The sun beat down on the hot car as I gazed out upon a lawn of dry and brittle grass. It seemed like it could crumble in your hands. I watched the door of the house with the unhappy grass glint in the sunlight as it slowly swung closed behind my mother and father’s backs.
I sat in the car clueless why we had parked here. I wondered my sister and I couldn’t go inside too. On our drive here, just moments earlier, I had asked, “Where are we going?”
“To get something,” Dad replied.
“Is ‘it’ for us?” Ivy, my younger sister, asked.
“All of us!” Dad exclaimed as he grinned at us from the driver’s seat.
I had my suspicions about what “it” could be. Did the owner of the house want to sell us a new piece of furniture? But why, then, were we not allowed to go in with mom and dad? And it would have to be big if we were were to share it, so how could we get it home? I kept quiet, listening to the thoughts raging in my head as I look out the smudged window. I turned my back to the house with all the secrets it held inside.
In agony I waited in the sweltering car, watching swooping birds graze the fingertips of the old trees for what seemed like forever. Finally someone spoke.
“What do you think ‘it’ is?” asked Ivy, who could wait no longer to find out. I couldn’t give a satisfactory answer, so I shrugged my shoulders hoping she would stop pestering me. Her question excited me and made me even more curious. As an eight-year-old, I couldn’t stand surprises. I had always figured them out. I shivered with excitement as I turned to the window facing the house just in time to see my mom step out, saying, “Thank you so much!” and waving good-bye.
My dad was following her down the concrete steps, gingerly carrying a large bag. As he walked closer to me on the path leading from the house to our car, I could see the bag clearer. It looked like a large duffle bag, but with black plastic mesh netting on three sides. I craned my neck over Ivy’s head, trying to see the curious object. As soon as Dad opened the car door, Ivy and I both asked, “What is it?”
“Why don’t you take a look”” replied Dad. He carefully set down the bag between Ivy and me. I leaned over, straining against my seatbelt to see inside. Much to my surprise, three tiny kittens stared back at me with oversized, unblinking and irresistibly cute eyes. One was gray and seemingly gentle, the second was striped and gray with eyes like lethal weapons.
The third was the most adorable thing I had ever cast my eyes upon. It was a perfect tuxedo cat. He had white mittens, nose and a white belly. The tip of his tail was dipped in white paint. Best of all, he was so fluffy! For a few moments I just stared at the baby cats. My heart warmed as a huge smile spread across my face. I wanted to hug the kittens and never let go.
I looked at Ivy’s icy blue eyes and I could see that something had exploded inside her too. At the same moment we broke into high-pitched screams, “Eeeeeeee!”
“So,” Dad said from the driver’s seat as soon as we were driving. “Do you think the black and white one looks like a Pangerban or a Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy?” I was speechless the whole short drive home.
Juliette is a sixth grader in Wheaton, IL. She loves cats. Her drawing won an award in the Reflections contest, and she hopes to illustrate the books she writes.