Forgive me for the "frantic" writing style, this is totally uneditted and a little messy. I try to write what i feel and rarely does that come out in a neat way.
"Ms Summers im going to need to see you after class"
The teachers voice cut through her daydream.
"Uhm, what? I mean... uh... yes Ms. Catthart" she blushed.
"Youre gonna get in troubleeee" one of the girls sitting next to her taunted.
She sighed and leaned back on her elbow.
Her parents sent her to a Catholic School when she had started to mature. They had feared she might have become sexually active at a young age, but in truth they just wanted her out of their lives.
she was too shy to do anything. She guessed her parents had missed that part of her personality, anyway.
She was shy and awkward, though pretty. She was short, barely over five feet, but her body had matured and despite her age, she was well developed. Boys had noticed her and teased her for the fact that her breasts had swelled and grown, while the other girls around her stayed small. It had only helped to keep her away from the others.
A year previous, while walking to her room, a janitor had grabbed her and tried to rape her. A passing teacher caught him and she was saved, but it was mentally scarring. She had spent months in her room, crying, trying to forget the experience.
Now a year later, she just stayed away from everyone, not trusting anyone around her. The other girls were interested in boys, and always talking about sex and wanting to experience it. For her, she found it disinteresting, and boring. She didnt care about boys at all.
An Eraser flew though the air and hit her in the head.
"MS. SUMMERS, care to join us?!" the teacher rapped a ruler on her desk.
THe class giggled and whispered.
"Im sorry." she said flatly, and looked up at the board, covered with numbers and signs for mathmatics.
Math was probably her least favourite class and she hated that she had to pay attention at all. She just wanted to be home in her room, not at this school miles from anything she remotely recognized.
Before she knew it, class was over and she began to walk out of the room, oblivious to the fact that shed been called to stay after.
"Ms. Summers" the teacher cleared her throat.
She turned and looked at the teacher, her eyes somewhat dull.
"We need to talk" she stood up and walked past her, closing the door.
"What did i do now?" She leaned against a desk and dropped her books on it.
"Youve been lacking attention lately, and honestly, your grades are falling"
"I dont care" She sighed and looked away at the board covered in meaningless symbols.
"Cathrine, you should care, your life is important and this school is helping you prepare for that!"
"Whatever" was her only reply.
The teacher stood up and put her hands on her shoulder.
"I just dont want to see you fail again" She let out a soft sigh.
"Youre a beautiful girl" She eyed her up and down. "Too pretty to waste your life"
"It IS my life" Kat sighed and stared at her feet. "atleast i thought it was"
Her teacher let go of her and leaned back on her desk.
"May i go now Ms. Catthart?"
"Tanya" She smiled at her. "You can call me Tanya"
"Uhm... ok Tanya... may i go?"
Tanya pulled herself up onto her desk, letting her long legs fall against the side, her heels clicked against the wood.
"What do you think of me?" She asked as she popped the top button of her blouse open.
Kat sat back and looked at her strangely.
"I... dont know what you mean?"
"Do you think im pretty?" She asked, a hint of suggestive nature echoed in her voice.
Kat eyed the woman in front of her. She was thin, but not skinny. She was taller than Kat by a couple inches. Her face was rounded, her eyes were vaugely asian. Her eyes were blue, a deep satin blue. Her hair was brown and it tumbled past her shoulders, hanging over her breasts. Her hands were small, petite, and her legs were long and slim. Her outfit was a loose plaid skirt, and a white blouse. She wore modest pumps with black stockings to match.
"I...I guess" she turned a little red. She felt like she was put on the spot for no reason.
Tanya stood up and walked past her to shut the door.
"Uhm, Tanya... im not really comfortable right now..." Kat crossed her arms and turned red.
"Shhh" She smirked as she walked back towards the young girl, her heels clicking against the cold floor.
Kat turned red and backed away from her slowly.
"Where are you going, sweet girl?" Tanya asked as she continued to walk towards the girl.
Kat continued to back up until she hit a wall. The feelings that flooded back from the time the janitor tried to rape her.
"Please, stay away" Kat's breathing got faster as she panicked. "Please! get away!"
Tears started to well up in her eyes.
"GET AWAY!" she shoved Tanya away and ran to the door, unlocking it and running down the hall.
She slid into her dorm room and slammed it shut. Tears ran down her face messing up her make up as she cried.
"Not again" she cried to herself. "I just wanna go home"
Her friend knocked on the door.
"Kat? Kat are you ok?" she pushed the door open a bit, and found Kat bawling against the wall.
"Oh my god! Kat!" She ran over to her and wrapped her arms around her.
"Kat what happened?!" her friend hugged her close.
"Amy..." she choked out as she cried against her friend.
"Ms. Carrhart tried to rape me"
Kat buried her face in her friends chest and cried.
"oh god Kat" her friend kissed her forehead. "Dont worry Kat, im here, she cant get to you now, ok?"
Kat just cried and curled up tightly against her. Unable to even think.
Her friend lifted her up and smiled.
"Come here hon, the bed is more comfortable. Its going to be alright" SHe held onto her friends hand tightly.
Kat curled up on the bed and started to cry again.
Amy sighed, not entirely sure what she should do with her friend.
Finally she tilted her chin up and looked into her eyes.
"Sweetie, itll be ok, i promise, we'll get her in trouble, she wont hurt you!" Amy hugged her close.
Amy stared into her friends perfect blue eyes and found herself lost in them. Her heart beat faster and faster as she stared at her friend. Suddenly she leaned forward and kissed her on the lips.
Kat pushed her away quickly.
"AMY!?" she scurried to the other end of the bed. "What...wha..." she stared at this girl she thought she knew.
"Kat! Im... im..." Amy didnt even know how to respond to what she had just done.
Kat pulled her knees to her chest and curled up.
Amy crawled to her friend.
"Kat... please... im so sorry... i... i dont know what i just did..." She put her hand on her friends knee.
Kat stared at her hand, her emotions were running wild. Between the attempted rape and the kiss, she wasnt sure what she should do. Her body screamed no, the rape had traumatized her, but her mind said she wanted more than just a kiss from her friend.
She kept her face between her knees but shyly eyed her friend. She hadnt noticed her before, atleast not like this.
She was tall and skinny, not as developed as Kat, herself, but still quite beautiful. Her breasts were larger than most of the girls and her pretty face was rounded and smooth. Where most girls had acne problems her face had stayed clear. Her golden blonde hair was short, but still flowing, draping elegantly against her temples and down to her chin. Her lips were full and pouty and her soft eyes were gently shaped. They were amber brown and shone in the dying light that drapped the room in shadow. Her hips were wide and her legs long, and shapely. Her hands were petite and soft and flowed into her gentle palms, up her thin arms.
Kat turned red and squeezed her face close to her knees. Her heart was thudding in her chest and her entire body felt like flames had ignited along her core. She wasnt sure what to even make of this new feeling that was pounding in her temples.
Amy leaned closer.
"Kat... im so sorry, please... it was an accident, i was ju--" Kat lept on her friend, and pinned her to the bed.
Her body worked instinctively, telling her what to do, with her mind in a fevered second as she ran her fingertips up her side and carressed her soft face.
"K..Kat..." her friend looked into her eyes, surprised at the sudden change, and instant tension she felt fill the air around them.
Kat shook her head and leaned into her friend and stared into her eyes, her lips brushing Amy's.
"Kat..." Amy's voice was a whisper as she stared into her friends eyes. Her own heart beat faster and faster as she felt her friends breath on her soft skin.
Kat finally leaned into her friend and the kissed. Kat pressed her lips tight against Amy's.
Amy closed her eyes and sighed softly into the tight kiss. Kat's hands glided up her side, gently stopping at her hips and stomach to gently carress her.
As they parted the kiss, Amy blushed and leaned in and pecked her lips again.
"Kat..." She stared at her. "...I...I... I love you..."
Kat turned red and hide her face.
"I love you too" drifted from her fingers, clenched over her face.
Amy jumped on her and they fell into the sheets, giggling and kissing until they were tangled together.
Kat carressed her lovers face and smiled at her as they lay under the moonlight that flooded the small room.
They were only covered by a sheet, both so happy to be skin to skin wrapped in eachothers arms, as night wore on.
A knock on the door brought Kat to her senses as she snuggled into her Amy. She ignored it until the sunlight hit her eyes and she heard a voice call into the room.
"Cathrine!" A teacher called out. "Are you sick? youre late for class young lady!"
Her heart lept as she shook Amy.
"AMY!" she whispered into her ear. "AMY GET UP!"
Amy groaned, tired from the night before and pulled a pillow over her head.
"NO AMY YOU HAVE TO GET UP! THERES A TEACHER OUTSIDE!!" She whispered louder.
"YOUNG LADY!" the teachers voice called again. "I HEAR WHISPERING!"
She threw the door open, and found Amy sitting up, her bare chest uncovered the sheet drapped over her legs.
"Ms. Hartlet, what are you doing in here?" The teachers eyes darted around the room, clearly confused why this young girl was naked in another girls room.
"I... uhm..." Amy stared at her trying desperately to come up with an excuse.
Kat had scurried into the closet and pulled the door shut, mere seconds before the door to her room was thrown open. She peered through the slit in the door. She watched the teacher as she looked around the room.
"Please dont look in here" she repeated to herself silently.
"Ms. Hartlet, i do NOT hear an adequate explination. Its detention for you!" she grabbed the girls arm and dragged her from the bed. "You will get dressed IMMEDIATELY and report to the office"
The teacher slapped her ruler across Amy's hand and glared at her.
Amy let out a yelp at the sudden sharp pain that ran up her arm.
"Hurry up!" she frowned at her and raised her ruler again.
Kat burst from the closet.
"DONT YOU TOUCH HER!" she screamed, forgetting where she was and the fact that she was naked.
"MS. SUMMERS" the teacher shrieked at her. "WHAT ON EARTH HAVE YOU GIRLS BEEN DOING?!"
She grabbed Amy and dragged her half dressed into the hallway.
Other girls had started to gather to see the spectacle unfolding in the little room along the hallway.
The teacher threw a sheet at Kat.
"Get dressed young lady, and stay here, the principle will be here to speak with you"
Kat ran to the door.
"Amy!" she looked for her love in the hall.
Amy was standing against the wall, her hands crossed infront of her bare vagina, only dressed in her school blouse. Her eyes were focused on her feet, trying to block out the shame she felt from the girls staring at her. Tears dripped from her amber eyes and slid down her silent face.
Kat looked on in horror, at the pain her love was feeling. She closed her eyes, prayed to be somewhere else, anywhere else.
Reality crashed back onto her when the teacher slapped her across the face.
"YOUNG LADY!" she shrieked at her. "you should pray for forgiveness, you sinful WHORE!"
She spat the last word at her, before turning on her heels and striding from the room, slamming the door shut behind her.
Kat fell to her knees and burst into tears as she heard the teacher scream at the other students before shoving Amy down the hallway.
She managed to drag herself back to her bed, and collapsed in tears, begging to be taken away, for anyone to take her away. If there was a hell, she was stuck in it, and just when she had found an angel to take her away, she was taken and she fell back in.
After an hour, she couldnt cry any longer, she lost feeling as she stared at the white wall next to her bed. No tears, no feelings. Everything had flooded out of her, every last ounce of strength she had was gone. Things passed in a daze as her dull eyes saw nothing.
THe principle came and yelled, chastised her for being a whore, and condemned her to hell. He told her that her parents had been informed, and that they had told him to put her in a program to cure her of her horrible sins.
Of course she heard nothing, just empty words that echoed through the air around her, but nothing got into her head.
The only thing she heard, for days was the principle tell one of the teachers that Amy had been transfered to another school. She had jumped up and screamed, told them they were horrible people and to bring her love back. She kicked and swiped at the principle and spat in his face.
Security was called and she was sedated. She woke in a hospital bed, strapped down so she couldnt move. Once again the emptiness closed in ontop of her, and she drifted out of concious thought. Days slipped by and she was released back to her room. It was cold and empty, despite the small size, it was huge to her.
She went to class and went back to her room, she didnt speak to anyone, or eat. She just sat in her bed, curled up staring at the ceiling. A few weeks passed before a teacher came to inform her that she was to take a new class, and she had no choice against it.
The first day she wandered into the classroom and sat down in the back. The teacher introduced herself and told them that over the next few weeks they would dicuss the sin of homosexuality and how by turning to God they would be cured.
Kat stood up in disbelief. More pain, more suffering. She cursed at the teacher.
"YOU BITCH! HOW DARE YOU TELL ME HOW TO LIVE!" she threw her book at her and stormed out of the room. She ran through the hallways and down the front stairs. Throwing open the front doors she ran across the fields surrounding the school until she tripped and fell. Exhausted and in tears she curled up under an old oak tree.
"Please..." her voice was a whimper as she stared up at the sunlight spilling through the emerald green leaves.
"Amy..." her voice drifted in the soft summer breeze as she pulled her knees to her chin. "Why cant they just leave us alone"
Pulling herself against the tree she sat alone, staring into the distance. The rolling hills faded into the mountains in the distance and the green grass seemed to stretch forever. The blue skies above reached into the heavens and the distant clouds, rumbled with thunder. There was something magical that calmed her a little as her eyes watched the distant scene unfold.
It served, atleast for a while, a change from the horrible prison she knew.
Kat closed her eyes as she leaned back against the old oak. Her tears slipped from her eyes. Why did the world seem to beautiful here, but so hateful and lonely in that horrible place. Why did it matter who she loved, why did it matter who she was? No answers came, just the lonely whistle of the wind as the black clouds began to move towards her.
A crack of thunder, snapped then fell into a deep rumble as the rain began to fall around her tragic form, lost among the leaves and grass.
Kat stared up as the rain began to fall. Gently at first but soon the cold drops were thudding against the ground. She sat and stared, not having the strength to get up and return to the school. Her life was misery, and the rain only felt to compliment her sorrow.
The rain beat down on this tragic girl for hours before, she began to feel sick. She coughed and coughed as she tried to stand up. Weak, and unable to stand she collapsed in a heap, uncaring of what might happen next.
Light fell into her eyes, as she raised her hand to cover her face. Her body felt strange, almost unattached as she moved. Her head throbbed as she tried to force her eyes open.
"Ah, youve come around" A voice came from her right.
"Whe...am.. I?" she closed her eyes against the light.
"Where are you? A little farmhouse on Stonehill Road" The voice sounded light and happy.
"How..." Her voice failed her again.
"I found you in my field, actually, Young Miss" the voice came closer. "Youre quite sick though"
"The rain..." She opened one eye.
Above her stood an older gentleman, maybe in his sixties. His face was angled but somehow soft and cheerful. He smiled down at her and put his hand to her forehead.
"Mmm youve still got a bit of a fever my dear" He turned to a small table next to the bed and squeezed out a towel before laying it on her head. The cool towel felt good against her skin and she let out a soft sigh.
"Dont worry, i figured you got yourself into some sort of trouble at that school up the road, and i brought you home instead"
She looked up at him again. She wasnt sure if she should trust him. So many people had betrayed her trust in the past.
"No worries though, youll get better" He turned and walked to a rocking chair in the corner of the room, before plopping down.
"I... I" she sat up a bit.
"Ah Miss, i know it might seem strange, an old man caring for a young girl, but i promise you, im just making sure youre ok" He smiled at her, and she swore he could read her mind.
"I guess, im just a lost puppy" she laid her head back on the pillow, suddenly dizzy.
"We all are, at some point" he shifted his weight and pulled his wallet from his back pocket.
Pulling his chair close to her bed he sat back down and opened the wallet up. A few pictures tumbled out and he stooped to pick them up.
"Well now, lets see. This one here, is my son Jackson, just after his 20th birthday" He handed her the picture.
A handsome young man, stood in a uniform. The old man, younger, stood behind him with his hand on his shoulders. A proud look and a big smile played on his face.
"This was taken just about... 1969, i guess" The old man smiled. "Just before he went to Vietnam"
"Hes, uhm, handsome" Kat forced a smile as she handed the picture back.
"He had his mama's strong will" The old man's stare got long as he gazed out the window. "He never came home from that hellhole"
"Im... im so sorry" Kat's heart beat a little faster as her emotions ran high.
The man gave the picture a long look before he tucked it back in his wallet. He pulled another photo, this one a little less aged.
"This here, this is my daughter Cathy" he tilted the photo so she could see it better.
The lady in the picture was pretty. Her eyes seemed lively and her smile was broad. She was in a graduation gown and the old man and what she thought must be his wife, stood on eitherside of her, both with proud smiles on their faces.
"She graduated in 1985, went and married a business executive in Los Angeles" He gave the photo a strange look before he tucked it in his wallet too.
"Sounds like she did well?" Kat offered a smiled.
"I suppose" The old man sat back and stared up at the ceiling, his hands cupped together in his lap.
"Her husband didnt like me much, guess he didnt care for a farmer's life. He told me just before they were married that he was going to take her away"
"Thats awful!" Kat sat up a bit, her head throbbed but she wanted to be able to look the old man straight on.
"I went to her before her wedding night, told her what he said, but she didnt believe me. She said he was too nice to do that" He let out a small sigh. "Whatever the case might be, i havent talked to her in, oh, 8 years now i suppose"
"Im sorry..." Kat laid her head back down. This old man's life was one of loss and sadness, a lot like her own.
The man pushed his chair back and stood up again, straightening his back out.
"Im sorry, i didnt introduce myself" he said, thinking about it. "Jerry Douglas"
"Im, Cathrine Summers" She smiled weakly before closing her eyes, the sunlight was beginning to hurt.
"Hmmm" The old man touched his chin and thought for a bit.
"Summers, like Maxwell Summers, the Politician?" He looked down at the young girl with a curious look.
Kat turned her head away and stared at the wall.
"...yeah" She didnt want to hear his name.
"Well then, dont often get big names around these parts" Jerry sat back down in his chair.
"Mom and Dad didnt really want me" Kat pulled the pillow over her head.
"Come now, all parents want their children" Jerry pulled the pillow away.
"They didnt" Kat's eyes went dull. "Mom used to tell me i was a mistake and they were gonna send me away as soon as they could"
Tears started to roll down her cheeks as she remembered the awful talk.
Jerry grabbed a tissue from the box on the bedside table and dabbed her tears away.
"I know its harsh, this world can be, but you gotta keep your chin up, and remember there are still reasons to live" He stood at the window and peered into his green fields.
"35 years, ive been seeding the ground here, and every year, at harvest time, wed celebrate. Even on those years when the crops were bad, wed still celebrate. Life is short, and we only get once chance Miss Cathrine" He turned to face her and smiled.
"You gotta take every second God gives you and run with it"
"God hates me" Kat rolled on her side. "Im just a sinful whore"
She repeated those words in her head, and closed her tear filled eyes.
"God loves you no matter what you might've done" Jerry looked out the window again.
He sat back down next to her and petted her head.
"Can he love a LESBIAN whore" she spat the word at the wall, angry with herself and the world.
"Of course" Jerry said simply. "Little Miss, its not about who we love, its about how we love"
Kat's heart jumped a bit when he spoke. She was so sure he was gonna call her a freak and throw her out, just like everyone else had done.
"But... but everyone always says..."
"Forget em!" Jerry cut in. "Its YOUR life, not theirs"
"You... just dont seem like the type to be ok with that" Kat blushed, fearing she might come across as insulting.
"Open heart, open mind" Jerry sighed with a smile. "In my book, everyones ok"
In the two years Kat had spent at the school, she hadnt ever met someone who was so light hearted, despite the bad things that had come to him. It gave her a small glimmer of hope, that maybe, she could see Amy again, and maybe they could be happy. But she didnt rest too much in it, afraid of having her heart shattered again.
Jerry smiled at her and felt her forehead.
"Seems like the worst of that fever is over, but you still need plenty of rest" He pushed the pillow under her head again.
Kat laid her head back and stared into the ceiling.
"Jerry i dont want to go back there" She felt her heart beating softly in her chest. "They treat me horribly and everyday it just gets worse"
Jerry had begun to cook dinner, in the small one room house.
"Well, legally, i have to bring you back there, but i suppose that after you got better, i couldnt do anything if you ran away" He turned to her and smiled an almost devious smile.
Kat thought about running away, where would she go. How would she find Amy?
THe next few days passed quickly as Kat began to get better. She and Jerry sat and talked every night about his children and his life as it had gone by.
Kat finally decided it was time to go. She was feeling better and she wanted to find Amy, the two of them could run off and find their own world, a peaceful place to live.
She was sad to leave Jerry and this second home she had found. For the short time she had known him, he had treated her better than anyone else ever had. He was the father she never knew.
He packed her a simple lunch in an old pack and gave her an old wool jacket to wear.
"You be careful Miss" He hugged her tight and held her close. "You will always have a home here for you"
Kat cried and held onto him and didnt let go.
"Dad..." her voice was barely a whisper as she clutched him.
He petted her head softly and held her. "Im here..." he held her head to his chest.
He smiled at her and pulled her outside for a picture. An old Polaroid Camera snapped a quick photo of them and he tucked it in his wallet.
She slipped the pack on her shoulders and set off down the road, stopping to look back at Jerry as he faded into the distance.
"Be safe... my daughter" Jerry whispered as she disappeared around a bend in the road.
She was alone again, but for the first time in years, she didnt feel lonely. Her resolve was stronger than it had ever been and suddenly she was ready to face whatever life was going to throw at her.
She needed to find Amy, before she did anything else. She remembered that the school had a sister school upstate, St. Magnus. She prayed she had been sent there.
Townsend was just a few miles from the school. The road into town was quiet, only a few cars passed her as she made her way. The countryside stretched out into the mountains and she found herself oddly at peace. It was the first time she had ever really noticed the scenery before, even on class trips that left the school grounds, she would just close her eyes or read a book.
Townsend was a small town, maybe only 2500 people there. But it was large enough to have its own bus station, and even a train station, even though it had been decades since a passenger train had rumbled on through. A general store, and a post office were the only things left in the tiny town. THe mill that once fed the town had closed, leaving little in the way of work. Most people left, but those who stayed commuted the 40 miles to Chilton, a small city just over the mountains.
Kat found herself in this tiny town, not sure where she should go. She had no money, and no way to tell people where she came from. Eventually she drifted to the rail station. There were no ticket counters or people, just an old set of tracks. One had fallen into disrepair from lack of use. She didnt know what use it would be, this old train station. SHe turned to leave when an old man in a repairmans uniform stepped around the corner of the building.
"What do you want here girl" his rough voice scared her.
"I uh, im, just, looking around" She finally said.
"Get outta here" he growled. "Aint no use for a little girl around these parts"
She was about to turn and run, but she stopped.
"Where do these tracks go?" She asked.
"didnt you hear me? get lost" the old man turned holding a rake in his hands.
"Just tell me where they go!" She flashed an angry, stubborn look at the old man.
He sighed and shook his head. "Damned kids"
"Well?" She asked again.
"The tracks lead up north, theres four stops along the line, the last stop for any freight train is Plain City"
"Is the St. Magnus School for Girls there?"
"How the hell should i know?!" The man was angry now. "I answered your damn question now get outta here!"
Kat scurried down the walkaway. She knew that the school was in that direction but she couldnt remember the town name. She had wished she'd paid some attention when she was there last.
Occasionally St Magnus and St. Thomas, would have gatherings and get togethers, but rarely did she care about them.
Kat sat down on a street curb and wondered what she should do next. She had thought about jumping on a passing train but, suddenly that felt almost insane.
She sighed and decided to eat the lunch that Jerry had packed her. He was a wonderful chef, she guessed from the 20 years he spent alone. She dug into the pack and found a small salad tucked in a plastic container. There was also a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, her favourite. She picked up the thermos that she figured contained milk. Underneath she found a small white envelope.
SHe picked it up and examined it. Maybe he had left something in the pack? She wasnt sure.
Opening it up, she found a small stack of 20 dollar bills and a folded piece of paper. She unfolded the paper and read through it.
"Dear Catherine, I know youve had a lot of troubles in life and theres a long path ahead of you. I want you to know that i love you and i want you to have a happy life. Forever - Jerry"
Kat immediately burst into tears. She almost couldnt understand why someone would give her so much. After years of dealing with hatred and anger, disappointment and persecution, to have someone she only knew for two weeks to tell her she could live and be happy and give her so much money, was almost alien.
She cried for almost 20 minutes, passers-by stared at her funny, not a one, stopping to ask this young girl why she was alone and crying.
Kat managed to get her emotions under control and stood up. Atleast, she could find her way to Amy.
The bus depot was on the other side of town, but still only a ten minute walk. The small depot remained open, despite the size of the town.
An older woman sat at the ticket counter, lazily reading a book, not paying attention to the people that walked past her. She leafed through the pages idily.
"Excuse me?" Kat tapped on the glass.
"Huh? oh, uhm, yes, how can i help you?" She turned her book over on its pages keeping her place.
"Can you tell me if theres a bus service to St. Magnus' SChool for Girls?"
"No, but theres a bus service to Jensontown. The school is just outside there" The lady looked over the bus stop map on her wall.
"How much is a ticket?" Kat thumbed through the money in her pocket, almost afraid to reveal how much she was carrying.
"Well, its going to be... 23.56, after tax" The lady punched some numbers into the calculator sitting on her desk.
"Can i have one for Jenson?" Kat slipped a couple bills from her pocket.
"How old are you?" The lady suddenly asked.
"I.. uhm, im, uh 19" Kat forced out, caught off gaurd from the lady's question.
"Isnt that the uniform for St. Thomas?" The lady peered through her glasses.
"Um, yes, it is" Kat wasnt able to hide her clothes.
"Well, young lady, they only go to the end of 12th grade, so either youve been held back, or youre younger than that" She tapped on the sign that read "Must be 18 or older to purchase tickets"
Kat's heart fell, her only way to get away and find her love was slipping away. She felt the tears begin to well up in her eyes. More adversity.
The lady sighed and looked through her glasses again and closed her eyes and shook her head.
"But i suppose if you say youre 19, ill just believe that" She ripped a ticket free from the counter.
Kat looked up at her in surprise.
"Dont tell anyone!" the lady winked at her, and accepted the money through the window slot.
Kat nodded her head enthusiastically and smiled at the lady.
"Thank you so much!" her smile reached from ear to ear.
"I understand" the lady leaned forward. "i was sent to that school when i was your age"
Kat nodded. "Its, not... the best school" she looked down at her feet.
"No, its not" the lady smiled again. "but you better run, the bus leaves in 5 minutes"
"Thank you again!" Kat called as she turned and ran for the bus platforms.
"Its the third platform! Bus 3985! Good luck!" Her words faded as Kat ran.
The bus was idling on the platform, the driver leaned against his bus, his uniform slightly amess, probably from sitting for hours on end. He dragged on his cigarette and blew the smoke into the air.
Kat ran up and handed him the ticket.
"Jensontown" He looked the ticket over. "Alright, youre the last on"
He tossed his cigarette away before waiting for her to climb on-board.
She pulled herself up the bus stairs and into the isle. The bus was mostly empty, only a few people scattered among the seats. A few looked up when she walked past them, but most ignored her, and continued with what they were doing.
She found an empty seat near the back, and plopped her pack on the seat and sat down next to it. A few seats ahead of her, a man and his lover whispered to eachother and kissed softly as they stared out the window. Kat caught some of their conversation.
"Honey, we'll just go to Boulder, my sister lives there, she'll give us a place to stay" The younger man held the others hand.
"I just cant believe your parents reacted so badly" He kissed his fingers.
"Its ok!" The young man replied. "I love you so much"
THe other smiled and kissed him tenderly, before the buses engine started up and drowned out their conversation. Kat leaned back on her seat and stared out the window. She felt so far away, even though she knew, the town and place she hated most, were just outside the tinted window.
Soon the bus pulled from the depot, and the highway opened infront. The turning wheels and gentle hum of the engine slowly made Kat feel drowsy as the miles moved past her. The trips to St. Magnus had always felt long but she couldnt remember how long they would be.
She slept soundly, leaning on her pack as the bus ran smoothly north, headed for Plain City and then further to Jensontown.
The bus pulled into Plain City's Depot. The engine idled roughly as it slowed down and pulled into the unloading platform. Kat woke up as the engine shut off. Sitting up she looked around herself. "Plain City Bus Depot" was written on big red letters on the wall outside her window.
Kat stared around herself and looked out all the windows. In the distance Plain City stretched out, its tall buildings lit in the dying evening light.
"PLAIN CITY!" the driver called out loudly.
Kat almost giggled at the almost stupid obviousness to this fact.
The two men stood up, holding hands as they gathered their things from the seat.
"We'll get a bus to Colorado from here" The young man smiled and pecked his lover on the cheek.
They walked off the bus and disappeared into the busy bus terminal.
Kat was suddenly hungry, and remembered that she'd eaten everything Jerry had packed for her already. She stood up and walked over to the driver, who was just getting up, tapping a pack of cigarettes with one hand.
"How long are we going to be here?" Kat followed him down the stairs.
"Well, just about 30 minutes" he turned his wrist to look at his watch.
"Im going to get something to eat then" Kat started to walk away.
"Alright, just remember, I have to leave at eight thirty on the dot!" he called after her and turned his head to light his cigarette.
She pushed through the crowds until she found her way to a small pavillion with fast food resturaunts lining the walls.
She ordered some greasy food and sat down at one of the tables there. She ate slowly and watched the people mill around her. Old and Young, couples, single people, black, asian, and american, walked around her, talking in all sorts of languages. For the first time, she felt a strange feeling of safety. In this crowded pavillion, she felt as if no one in particular would notice her, even if Amy were holding her hand or kissing her. Everyone moved about with purpose and speed, getting to where they needed to be. A young girl was nothing to stare at, and nothing to pay much mind to.
Throwing her wrappers away in a bin against a pillar she stood and looked for a clock. A large one on the wall read eight twenty.
She turned and hurried back to the bus platform. She found it empty and her heart dropped to her feet.
"OH NO!" she gasped to herself. "Did he leave?"
Again the tears welled up in her eyes and she felt like plopping down and crying. This place, that had seemed to strangely inviting suddenly felt lonely and empty.
A hand touched her on the shoulder. She almost screamed as she whirled around.
The driver was standing behind her.
"There you are!" he looked sympathetically at her tears.
"Im so sorry, i had to move the bus, big mix up with the scheduling" He motioned to the bus, parked three platforms down. "been looking for you to tell you"
She turned red, again surprised at the warmth and friendliness that she encountered.
"Well, no one else has showed up, so if youd like, we can hit the road a little early" he turned and motioned for her to follow.
"Thatd be great!" she sighed and felt her heart rate start to drop. "How long until we get to Jensontown?"
"Ah not long now, Plain City is only about 40 miles from Jenson. Wont be more than 45 minutes" he pulled himself up the railing into the bus and plopped down in his seat.
Looking around the bus, Kat found it almost deserted, only two other people sat down.
Finding her seat again, she threw her pack down and sat down, happy to be somewhere familiar, even if it was just a bus seat.
The driver shut the door and started the bus up, the hum of its engine increased as he backed up and pulled down the sliproad that lead to the depot. The evening had slipped into night and the darkness stretched all the way to the horizon, where just a hint of the fall sun was fading away.
Looking out, Kat watched Plain City rush past. The tall buildings and busy, crowded streets seemed to rush past, leaving lines of light etched into her mind. Soon it had faded into the distance and the open plains rolled past her window.
It wasnt long before she felt the bus slow down, and the engine's hypnotic hum got louder as a small depot pulled into sight.
"Jensontown!" the driver called into the mostly empty bus. Kat's heart beat fast as she pulled her pack onto her shoulders.
The depot was small, little more than a single platform and a single roof covering it. A few benches sat, carved with graffiti and ink.
She walked to the door and turned to the driver. "Thank you so much" she smiled.
"No problem!" he smiled back "Its my job" he joked sarcastically.
"Quick question, which way to town?" Kat looked into the darkness around the depot, it seemed endless.
"Well, there isnt much a town" He checked his time schedule. "There's a couple stores down the road, and an old motel. But thats about it, not much left of this old place anymore"
"Isnt there a girls school around here?" she wondered what kept the town alive at all.
"Oh sure, St. Magnus. its about 20 minutes in the other direction"
"Oh" Kats voice dropped as she contemplated sleeping on the bench in the depot.
"Tell you what, i have to do a quick check on the bus, but ill drop you off at the front gate"
"Are you sure?" Kat was a little suspicious. She wondered why everyone she had met recently had been so helpful.
"Well, its on my way back to the highway, we actually passed it on the way in. If id known you needed to be dropped off there, i woulda stopped" He stood up and stretched before tapping on a couple dials that were positioned above his seat.
"Have a seat, this will only take a minute or two" He stepped down the stairs and she watched him walk around the front of the bus and disappear down the side.
She wondered what time it was as she wondered where she would sleep for the night. She didnt think they'd let her into the school, especially as it was almost certainly past ten pm.
The driver stepped back onboard and smiled. "Everything checks out"
He plopped down in his seat again, and started the bus up.
"Normally, we dont take passengers this late" He explained. "I just have to make the run back to Plain City, and im done for the night"
"Thank you for taking me back to the school" She nodded to his late hours.
"Its no problem at all. I wouldnt want you sleeping on the benches here, its a scary place at night"
She nodded, thankful that she didnt have to stay there.
It took no time at all before she saw a sign lit up by the bus' headlights that read "St. Magnus Catholic School for Girls".
"Here we are" he slowed the bus down and stopped. A large iron gate stood between two large brick towers.
"Thank you again!" she stepped down the stairs and off the bus.
"Have a good evening , Miss!" the driver smiled as the doors shut, and the bus started back up, and slipped into the darkness.
Walking through the iron gates, she felt strangely like she was walking back into prison, but she knew her best chance to find Amy was here, and she needed to continue on.
The campus was large, much larger than St. Thomas'. A light was on in a stained glass window on a large building along the driveway.
Hurrying through the darkness, Kat knocked on the big wooden doors that was closest to the windows. She heard her knock echo through the empty hallways and she prayed the lights werent just on with no one around. She knocked again. This time she heard movement, and a nun pulled the door open.
"Can i help you?" she looked down at the girl.
"Im, um, kind of lost" she lied through her teeth. "I was hoping i might be able to stay here?"
The nun eyed her suspciously, before noticing the St. Thomas' school crest on her skirt.
"OH, youre from St. Thomas?" Her tone instantly became more friendly.
"Yes, i am" She dug into her pockets.
"Certainly then, come inside" The nun ushered her through the large doors. "What are you doing up here, so late?" She turned to the girl following her down the hall way.
Kat hadn't prepared a lie for this and struggled in silence to come up wih something.
"I, well i came up here, looking for a friend" She found herself surprised at the honesty she put forward.
"Oh? what's her name?" The nun turned her head to her as she walked.
"Uhm, Amy Hartlet" Kat hoped she hadnt heard why she was transfered to Magnus.
"Hmm, im afraid i dont know her"
"Oh" Kat's heart fell, she was afraid Amy wasnt here.
"But, then i dont know all of the students here" THe nun continued. "We currently have 1200 students"
"Uhm, how can i find if my friend is here?" Kat asked.
"Well, in the morning we can look at the student register and find her"
Kat thought about it and wondered how wise it was to spend too long here at the school.
"What did you say your name was?" The nun stopped at a door that led into a small room with a cot.
Kat thought for a minute, wondering if she should give her real name. She wasnt sure if St. Thomas had reported her missing or they had even thought that she might have gone to find Amy.
"Cathrine Halloway" She finally managed to force out.
"Alright, well Cathrine, im sorry this room is so small, but this is generally where we keep girls who are under suspension" The nun motioned to the small room.
"Its fine" Kat smiled up at her. "A small room is better than no room at all"
"Thats the spirit!" the nun smiled at her. "Im Sister Mary Cathrine"
"Its very nice to meet you" Kat nodded.
She was surprised at the nun's friendly nature. The nuns from her school were often rude and ill tempered.
"If you need anything, im on the watch tonite, and ill be down the hall in the office on the right" Sister Mary Cathrine turned and walked back down the wall with a nod and a smile.
Kat laid her pack down on the floor next to the cot and laid out on it. She was happy to have found a comfortable place to lay down.
Sleep found her quickly, and before she knew it, she was dreaming. She drempt of her home, in Chicago. Her family life had always been hellish, but her friends were loyal and true . They had been there for her, until her parents sent her away at 14. In her dream, she saw her room, she was alone, the sunlight poured through her bedroom window. Things felt so peaceful, and like home should feel. She felt arms around her neck and she heard "Guess who" in her ear. The touch was warm and the voice familiar as she said Amy's name.
"...Cat...." The voice was muffled as she turned to try and see Amy's face.
She found only darkness as she looked around the room.
"Amy?!" she called into the darkness.
"...Cat..." the voice repeated.
"Amy im here!" she shouted, still not seeing anyone.
"CATHRINE" the voice broke her deep dream.
Kat's eyes opened slowly in the bright sunlight that streamed through a small window at the top of the room.
"Cathrine, you were screaming in your sleep!" She sat up to find Sister Mary Cathrine sitting on her cot.
"Oh, just a dream..." she let out a sigh as she looked around her.
A bell rang in the distance and she heard footsteps in the hall, and talking as students rushed from class to class.
"Im sorry..." Kat turned red and stared at her hands.
"Its ok!" Sister Mary Cathrine stood up and smiled at her.
Kat yawned and rubbed her eyes, wiping the sleep from them.
"I did a little looking, and i found your friend, Amy"
Kat opened her eyes wide and looked up to her.
"Is she here?!" She almost jumped off the cot.
"She is, but she's been in the hospital on and off for the past 2 months"
"W..what?!" Kat stood up, a horrified look of shock crossed her face.
"Shes tried to commit suicide several times..." Sister Mary's eyes were soft and full of sadness.
"But... But..." Kat sank back to the cot.
"Ill take you to see her, shes recovering here at the school"
Kat didnt know what to say, her heart had hurt in ways she didnt know existed over the past months, but she hadnt ever contemplated suicide.
Sister Mary lead her down a few halls and up a flight of stairs before they reached a quiet corner of the building. A hospital like setting stretched through the halls. The quiet felt almost like death, as it surrounded her.
Room 103, letterhead stated it on the doorframe as Sister Mary opened it slightly. Peering inside she turned to Kat and smiled.
"T..Thank You" Kat's eyes teared up as she stepped into the room.
Amy lay on her side, eyes unblinking as she stared out the window. Her face was drawn and pale. Her beautiful skin was thin and stretched against her frame. Her eyes were sunken, and dark.
"Ill be back in a little bit, i have to make sure all the students have made it to their classes" Sister Mary remarked as she backed from the room.
Kat wasnt sure what to do. She had never seen her friend look like this before. She didnt even look up when they entered the room.
"Amy...?" Kats voice waivered as she took another step towards her bed.
Amy didnt move, her eyes fixed on the window, her chest rising and falling gently.
"Amy..Its me..." She took another step, tears started to well up.
Amy finally looked up, her eyes blurred and then focused on her.
"..Kat..." her voice was soft but harsh.
"Amy..." The tears began to fall from Kat's eyes as she looked her lover over.
Kat sat down on the bed and touched her skin. It was cold and she shivered as she felt it. Amy stared up at her, unmoving, no emotion.
"Amy... Ive... Ive missed you so much!" Kat finally let out.
"Ive... ive done so much and been so many places, ive... been trying to get back to you" her voice dropped in tone as she looked her over.
Amy didnt speak, she only lifted her hand to Kat's cheek and held her face. Kat's tears ran down her face and along Amy's hand as she finally lost control.
She burst into tears and hugged her love.
Kat kissed her lips and face and hands and held onto her, laughing and crying at the same time as she found herself finally home. Amy held her close and carressed her skin softly.
"Im so sorry" Amy cried and held her hands. "I thought i would never see you again, and... and i just couldnt live without you!"
"Oh Amy! Ive missed you so much" Kat kissed her hand. "We need to leave, get out, we'll find a place to go!"
"Kat..." Amy looked up at her, uncertainty locked in her eyes.
"Itll be fine! WE'LL be fine" Kat kissed her hands again. "I promise"