The First Meet: Cross and Catherine Outtake ~ #FreeRead
It's Friday, so that means outtake/free read day! Today is an outtake from Always era from the Cross + Catherine series, titled The First Meet. It says Always era, but it's way before that, actually. Their first ever meet in their POV.
So, I do hope you enjoy.
And if you missed the outtake LAST week, or any other outtake I have posted for this series, you can find all of them HERE on my website to download in MOBI, EPUB, or PDF. Whichever you prefer to use.
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*Copyright 2018 to Bethany-Kris. All Rights Reserved.
The First Meet
Before Always Era
Almost five-year-old Catherine tried again to run up the slide. The same way her older brother and cousin had done it just a minute before. She didn’t know if it was because she was too small, or there was too much snow, but she couldn’t make it. All over again, she fell down the slide and into the snow at the bottom.
Catherine huffed. Her breath colored the cold air white. “This is stupid.”
“Is not just ‘cause you can’t do it,” Andino said.
“You can just use the ladder, Catherine,” her brother, Michel, said.
“I don’t want to use the ladder. I want to go up the slide!”
Michel rolled his eyes. Andino just ignored Catherine altogether. She was far smaller than both of them, and this wasn’t fun at all.
Catherine sat down on her backside. The cold snow covered the ground, and seeped through her thick, pink snow pants. The only good thing about this stupid day was that Christmas was almost here.
She loved Christmas.
“Are you gonna come up and play, or what?” Michel asked.
Catherine turned her back to her brother, and refused to answer. She even crossed her arms over her chest. Something her mom would have said made her look like a brat.
Well, her mom wasn’t there.
And Catherine wanted to be a brat.
“Fine, be like that, Catherine,” Michel said from up on the playground equipment.
She still didn’t turn around or unfold her arms. It usually got her what she wanted. Eventually, someone would fold and give her what she wanted.
It always happened.
“Ah, just leave her alone, Michel,” Andino said. “We can play alone, anyway.”
Her cousin was mean.
“Yeah, I guess,” Michel said. “She can just use the stupid ladder. It’s right there.”
“Who cares?” Andino asked. “We’re up here, so let’s make a fort with the snow.”
Catherine stayed right where she was, and refused to budge even an inch. She knew it wasn’t really her brother’s or cousin’s fault that she couldn’t get up the slide like they could.
She was still mad that they could do it, and she couldn’t.
Sometimes, Catherine hated being so little. It made everything harder for her to do. Everyone else around her was taller, and faster. She could never keep up.
Sniffling, Catherine pushed up from the cold ground. Her boots crunched on the snow as she headed away from the playground. She could see her Uncle Giovanni sitting on a bench beside a man she didn’t know. Her uncle had been the one to bring them to the park, but now, she didn’t want to play at all.
She just wanted to go home.
It was only when Catherine got closer to her uncle and the unknown man that something else caught her eye. Or … someone else.
A boy—sitting all alone on a bench nearby. He had no one sitting with him, and there were no other kids playing except her brother and cousin. The boy was probably not as old as her brother—not tall enough, she thought. He had to be older than her, though. Maybe he was the same age as Andino.
Even though the black-haired boy sat all alone and didn’t play, he didn’t seem like he really minded all that much. He looked fine by himself. She also thought he kind of looked like the man sitting next to her uncle. Maybe the man was his dad.
Catherine wondered what that felt like—to be happy all by yourself with no one else around. She thought that kind of seemed lonely. She didn’t like to feel lonely.
She didn’t want the boy to be alone, either, even if he didn’t look all that lonely.
Catherine changed directions and headed for the unknown boy, instead of going to her uncle to tattle. She was almost standing right in front of the boy before he even noticed she was there. He had brown eyes, and a nice smile. He didn’t say a thing to her as she climbed up to sit beside him on the bench.
“Hi,” she said eventually.
She gave him a look.
“You’re supposed to tell me your name,” she said.
“Because it’s polite.”
“What do you know about being polite?”
“My daddy says it.”
“But you don’t know what it means, huh?”
“Kind of,” Catherine said, “but a little bit no, too. He only tells me that when I meet new people, anyway. You’re new people. It’s polite, so what’s your name?”
“Hard to argue with that.”
“Nothing.” The boy laughed. “My name is Cross.”
Catherine smiled widely.
She liked his name.
It was different, like him.