Rock Bottom Excerpt
Upstairs in the bedroom to which Kaitlin was now headed, Caterina was unknowingly adding additional fuel to her little sister’s fire as she danced away from her closet with yet another load of party dresses, miniskirts, and silky camisoles in her arms. “Let’s see,” she muttered to herself as she dropped the heap of garments onto her unmade bed. “Is there anything good in here?”
Swaying her hips in time to the beat of Fefe Dobson’s “Give It Up”, which was blasting from the stereo that sat on the bookcase, Caterina picked up a shiny cerulean-blue camisole top. After taking a moment to consider it, she shrugged and tossed it over her shoulder and onto Kaitlin’s bed. Then she preceded to do the same with a black leather miniskirt, a short pale blue spaghetti-strap dress that had tiny white and large light pink flowers printed on it, and a teal sequined camisole.
As the teal camisole sailed through the air, the door of the bedroom burst open, and Kaitlin stumbled in just in time to see the shirt land atop the mountain of clothes that had collected on top of her comforter over the last hour.
“Seriously?” demanded Kaitlin, her face contorting with anger and frustration as she glanced around the room, which was now such a mess that there was no longer any clear distinction between her side and Caterina’s side.
Upon hearing her sister’s voice, Caterina whirled around. “What?” she innocently asked when she spotted Kaitlin standing in the doorway with her hand tightly gripping the doorknob. “I’m just trying to find something to wear to the party that’s going to celebrate me and Johnny not being losers anymore.”
As Caterina turned back to her clothes, Kaitlin scowled. “Yeah,” she muttered as she let go of the doorknob and began to stalk over to her bed. “And trashing my side of the room in the process. Seriously, Cat. Are you ever going to stop being such a major slob?”
But to Kaitlin’s frustration, Caterina, who was now considering a short khaki strapless dress that had a dark purple, lavender, orange, white, and brown tropical print on it, just shook her head. “No,” she slowly replied. “Because I really don’t care if this room is messy or not.”
“Yeah, well, I do,” declared Kaitlin as she reached her bed, scooped up Caterina’s pile of clothes, and turned to hurl them back onto her sister’s side of the room.
“Hey!” exclaimed Caterina as the shirts, skirts, and dresses that she had tossed aside fluttered into the air and then rained down on top of the items that already cluttered the light pink carpet. “What are you doing? That was my pile of maybes!”
“Well, maybe,” challenged Kaitlin as she put her hands on her hips and whirled around to face Caterina, “you should put them somewhere else! Like in your closet where they actually belong!”
Tossing her tropical-print dress down on her bed, Caterina crossed her arms over the white three-quarter-sleeve cardigan, which had a gold clasp closure, that she was wearing over jeans and a white short-sleeve top that had the words “Bubble Gum Princess” written across the front in light pink letters that were printed above a picture of a big light pink gum bubble. “If you really care about it that much,” she growled as she narrowed her eyes at her sister, “then you do it.”
Crossing her own arms, Kaitlin stubbornly shook her head. “No,” she firmly declared. “Because I have way too much to do to be cleaning up your messes for you.”
As Kaitlin turned away from her and started to gather up the notebooks and textbooks that were scattered across her comforter, a knowing smirk formed on Caterina’s lips. “Like what?” she asked. “Your precious homework?”
Freezing in the middle of stuffing a couple of notebooks into her backpack, Kaitlin let out an agitated sigh. “Shut up, Cat,” she ordered in a low warning tone.
“Why?” Caterina innocently asked. “Because we all know it’s true, Kaitlin. All you ever do is sit around in this room doing homework. And you never have any fun because of it.”
Abruptly letting go of her backpack, Kaitlin whirled around to face her sister again. “Shut up!” she screamed at the top of her lungs. “You have no idea what my life is like! And you don’t care either!” Sniffling as tears sprang to her eyes for what felt like the hundredth time that day, she mournfully added, “Nobody around here does!”
As Kaitlin buried her face in her hands and began to sob, Caterina rolled her eyes to the ceiling and let out an impatient sigh. “Oh, great,” she muttered. “Here we go with the waterworks again. Seriously, Kaitlin, you are such a pathetic baby. You cry at everything, and now you’re throwing temper tantrums for no good reason. And you know what? I’m sick of it!”
Kicking piles of clothes, shoes, and cheerleading equipment out of the way with the toes of her white platform sneakers, Caterina stalked over to the white light-pink-trimmed dresser that stood to the left of their windows, pulled open the top drawer, and scooped out an armful of underclothes. After repeating the process with her shirt, pants, and pajama drawers and building up a mountain of clothes in her arms, she turned around to face Kaitlin, who had sunk down onto her bed, again.
“I’m moving in with Keri Ann and Jody,” Caterina announced as she looked at her little sister over the top of the heap of clothes in her arms. “And I’m not coming back until you grow up and stop crying every five seconds.”
Despite the fact that she had been wishing for Caterina to move out of their shared bedroom forever, Kaitlin felt another wave of betrayal wash over her as her sister began to make her way over to the door with articles of clothing dropping from her pile as she walked. Slowly, as a stronger bout of tears overcame her, she leaned to the left until her head was resting on her pillow. Then she curled up into the fetal position and sobbed even harder as yet another member of her family decided to abandon her instead of giving her the help and understanding that she so desperately needed.