We were having a good time, a great time even. Eating snacks and hanging out with my brothers and favorite cousin, life couldn’t be better…until she starts talking about our aunts and calling one fat. I knew how it felt to be called fat and told her that was wrong. She suddenly got all defensive and my grandpa came out.
“Why are you guys arguing?” He asks. “She called Aunt Kelly fat” my cousin answers. I was in complete shock since we all know it was actually her who said it. My brothers took her side and I was in disbelief.
My grandpa was furious. He grabbed me and dragged me outside screaming, as I was terrified, crying. “I DIDN’T SAY IT! I DIDN’T SAY IT! I DIDN’T SAY IT, SHE DID!” I screamed. But he did not believe me. So many emotions and thoughts running through my head, I couldn’t believe what had just happened.
“HERE, I’M FEEDING YOU TO THE PIGS,” he screamed while throwing me outside into the backyard. A part of me knew there weren’t pigs but my mind went blank and I couldn’t think straight. I was scared for my life but I just kept screaming, crying, and kicking for him to let me go. He then carried me like a sack of rice to the garage and locked me out there.
Still screaming and crying, I became enraged. I’ve never felt so betrayed in my life. Why would my brothers take her side knowing that she was wrong? I hated being blamed for things I didn’t do. This was so unfair, but there was nothing I could do.
“LUB-DUB, LUB-DUB, LUB-DUB”
Closer, closer, closer. I was being followed, watched from a distance, but why?
“Why are you looking at me like that?” I asked. His face grew red and I watched the sweat drip from his forehead. I’ve never seen him this nervous. Was there something wrong? Is it something about me? Did I do something wrong? My mind jumped to all sorts of conclusions. There was a long period of silence just waiting for a response…
“Umm…I wanted to tell you something,” he said. It got hot, my face felt like a fire. I knew what he was about to say. This is not the time. Please don’t say what I think you’re about to say. And then he said it.
“I have a crush on you.”
We stood in silence. I was too stunned to speak. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings but I didn’t know how to approach this either.
“I’m really sorry but I see you as a friend and nothing more,” I said. Our families are very close, and I really didn’t want to mess that up. I walked away awkwardly and avoided any contact with him…or at least tried.
THE NOT SO SECRET ADMIRER
The flights and hotel rooms were booked, no turning back now. A family trip to Hawaii with my friend’s family who were practically my family. He was the cousin who wasn’t actually my cousin, but I called my cousin. We were that close. My brothers were extremely close with him, they invited him everywhere. For me, it felt like a forced friendship…and to make matters worse, I was told he had a crush on me. I decided to ignore it and try to have a great time on this trip.
The plane landed and we were on our way to the hotel room. It was dark, the stars twinkled like diamonds in the sky. The soft ocean breeze from the beach nearby, nothing could ruin this moment for me…and then he approached me. I walked faster to my dad, but not too fast to the point where it’d be suspicious.
The next morning we explored the island, going to all sorts of tourist attractions. I avoided him as much as possible but he kept following me around. I couldn’t stand it, why can’t he just leave me alone and let me enjoy this vacation in peace? Pictures, Walking, Eating, Swimming. He was always right next to me. I clung to my mom like a panda on bamboo trying to scare him away.
As frustrating as it was, I held it in. I didn’t have the heart to tell him to go away. I didn’t want to be the one to ruin the trip. It’s okay, I’m okay, everything is okay, I kept telling myself. I spent half of the trip running away from him.
MISSING: BRAIN CELLS
Learning new things every day, I found out that salt makes ice colder. This was a groundbreaking discovery and I was determined to test it out. Without thinking I gather the ingredients and materials: Sunny-D, salt, ice, a chopstick to mix, and my big pink water bottle.
I start mixing the ice and salt first, and I put extra salt thinking it would make my drink extra cold. My brain cells have completely run away, and I don’t stop for even a second to think. I see the fog from the ice and feel the cold cold ice on my finger as I reach in and touch it. It’s as cold as the North Pole and I jump for joy.
Time to pour in the Sunny-D. I squirt three bottles of Sunny D into the water bottle and give it a nice stir with my chopstick. It’s done.
“GUYS COME TRY MY REALLY COLD SUNNY-D!” My brothers rushed in, eager to try this “new” Sunny-D. I pour some into cups. One for each of us.
“3…2…1…CHEERS,” and we go in for a sip. It’s salty. Immediately we’re all over the sink like slobbering dogs trying to rinse our mouths.
“What did you put in this thing? Salt?” my brothers asked with concern.
“Umm yea,” I reply. What a fool, what was I thinking? Salt in Sunny-D. Not for one second did I think it would be salty. My brothers have no hope left for me, they think I’ve gone insane, which isn’t wrong.
We all start to laugh and I don’t feel as embarrassed.
“Maybe next time, think,” they said. Yea maybe next time.
MY NEIGHBOR IS SANTA CLAUS
My parents never really gave presents on Christmas, we had a small Christmas tree but never did the traditional Christmas activities. They’d give us each 1 small present which I was really excited and grateful for. I’d never complain, but I wanted to have many big presents like all the other kids. It felt like Santa didn’t like me as much, but I brushed it off and moved on.
DING DONG The bell rang and I rushed to the door. My dad comes with many presents. I was confused. Where did these come from?
“Santa dropped these off for you guys,” my dad finally said. I ran out the door hoping to see Santa and his reindeers were still there, but there was no one in sight…besides my next-door neighbor.
Was he Santa Claus? He didn’t look like the Santa Claus they describe in books. I didn’t know for sure but screamed “THANK YOU,” and he said, “you’re welcome.” So he is Santa Claus. My neighbor is Santa Claus.
I run back inside and ask my dad, is our neighbor Santa Claus? He whispered, “yes but don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret.” And from then on, I truly did believe my neighbor was Santa Claus. My dad confirmed it, when has he ever been wrong? I didn’t care how many presents I received, the best present of all was just knowing Santa Claus and better yet, living next to him.