I woke up this morning with worst cramps ever. Ugh! It’s so annoying being a girl and having to deal with this period crap! Which meant I would probably be dealing with this again by the time the winter dance came around. Great… just great timing.
But it wasn’t like I would be doing with my date at the dance anyway — like woohoo before marriage, or even first or second base. No no no! I was not that type of girl. I just didn’t want to feel miserable and bloaty in my pretty party dress I had picked out for the dance.
‘Course… I didn’t even know if I would have a date yet. Why would I go and buy a dress if I didn’t know if I was going? I dunno… I guess I just wanted to make sure I got one. And well in advance. I mean, you never know what could happen if I waited too long. What if they never had my size? What if they never had purple? What if the store closed on the day I decided to go down, because they were having annual inventory-counting-store-closed days or whatever? Ya know… stuff like that. You never know if they could have a fire or the place blew up or— anyway…. I got my dress, so that was one less thing to worry about.
Today was Saturday so I could be crampy and miserable all I wanted. I didn’t even have to get dressed if I didn’t want to. Unless Jevon randomly came by to see me… but I knew he wouldn’t because for some reason he thinks I’m a freak. I was afraid to talk to him in school after my sisters told me what they heard about me. And he wouldn’t come to play with Shebby anymore since he had grown up and she was still a pre-teen. But he knew I liked him because Kesha’s boyfriend Hassan had told him. I think.
As I was getting ready to go downstairs, my sister waltzed into the room, all cheery and flicking her hair around.
“Vanya, would you quit with the ‘I am fabulous’ shit?” I said, annoyed at her cockiness when I could feel my anxiety rising and my ovaries churning.
“No!” She said. “Because I AM fabulous! Can’t you see I’m having an excellent hair day! This is gonna be great for my Simstagram feed.”
“But your hair is the same every damn day.”
She gasped and stared at me sternly. “KAIYA! Such words! If Mom heard you say that— ooh, I’m totally gonna tell her you swore!”
“Don’t you dare! Or I’ll tell her you almost said the F word the other day.”
“Hah! ‘Almost’ saying it is not quite the same as really saying it, sister dear.”
Mom was in the kitchen cleaning up from whoever had already eaten. Our family rarely ate together on the weekends, because there were so many of us and we all had different sleeping and eating schedules.
What if Vanya came through on her threat to tell on me for swearing? I suddenly had that panicked thought. Mom swore herself, didn’t she? I knew Dad certainly did! But he tried not to around us, ’cause with the kids and all, gotta set a good example, ya know.
“Morning, Kaiya. You’re up early! Did you want some breakfast? I can make some pancakes–”
“Naw, that’s okay. It’s too soon to eat yet – my stomach can’t handle it today. I’ll just get a latte.”
“What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
“Just woman stuff.”
“Oh, okay, I got some Midol if you want one. And you should get some more rest.”
“It’s okay, Mom, I’ll be fine. But thanks.” I gave her a smile. My mother was so sweet. Always concerned for the well-being of others more than herself. It was a wonder how she and Dad got along. They were almost polar opposites. But I guess that’s what they say about opposites attract.
Which made me think of Jevon then. He was kinda opposite of me. Blond hair versus my dark hair. That was just physical things of course. He was a little more outgoing than me. I suppose some people might call it brazen. But I thought it made him more… intriguing.
I lazed around for the rest of the morning until I finally decided to get dressed and maybe do something. Nobody had much for lunch– just more of a continuation of breakfasty-brunch things like cereal or salad which was typical for a Saturday– but Dad had put on a few fancy beverages for us all so I decided to have another delicious latte. They were so good!! But I knew it was not healthy to have too many in one day. People get addicted and all that. I know one girl from my school was fed cola when she was a baby, and she got addicted and would go into a tantrum if she didn’t have it at the right time every day, and now she’s grown up and she has to have it. Gosh, how horrible! That would never happen to me though.
I stayed in the kitchen after everyone had gone off to do whatever, and I pondered how I could make the most of this day.
“Sissy, what are you doing?” Sashdo asked.
He appeared out of nowhere… or I was just lost in my own world and didn’t hear him coming. I had an overwhelming need to check all the appliances to make sure everything was turned off. With the amount of people in this house, someone’s bound to forget sometime, and if someone left the burner on and then something like a cloth got too close, then the whole house could burst into flames. It actually did happen before– not the whole house catching on fire, but we did have a stove fire once and Daddy put it out. Me and my sisters were just kids then and holy shit, it was pretty scary! I did not want to risk that happening again.
“Oh, I’m just making sure the stove is not left on.” I said to my little brother.
“But nobody even used the stove today. We just had salad.”
“Yeah… well, someone could have accidently turned it on.”
“Why would they do that?”
“I dunno. Just by accident?”
“The probability of either one of us going to the stove to turn it on while we were on the opposite counter preparing lettuce and other non-cookable substances is undoubtedly very slim,” he replied.
“Oh thanks, genius, for your probabilty theory on that speculation… or whatever. So the stove is cold. Happy? Now leave me alone.” I grumped.
“Okay. Suit yourself.” He said.
I sat back down to finish my latte and waited for Sashdo to leave.
“Hey sis.” I heard Shebby’s voice from behind me. Jeepers, I thought, why won’t these kids leave me alone today?! Were they purposely trying to annoy me?
“What’s up, Shebby? Do you need something?”
“No, I just wanted to say hi,” she said as she sat in the chair across from me.
We looked at each other silently for a moment.
“Is that all?” I asked. It was strange for her to just come and ‘say hi’ or to have a chat. We rarely talked.
“Well… I just wanted to tell you something.”
“Oh. I knew it had to be something. You wouldn’t randomly come and talk to me about nothing. I know you better than that.” I said.
“Yeah…” She paused. “Well… I wanted to tell you that… I kinda said something about you…”
A-ha! I knew it. Vanya was right.
“Oh really now? What did you say?”
“I was just joking around with Zane and saying what you were like sometimes…. like, always worrying and freaking out about the house burning down or the pipes bursting and stuff like that.” She became more insistent as she saw my expression change. “I never said ‘freak’, I promise! I just said ‘freaking out’. But he was like, “So she’s a freak then?” And I said ‘No, I never said that’ and—”
“Okay, okay stop!”
I did sense she felt bad about it, but she should never have been talking about me to her stupid little friends in the first place.
“Yeah, why are you talking about me to your stupid little friends anyway?” I snapped.
“What?! I said I’m sorry, Kaiya.”
“Yeah, you look sorry.” I said sarcastically.
I sighed. “Okay then, you better go make it right then. ‘Cause your little friends are blabbing about the school that I’m a freak and you better fix that up, especially with Jevon. Because I want him to ask me to the winter dance, and he won’t if he thinks I’m a freak.
Her eyes lit up suddenly. “Oooh, the dance! You like Jevon?! Ooooh, it must be love!!”
I rolled my eyes. Kids!
“Uhhh, yeah I think you already knew that. And I think you are purposely spreading rumors about me because you like Jevon too.”
“Not true!” She gasped. I knew she did. Obviously it’s just a kid crush now and could never come to fruition.
“Whatever. Get out of my face now, please, kid.”
“Huh! Are you PMS-ing? ‘Cause, god, something is up your butt today.”
So after all that, I did manage to get a date with Jevon. Whatever stories Shebby had told to Hassan’s little brother Zane had gone back to Hassan and therefore to Jevon, possibly getting convoluted along the way, as rumors do. But somehow I guess Sheb had managed to fix it, because Jevon finally spoke to me in school and agreed to come over and hang out!
“It’s no biggie what people think. Crazy chicks can be fun.” Jevon said.
“But I’m not—”
“Yeah. That’s what they all say.” He winked.
I was a little taken aback, but couldn’t say anything to that, because then he asked me if I would go to the winter dance with him. Oh, yes please, I thought you would never ask!
“Yes, okay.” I smiled giddily at him.