Chapter Eight

I woke up the next morning to the phone ringing shrilly in my ear. I grunted and blindly reached for the phone on my bedside table. I accidently hit my clock and music began blaring out of the speaker. I blinked a few times to clear my vision. I turned off the radio and picked up the phone, which had stopped ringing. I held it to my ear and was greeted with laughter and a familair voice.

"Hey Katrina, the pool party's at noon," Taylor said.

"Where is it?" Katrina asked, her voice sounding bright and chipper. Neither of them noticed that I was listening in.

"It's a few blocks away. I'll be over later. We can go,"

"Great! I'll be ready," she said. They said their goodbye's and hung up. I made a snarling sound and slammed the phone down. I pulled the blanket over my head and buried my head under the pillow. I heard the door open.

"Good morning Katya!" Katrina said, standing in the doorway,"Time to wake up, we have to get ready to go to the pool party!" I lifted my head and looked at the clock. 9:00 in the morning. No way in hell I was going to get up that early. I could be up, in and out of the shower, dressed and ready to go in less than an hour.

"It's only nine," I mumbled.

"Katya! Get up! I mean it!" she said, sounding annoyed. I rolled over and sat up in bed. Katrina was standing in the doorway, wearing a white bikini, with a pair of short cutoffs. She was wearing a white open t-shirt and her hair was pulled into a messy ponytail.

"Why'd you get ready so early?" I asked, running my fingers through my tangled hair.

"What are you talking about? I'm hardly ready to go!" she said, pulling a comb out of her pocket and running through her bangs. I rolled my eyes and stood up, stretching and cracking my back out of habit. I drowsily grabbed some clothes and went into the bathroom to take a shower.

After taking a shower, and getting ready to go, I sat in the kitchen, reading the paper(actually the comics) and eating a Pop-Tart. I didn't know where Katrina was, I assumed she was fixing her hair or something. Mom and Dad were in the basement, attempting to clean it. Jewel was in the living room, watching tv. After eating the Pop-Tart, I went to watch tv with Jewel. Katrina had still not emerged from her bedroom. I felt like I was going to die of boredom when the doorbell finally rang. I slowly got up, and walked to the door. Katrina exploded from her room, rushing down the hall. She shoved me aside and threw open the door. I scowled and rubbed the shoulder that had smacked against the wall. Taylor stood smiling on the other side of the screen door.

"Hi Taylor!" she said, opening the screen door. She had forced me to carry the towels and sunscreen in the backpack that was slung over my other shoulder.

"Hey Katrina, Katya. You ready to go?" Taylor asked, looking straight at Katrina.

"You bet we are!" she said, adjusting her hair,"C'mon Katya. Let's go." I followed behind the two, rolling my eyes.

After a few minutes of walking, Taylor and Katrina chatting the whole time, we made it to Mike's house. There was a lot of noise coming from the backyard. There were people talking and yelling, music was blasting and there was a whole lot of splashing. Taylor knocked on the door and a tall guy with spikey blond hair answered the door.

"Hey Ryan," Taylor said, giving the tall boy a high five.

"Yo Taylor, everyone's out back. We were wondering where you guys were," he said, looking at Katrina and I, grinning widely. Katrina smiled sweety, while I looked uncomfortably at the ground. We walked inside, through the house and into the large backyard. There were well over fifty people, swimming, chatting, and just plain hanging around. Taylor was greeted by a few people and he walked over to them, followed by Katrina. Luckily I saw some friends from school in the pool. I placed the bookbag on an empty louge chair and took off my shorts. I greeted my friends who were Krista and Kari, identical twin sisters, Jocelyn, and Virginia, who were hanging out on one side of the pool.

"Hey Kate!" Jocelyn said as I splashed into the pool,"Haven't seen ya in a while! Where ya been?"

"Around, how bout you?"

"I just got back from summer camp. There were so many cute guys everywhere. It was amazing," she laughed.

"Lucky you," I smiled,"Hey peoples," I said, greeting the others. Krista and Kari waved at me, they were in a heated discussion about the Spice Girls. Kari hated the Spice Girls while Krista was a major fan. They looked completely alike, but they acted completely different. Virginia waded over and slapped me on the back.

"Hiya Katiya!" she said, calling me by yet another stupid nickname,"How ya been?"

"I've been fine," I said, forcing a happy smile.

"That's great!" We all started talking about how our summers were. I made sure to leave out the depressing parts and anything about Taylor. After a half hour of just sitting there talking when Virginia nudged my arm a whispered in my ear.

"Mike's other-bay is ecking-chay you out..." she said, giggling when she talked in pig latin. I scrunched up my nose and looked around. I spotted the guy with the spikey hair, Ryan, looking at me. He smiled at me and turned to talk to another one of his friends. He looked about fifteen or sixteen which was a little old for a thirteen year old in my book. I rolled my eyes and turned back to Virginia.

"That's okay. You can have him," I said. Virginia looked at me, a look of mock surprise on her face.

"You've got a really popular guy after you and you turn him down? That's not like you!" she said.

"What that heck are you talking about? I've never had a boyfriend before, and I don't think I want one for a while. Plus I'm sure that guy is not interested in me. Maybe he's into you," I said, shaking my head.

"Whatever," Virginia said shrugging. Jocelyn smacked us on the back.

"Yo, some people got the grill up and there's some hot dogs and burgers up there. I'm gonna go get one. They've got other stuff there too. You guys wanna come?" she asked, pulling her self out of the pool.

"Sure," we said. Virginia, Krista, Kari and I all got out of the pool and headed over to the picnic table that was piled high with chips, cookies and other junk food. Taylor was standing by the table, eating some chips. Katrina stood next to him, drinking a diet Sprite.

"You're cousin is pretty popular," Krista said, sounding a little disgusted. I nodded, saying nothing. We all had the same opinions about people like Katrina, and they weren't very nice. We joked around for a while and ate some snacks. I was about to give the answer to a joke when I felt a hard push from behind, sending that chips that were in my hand onto the ground. It appeared that Tayor had stepped back and tripped over the hose, falling onto me. I frowned and shoved him away. Taylor was beginning to get on my nerves.

"What was that for?" he asked angrily. I waved my hand at him, as if to dismiss him. I didn't want to talk to him, he had messed everything up already. Or maybe it was Katrina. I shrugged, Katrina and Taylor were both in it together. Taylor shoved my shoulder softly.

"I asked you a question," he said. His eyes bored into mine.

"Taylor, just leave me alone," I said sighing. No one was really paying attention to us.

"I don't see why you're ignoring me all of a sudden," he said. I gave him a strange look.

"Me? Ignoring you?" I laughed,"Ever since Katrina came, you've barely spoken a word to me!" I said. At the sound of her name, Katrina turned around and saw Taylor and I arguing.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Taylor sneered.

"Figures," I mumbled. His face got a little redder.

"Katya, quit being so immature," she said, placing her hands on her hips.

"Shut up," I snarled. I was getting mad, which was not very good. I tended to do crazy things when I was mad. Katrina scoffed, her mouth hanging open.

"Leave her alone," Taylor said. It was two against one, and I wasn't sure who was winning.

"Shut up!" I ordered.

"Leave him alone!" Katrina said. Taylor's face got even more red. He was embarrased that there was a girl defending him. I suddenly felt really evil. That meant I was really mad. I smirked at him.

"Little boy can't defend himself? That's too bad," I taunted. His face turned crimson and he tried to do something that I never imagined him ever doing. He tried to punch me. The sudden movement cause people to turned their heads and look at us. Fortunately, his punch was a little off and he missed me. I smirked again, I had no idea why, but I was always confident of my fighting skills. Wrestling with Sam everyday for five straight years had sharpened my skills. Sure, Taylor had a height advantage, but I had a muscle advantage. I had a more muscular build then he did.

"Feel the breeze," I said.

"Katya, stop!" Katrina ordered, her voice firm, but she didn't move from where she was standing. Taylor tried to punch me again. I raised my arm and stopped the fist. Then I lunged at him. A full fledged fight broke out. We struggled for a second, yells for a fight broke out around us. Katrina stared at us in disbelief. I grabbed Taylor's arm and twisted it behind his back, a move that my brother had pulled many times on me. I ran my hand through his hand and gripped the blond locks. I pulled hard and and yanked his head back. I stood there, breathing hard, rage filling my every vein. I gripped Taylor's hair for a few more seconds and then released him, calming down.

He stood up straight, he had a bloody nose and his right cheeck was red and swelling from a miscalculated hit. He looked at me with confused eyes. People around us were cheering and shouting. Katrina looked near tears. My face paled as I realized what had really happened. I panicked, running through the crowd of people. Shoving people out of the way. I ran through the house, out the front door, and sprinted all the way home without looking back once.

"Jesus Katya, what the hell was that all about?" Katrina said, bursting into my room all of a sudden. It had been a few hours after the fateful fight and the sun was beginning to set. I had remained closed up in my room, sulking. I was getting a headache from mentally smacking myself.

I looked up and stared blankly at the fuming teen in the doorway. Katrina approached me and stood by my bed.

"That was totally stupid Katya! You had no reason to beat Taylor up!" she threw her arms up in the air.

I opened my mouth to speak, but instead I grunted in reply and ignored her, continuing to read the book the was in my hands.

Hello!? Katie-o? Are you in there?" she asked, lightly knocking on my head. I reached up and slapped her fist.

"Go away," I mumbled, not taking my eyes off of the book. There were words there, but I wasn't reading them.

"See if I ever help you in the future," she spat. Katrina left the room, slamming the door behind her. I sighed and attempted to read the book. A few minutes later, there was a soft knock on the door.

"What?" I asked, annoyed. The door opened a crack and Sam stuck his head in.

"Are you okay?" he asked. I rolled my eyes.

"Do I look okay?" I retorted.



Sam stepped into the room and sat on the bed next to me.

"Katrina sounds pretty pissed off," he said.

"Yeah, so?"

"That's all she talked about during dinner..." Sam said.

"Dinner? You ate dinner already?"

"Yeah, Katrina told us not to bother calling you. She said you were sick, because you ate a lot at the party."

"WHAT? I only had some chips and some Cheetoes! She is such a liar," I said, slamming my book shut.

"So you are hungry?"

"Starving!" I said, sitting up.

"So what really happened at the party? Katrina was really upset when she came home," Sam asked.

"I got in a fight," I mumbled.

"A fight? Little Katie got in a fight? That's something new! So who was the lucky loser?" he grinned.

"Taylor," I answered glumly. Sam looked really surprised.

"Taylor? Your loverboy Taylor? Ha! That musta been something," he laughed. I grunted.

"Is something wrong?" he asked.


"C'mon, you can tell your older bro. So what's wrong?"

"Katrina," I reaplied.

"Ahhh, Katrina. She sure has changed over the years. She's a little on the snobby side now."

"Definently. Taylor likes her now,"

"Ohhh, so that's why you're bummed. Well, get over it, there'll be other boys. Somewhere,"

"Thanks," I said dryly. It didn't really help the situation, but I felt a little better.

"No prob," he joked.

"No really thanks," I smiled and gave Sam a hug.

"You hungry? We got some pizza downstairs,"

"You got pizza? And you didn't tell me? Katrina is going to be in biggo trouble..." I said. We left the room and went downstairs to get some food.

"C'mon Katya! Hurry up!" Virginia yelled at me. I switched gears on my bike and pedaled harder. Virginia, Jocelyn and I were bike riding to the middle school, to ride around the track a few times. The track was a great place to rollerblade, bike ride, and skateboard, plus there was a football field. We zig-zagged across the road and back untill we got to the school. The track was at the bottom of a big hill. We rode down a sidewalk down to the track. As soon as I got to the track, I screeched to a stop. Jocelyn, who was behind me had to swerve to the side to miss me. I stared at the football field.

There he was.

Taylor was playing football with a bunch of other guys. None of them had really noticed us. I was sure most of the other guys were trying not to notice the big bruise on Taylor's nose and cheek.

"What's wrong Katya?" Jocelyn asked when she saw me staring wide-eyed at the boys.

"N-n-n-nothing," I stuttered. Jocelyn squinted at the boys and spotted Taylor.

"Uh oh, there he is. We should just ignore him. C'mon, we promised to do at least ten laps. Okay?" she said, and began pedaling. I followed behind her.

I snuck glances at Taylor every once in a while. A few times, I caught him looking in my direction. After a bunch of intense laps, we stopped and rested in the grass on the hill. I pulled the water-bottle out from the top bar of my bike. I took a long drink. Virginia and Jocelyn got their own water-bottles and drank too. I made sure to face away from the boys.

"Hey, a few of those guys are looking at us....." Virginia said,"And Taylor doesn't look too happy,"

"Duh," I mumbled.

"Girl, you totally beat the crap out of him yesterday! It was funny how you held his head up like that and made him look at the people. I bet it was so humiliating for him," Jocelyn laughed. I suddenly felt a pang of sympathy for Taylor. All the while I had been feeling sorry for myself, saying how big an idiot I was, when Taylor was the one who suffered the big embarassment. I wanted to apologize, but he probably wanted to beat the crap out of me.

"Do you actually feel sorry for him? I mean, he was mean to you!" Virginia said. I was sure she could either read my thoughts or see the down expression I had plastered on my face. I shook my head, which didn't mean anything.

"So, do you want to do a few more laps? I don't think I'm sweaty enough," Jocelyn stood up, sticking her water-bottle back in the little wire frame on her bike. Virginia and I did the same. We hopped on our bikes and continued to ride laps around the track.

A few minutes and five laps later, the boys were playing a really rough game of football. I was leaning into a curve when one of the boys yelled really loud "HEY!" My head snapped around to look at them, which caused me to lose my balance. The tires slipped out from under me I went skidding to the ground. I felt a searing pain in my legs as I skidded sideways across the track. I finally stopped where the concrete met the grass. Virginia and Jocelyn had seen the whole thing and came rushing over. My legs really hurt, they were burning as if on fire. I groaned as they lifted the bike off of my legs.

"Ooohh Katya, your legs are cut up pretty bad...." Virginia murmured. I sat up and look at my legs. It looked like all of the skin on my legs was scraped off and the blood dripped into the grass. I groaned again, the pain becoming worse. Jocelyn look around in panic.

"We really need to wrap these up....." she said, and looked over at the guys,"I got an idea," Jocelyn stood up and jogged over to the boys. In an attempt to be helpful, Virginia had taken the bandana that was wrapped around her head off and began softly wiping off my legs. I winced at the pain. Jocelyn came over with two guys. I immedietly recognized Ryan, and some other guy I didn't know. Not that I really cared. Ryan kneeled beside me.

"Ouch, that's really bad. Must hurt a lot," he said, smiling sympathetically. He took off his shirt, revealing a flat, tan, stomach. He ripped the shirt in half, I looked at him questioningly, but he wasn't paying attention. I gasped in short breaths as he wrapped the pieces of the shirt around my legs. I found myself staring at his muscular stomach. I shook my head, clearing the thoughts out of my head.

"You're lucky you didn't hit your head," he said, finally looking at me. I nodded my head and attempted a smile, despite the pain.

"We're going to take you to the clinic," Jocelyn said,"Can you stand up?"

"I may need some help," I said, trying to get up. Ryan helped me stand. I tried to put weight on my feet, but the pain was excruciating. I whimpered and bit my cheek.

"No way you can walk" Ryan said scooping me up. I wasn't prepared for that and I cried out in surprise.

"You okay?" he asked. I nodded, feeling dazed.

"We'll go in Mike's car," Jocelyn stated, leading the way with 'Mike'. I looked back at the guys who were playing football. They had stopped and were resting in the grass. I spotted Taylor. He was looking in my direction with a triumphant smile on his face.

We finally got to the car...which was actually a beat up station wagon.

"My dad's old car," Mike stated blandly,"I got stuck with it after my dad got a new car." We all managed to fit in the car, where my badly bleeding legs wouldn't get hurt. Soon we had pulled out of the school parking lot and were on our way to the clinic.


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