Chapter 3: Welcome to Cheyenne, Wyoming
"Here's your passport and tickets!" My mom handed me passport, which had a horrible picture of me, and two tickets, one to depart here and one to depart in Sydney, Australia.
"Thanks." I grasped the handle of my custom made, electric green, carry on suit case that my dad bought for me especially for this so called "trip".
"Okay. Remember honey, once you arrive in Sydney, Australia, you will have a thirty minute layover time. You'll departure from gate C21. This flight should be going to Denver, Colorado. Once you land, the Patterson family will be there to pick you up. It will be about an hour and a half drive to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Be good! Call me when you get there! And remember, have fun! Not too much fun though, you still need to study. " Mom gave me prodigious hug and kissed me on the on the forehead.
"I know mom. You went over this with me like twenty million times last night." I let out a sigh and looked right to Donovan, who was standing like a lonely statue, all quiet. I wanted to give him one more passionate kiss that told him I loved him, but I couldn't.
I walked over to him, but was interrupted my dad who stepped right in front of me. "Remember me? Your old Pop? Where's my hug?" My dad grabbed a hold of me and gave me a bear hug, swinging me back and forth.
"Daaadddddd. Puuutt mee dowwnnn!" I stuttered while getting swung side to side by my dad.
"Oop. Sorry kiddo. I'm going to miss you." He leaned down and kissed the top of my forehead just like my mom did. I focused right towards Donovan, who still looked like a lonely statue, and continued walking toward him, but was interrupted AGAIN.
"Don't forget about us Kat. We're part of this family too." My brother Adam said. I looked at both my siblings and gave them both a little talk. Adam was going to start eighth grade, it's probably the most rebellious times in a kid's life, and told him to be good and not to listen to idiots. Caroline was about to start first grade, who will probably realize that this world is a sphere and not straight. I told her that if anyone steals her favorite pink crayon, she should not complain and simply just ask the teacher to give her a new one. I gave them both a goodbye hug and relaxed my eyes on Donovan.
"Kat!" It was Lana, who barely made it to the airport before I left. Her pretty brown hair was stuffed up into a messy bun. It looks like she had just woken up and barely had enough time to get ready.
She ran towards me giving me one best friend hug. "Damn, I thought I was going to miss you!"
"You were about too." I squeezed he skinny body tight and pulled back to whisper into her ear. "No one else is going to interrupt me, right?"
"Ohh. Hahah ooppps." She pulled away from me and let me walk to Donovan, without any interruptions. He had his "Evanston Cougars" t-shirt on, the first t-shirt he wore when he asked me out and his rugged jeans that he wore when we had our first date.
"Hey." He scratched the back of his neck, and looked down at me with the gorgeous eyes of his, one of his best features besides his precious abs.
"Hey." I wanted to ball my eyes out. I wanted my whole heart to spill right in front of him. I wanted to show him that I want to be by his side, and end senior year with him. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him, how much I needed him with me. I wanted to tell him that he wasn't holding me back. I wanted to let my fingers play the rhythm of my heart on the piano. I wanted the song to chronicle through all the times we had together, the ups and downs, the fun moments, the time when I first fell in love with him, the time when he first fell in love with me, and the moment when we first met; when I was covered in chocolate and feathers, and when he was covered in powdered sugar. I wanted to tell him that I wanted to be with him forever, but right now, it wasn't going to happen. Not for ten months.
"Have fun in the States." His voice was down; he didn't use his usual preppy guy tone. The expression on his face was exactly how mine looked when I found out. He loved me, and I loved him. I know he doesn't want me to leave. But that's all he had to say.
"Thanks." I gazed at him and gave him a warm look, with a gentle smile that would always lighten him up. But he turned away; he didn't stand a chance to look at me.
"Is there something wrong?" I hunted for an answer.
"No." He was lying, there was something wrong. I caved in and gave him a hug. His arms didn't hug me like it always did, instead he pushed me back. He groaned under his breath, trying to resist his anger from coming out. I was shocked. I wanted to wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him. I needed him to feel the love between us that will always remain. But it looked like he didn't want it. It looked like he didn't want me.
Long distance relationships are hard to keep up. Without seeing your loved ones for a while, we start to change feelings for one another. This is probably what he's trying to do to me. He's trying to push me away before we conquer to that long distance relationship stage, something that I would never let happen to us.
"Don, stop it. I know what you're thinking." He didn't look at me or fidget a little.
"Don, don't do this to me now." Still no answer, his position stayed the same.
"Don. Please." His fist clenched.
"Kat." His voice was dry. And then he hugged me, squeezing me tight, forcing me to let a tear drop from my eye.
He whispered into my ear, "I will always love you Kataleena Larr. Always." And then he pulled back, leaving me in tears as I turned back to my parents.
They escorted me to the security. They watched me as I placed my items in the baskets, and walked through the security scanner. And then there was the hall where I wouldn't see their faces until another ten months. I grabbed my carry-on bag and slowly crept to the hall. I turned back to give one last wave, and then walked down the hall that I wouldn't see for a long time.
"Why does she fucking have to stay with us?" Connor laid shirtless, only wearing a green and blue plaid pajama pants, on the messy bed of his, and tossed a miniature soccer ball to his ceiling.
"Because mom and dad volunteered to take her in." Kami leaned against Connor's bedroom, white door with her arms crossed, annoyed of her twin brother.
"I still don't understand why we have to take in that shit of an Aussie." Connor chucked the ball at his twin sister and sat up, examining his sister's expression. She picked up the ball that ricochet off her of her and chucked it right back at him, causing a bruise to appear on his upper right chest.
"She's from New Zealand. Mom told me you have to be nice."
"Australia, New Zealand, whatever. There's no fucking difference. And there's no way I'm going to be nice to that bitch New Zealander that offers you tea every fucking second. I'm tired of this shit. Mom and dad should've asked us if we wanted her to stay here."
"They did… At least to me. They kind of expected you to not like the idea." Kami walked over to Connor's desk, and slammed the door shut behind her.
"Well they expected right. If she's really going to stay here for ten months, then I'm moving out." Connor grabbed a shirt that had just swiftly fallen, and put it on. He walked over to where Kami was and pushed her out of the way. She was staring at the job brochures splattered on his desk. Connor gathered the brochures up and tucked them under his binder, Kami still staring at the empty space where the brochures once laid scattered.
"Just a month ago you said you weren't going to get a job." She pulled out a brochure from under a binder and read the title out loud. "Bobson's Ice Cream Parlor, The best ice cream in Cheyenne, Wyoming." Connor glared at her disgusted and snatched the brochure out of her hands.
"I'm not doing that one." He ripped up the brochure in several pieces and tossed it in the silver garbage can under his desk. Kami pulled out another brochure from under the binder, and read it out loud. "Soccer Referees Needed, ref AYSO games every weekend." This one was more reasonable for Connor, the best soccer player at Hilton High.
"Give me that." Connor grabbed the brochure from her hand, along with all the other ones, and tossed it somewhere where she won't be able to get without passing him.
"Ohh.. I get it now." Kami placed her index finger at the tip of her chin and nodded. "You're trying to find a job so you don't have to see that exchange student a lot." Kami giggled and twirled her rich platinum black hair. Connor pushed her towards the door and out, leaving Kami still giggling.
"Get the fuck out!" And then he slammed the door, making the sound echo throughout the house.
Kataleena gave the ticket to the Australian airport worker, and walked past the sign that said "DEPARTURE: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA-ARRIVE: DENVER, CO." Her electric green carry on suit case buzzed against the floor as she went through the jet way.
Once she got inside the plane, she slowly found her seat in the middle of the plane. Someone was already sitting at the spot next to her, a young boy around her age with curly short brown hair. Kataleena placed her suit case in the shelf above, and took her seat next to the boy. The boy was reading a book, The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass, one of Kataleena's favorite books.
The boy caught Kataleena gawking at the newly bought book in his hands. He turned his vision towards her, his brown eyes met hers. In his mind he thought she was beautiful, maybe one of the prettiest girls he had laid eyes on.
"Oh I'm sorry." Kataleena said, feeling embarrassed, while turning her attention to the seat in front of her.
"It's okay!" The boy said a little too loud with enthusiasm. Kataleena giggled, his voice was a little too loud for the airplane. She eyeballed him again and then fixed her attention to the book that was opened at the part she favored.
"I didn't know some guys were interested in these kinds of books." She grasped the book out of his hands and started reading the page. The boy's attention didn't leave hers at all. A pretty girl was speaking to him, the nerdy guy no one liked.
Once she finished the page, she handed the book back to him smiling with her lips sealed together. "Thanks." Her words echoed in his mind, racing up and down his brain, as she smooth a piece of her wavy brown hair.
"Do you like reading?" Damn it, he thought. A pretty girl was in front of him and he decides to ask a dumb question like that.
"Actually I do. It's enjoyable. How about you?" Kataleena fixed her body position so that it was facing the boy. If she's going to be on a flight for seventeen hours, she might as well make some friends along the way so that she's not bored.
"Same. I'm not a big fan of non-fiction, biographies, fictions, poetry, or any kind of that stuff. I'm into science fiction and a little bit of fantasy. Only certain fantasy books, like The Mortal Instruments series, I'll read. I'm Ian by the way, Ian McCall." Ian held out his right hand, waiting for Kataleena to meet his hand.
"Kataleena, Kataleena Larr." She gave Ian a firm hand shake.
"So are you from Sydney?" Ian wanted to know more about this girl. She's the only girl who has opened up to him without making any rude comments. He wasn't attractive to many of the girls at his school but he was attractive to the nerdy girls, which he didn't feel too good about.
"No, I'm actually from New Zealand. I just had a connecting flight here. And you?" She practiced her American accent on him, trying to sound as Americanized as possible.
"Ohh. I would've never guessed, you have a really good American accent. And yeah, I'm from Sydney. One of those typical Aussies. So where are you heading?"
"Wyoming, but I'm getting picked up in Denver."
"Ohh.. So do you have family down in Denver or are you just visiting?" Ian leaned his elbow on one of the arm rests.
"No, actually I'm doing this exchange student program. I'm getting picked up by my host family, whom I haven't met yet." Ian's eyes widened, finally someone had something in common with him.
"Really? So am I, but I'm studying in Denver. I'm finishing my senior year of high school there."
"That's great!" Kataleena gave him a gentle smile and turned to look down the aisle, as the flight attendant was giving safety instructions. Ian seemed kind of mysterious; he asked a lot of questions. But there's probably nothing wrong with asking a lot of questions; it's a great conversation starter.
Once the flight attendant was finished speaking, the airplane turned towards the long road ahead of them. It stopped, so that you could hear the engine preparing for the take off. This was Kataleena's favorite part about airplane rides, the take off. The airplane blasted and briskly passed everything in sight. In just a moment, they would be in the air, soaring across the sky.
She looked over at Ian, who was holding both arm rests, and breathing heavily, as though he was about to faint. "Are you okay?" I asked. Ian looked pale as the fresh snow that just demolished to the ground.
"Yeahhhh.. I'm alrighhtt…" I let out a small laugh, leaned my head back, and closed my eyes.
All I could focus on was Donovan; his hurtful look, his silence towards me, his ignorance towards me, and the last hug he gave me. It's been four hours since I last saw him. I wonder what he's thinking now. We did not break up at the airport, we just encountered a challenge that we needed to get through. It won't be cleared up for an extra ten months, but we'll fix it, like we always do.
"Ding dong! We will be arriving in Denver, Colorado in the next fifteen minutes." I woke up from a long sleep. There's an eighteen hour difference between New Zealand and Wyoming; while I'm awake in Wyoming, my family will be dreaming. It will take a long time to get used to that. It was around 9:55 right now, and in just a little bit, I'll be meeting my new host family.
Ian was leaned against the window, sleeping like a little baby with his mouth opened. He had a navy blue blanket over him that one of the flight attendants probably place over him. I didn't want to wake him up.
Once we landed, Ian asked me if I had a boyfriend. Many memories of Donovan and I popped up, and I wanted to tell him yes, but his puppy dog face was so innocent I didn't want to hurt him. I told him "maybe", just to give him a little hope. He wasn't bad looking, but if he cleaned up a little, he could actually be a little cute.
I walked down to baggage claim, I saw many people waiting with signs up. I didn't know how the Patterson's looked like, so I looked like a complete freak looking for a sign that held up my name. It took me a while to find it, but they didn't look like how I expected. There was a man that looked young and around his thirties, a woman who must be his wife that looked like she was twenty five, and a girl who was gorgeous from head to toe who I knew for sure that was my age.
I headed over to the family with the sign that had my name on it. "Are you the Pattersons?" I asked nervously. What if they weren't the Patterson's? I would've made a complete fool out of myself. My hands were sweating, and finally the woman spoke up and said "yes." My heart stopped pounding and I was relieved.
"You must be Kataleena right?" The man asked. I nodded my head and gave them a welcoming smile.
"I'm Jonathan Patterson, but you can call me Jon. You don't need to call me Mr. Patterson. It sounds too professional." Jon held out his hand for me to shake and I shook right back.
"I'm Melaney Patterson, but you can call me Mel." Mel looked held out her hand for me to shake and I gave her a shook back.
Last but not least, I turned my attention to the really pretty girl, who was most likely their daughter. She gave me a warm smile and held out her hand. "I'm Kami. I don't really have a nick name, but some people like to call me Kam, hardly ever though." Kami seemed like a really sweet girl, for a really pretty girl. Usually girls who are pretty are typically mean, but not Kami. I could see right through her, and this girl had no trace of mean in her.
Jon and Mel helped me claim my other three luggages from the luggage carousal. Kami stood beside me and examined my hair. "You have really pretty hair. Is it naturally this wavy?" I glimpsed at her and responded, "Yeah."
"Oh just to let you know, if you don't know already, I have a twin brother, Connor, but he's out with his friends somewhere."
"Oh yeah, I totally forgot. Are you guys identical twins?"
"Yeah, but we have completely opposite personalities. My brother is an ass." Kami escorted me to their black Toyota car. It was an amazingly clean car, with seats that looked brand new and carpet without any dirt on it. The scent of the car was filled with the smell of lavender, my second favorite flower next to the white rose. I helped Mr. and Mrs. Patterson get my luggage inside the trunk and opened the back seat door to sit right next to Kami.
"So how's New Zealand like?" Kami faced me with a huge grin cemented on her face. I didn't notice what she was wearing at first, but now that I realized it, she has a great sense of style. She wore white skinny jeans, a nice white t-shirt with impeccable beading, a blue and white infinity scarf, and light brown UGGS.
"Beautiful. The beach and the weather are really nice. You should come visit sometime!" She gave me a quick nod and asked me a bunch of questions the whole ride to their house.
When we pulled up to the Patterson's driveway, there was a beautiful white house, almost as big as ours. It had about two acres of land in just the front yard, along with admirable flowers that ran along the path to their front door. The grass was recently just mowed, telling from the lawn mower lines covering the grass.
"Welcome to Cheyenne, Wyoming!" Kami squealed, smoothing her black hair as we came closer to the garage.
"Thanks!" Once the car was in a complete stop, I hopped out and stretched. Mr. Patterson opened the trunk and helped me get the luggage inside the house.
The inside of the house was even prettier in the inside. Every inch of the house had its own modern theme. The house was nicely decorated with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, vintage pictures hanging up, smooth carpet floors, and pretty brown colored walls.
"Let me show you to your room!" Kami hooked onto my arm and pulled me up the stairs. We passed three doors; my room was at the end of the hall. Hanging on my door was a cute sign that said, "Welcome Kat!" She placed her hands over my eyes and opened the door. She walked me to the middle of the room, or at least it felt like it.
"Okay! Open!" She removed her hands from my eyes. The room looked exactly like mine. The bed was in the same place as mine, with the same bedding, an identical desk was in the corner of the room just exactly where I had mine, a couch I had stood in the same place in the room. Everything was the same, it felt exactly the same.
"Do you like it? Your mom sent us a picture of your room and we tried to copy it with some old furniture that we had. Your mom told us that you might feel a little home sick so we decided we should make you feel at home. I hope you like it!" Kami inhaled a deep breath and sat down on the bed.
"Oh my gosh. Thank you so much! That's very generous of you." I gave her a hug, chuckling of joy. We both stood up and started getting the luggage from downstairs.
When we brought the luggage up, she closed the door and sat down on the couch. "Let's talk while you unpack!"
"Alright." I opened the first luggage and started putting some of the clothes inside the dresser in color order, just like I had it at home.
"So school starts for you this Monday. Don't worry you'll be fine. Hilton High isn't that bad. You can hang out with me, and I'll show you around the school."
"Thanks! I'm kind of nervous." I started to sort out the colors and refolded some clothes that got unfolded.
"You're a piano prodigy right? And you're studying music at my school. My mom told me. I think I've heard of you on the news a while ago. You won the Junior Champion's Piano Competition when you were eleven, even though you were supposed to be 14 or older to compete."
"Yup, that's me."
"Here let me show you something." She got up from the couch and grabbed a hold of my arm, and led me out of the door. She walked over to a spot in the hall and reached up high to grab a lever. A ladder came down, and we both climbed up.
When we reached the top, there was a huge empty room with a clean white grand piano in the center of the room. The light from the window shined on the piano. The whole attic was white.
"This is the attic. We don't ever come up here anymore. I used to play the piano but I stopped when I was younger. This is where I used to practice. Now it can be where you practice. I hope you like it."
"I do. This is really pretty. Like beyond gorgeous. Thank you so much!"
"No problem! Anything to make you feel at home and get a good education. You're part of our family now."
"Aww thanks Kami!" I gave her a tight hug. We walked over to the piano. It was smooth and had just been cleaned for me.
"Well.. play me a song!" Kami pulled out the white seat for me to sit down in. I played a quick chromatic scale for a warm up. I'm a little rusty and have a little bit of jet lag.
"Do you know how to play How to Save a Life by The Fray?"
"Let me hear the song first. I can improvise." Kami pulled out her IPhone and started playing the song. I knew immediately what the chords were. I placed my hands on the piano and started playing the song. I glanced back at Kami to see her expression; which was surprised.
Once I finished, I took a deep breath and looked at her. She was speechless, still shocked from the fact that I could improvise. "Woah. That was amazing!"
"Thanks! It's actually a really good song!"
"It's my favorite song in the world! I love The Fray! They're my favorite band ever!"
We left the attic and went back down to my room. Kami showed me where the bathroom was and led me down to the kitchen for dinner. Mrs. Patterson made some homemade pasta that tasted delicious.
When dinner was over, I took a shower and unpacked the rest of my stuff from my suit case.
It was around one o'clock in Wyoming and I couldn't go to sleep. I was still stuck in the New Zealand time zone. Right now, my family and I would be having dinner in our cozy dining room. I tried counting back from one hundred twice, but it wouldn't work. I thought about all the happy times and tried all the methods to fall asleep, such as counting sheep, but it still wouldn't work.
A couple minutes passed and I still couldn't sleep. I really had to use the bathroom. I got up from my bed and opened the door. The hallway was dark and I couldn't tell which way the bathroom was. I didn't want to turn on the lights so that I wouldn't wake any one up. I crept down the hall and then hit something really hard.
"What the fuck?" A boy's voice said. I stumbled backwards, rubbing my forehead.
"Sorry. I couldn't see." I replied to the boy, who probably was Connor.
"What the fuck are you?" He asked me.
"I'm Kat…..aleena. From New Zealand." I responded.
"Oh you're the exchange student that my parents had to fucking take in. I thought you were a fucking smurf. You scared the hell out of me." A smurf? Then I realized that a blue night light was shining on my face. I looked like one of those small blue guys with large noses. That's probably what he was talking about.
"Bathroom is right there. Get it right next time." He pointed to the door right next to mine and walked passed me.
A/N: End of chapter 4! How was it? I really wanted to get through this chapter so I sort of rushed it. Tell me what you guys think! Please get other people to read my story! Thanks!
Love and Always,