Illustration by a City student. Earn CAS hours for your art at thecityvoice.org/contribute.
Typically, I wake up before my father. I dress in my brown leather clothes, eat breakfast, and head to the martial arts building for teaching — since I’ve learned and mastered everything before age 11. After teaching for the day, I go home and have supper with Father. Then we make a fire in the fireplace and exchange our days. But typically is not always. I have free weekends, which I am very grateful for. I get to sleep in, do anything I wish, go anywhere (within Town Q), and have fun. Three days before The Trials was one of the great days…
“Kenna!” I sat bolt upright, instantly alert and awake from Father’s shout. I glanced at my digital clock on my dresser beside my bed. 11:00 How did I sleep that long? “Kenna!!”
“I’m up!” I called, throwing off the sheets and swinging my legs off the bed. Yawning, I stretched and rubbed my eyes. I quickly slid off my bed and, after digging in my dresser drawers, dressed in my favourite bikini then cyan shorts and a teal button-up sweater. When I got downstairs, I walked to the kitchen and sat on one of two stools at the island.
“What kept you asleep?” Father asked, stirring some delicious smelling food in a big pot. I breathed in deeply, relishing it.
“I stayed up reading last night,” I answered sheepishly.
Behind me, three stairs led to the dining room and behind the table itself was a window in place of a wall. To my right, the side door. In front of me, a large island and beyond that, a counter. Left to right, fridge, open counter with cupboards above and below, sink with a currently open window above it, corner, stove with microwave above that, then a window in between the microwave and the side door. To my left was a hallway going from the main door to the living room. On the right of the living room is Father’s room and bathroom. Directly left in the hallway from where I’m sitting is the staircase up. At the top, you can see every room: the end straight forward is the bathroom, closest on the right is my room, next to that is the guest room, across from the guest room is the office (with the attic above it), and next to the office is a second living room.
“What’s for brunch?” I asked.
“Rat stew.” I recoiled immediately.
“Excuse me?” He burst out laughing.
“Just kidding; it’s a soup your mom came up with.”
“Really?” I was surprised as he nodded. “What’s it…what’s it called?”
“Kenna Soup,” he replied softly. Tears filled my vision before I rubbed them away.
“That’s sweet of her,” I managed out, my voice wavering a tiny bit.
“It was her favorite soup to make, you know.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“She made it while she was pregnant, saying she was going to teach it to you when you were old enough. That’s why she named it after you.” Father stopped stirring. “Stove.” The stove lit up blue. “Turn off.” The flames instantly went out and he served the soup.
“Now that we’re talking about her…what was she like?” I questioned quietly. Father brought our bowls to the island, placing one in front of me before putting the other one in front of him as he sat beside me.
“Well for one, her eyes were the green-blue of an ocean,” he began. “I could stare into them all day.” Taking a deep breath, he continued on. “She was kind, loving, and trusting. She always saw the best in people, like me. I was just an orphan when we met. She saved me from a street scuffle.” He gave a small smile and ruffled my blond hair. “Her hair was as soft and long as yours, just a little darker. She was tall, like you, and she was good with children — and animals. She was beautiful, sweet, and kind…” He trailed off, blurry-eyed.
“She sounds awesome.” Father blinked several times then lifted his spoon and dipped it in his bowl of soup.
“That she was, Kenna.” As he started to eat, he murmured, “And so much more.”