I never thought that the most important day of my life would turn out like this…
A trip to the store.
And most importantly... a cat.
But before any of that, it was just me.
Me, alone. In my house.
To anybody else, It would have been just like any other day in the world, but for me, it was more than that.
For me, it was the start of a new life.
From this point on, everything would be different. I’d never lived in such a populated town before and had never attended a public school (much less a college!). It was also the first time I’d lived without my parents.
I just hoped that I would like things here more than I did at home.
The first thing I did was head over to the store. I needed to eat after all!
The closest store to my apartment was the town mall. Part of me just wanted to drive a few miles farther to an actual grocery store… but I was unemployed and poor, so the less I had to spend on gas money, the better.
When I arrived, I immediately regretted it. There was pretty much zero parking and there was a line to get in the store.
Just as I was about to leave, I saw something out of the corner of my eye.
A black blur flew across the parking lot.
I presumed that it was probably just some random cat or something, doing whatever it was cats did.
But what I didn’t know was that what this “cat” was doing was quite a bit more interesting than it seemed.
I eventually stole a parking space from a leaving car and slowly made my way into the mall, where (to my surprise) I had to wait in, yet another, line.
When I finally reached the beginning of the line it was nearly lunch! If I was to complete my “First Day” schedule than I would have to be quick.
I nearly sprinted to the grocery section of the mall, and I would have made it there in record time too… if I hadnt I run smack into another girl.
Also my age.
“I’m so sorry!” I gasped. “I wasn’t…”
“Watching where you were going? Yeah. Me neither.” She replied.
“Where are you running to?” I asked the girl, eager to meet some new people.
The girl just stood there.
“Why should I tell you?” she asked.
“Fine!” She said dramatically. “If you must know. I was on my way to the shoe store, where they are having a one minute sale. Fifty percent off.”
“Oh, sorry,” I said plainly, feeling guilty for most-likely making her miss her sale.
“It’s all good.” she sighed. “I probably would have missed it anyway.”
That’s when I saw the cat.
It was in the display window of a store called “Knick Knacks and Patty Whacks.”
It was grooming itself, but at the moment I looked at it, It stopped.
And then looked straight at me.
I glanced at the girl, who was still standing beside me, to see if she noticed it.
“Where are you headed,” she said.
“I just need to pick up some groceries.”
“At the mall?” she gasped in return.
“Yeah, it’s the closest store to my new apartment.”
“Huh.” The girl seemed to think for a moment. “My name’s Harley by the way.”
I was surprised that she had told me her name. Did that make us friends?
“I’m Jennine,” I said. “But if you want to, you can call me Jen.”
Was that pushing it?
“Well, hello Jen! Mind If I join you?”
“Uhhh… sure?” I replied.
I was confused as to why Harley wanted to come with me to the grocery store, but if she wanted to come, who was I to say no?
As we started to head in the direction of the market, I glanced back at the place where the cat was.
But it wasn’t there, the cat was gone.
“Hey, mind if we stop at a different store real quick on the way there?” Harley asked me.
“No. I don’t mind at all.” I replied, but in reality, I was in a hurry.
I needed to complete my schedule.
The store turned out to be a wig store, which confused me.
And I just got more confused when I saw that strange cat on one of the wig stands, pretending to be a wig…
I sure was seeing that cat a lot today.
But why in the world was it pretending to be a wig?
“Why are we…” I started but was cut off.
“No reason. I just need a new wig.” Harley replied.
“A new wig?” I asked.
But Harley just ignored me.
When we left the store, the cat was no longer in sight.
After we went grocery shopping together, Harley gave me her number and address.
I did the same.
And then we went our separate ways.
As I sat alone in my empty apartment, I found myself wishing that I had a roommate. Living alone seemed less pleasurable than it had before.
I opened the window for some fresh air, but instead, I got a cat.
It jumped in through my open window sill.
And it was the same cat I’d seen before.
“How in the world did you get here so fast?” I asked it.
I asked a cat.
It’s bright green eyes blinked up at me.
And then something strange happened.
It winked at me.
Or at least I thought it did. And when I leaned in closer…
The cat ran away.
There was a knock on my door, and when I answered it (expecting it to be mail or something) I was surprised to find Harley.
But with different hair.
“Hi, Jen! I hope you don’t mind, but I brought some friends over.”
Harley stepped aside to reveal an ensemble of people.
“Your first-day welcome party!” She said.
There was food, drinks, anything a party could ever have. I was having fun, but something was off.
The cat that had winked at me earlier began to show up and vanish in the most random of places. It never seemed to be in one place for more than a few seconds but I saw it at least ten times. It was making my head spin. Why was this cat appearing everywhere I went and messing with my head?
I walked over to Harley.
“Have you seen that Black cat at all today? Or is it just me.” I asked her.
“Did it have green eyes?” she whisper screamed back at me.
Was she scared of black cats???
“...Yeah.” I whispered back.
“Oh crap.” she groaned. “You’ve been chosen.”
“Chosen? What are you talking about?”
She ushered me into a closet.
And then she took off her wig.
Underneath was just a normal head of black hair.
“Uh… what do you need?” I asked.
“I have black hair.” she sighed. “It used to be blonde.”
“Okay… hair changes…” I replied to her strange comment.
She shook her head.
“You’ll figure out soon enough,” she said before putting the wig back on and heading back out to the party.
“Wait! What are you talking about!?” a called after her.
Are the people in this town just really superstitious of black cats or something? I wondered.
I realized that I was still in the closet.
And I evidentley had a little friend here with me.
“I’m not scared of cats,” I said reaching my hand out to pet the furry beast who was sitting in the corner of the dark closet, green eyes shining like headlights.
“You probably just want some food.”
The cat’s fur was soft, silky even. I closed my eyes.
And when I opened them, I stood face to face with…
“Thanks,” I whispered to me.
Then I left the closet, yet I was still here.
“What?” I tried to say, but instead, it sounded like, “mew”
I looked down to find fur.
I scurried out of the closet and mewed at everyone in the party.
“Help!” I tried to say. “I’m a cat.”
The moment they saw me, the party screamed and ran out of the building…
Harley looked at me with sad, knowing eyes before she joined the others.
And then I kicked me out.
Except it wasn’t me,
I had red hair, and this Jen’s hair was black.