"Caprice Tanith Marshall, get down here or you'll be late," my dad called up to me.
I put one foot on the floor and tried to stand up, but I lost my balance and fell flat on my face. I've got such excellent coordination I should be a gymnast. I stumbled around for a couple more minutes, putting on some clothes I found crumpled by my desk until finally I staggered into the kitchen and sucked down a cup of coffee.
"Caprice how late were you out last night?" my dad scolded.
I rubbed my temples and poured another cup, "Can you just give me ten minutes for the caffeine to kick in and then lecture me?"
He plopped into the chair across from me, "nope, spill."
"I had work okay? No one ever thanks me."
"Ah, love can be a very tricky business," he said solemnly and then grinned. Dad's such a goof. I appreciate this though, I know a lot of kids end up with depressed parents after their spouse dies. Yeah, my mom died when I was twelve.
It was my twelfth birthday when I finally found out I was my generation's Cupid. I opened up the last present in the stack and it was a bow and some arrows adorned with hearts at the tip. I had looked up at my mother questioningly. And she sat down, propping her chin in her hands (her 'let's talk' position).
"Sweetie, there's something I have to tell you."
I looked at her expectantly wondering if it had anything to do with the odd, although very pretty, gift I had just unwrapped.
"Well when I was your age I learned I had a special gift, which I inherited from your grandfather. You've heard of cupid?"
"Yeah, the baby who shoots people with arrows and makes them fall in love with the next person they see." I asked.
"Well, in the American culture that is how cupid is viewed, but in this house we know differently."
"Mom, what are you trying to say here?" Even at twelve I wasn't a fan of small talk and "beating around the bush" I liked to hit the bush straight on.
"Well honey, you're not Caprice."
"Yes I am, Caprice Tanith Marshall."
"Well you're also Cupid."
Twelve days later my mother was dead.
"Cady are you aware that you're wearing a pink skirt and orange shirt?" my dad snapped me out of my moment of nostalgia.
"What?" I looked down, I was indeed wearing the most un-coordinated outfit ever. I let out a short scream of annoyance before rushing upstairs to throw on something more acceptable.
When I got downstairs all set to go, minus breakfast, I found two breakfast bars and a thermos of coffee sitting next to my 'I Dream of Jeannie' vintage lunchbox. My dad beeped the horn and I hurried out the door.
"Can I drive?" I asked hopefully.
I opened the passenger door and moped, "I've been flying since I was twelve and I'm not even allowed to drive," I muttered.
My dad leaned over and ruffled my hair affectionately, "That's right," then he backed out of the driveway and we headed to school
Larissa was waiting for me by my locker.
"Hello, where have you been? I thought we were going over French this morning."
"J'ai dormi tard" I replied, spinning my combination lock.
"I slept late," I told her, "But you obviously could have used the review."
She shoved me, "Ferme-la, vous êtes a pamplemousse."
"I am not a grapefruit!"
"Is that what I just said?" she slapped her hand to her forehead and sighed.
We hurried to French, but ended up being late anyway.
"Siéntese chicas," the teacher told us as we walked in. Larissa and I looked up at the teacher, who wasn't ours, I recognized her as one of the Spanish teachers.
"I said 'sit down girls'," he replied.
"Oh, right," we sat.