*Since this story is already at 2661 words, I know it is going to be long. I decided to break it up into 2 or more parts. I will post each part on Saturday.*
The early morning sun was just starting to peak in through the bedroom window as Katie lies in her bed. The alarm starts buzzing lowly as it begins its ascension to loud. It is only 6 a.m. but Katie has school on this fine autumn day in August. School started only 2 weeks ago and she already was behind on her homework. This year was harder than last year. Katie is now a junior in high school with her first real job at Burger Hut. She just got her license this past summer when she finally turned 16. Katie got a job right away so she could save for her first car. She is so excited about this. She writes in her blog daily telling the whole world about her trials and tribulations as a working teenager going to school trying to get her first car.
Katie hits the snooze button and rolls out of bed, stretches, and grabs her journal. She checks her schedule for the day.
“Wonderful.” She says to herself.
Her schedule for the day is long. As Katie looks at the pages she notices her day has school from 7:30 to 2:20, then cheer practice from 2:30 to 4:30, Burger Hut from 3:30 to 8:30, babysitting for the Miller’s from 9 to midnight.
Katie lets out a big sigh.
And that doesn’t cover homework time or when she will be able to take a shower before getting up for school tomorrow. It also means listening to her coach berate her for missing an hour of practice before Saturdays game.
Katie gets up as the alarm starts the loud buzzing again. 6:05 a.m. She pushes the snooze button again and heads to the bathroom. She does a quick 5 minutes in the shower wishing she could sit in it longer. She gets out and towels off, grabs the blow dryer to dry her hair. It dries quickly. She brushes her teeth as the alarm buzzes yet again. 6:15 a.m. She throws on make up as fast as she can and then grabs her clothes for the day putting them on as fast as she can. She runs downstairs and grabs a bowl of cereal to eat fast. She looks at the kitchen clock 6:20 a.m. The bus is at her stop by 6:30. She eats her food by 6:25 and grabs her backpack. Katie gets to the bus stop at 6:29. Now to start the half hour bus ride to the school, Katie gets on her bus and heads to the back seats.
She pulls out her math book, half an hour to get this homework done. Every day she does this. She needs a day off just to catch up on homework. No one told her it was going to be this hard to work at Burger Hut part time and go to school full time.
As she does her math homework, she day dreams about what kind of car she will buy with the money she is saving up. Her dad warned her to find one that won’t cost her an arm and a leg to insure.
“Buy a car outright by saving all your money now.” He told her. “That way it is yours. Don’t make payments to anyone for a car. Save up every penny. Then save up everything to buy a house. You will be thankful you did.”
That is what her dad did. He joined the military at 18. They were giving anyone who signed up a $20,000 enrollment bonus. He put that in the bank and saved what he could of his military checks. He lived in the barracks and ate in the mess hall. When he got out, he had $50,000 to spend on a house. He married her mom and bought the house as soon as he got out. Then he got into construction. He has sacked away a cool amount of money now, but his daughter still has to earn her own. Daddy figures if he could do it, so could each of his children.
The bus stops. Katie gets off and heads to her locker. Only 7:00 a.m. She grabs her English book and notebook. She has to work on her essay. She heads to the cafeteria with her books. Time to get this one started. Her rough draft is due today and she only has a few pages to show for it. Her first class is math and isn’t far from the cafeteria. She doesn’t even realize time has flown until the first bell startles her. She has ten pages done now for English. This should be a good start. She grabs her books and heads down the hall.
Katie heads to her math class and sits down.
“Good morning class.” says Mr. Johnson. “As always we shall start our day off with a quiz. Got to keep you all practicing for that test we have coming up.”
Katie hates math. She is good at it, but hates it. It bores her to spend a whole hour in a class going over something she can figure out from the book itself. She whittled away the time by doodling while taking a few notes of what could be on the test. Mr. Johnson always double underlined without realizing important information that was always on his tests. Finally 8:20 came around, and the bell rang.
Katie walked down to the gym area. This is her next class.
“Today, we are going to watch a health video on nutrition, have a nutrition quiz, and start some acrobatic gymnastics. You will need to remember the terms and the health information for your upcoming test in this class.” Mrs. Owinga states.
“Wonderful.” Katie said softly under her breath.
Between the video and the quiz, they only had 15 minutes to learn one acrobatic gymnastic routine before they were sent to the shower. Katie had just gotten her last shoe tied when the bell rang at 9:20. She grabbed her books and ran to her locker quick. She shoved everything into the locker and grabbed her flute with her folder of music. She ran all the way to the band room. This was her favorite class and easiest A.
10:20 time for lunch. Katie walks back to her locker and takes out two books and notebooks for her last two classes of the day. She has study hall right after lunch so she can use that time to do research for her English essay and finish up her essay on plants for science class. She needs to use these two hours wisely so she can have this done. She is so behind on homework and more just gets piled on. Burger Hut doesn’t seem to care that she needs time for school.
12:20 and now Katie is off to her English class with 15 pages of her essay done. She breathed a sigh of relief knowing she got her pages in that were due for today. They have had 2 weeks to get this much done of the rough draft. She has to hand in her 15 pages plus research material.
“How is everyone today?” asks Mrs. Dieter. “Were you able to get all your research material and first 15 pages written?”
The class mumbles. Katie is elated she was able to. Her mom was so right in telling her to take a study hall.
“You are going to thank me later this year for telling you to take this class. With your job and all your after school activities, this class will help you keep your grade point average up.”
Mom was so right. And Katie was even more grateful that it was right after lunch. That meant she could get more done when she got into a problem like this one. She hates Burger Hut for not allowing her time for her life. They always want her there even on the weekends. She has to beg to get the time off for the games she needs to cheer in. Cheerleading is what will get her scholarships for college.
The bell rings promptly at 1:20. Katie looks up exhausted but so relieved. Her day is just about done. One last class, science, and then she is off to cheer practice. She walks down two hallways to get to her last class. The day is almost complete.
“Hello Mr. Clemens.” Says the class
“If you could, please, hand in your drafts for your essays, and then we will get started on a review of this chapter. I will give you all pointers on what to study for the test. Remember, you can ask questions if you are unclear about anything. I want you confident and ready for this test. Then if there is time, we will start our next chapter.”
The bell rang before Katie even knew it. Finally 2:20 p.m. has come. Time to get everything ready and in her backpack. Then down to the locker room to change for cheer practice, and onto the field to practice for Saturday’s game.
Katie left cheerleading practice early since her boss at Burger Hut wouldn’t let her be late. She had to hear Mrs. Owinga lecture her once more about the importance of being here for the entire practice. There really wasn’t much Katie could do. She needed a job and Burger Hut was the only place that would hire someone of her age. All the other places she applied for told her, she was too young to work.
Katie walked out to the parking lot. She hated leaving early and wished she could do something to get her manager to listen to her. She looked around for her mom. She really needed this job for that car. Then she could get where she wanted to without begging for transportation. She finally found her mom and hurriedly got into the car.
“When do you need me to pick you up?”
“8:30 is the end of my shift. I need to be to the Miller’s by 9”
“Alright. Your dad told me he will pick you up after your shift. I have to take your sister to dance class and pick up your brother from karate. I will be on the other side of town. Do you have your cell phone?”
“Yes mom, I do.”
Katie got out of the car and walked into Burger Hut. She has five minutes to change her clothes and clock into work. She puts her things in a locker in the employee room and heads to the employee bathroom to change. She changes quickly and then puts her street clothes in her locker. At the time clock she has one minute before logging in.
Burger Hut is a hard demanding job. It is running around to gather food and taking orders for customers then out to the lobby to clean or to the bathrooms. You don’t ever stand still or sit down. You are on the go constantly. When Katie’s shift is done, she is grateful. She drags her feet to the locker to change out of her uniform. She puts her uniform back into the locker, grabs her things, and walks out the door. Her dad is sitting in the parking lot waiting for her.
“How was your shift?” he asks.
Katie grunts like a bear. Her dad laughs.
“That bad huh?” he says to her with a smile.
“The whole day has been bad.”
Katie talks to her dad for the whole drive to the Miller’s. She unloads on him about her whole day. Her dad just listens. When he pulls up to the Miller’s, he says to Katie, “Honey. I know it all seems hard, but you are doing a great job and soon you will have a wonderful car. Don’t forget that.”
“I know daddy.” She says. “I love you.”
“I love you more.” He tells her.
“I am done at midnight.”
“Ok. Either your mom or I will be here to get you.”
Katie leaves the car and walks up to the Miller’s house, rings the doorbell, and waits. Mr. Miller opens the front door.
“Great you are here and a little early. That is what I like about you.”
“Hello to you as well, Mr. Miller.”
“My wife will be right down with the usual instructions for you.”
Mr. and Mrs. Miller left after giving Katie her instructions. Their children were already in bed since they have school in the morning. Katie decides to watch some television and work on her essays. She turns on the TV and keeps the volume low. She picks up her English book and starts looking at how this essay is supposed to look. That is when her cell phone buzzes. Katie picks it up and looks at it.
The cell phone says, “PRIVATE CALLER”
“That’s odd.” Katie thinks. “Who is calling me?”
She decides to answer.
“Hello beautiful,” whispers the stranger on the other end. “I see you are finally at the Miller’s. I like that movie as well. I love the way your breasts protrude out of your red t-shirt.”
Katie turns white as a ghost. She hurriedly hangs up the phone.
The Miller’s phone next rings. Katie is hesitant to pick it up. She walks slowly over to it and looks down. He says, “PATRICK WAGNER”. She knows this is Mr. Miller’s boss so she picks up the phone.
“Hi. Is Ben or Judy there?”
“No. They just left about 10 minutes ago.”
“Oh, good. They should be here shortly then. I was getting worried. He has to make a presentation tonight. Thank you.”
Katie hangs up the phone. She tries to put out the crazy call from before out of her mind. She walks to the kitchen and looks inside the fridge. Nothing really appeals to her. Then she looks on the counter. There is a pizza still sitting there. She takes a couple of pieces and puts them in the microwave. She goes back to the fridge and grabs a Wild Cherry Pepsi.
She sits down at the couch again. She pulls out her tablet and clicks the keyboard on. She looks at her rough draft for her English essay and then at her textbook. She starts to make the changes on it. Her tab is open for her browser and she hears a ding. She looks at her SocialCard page. It is her friend Danielle. She is grateful for the distraction.
“I am working on my essay.” Katie writes.
“Oh. Me too.” Types Dani.
Then the phone buzzes. Katie picks it up. It says, “UNKNOWN” on it.
Katie answers the phone.
“I see you like the pizza I sent over to the Miller’s tonight. Their children thought it was amazing too. I even sent the case of Wild Cherry because I know how much you like it. “
Katie hangs up quickly and starts typing to Dani.
“I have a second weird call tonight. A guy whispers about stuff like he can see what I am doing. He knows I am eating pizza and drinking WCP.”
“How can he?” Dani types back. “It isn’t like he can see you. Unless he is parked outside the house”
Katie starts to wonder if Dani is correct. She looks at the windows. Mrs. Miller has them closed in the living room. She looks in the kitchen. Mrs. Miller has thin curtains in there which have space between them to see into the kitchen. Katie walks to the front door, turns on the porch light, and opens it. She walks outside and looks up and down the street. The Millers have a small hedge of bushes at the front of their walk with a gate between them. The street lights show the street well enough. She doesn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. She shakes her head and goes back into the house. She locks the front door.