Six Year Olds Don’t Know A Thing About Death

It was September. 2001. I was glad I was missing a day of first grade, but I wasn’t glad that it was for a funeral. Six year olds don’t know a thing about death. It was just, “Great Grandpop is sleeping.”

“Forever?”

“Yes.”

I didn’t feel good the next morning. It was close to a tummy ache that even pop star Barbie had trouble fixing. Six year olds can’t comprehend.

“Why is Daddy yelling on the phone?”

“It’s nothing, Pumpkin.”

The overhead speaker is loud but calm. “We’re sorry, folks. We don’t know who is controlling our airspace. We have to evacuate the plane.”

“What’s going on, Mommy?”

“Stay close to me.”

Everyone was gathered around the TVs in the waiting area. One really tall building. On fire. People crying. Panicked.

Six year olds don’t know a thing about death, but we understood.

 

xoxo kristal

All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2019 xoxokristal.com || Kat

Practice Makes Perfect

“I’m not giving up! I’m going to get a platinum award at competition tomorrow!” The girl cried at her dance teacher. She marched away with tears streaming down her face, headed straight to the dance room.

The girl stood in the middle of the big square room. She pressed her hands to her face, rubbing and shaking her head. Trying to rub away the tears and pressure to be perfect. She walked closer to the mirror and stared straight into her owns eyes. A mental pep talk between herself and the girl in the mirror. She tightened her brunette ponytail until it had no chance of falling out when dancing. Then she fixed her black sports bra, untwisting the straps and then tugged at her nylon shorts that were starting to ride up.

She walked backward on the marley floor to the corner of the room where a large black speaker sat. She picked up her iPod and tapped on it forcefully to start the music. From there she quickly ran to the middle of the room and took a deep breath before getting into her starting pose.

The soft lyrical music started, and she began to move gracefully. Her right arm flowed up and then she turned around herself. She danced beautifully but suddenly stopped every movement to stand there and shake her head back and forth. Her eyebrows scrunched together, frustrated.

She sat down where she was and laid back onto the floor, staring at the ceiling. The music continued playing as she sprawled out. Her shoulders started to jerk. She was crying again.

As the music went on, her breathing got deeper. She stayed there until the song finished then slowly got up again. She dusted herself off and wiped away her tears as she ran over to start the music again. She did just as she did before, taking a deep breath and getting into her starting pose. Her right arm lifted and she turned around herself with the music. She kicked, leaped, and pirouetted all across the floor. Everything was perfect from head to toe. Her legs were straight, feet pointed, and arms graceful.

She went through the whole dance and finished with her final pose on the floor. She wasn’t even there for a second before she got up to start the music again, a cycle that happened nine more times.

“Blair, we’re waiting on you to lock up the studio,” her dance teacher popped her head in the room. She stared with tear stained cheeks and puffy eyes.

She put her hands to the sides of her head squeezing as if she were trying to get her head to stop overthinking. A single tear fell from her left eye, “I can’t leave. I need to be perfect.”

 

xoxo kristal

All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2019 xoxokristal.com || Kat

The Language of a Strict Ballet Teacher

Hair up. Spray the flyaways. Chin up. Don’t pout. Suck in your stomach. Tuck your butt under. Lengthen your legs and tighten your knees. Turn out your foot. From the ankle. Pull your heel forward. Point your toes. Water? No. Hands are dead. Lengthen through the tips of your fingers. Shoulders down. Don’t look down. Chin up. Come on. Horrible. Butt in. Use your stomach. You need to eat more salad. I don’t know how you’re doing that with no coordination. Spot! Spot! Tighten the supporting leg. Tabletop Tutus? Your legs are too big for those. A romantic tutu will cover those better. No smiling. No laughing! Sit in froggy. You need to stretch your hips. No flexibility. Tighten your back. Chin up. This needs to be perfect. Wrists are broken. Lengthen. Lengthen. Fix your hair. Shoulders down. Do you even want to be here? Many other girls would love to have this spot. Point your feet. Land more gracefully. Quiet! No laughing! Tighten your knees. Turn out from your heels. Chest up. Where is your coordination? Get out! Out of my class!

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xoxo kristal

All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2019 xoxokristal.com || Kat

Routine

It’s the middle of the night and I have to run around the house. It’s routine. I don’t care if people are sleeping. It’s routine. I stretch my legs and back ready to dash. It doesn’t matter if I run into the wall or knock over a photo. That will be taken care of tomorrow. Should I jump on the bed? No! The counter is better. That’s where the food is kept. I run, picking up speed too fast. The scratching is loud against the floor. My ears pick up shifting in the other room. Uh oh. I quickly slide into the kitchen, careful not to be caught. The lights are off so I’ll blend in. Jumping on the counter I accidentally knock over a cereal box. Thud. It’s tempting to knock down the cup left in front of me. I stretch my arm. Should I? Maybe I’ll slowly push it off. Slow. Slow. I watch as the cup falls off the counter. Thud. The footsteps are quick. The lights flick on.

“Meow!” I face my servant. She caught me.

“What are you doing, Salem?” My weirdly hairless servant walks toward me and picks me up. Just wait. As soon as I’m put down, I’ll bite her ankle. How dare she disrupt my routine!

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xoxo kristal

All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2019 xoxokristal.com || Kat

Always Halloween

Blaire Donovan adjusted the black pointy witch hat on her head in the body mirror in front of her. With her green eyes, she examined her pale skin and her long black straight hair that curled at the ends. She wore a black baby doll dress with poufy sleeves, black tights, and black combat boots. It looked no different than her everyday wear, just today she included the hat. Blaire started singing along to a Blink 182 song that was playing on her vintage record player when something caught her attention in the mirror. Her black cat, Salem, was knocking bobby pins off her dresser. There was a ping every time one hit the floor. She watched through the mirror as he moved towards a glass of water. His tiny black paw was raised… ready to push it off.

“Salem!” she quickly turned to shoo him off the dresser, but he jumped and dodged. Knocking over mini ceramic candy corns and scattering polaroid pictures of Blaire and her friends everywhere. She chased Salem around the room, her boots scuffing against the dark hardwood floor. Salem jumped onto her bed and so did Blaire, crumpling the black comforter. Salem jumped off skidding against the black and white striped wall, making his way out of Blaire’s room.

“Salem! Get back here!” Blaire ran towards her door and jumped back when she saw her little brother standing there with a creepy clown mask. He didn’t move. He just stood there. Blaire was used to this.

Blaire put her hands on her hips, “Seriously, Dex. You got to do more than that to scare me.”

Blaire walked out of her room, pushing on her little brother’s shoulder, getting a ‘Hey!’ out of him. She walked down the stairs, holding onto the black stairwell. She could feel her brother creeping behind her but she didn’t have the patience to mess with him.

“Kids! Dinner’s ready!” Blaire heard her mom’s voice chime through the house. The Donovan’s had dinner as a family every night. It was a tradition.

“Coming!” Blaire yelled just as the doorbell rang. She was confused because no one ever comes over at 7 o’clock. All of Blaire’s friends knew she would be having dinner.

Blaire walks to the door. It was red in contrast to the house that was fully black and white. She turns the knob, opening it to a boy around her age, probably 17 or 18.

“Hi, is Blaire here?”

Blaire looked at him, head to toe. He had blonde hair and blue eyes. His eyes were darting back and forth. A light blue polo shirt covered what could be a muscular body and then dark blue jeans that didn’t match his red Converse. His feet kept moving, he couldn’t stand still.

“I’m Blaire. What do you want?” Blaire crossed her arms and raised her right eyebrow. She started tapping her foot when he didn’t answer right away.

The boy’s eyebrows scrunched together and he looked out into the street and then back at Blaire. “Uhh, are you a witch? I mean, it’s cool if you are? I… it’s February? Well, that’s not why I came here but…”

“It’s always Halloween in the Donovan house.” Blaire laughed at his nervousness. She shut the door before he could say anymore and headed to the dining room.

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xoxo kristal

All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2017 xoxokristal.com || Kat

Roadtrip with Baby J

“Roadtrippppp!” Emily’s husband bellows out.

Emily rolls her eyes, “Stop, Cam. We’re only going to the grocery store. Please just help me.”

She continues shoving extra packs of baby wipes into the diaper bag while trying to balance the baby on her hip. The stroller is already by the door. The trunk is open with the car running, waiting to be packed.

“Oh, come on. It’s just like the road trips we had before Baby J.” Cam starts tickling the baby’s feet and she starts kicking, laughing. The baby starts wiggling in Emily’s arm.

“The store is only ten minutes away. I need your help, Cam, please,” she huffs out.

Emily hands the baby over to Cam and picks up the bottles of milk, adding it to the diaper bag. She looks over to the other three bags on the island that are already full to the brim. She then glances over to the sink full of dishes and sighs.

“I think we have everything.” Emily places her hands on her hips and watches her husband make silly faces at the baby.

The last time they were on a roadtrip was over a year ago. Emily was 5 months pregnant when she returned home from their trip across the States. They saw the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Passed through the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Went white water rafting in Colorado. Saw caves in Georgia. And watched the waves on the coast of Maine. Emily remembers listening to 90s music the whole trip before she found out that she was pregnant. She remembers how much fun she had and could understand why Cam got excited whenever they packed up to leave the house. Even if they were going five minutes away to the park, she would hear the familiar, “roadtrippppp.”

She smiles at Cam now, “maybe instead of the grocery store, we could visit my mom in California?”

Cam’s eyebrows scrunch together and then he smiles too, “I mean, we look like we’re packed to travel all the way across the states again.”

“I think Baby J will have as much fun as we did.” She gives her husband a quick kiss before walking into another room and coming back with a suitcase.

“Roadtrippppp!” Emily yells this time instead of Cam. He smiles and starts hopping around with Baby J.

Baby J is giggling when Cam repeats, “Roadtrippppp!”

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xoxo kristal

All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2017 xoxokristal.com || Kat

Pokémon Go

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Pokémon Go was all the rage for a few months. People would flock to areas trying to catch a rare pokémon. Charizards would lead to pushing and screaming. Groups of people were playing. Big or small, old or young, a pro or newbie. Everyone played. Pidgeys, Rattatas, Caterpies were becoming a nuisance. Cars stopped in the middle of the road to get pokéstops. People who never exercised were getting on bikes again. Walking to get a 10km egg to hatch. Swiping at the screen and cursing when you ran out of pokéballs.

Months passed and many people stopped playing. Now pokéstops were left unturned. Charizards ignored. Eggs left unhatched and unwanted. Were pidgeys even considered a nuisance if there was no one to annoy them with?

Elle decided to download the Pokémon Go app again once it was released that the second generation of pokémon were going to be added to the game. Was anyone going to be playing? Elle retrieved pokéballs from pokéstops. Caught Furrets, Murkrows, Spinaraks, realizing they were the new nuisances. She didn’t ride her bike anymore to catch pokémon and instead drove. Never passing by someone that seemed to be playing. There’s no way people could have still been playing.

It was almost midnight when Elle saw the silhouette of one of the legendary birds on the app’s radar. She wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but she screamed. She screamed so loud, quickly covering her mouth and hoping she hadn’t woken up her parents. She tiptoed, still in her pajamas, grabbing her car keys. She needed to get the legendary pokémon and didn’t want anyone stopping her.

She drove to the gas station two minutes from her house. She parked as close as she could to where the radar was telling her to go and still nothing. The legendary Pokémon didn’t show up. There was just another stupid pidgey.

She sighed and rubbed her face before slowly getting out of the car. She needed this legendary. She scanned the area before heading towards the small fountain next to the gas station. No one was here. There wouldn’t be. No one played anymore. Her feet thumped on the ground. She was on a mission. She kept her eyes glued on her phone, making sure she wouldn’t miss the legendary if it popped up.

That’s when it happened. Articuno appeared and she squealed, quickly tapping on the floating blue ice bird to catch it. She swiped strategically on the screen, making sure the ultra ball hit the bird. The ball twitched once. Twice. Three times. She caught it! She fist pumped into the air.

“Did you catch it?” a deep voice said.

Elle quickly looked up and saw a boy maybe around her age sitting on the edge of the fountain. Her eyes widened. Was he there the whole time? How did she not notice him?

“What?” she questioned. Pushing her blonde hair out of her face.

He smirked, the light from the gas station illuminating his face and his bright green eyes, “You’re playing Pokémon, right?”

“How could you tell?”

“No one in their right mind would be outside this late, swiping on their phone, and squealing.”

Elle glanced at the phone in his hand, showing a blue and green screen and a figure standing in the middle of it. He was playing too. “Well, I guess we’re the biggest nerds on this planet. There’s no way any smart person could pass on a legendary bird. I’m Elle, by the way.”

He laughed this time. Putting his right hand out for me to shake, “Matt.”

 

xoxo kristal

All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2017 xoxokristal.com || Kat