BIG DISCLAIMER: Any resemblance these characters have to real people is completely coincidental. I use lots of brand names. Nope, don't own any companies. Please do not try to call or email Kat. The number and the email address are fakes. If that email address really exists and it is yours, please tell me and I'll change it so you don't get any unwanted mail. Greenwood is the same little town featured in Rosie Seifuku's Greenwood and the characters of Rosie's Up the Steps are the same ones featured here too. Guess what! It's a joint-effort! Enjoy ~Moni-chan.
Everyone says "Hey, my life is crazy," but when I say "my life is crazy" I really mean it. First thing, I have my Japanese import mother and my Mexican import father, who met at work. He delivered packages, she answered the phone and translated business deals. They fell in love and made a bunch of Japanomexican kids.
six of us in one average house, so there's never a moment of peace…wait! Here I
am rambling and I haven't properly introduced myself. My name is Katarina (Yes,
Katarina, if there wasn't the extra a, my mom couldn't say it. So essentially,
my name is Katrina.) Kyoko Santana. I prefer Kat. And no, I'm not related to
Carlos Santana. He's not my cousin, uncle, second cousin, long lost brother or
any other obscure relation. To be honest, I don't even like his music. He's
like… the freakin' whore of the music industry! He does duets with everyone in
the world. Maybe I should call him and say, "Hey, I've got your last name,
let's SING together…"
Anyway, to continue the weirdness, my dad stands all of 5'7" and my mom 5'0." Somehow I wound up a whopping 5'9." I blame it on the freak "giant Asian gene" that makes people like Yao Ming.
But that's not all that's weird about me. I'm different, totally different. I look, act and function like a normal human being, but something inside is different, and totally unexplainable.
No, this isn't the Animorphs. My name is not Jake and you already know my last and middle names. Nobody is after me………yet. I have what my mom calls "kamitachi"- which loosely translates to "nature of a god"- it's also a ninjutsu technique, but that involves the control of wind. All that means is that I can do some cool but freaky stuff, like slow time, make things float, appear and disappear, and sometimes see a little of the future. Don't come asking for me to predict something for you; my clairvoyance doesn't work on command. So if you ask me for a prediction, I'll tell you to watch the Weather Channel. I didn't know of my "extraordinary" powers until I hit puberty.
Most kids get zits, hair, deeper voices or menstruation and growth spurts. Well, I, in my infinite luck, got my period and superpowers all in one week.
I was Thursday. I don't know why I remember what day it was, but I do. My seventh grade class had art at the end of the day. We were painting leaves with tempera paint. (I always remember thinking it was "tempura" paint and wondered why they would name it after a food.) I distinctly remember an exceptionally ornery lid to the shade of green I wanted. I remember being filled with an intense frustration at the damn thing, as it was cemented to the bottle with a layer of paint. No matter how hard I tugged on the damn thing, the lid wouldn't budge!
I remember feeling warm, very warm, all through my chest and down into my hands, and I distinctly remember thinking, open or I'll make you explode!
I reached for it again when suddenly the warmth drained from my chest and escaped through my fingertips. My friend Nikki tells me that my usually brown eyes had turned yellow and all the paintbrushes in the room went floating in midair. Somehow, I don't remember any of that. Then, according to Nikki, the bottle of paint swelled and the paintbrushes stood still, erect like missiles. (Yes you immature freaks, I said "erect!"). I remember every single one of my frustrations; from forgetting my math homework to my irritating older brother, Roberto, to the school bully Kevin who "accidentally" spilled his baked beans on me, to this freakin' paint bottle. The next thing I remember is green tempera paint in my eyes, on my shirt, hands and pants.
The second-hand account claims that the plastic bottle shattered and all the paintbrushes in the room pelted Kevin. The chalk began to solve math problems, in the lunchroom, Roberto slipped and fell into the trashcan and Ms. Magnolia's (the art teacher) bun unwound mysteriously.
'Katarina Santana!' She bellowed, 'To Mr. Dinkleberger's office with you!'
Now, I don't know about you, but I find it very hard to be respectful to a man with the last name "Dinkleberger." Harold Dinkleberger none-the-less. Talk about bad parental picking! Note to self: if man of dreams has sucky last name, make him take mine. Mrs. Harold Dinkleberger? I don't think so!
So I was half marched, half dragged to the disciplinarian's office by Ms. Magnolia.
She shoved me into a chair. 'Explain yourself, young lady!'
Now let me pause my little story here to go off on another tangent. Not only does Mr. Dinkleberger have the last name from Hell, he looks like a mutant egg. He was about six feet tall but he was at least six feet wide, too. Pasty, gross and balding, Mr. Harold Dinkleberger was a middle-schooler's nightmare.
'Katarina did something wrong? Why is she covered in green paint?'
You see, I have this problematic "good kid" reputation. It sucks sometimes.
'That's what she's going to explain!' Ms. Magnolia huffed.
'Well, I was frustrated with the paint bottle… and it exploded.' It was the best explanation I could offer without lying.
Harold looked at me. 'Exploded? You made it explode?' He looked at Ms. Magnolia who nodded earnestly, as if paint bottles exploded every Thursday. 'How?'
'Well, sir, I really don't know. My chest… it was filled with a hot feeling, like when you eat too much spicy food, only pleasant. Then it drained out into my hands--'
'Please don't make up stories, Ms. Santana! This is serious!'
'I'm not, sir.'
'Don't lie to me, Katarina!"
'I'm not!' Was this guy a noodlehead or what? My frustrations began to build up again.
'I'm calling your parents if you don't tell me the truth!'
My chest began to heat. 'I told you, sir. I am telling the truth.'
'That's it. I'm calling your parents. We have a serious problem here.'
God! What a bureaucracy! I sighed. 'Call my mom, she's at home.' (And she speaks less English! Hahaha!)
The rest isn't really important; Dinkleberger yelled at my mom who nodded and said 'Yes.' (Which meant she had no idea what he was saying.) Whilst I, still burning up, released my frustrations into the screws under the office chair seat. He tried to come up with an adequate punishment for me, but since my record was clean and convicting evidence was slim, I got off with just a detention. My mom rose from her seat and calmly stated, 'I take her home now.' Sore dake da. (That's all there is to that.) As we left the office, we were followed by the satisfying sound of the office chair falling apart.
My mom and I got in the car; where she immediately gave me the third degree in Japanese. I, after a few years of experience, discovered that it's just much easier to be honest with my mom. As for my dad… well, you'll see.
I expected my mother to explode and tell me to stop making up outrageous stories then immediately ship me off to a psychoanalyst. What happened instead surprised me. My mom got all quiet as I prepared a big self-defense speech, but rather than start bawling because her child was insane; she looked at me with pride.
'You have kamitachi!"
'There is a family legend, that claims the blood of a god is in us, and that someday it would surface.'
'Oh. The old family legend.'
Mom nodded and launched into the explanation.
What? You want to know my family's secret? HOW INTRUSIVE OF YOU!
Well, ok, but you have to tell me one of yours! Call me (555-8205) or email me [email protected] It's a deal then? Good.
As you know, Japan is the land of the gods! (Actually it's the land of the migrant Koreans and Chinese.) According to the family legend, my great whatever Kyoko got it on with a kami (loosely translated to spirit or god) and had three kids, two boys and a girl. The children were supposed to have done great and unbelievable things (none of which are accurately recorded). They married regular people and had regular kids and the "godlike" power never surfaced again.
I had always discredited the legend as being nothing more than a fanciful myth created for the pride of our family…until I made the paint bottle explode.
Looking back, after Bio I, my great whatever Kyoko did get it on with something…but what? I decided on that day that this was a weird gift. What do you do with weird gifts? You use them! I would fulfill the family legend and use my kamitachi to…well, I'd like to say uphold the virtues of good and defend against evil, but that's awfully cliché. Plus here in the little town of Greenwood, there isn't much evil.
It's my secret, so don't go blabbing, okay? I only tell people I really trust so consider yourself lucky! Just for good measure, don't tell anyone. OR ELSE!