keeping tabs on mom all day. I finally got a moment to myself and sat down to write. So this is what you get.
Enjoy, and feel free to comment or critique.
“Cat, are you going to prom?” Janna asked, blue eyes twinkling with mischief as she watched her best friend.
The blonde arched a carefully lined eyebrow at her brunette friend. “Of course, I am,” she said in response. “It’s senior year. We can’t miss prom.”
“Well, who are you going with?”
Cat grinned and stuck a tongue out at her friend when Janna opened her mouth. “I know, I know,” she said, hands up in front of her, “Cheshire Cat.” It was the nickname Janna had given her in the eighth grade when they met.
The girls had gone to the same Cleveland, Ohio, middle school after Janna moved to town. Remembering her own difficulties adjusting to a new town, Cat befriended Janna. But it was Janna who made her own mark on Cat, immediately claiming the blue-eyed girl’s grin reminded her of the Cheshire Cat. She’d scowled, but the nickname stuck and was eventually shortened to simply Cat.
“I’m going by myself,” Cat finally responded when Janna prodded her side with a pen.
Her friend’s brown eyes widened in horror. “How can you go to senior prom alone?!”
Cat slapped a hand over Janna’s mouth in chagrin. She had squealed that last bit, and Cat looked around the mostly deserted cafeteria with a blush to see if anyone heard her. No one else was there, so Cat sighed and let go of Janna’s mouth.
The brunette gave her a reproachful look. “You can’t go to your own prom alone. It’s simply unheard of! We’ve got to get you a date fast!”
Cat hedged, “There’s really no one I want to go with…”
Her voice trailed off as she thought of the person she would go with if he’d been around.
“Chase won’t mind if you go with someone else,” Janna said fiercely, voice promising she’d make sure of her conviction. “After all, he’s how many miles away? Ten thousand?” She crossed her eyes and struck a tragic pose, one hand against her heart as she said it.
Cat laughed. “No, he’s only 100 miles away, crazy. And he already told me if I wanted to go with someone else I could.”
“Well, there you go, that’s settled,” Janna remarked, grabbing her bag and carrying it into the theater as the director called for the rest of the cast to come in.
Cat followed more slowly, thinking about her boyfriend, away in Indiana for school. They’d met when she was a freshman and he a junior.
In fact, it was Chase who convinced Cat to confront herself in a number of uncomfortable ways. She tossed her backpack onto one of the old theater chairs. The director rambled on about dress rehearsals, all information Cat already knew. She tuned out.
When she’d arrived at Ben Johnson High, she signed up for a mixed chorus class her first semester. Janna signed up as well, but her course schedule wouldn’t allow her to take the class. The friends reluctantly parted after their third period with Mr. Duff in geometry, and Cat ran her hands through her newly layered blond locks before walking nervously into the choir room.
Mixed chorus was a class for everyone. Literally. Cat found herself seated by a guy she knew had to be older than her and a girl from her first period biology class.
“Hi, what’s your name?” The guy asked her, smiling down at her. He was several inches taller than her 5’6” frame, and she was surprised to see matching blue eyes meeting hers.
“Cat,” she mumbled, eyes moving to her lap.
“I’m Chase,” he said, smirking at her when she chanced a glance up at him. He certainly had confidence. Cat nodded and listened as he talked to the girl on her other side. Sara, at least, was more outgoing.
When class began, Ms. Kling took roll, and Cat waited again, feeling that same sense of deja vu that had filled her as a child. There were at least 80 people in the class.
“Chase Jamison,” Ms. Kling called.
“Here,” said Chase, raising a lazy hand in the air. Cat filed away his name for later use.
A moment later, she heard, “Decatur Jones.”
“Here,” Cat called, also raising her hand.
She ignored the speculative gaze Chase gave her.
After class, he stopped her. “So your name’s Decatur?” She nodded, for some reason shy around this guy. “Cool name.”
Her expression caught his attention. Cat’s eyes rounded in shock as she stared at him, mouth open. “Are you serious?” Her voice trilled out.
“Um, yeah,” he said, sauntering to the door at the tail end of the class. “I like it. It’s different.”
Cat continued staring as he left, surprised speechless.
By the end of the year, she and Chase became good friends, and Cat was feeling more accepted for who she was. She knew Chase liked her and her unique first name. It made her more confident and willing to own up to who she was.
When she turned 16, Chase told her he wanted to date her. He was 18 and incredibly good-looking. His body had filled out from his soccer playing, and Cat thought he was amazing. She accepted, and once again, she found herself marveling that Chase cared about her so much.
Two years later they were still dating. They’d had a few kinks with his choice to go to college in Indiana, but he emailed her and responded to letters she sent. Cat felt more loved than ever before.
Rehearsal ended, and Cat walked out to her car, squinting into the fading sunshine. Her cell phone buzzed in her pocket, and she pulled it out, mouth breaking into a grin when she saw who it was.
She flipped it open. “Hello?”
Her stomach erupted into butterflies. Chase was the only one who ever called her by her first name. Every time it brightened her day. He’d helped her accept herself after all.
Meh – I’m not too inspired by it, but as you can see, it’s kind of related to the flash piece I posted last Friday. For what it’s worth, I’m tired and sore, so I did work hard to put together something that would go along with my ideas about Decatur. She seems like the kind of girl who would be able to get over her own aversion to the name and find how it makes her special, don’t you think?
Any comments, questions, or snide remarks can be directed below. I’ll be happy to hear your opinions!
P.S. I’m thinking of making a separate page to host my badges on so that people can find official places to grab them. I’m not making them “professional” by any stretch of the word, but I thought a separate page might be easier to find than a post. Besides, I like my posts to have more content…