We were in our own backyard. It took about less than 30 seconds to arrive at our campsite. There we set up a tent right before the sun started to set. We didn’t start a fire and grill our own food. We went into the kitchen and made seafood ramen. We warmed our bodies as we drank the soup and the sky became a deep purple with bright white freckles. Eyes the color of rust.
Camping was always fun for me and my family. The junk food was brought by everyone because nobody really trusted their cooking over an open fire, eating too much junk food and throwing up, telling stories by the campfire, being entranced by the stars. This was different. It wasn’t during the summer like it always was, we didn’t have to drive 3 hours from home to a good spot, we weren’t in the woods.
Who is eating chips? I feel a drop of water fall onto my face. Oh crap. My parents and I run inside. It is three in the morning and we can’t fall back asleep. Mom makes all three of us hot chocolate and we enjoy each other’s company.
A Dead Bird, That Isn’t a Bird
I closed my eyes and everything went black. I then woke up in a field. Where am I? I turn to the right and I see the biggest spider I’ve ever seen in my life. I scream for help but nobody is near. Running as fast as I can in the opposite direction of this creature. I turn my head, even when I try not to, and I notice that it’s not even chasing me. I still run away and try to hide. I hear a familiar bark. Birdie? No, that can’t be. He died. Am I dead? I fall into a hammock and a white mid-sized dog runs towards me. “Birdie?!” When I go to pet him, I fall backwards into a portal-like void and all I see are stripes of each color in the rainbow.
I woke up. What the heck does that dream mean?
Every day after school, I would see that black and brown Lexus in the same parking spot as I walk out the door with a grey-haired man. We would get in the car and be at home all within 4 minutes. I climbed to the front seat once we parked in front of the garage and exited out the passenger door instead of waiting for him to open my door for me. He was a mechanic, built a boat to escape Vietnam under dictatorship, and built his own water powered engine. Who would have thought that someone could create that from nothing. He had a birthday that most people could remember. September 16th. He is a big hero in my life and always will inspire me, even when he is not physically here. My grandpa, the most talented person I ever knew. March 9th was the day that changed my family’s life forever. The person all of us looked up to passed away in the ICU. Only a few days later, we had his funeral. Then, the entire country shut down. There is something that I will always keep with me. The 18 karat gold ring. I don’t know if he wanted it to go to me, but that is what my Grandmother thought he wanted. I will cherish this ring.
Living on Guava Circle was quiet and peaceful. All the kids went to the same school, we rode the bus together, we knew each other’s names. Most of the kids I knew would’ve expected Dana and me to grow old together and be best friends all our lives. I thought the same. That was until Dana met Kalynn and apparently forgot about my existence. This was the first major loss I had in my life, considering that I was only 12 years old. My mother had to wash my hair for me for the next 4 months. It wasn’t until middle school where I found what a real best friend is. Nina and I were each other’s other half. Not a time went by when we didn’t understand each other’s jokes, hated each other, or got mad at each other (for a long period of time anyway). This was the real feeling of friendship that was shown in the Disney shows where the main character and her best friend ruled the world. Except for the fact that both of us were the main characters. There is no “mystery” plot where “Jenny” can’t tell “Rebecca” that she is a government spy. There was no secret to be kept.
People who know me would not describe me as fearless. Spiders, clowns, men, rejection. There are plenty of things I am scared of, but I don’t show it—most of the time. I am afraid of most ocean creatures, but I still go out and surf every day. Although I am fearful, I don’t let that take over my life. I still do the things I love and want to do even with my phobias in the back of my mind. Fear doesn’t invoke unless I think about it too much. Happiness wins all. Being around good energy all the time creates happiness and dissolves fears. My parents, my best friend, my dog, and my favorite foods all bring good energy to me.