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The Person I Have Become

By @Krystalyn_Fountain

Six

Falling. Falling. I’m falling, everything is dark. I can’t see. I feel paralyzed and I’m still falling. Then suddenly I’m not. I bolt upright, terror speeding up my breathing. It’s dark, I don’t remember where I am. Oh gods, Zoom’s still got me. No…

“Kathy!” I jump at the voice, not registering what it was saying. “Kathy. It’s alright.” I feel something on my shoulder, probably a hand, “You’re alright.”

“Ray?” My voice is shaking, then I finally realize I still have my eyes closed. I open them, blinking at the lights in the room, then turn to my foster mother. Every movement hurts, but I throw my arms around her. “Ray!”

“It’s alright, you’re safe,” she sits on the edge of the bed I’m on and holds me. I’m crying, though if asked, I probably couldn’t tell you why.

I feel something jump onto my legs and I laugh.

“Oh Scotchy!” I shift so I can pull the cat into the embrace.

“I think Butterscotch was more worried about you than I was,” Raina says after I stop crying, “And that’s saying something.”

“I knew you cared about me, you big oaf!” I pick Butterscotch up and hug her to my chest, “Did you think we wouldn’t notice?” Then I look around, “How did I get to my bedroom?”

“Barry Allen brought you here. He said that you just needed to rest. Though he did ask, if you were feeling up to it, to go back to Star Labs later today.”

I snod, standing up to stretch. Glancing at my reflection, I groan, it’s going to take five barrels of shampoo to get this dirt out. I turn back to Ray, whose expression has suddenly gone serious.

“What’s wrong, Ray?” I ask, “I’m home now.”

“I know,” she looks at me for a few moments, setting me on edge. Then, “Kathrin, there is something I need to tell you.”

“Alright…” She almost never calls me by my full name.

“It’s about your family, or I should say, your real family.”

“What do you mean, Ray? You are my family.”

“In the loosest sense of the word, yes. But I’m only your foster mother, not your true adopted mother.”

“I thought that was the same thing.”

“Not quite,” she looks down at her hands, “Kathrin, I’ve been taking care of you for a close friend of mine. Her name was Nora Allen. She was killed the year she and her husband, Henry Allen, adopted you. Henry was wrongly put in jail, leaving you and their biological son to be taken care of by others.”

“‘Biological son’?”

“You’ve meet him.”

“You mean Barry?”

“Yes,” she goes on, “When I went to visit him, Henry half-begged me to take care of you. I have been for the last fifteen years, and it’s been some of the best years of my life. Henry called me a few weeks ago, hoping to come and see you, but I told him he had to wait until I told you. I was afraid, though. Afraid that I would lose you, but I knew that after everything that has happened, I had to tell you the truth.”

I stare at Raina, the woman who I would trust with anything. How could she keep this from me?

“Why?” I choke out, anger making it hard to talk, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t want to upset you.”

“‘Upset me’? You didn’t want to upset me? I can’t believe you! I trust you with everything, and you repay the favor by hiding this from me?!”

“Look, Kathy…” she steps around the bed, going to try to comfort me.

“Leave me alone!” I dart out of the room. Out of the house. I pause long enough to grab my bike and helmet, then peddle as fast as I can. I don’t know where I’m going, I just have to leave.

I pause at an intersection, pulling my backpack off my handlebars, slipping it onto my back. I decide that I’m going to get some coffee. I set off towards Jitters. Looking up, I see, that Barry is there. Does he know?

I get across, securing my bike to the rack, then step inside.

“Hey, Barry,” I say as I step in line behind him behind him.

“What?” He spins around, then smiles, “Hey, Kathrin. How are you feeling?” It seems like such a normal question, but there is so much behind it.

“I’m okay now that I’m home. How’s Jesse?” What I really want to ask, ‘Did you know that I’m your adopted sister?’ but I wouldn’t dare.

“She’s adapting, but it’s hard.”

“This is a hard life,” I try to sound airy about it, but it comes out stronger than I meant.

“Yeah,” Barry’s eyes trail over my shoulder, waving. “Hey, Dad!” Dad? I turn around.

“Hey, Slugger,” A man replies. He looks like an older version of Barry. “Who’s your friend?”

“Oh!” Barry smiles, “This is Kathrin Allen. Kat, this is my dad, Henry Allen.”

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Allen,” I take his outstretched hand, but I’m feeling a little awkward. Ray’s words run through my head, ‘Henry half begged me to take care of you.’

“Oh, just call me Henry,” his gentle smile calms me a little, “You’re Raina Thompson’s foster daughter, aren’t you?”

“I am.” Speaking of Ray, my phone starts going off, “Well speak of the devil. I’ve got to answer this. Hold my space?”

“Sure thing,” Barry replies.

I step out and pull out my phone.

“Hey, Ray.”

“Kathy…”

“Ray, it’s okay. I’m sorry I ran out on you, but I was overwhelmed.”

“I understand, sweetie.”

“I’m at Jitters, You want anything” I look over my shoulder, hearing footsteps behind me. It’s Henry. “Oh, Henry’s here.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah.”

“Well tell him I said ‘hello’, will ya?”

“Sure thing,” I turn to him, “Raina said, ‘hello’. “

“I meant after you got off the phone, duffus.”

“Well tell her I said hello, too,” Henry smiles.

“He said hello too.”

“Thanks, Kathy. See you later”

‘Yep. If Barry still wants me to, I’ll probably go to Star Labs, then come home.”

“Alright. See you then,” she hangs up.

I look at Henry as I shove my phone in my pocket, trying to figure out what to say. He helps me.

“Did Raina tell you?”

“Yeah,” it didn’t take genius to figure out what he meant. “Does Barry know?”

“Not yet. I’m going to talk to him soon,” He looks me over, “Are you mad?”

“I was at first, but not now.”

“Good,” he smiles, “Wouldn’t want you being mad. From what I’ve heard, you’re pretty powerful.

“Oh,” I feel a blush rising to my check, “I don’t know.”

“So Barry calls you Kat, huh?”

“I think everyone at Star Labs does.”

“It suits you, but you look more like a kitten to me,” he jokes.

“Thanks,” I pause for a moment, “Can I call you Dad?”

“You can call me whatever you like, so long as it’s not Mr. Allen. It makes me feel old.”

“Alright. Dad,” I then throw myself at him, hugging him hard, than dart back into Jitters as his laughter echoes behind me.

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