Instead of a Calendar

Chapter 3:

The Plot

. . . No way.

No fucking way.

She stole my calendar. Again. She took out her red pen. Again. And -- yet again -- she marked her periods on it.

The moral of the story? Never have sisters. They're not worth the upkeep. They steal the calendar you've hoped to get from your crush---err, best friend -- forever. And ever. And ever.

Not fair.

I stand in the kitchen and glare at her. Hard.

"Stop glaring," Kate says, cutting vegetables, with a fairly sharp knife. "You're not getting it back."

"Like I even want it now," I mutter the words just loud enough that she'd hear. "I don't want people to think that I have periods."

"Because you don't want people to figure how sissy you actually are?" she retorts.

Silence. Another glare. "I can't believe you actually stole it from me again."

"Tough luck," she cuts the onion. "Because I did take it. It's a pretty one, with all the puppies."

". . . It's wolves."

"Same difference."

"Why did you have to take it?" I ask the air in front of me.

She sighs and turns around. "Go away. Go away and I won't have to hurt you."

"You can't hurt me," I cancel her words.

"I have a chef knife," and I suddenly see that oh, look, she does. Chef knives hurt. A lot. If you look closely at the tiles of the floor, you can still see some faint red blotches along it, from the time I accidentally cut my wrist with one.

Playing with chef knives isn't smart. Especially when you cut a watermelon and your sibling pushes you a little. Well, at least the staff in the Emergency Room was nice. And it's kind of cool to show my scar off, as if saying, "I almost died once, because I cut my wrist."

Sure, cool. Until you're faced with the possibility of it happening again.

"Get that knife away from me," I warn Kate, but she doesn't budge. Dammit. "Kate, you almost killed me the last time you played around with that knife."

She takes a step forward and I take a step backwards. "If you don't want it happening, just go away. You bitch over the calendar again and you'll get sliced up. Go bitch to James, if you want some sympathies."

The fact that she's the one who took said calendar means that I'll get no sympathies out of her. I give her another glare and she does a slicing move with her hand. I keep my ground for a few more seconds then scramble away with a haste.

Do you remember one of my more repeated words?

Again, I dressed barely enough to stand the cold. Just enough that if I don't find myself in a puddle (again), I should be fine.

My hitch goes without colliding with unexpected people, and I arrive at James's place without any problems. I raise my hand to knock on the door, but before I manage that, it's being swung open and Tracy, James's oldest sister and the only female of the siblings, opens the door. Apparently, she's about the leave.

"Hi," I tell her.

She looks at me, her grey eyes keen and sharp and very unnerving. "Hi," she replies.

"Is James home?" I ask.

She nods. "He's in his room." Tracy is slightly shorter than me, with dark, curly blond hair that changes to honey colour in the sun, and has a delicate build. That build hides behind it some powerful muscles. She's twenty one, in third year of university, and majors in nutrition and sports. When she visits her family she always brings all sorts of good foods that are actually healthy.

She goes outside back to her home and I go inside in search of James. He's in his room alright, with his guitar in his lap.

"Hey," I tell him, and he turns around in surprise.

"Didn't expect to see you here," he notes. "So how's the calendar?"

I sit on his bed and look at the sheets. "I don't know. Kate wouldn't give it to me."

"Why do you keep letting her take them?" he wonders aloud.

"I don't exactly let her," I sigh. "She just waits until I'm not home and snatches it."

He picks at a few strings, and some notes fill the room. "Ah."

"It was a nice one, though," I say after looking at him for a moment.

James smiles and lets go of his guitar. "Come on," he says. "We're going out."

~*~

We're at the mall, at some accessory store. I trail next to James and he looks at the goods that are being showed.

"James, why are we here?"

James grins at me and picks at a calendar. "I thought you might want a birthday present you can actually keep, for once."

I don't want James to spend more money on me. He already paid for a present; it's not his fault Kate took it. "You don't need to, really," I say.

"I want to," he replies, and examines the offered calendars. "And if you don't want me to hurt you, you'll accept it."

. . . What is it with people trying to hurt me? "I'm not a pin-cushion. You all can't just continually suggest hurting me," I protest with dejection.

"We obviously can," James says with ease, and moves on to inspect a fourth calendar. My eye is drawn to another calendar, though. It shows Santa Clause stars in it. In December it shows the usual Santa outfit, but in August, for example, it shows him in a swimming-suit. While it's not something pretty, it's still fairly amusing.

He apparently saw the sidelong look I gave that calendar and picked it up. "This one, then." He says that, and marches to pay for it. I roll my eyes at his back and follow him. He's having way too much fun with me and the calendars.

And I can't really say that I hate it, because I don't. Really, I love it.

~*~

We're at my place, and the first thing I do after shedding my clothes is grabbing the marker I eyed while I shed my clothes, and then write 'THOM' in capital letters.

In smaller letters, I write, 'Kate, stay the hell away from this calendar.'

I heard a laugh from behind my shoulder. "Really," James says. "You'd think that me having three siblings would make more problems for me, but just your sister makes enough trouble for all three of mine."

"I blame Mum." I inform him in a bland tone. "Your mother is just plain too nice to really have awful kids like Kate."

He snickers behind my back again. "You're forgetting that she's your own mum, too."

"Thanks for reminding me something I tried to forget," I scowl, and James's snickers turn louder.

Only now I yell to Kate that I'm home, and she yells back, "Why the hell do you think I care?"

Good question, so I lead the way to my room and close the door. I hunt in one of my drawers for a hammer I hid there awhile ago and for some nails, while James takes control of my bed. I hammer the nail to the wall and hang the calendar on it, and then stare at it contentedly.

In all honesty, this was the first time I hanged a calendar on my wall. First calendars just went on my desk, and then Kate started stealing them. Needless to say, I'm quite pleased.

"Finally," I say as I sit down next to James. "My own calendar."

"It's just a calendar," James says.

I grin. "The first calendar I managed to keep my hands on since forever."

~*~

How exactly did it happen? Us kissing, I mean. I think I lost track of what exactly happened.

We talked a bit. At one moment he raised the subject of the rest of the calendars.

"You know," he said. "You still didn't get the rest of the calendars."

I retorted, "So what? You're not going to get me a calendar for each one my sister stole."

He pondered that, and seemed to be deep in thought. "I can give something instead of the calendars," James said thoughtfully.

I snorted. "Like what? A kiss?"

And now -- we're kissing. He accepted my suggestion. I didn't mean it, really, it just seemed like a joke, but then he decided to kiss me, for real.

It feels rather good.

And now the door to my room opens and I hear Kate shriek. We separate ourselves, both looking flushed and embarrassed and turn to look at her.

She's grinning from ear to ear. "Well," she says. "Finally. Oh, and Mum's on the phone and wants to talk to you, but I'll tell her you're busy." She closes the door.

We can hear Kate cackling on her way back to the phone. Our mutual, surprised stares connect, and then James shakes his head. "Hell," he mutters. "Your sister's insane."

I nod and keep looking at him expectantly. He looks as if he's about to say another thing. And he does.

"And well," he grins. "you got a kiss instead of a calendar."

"You owe me some more calendars," I remind him with a smile.

"So what's the exchange rate? A kiss per calendar?"

"Mmm." I ponder. "Works."

I was never happier with the thought that Kate stole my calendars all those years. She must've done it on purpose. I'll kill her later, but right now, I'm rather busy.

And then we kiss, several times. One per calendar. One kiss, instead of one calendar.

End.

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A/N: SO SORRY! Really am. Took me ages to finish this, and it's now over a year old. This marks the end, folks, and I just wanted to post it before November (NaNoWriMo that I've been sucked into). I like this story and I like how it ended, and it's sweet even if not exactly professional. Oh well.

Proofreader: Hota. Thank you VERY much!