Summer–Chapter 2: The Cat

I was terrified after the whole ‘Charles Drama’ thing. I didn’t even eat dinner. My head was spinning. I plopped down in bed with a book and kept telling myself, “Everything’s gonna be okay.”

Because they were, right?
I sighed.

“Summer, darling, your dinner’s getting cold,” Father told me worriedly as he opened the door to my room a crack. “Can I come in?”

I nodded.

Father came in and sat on the edge of my bed.

“Hey, uh, Summer, how about–oh, Sir, what’s the matter?” Marian, my maid, asked as she raced into the room from my walk-in closet. It was like another room.

“Nothing. I just came here to talk with Summer. Can you give us some privacy?”

“Sure.”

Marian goes out of the room and slowly closes the door. I love her. She’s so nice. She’s always helping me when I get hurt and is always there for me when I am feeling sad. 

“I know today was hard for you,” He whispered, taking my hands. “But you’re gonna have to marry somebody. You can’t keep rejecting these princes.”

“Father, I’m only sixteen,” I grumbled. He was firing me up.

“I know, but…”

“Ugh. Just go away.”

Father kissed my hands and walked out of the room. Marian barged in.

“I know how much you love cats, so…”

You stitched up a cat dress for me?!” I squealed.

Marian nodded and threw a teal dress at my head. I peeked at her from under it. “Seriously?”

We both laughed (Marian is seven years older than me, if you were wondering).

“I’m going to go help Charlotte cook up some mac ‘n cheese for you,” Marian called as she started heading out the door. I smiled at her and gave her a thumbs up. “See you soon.”

I got up and opened the window. The breeze was so cool on my face, so I just felt like singing:

Oh, what a blessed day 

Kids are playing in the grass.

Moms and dads just standing there

Watching them play all day.

Somebody told me

That it wasn’t likely

To see that little smile.

Oh, that smile spread across your face

Though it only showed up once in a maze…

Oh, leave it going

No body’s gonna leave you thrashing…

Nobody, oh, nobody

Nobody at all.

“Nice singing,” I heard someone say. I continued looking at the setting sun.

“Thanks,” I replied absently. I looked down and screamed.

A ginger tabby cat was talking to me.

“Calm down, girl, I’m here for a reason.

“W-what reason?” I asked slowly, backing away. The cat jumped through my window! I screamed again.

The cat closed the window.

“You can call me Chinzi. I’m a boy.”

I covered my mouth with my hand so I didn’t burst out laughing.

“How rude.” Chinzi sighed. I gasped. “I can sense emotions, so, if you ever feel anything, I would know.”

“Okay, why are you here, Chinzi?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

Chinzi sighed and jumped on my bed next to me. “Well, my old Master said that he chose you as this special fairy, but I know nothing about it. You just have to say, ‘Guide me,’ and then you will see what he was talking about. He told me your address, and that you’re my new master.”

“Whoa,” I breathed. A fairy? A Master? Suddenly, I heard footsteps arriving to my room. I held my breath.

“Sweetie, dinner,” my mom whispered as she made her way into the room with a mac ‘n cheese tray. “I wanted to talk with y–what is that cat doing in our house?!”

“Umm… he was… outside my window, stuck in a tree, and so I brought him in!” I answered quickly before I changed my mind. “Can I… keep him?”

“Well… until his owner comes to claim him. But he looks like a wild kitty, so I don’t think he has an owner.” Mother petted Chinzi and he purred, delighted. I laughed under my breath. “So, I guess so.”

“I already thought of a name for him. Chinzi.”

“Well, isn’t that special,” Marian cooed as she came into the room. Mother was totally startled. 

“Oh, Marian, you scared me!” she laughed, her face lighting up. Marian laughed.

“I just need to take some clothes for laundry, and then I’ll be right out,” Marian tells me. She winks. I smile back.

After Marian took some of my clothes and was about to leave the room, she mouthed to me, “Wear the dress!”

I mouthed back, “Oh.”

I excused myself and ran into the closet, and Chinzi followed me. “Don’t look,” I ordered him as I closed the door.

“Whatever you say, Summer.” 

I gasped, but it ended in a giggle. Of course he knew my name!

I put on the dress and Chinzi seemed pretty impressed.

“Now I know why he chose you,” he meowed under his breath.

“What?” I asked, looking at him. He fake-smiled.

“N-nothing,” he said quickly. I shook my head. Cats these days.

“You look… amazing, honey!” Mother squealed as I stepped out of the closet. “Marian’s a real artist!”

“I know,” I replied quietly. “Even Chinzi thou–OW!”

I looked down. Chinzi had scratched me. 

“This is a secret,” He whispered. 

I mouthed, “Ohhh.”

Mother looks confused.

“Let’s… go look at what Father’s up to, yeah?” I smiled quickly, taking her hand and pulling her downstairs. Chinzi followed, having to touch everything he saw. I rolled my eyes.

My dad was in his usual work space. It was a large room with long marble walls.

“Oh, Summer, Gabriella, what are you two doing in my office this late?” Father asked, raising his eyebrows and shoving a pile of papers into his drawer (Gabriella is my mom’s name). I raised an eyebrow.

“It’s only ten, Father,” I explained, taking a seat in one of his black office chairs. “What were you doing with those–”

“Did you get a cat?” Father sputtered, stalling my question. He got up and petted Chinzi on the head. I giggled as he backed away and leapt onto my lap.

“Uh, I found him in the trees,” I lied, stroking Chinzi’s orange fur. He purred. 

“Back to Summer’s question, James,” Mother said, crushing the awkward silence. “What were those files for?”

“Everyday work,” Father muttered, suddenly very interested in the brown spots on his desk. He sighed. “Hard being the king.”

“James, seriously.” Mother walked over to my dad’s desk and slid open the drawers where Father smashed his files into. My dad grabbed her hand. “Stop it, James.”

Mother pried open Father’s fingers and slid open the drawer. With Chinzi in my arms, I got up and ran over to my parents. And suddenly, my jaw dropped open.

Tears streamed down my mom’s face. But more streamed down mine.

Mother was holding a paper. And on the paper…

Father was filing a divorce sheet.

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