Eventually the Road-80 traffic started moving again, but it took so long there was no way I’d be on time for Kat Reality. The Goddess of Faith gave me some more IAB! when she said goodbye, but it wasn’t long after she’d flown high into the sky toward the sun that Kat called and it all wore off. I didn’t even answer. I just started making Wings go as fast as it could, even tho it was against the law. I even sped right past a sign that said “The Wilderness, PA,” even tho I knew the right Traveler thing to do was Sidetrack into BigFoot’s hometown. I felt like every second counted, and there was just no way.
When I finally got to Kat’s parents’ house it was way after dinnertime. I stayed in her driveway for an extra second to prepare myself. I knew I couldn’t forget a Grounding Device like the last Past Reality, so I tried staring at my Bluebird Sticker long enough for it to stick on the inside of my brain. Then I sighed and grabbed The Mix and put another old delivery sticker on that and wrote…
I crossed my fingers and got outta the car.
When I got to the door Kat was already standing there in a sparkly gold dress and makeup, which she rarely wore. She was frowning at me.
“You’re really late,” she said.
“It’s alright, Kat,” I said. “There was construction on Road-80 and they stupidly closed every lane except one and you hadta wait for a guy with a stop sign to tell you you could go…”
But before I could finish she pounced on me with a big hug.
“Oh, I don’t care,” she said. “I’m just glad you got here safe!”
“Of course, now give Your Son a hug.”
Your Son was the kitten we’d had together. He was right at her side, but when I went down to squeeze him he squirmed out of my arms and ran away. It made me remember cats only Love you when they want to.
“Aw,” Kat said. “He’s just shy today.”
She was looking at me totally like the LoveKat, the thing she was before she became the HateKat. I figured there must’ve been some kinda TimeWarp at play for her.
“Are you hungry?” she asked.
“Very,” I said.
“Well, it’s too late to go to The Golden Lion, but there’s lots of food here. I can make you something.”
Kat was very good at the kitchen and knew how to make almost everything on The Great List of Food.
“What do you want?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“You had your mind set on General Tso’s Chicken, and now you can’t think of anything else, right?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what’s happening.”
“I know you.”
Then she smiled and gave me another hug.
“I can think of something else you like,” she said.
“You’re right, I do like those!”
“With the apples in the batter instead of that gross apple syrup on top like at the diner.”
“Yes, I like it that way!”
Then she went into the kitchen and started working on it. She gave me a package of fudge grams to snack on while I waited. And then she did all her mixing and griddling and things in her cute outfit, and I hadta keep coming up from behind and squeezing her.
“Haha, stop,” she said. “I’m doing things.”
“But when you’re doing things is when I like to squeeze you the most!” I said and squeezed her again hard.
When she was almost ready she told me to set the table with plates and silverware and maple syrup. Soon she came out with a big platter full of fat apple pancakes, and she scooped them onto my plate, and I covered them in the syrup.
“Oh, I almost forgot something,” she said.
Then she left and came back in a second with a cold can of Dr. Pepper.
“Alright!” I said.
Then I ate the pancakes and washed them down with Dr. Pepper.
“Do you like it?” she said.
“I love it all!” I said.
We smiled at each other as we ate. The TimeWarp was strong and I wondered if we’d even have Love again. I remembered everything was perfect when we were at her parents’ house. It was only when we lived together at Our Own Place that things started going bad.