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IceCream at Tommy's Excerpt
When it went wrong
Everything was happy and sunny, I had a gorgeous boyfriend, a friend that loved me, a family that cared for me. My life was perfect. But life can't be laughs and smiles all the time.
It was at the end of the tenth grade when things got ugly. Miranda just stopped talking to me, don't know why, and probably never will. I won't tell you much about this now, so you can read the details when you know a little bit more about the time gap in between now and then. Since we are, after all, skipping one year of my lifetime.
Oh, lovely summer! How I love this time of the year. We get to rest, party, sleep, spend time with our friends and family, travel, and best of all, I used to get to go to my Grams’ house.
Of course, the whole going to my Grams’ house was when I was way younger, before she died, but still, summer left me some pretty cool and lovely memories of my times in her awesome house, with no worries and pure, golden love that came right from the deepest parts of my Grams soul.
What did I love so much about going to my Grams’ house, you must ask? It is pretty simple. Her house is far away from my house. It is a big, white beach house that is perfectly decorated, and it can simply be described by saying: it could be anyone's dream house. With white walls, furniture, and wooden floor painted white, big, but not too big, and an amazing view of the ocean. Now, you must think I am a hermit-like teenage girl that has no friends and does nothing for her life since I don’t go out with kids my age in summer, which is completely wrong… okay, okay, only the part of me not doing anything productive with my life in summer (or any other time). But I do have many friends. Yet still, I’d prefer my grams house over any of my friends anytime. Wouldn't think about it twice.
There are many things I love about going to my grandma’s house. She used to take me shopping, and buy me a lot of gifts, like clothes, makeup or candy that I liked with her money, so I had to spend none. We went for walks in the park or on the beach, along with many other activities that other people usually don't do with their grandma.
Now, this will probably sound very selfish, but the best thing about going to my grams house is that: there is no Auggie around. As simple as that. And yes, I know this sounds really rude, but it's the truth. When I went to her house, the only thing that mattered was my Grams and me. No one else. Auggie’s name barely appeared in our long and intimate conversations. Not worrying how people would react when we went places, like the movies or the park or even the house’s porch. Besides, in grandma’s house, I felt like the favorite. I was the favorite. I knew grams cared about me the most. I mattered to her and she demonstrated it to me. She let me know, not only with her actions, but with her words too.
Sunsets were our thing, you know? Every day. Our spot on the beach. Six o'clock in the afternoon. Grams. Me. Just waiting there, letting the sun sit on the horizon, watching it go to bed. Imagining how it might be starting to rise somewhere else, and how maybe, in this other place, a girl and her grams are waiting, watching the sunrise. This time was a sacred time, a special time, just for us. We always watched the sunset, and we never got tired of it, since it was always different. It could never be the same. Let it be because of the colors used, or the way they tangled and then slowly fused together, or the shapes the clouds made. Always so unique.
Now that my Grams is gone, I only have these memories to live with. I can't relive them, as much as I want to, but I can use them to remember how happy I can be. Thanks to her I know that I will always have an angel with me, that takes care of me and loves me. Of course, I was heartbroken when she passed away, and I am still sad about it, obviously, but I learned to live with it. To find my happiness in other places, since this taught me that you can’t depend on other people to be happy. You have to learn to be happy with yourself. And yes, I know that other people can technically make you happy, but the happiness they bring you is either momentary, or when they leave, the price to pay is harsh. They only leave you with pain and sorrow, and well obviously good memories, but sometimes these memories aren't enough to pay for what they did to leave.
The first day of the tenth grade
It was the first day of our second year in high school. Miranda slept over at my house. We went together to school, and luckily, we were in the same class, and, therefore, our schedule was the same. We sat together at first period, in our homeroom.
We had Mrs. Robinson for homeroom teacher. She seemed nice. Justin was also in our homeroom, so I was pretty happy and satisfied with the class. We were at the back of the class, I was sitting between both of them, and then Mrs. Robinson came in.
“Hi class, I'm Mrs. Robinson,” she said.
No one answered.
“Okay… so today we will only be doing a little activity so you know something about me, since I am hoping you already know a lot about each other,” she looked at Justin and me while she said this, “we will do this, I will pass out popsicle sticks and all of you will write your names on one side and your nickname on the other, both with your favorite color, then I’ll pick them up and put them in this little jar.”
As soon as she said this, I passed a pink marker to Miranda and a purple marker to Justin, I kept the other purple one, that was a little lighter than Justin’s. Mrs. Robinson passed around the popsicle sticks and we wrote our names.
Justin Bradford – Justin
Olivia Pullman – Oli
Miranda Clark – Randy
She collected them and put them in a jar. Then she talked to us about her and gave us more instructions.
“Okay so I am going to pick a random popsicle stick from the name-jar, and this person will have to tell us about themselves. For example, hi my name is Kaitlyn Robinson, I have two cats, I love animals and I’ve been working in this school for 7 years now. I like to go for a run and travel,” as she finished this, she took out a popsicle stick, “Justin?” she asked.
“That would be me,” Justin shyly said, almost in a whisper.
“Go ahead, tell us a little bit about you, Justin!”
“Okay, umm… my name is Justin Bradford, uh, I like to create Creole music. I am part of a zydeco band and have a fiddle. Um, I spend a lot of time with my friends and Oli, and I like to participate in musicals.”
He said this starting with the same tone he first used when he spoke, a frightened, insecure tone. But when he said he spent a lot of his time with me, he changed. He was speaking louder then like he was proud.
“Okay, very well, Justin,” she took out another popsicle stick, “Mark Oxford?”
A tall, handsome guy stood up. He had brown hair and deep, dark brown eyes with a pair of thick eyebrows, along with thin delicate lips.
“Hey, my name is Mark Oxford, I like to dance and play soccer, I belong to the school’s soccer team. Oh, also the volleyball team! I really like motorcycles and riding my bike. And, yeah that's about it.” He was confident and excited, but not too excited, and, definitely not bragging.
“Really nice!” said Mrs. Robinson, “Miranda Clark, where are you?”
Miranda stood up.
“Hiiii,” she said.
Her hair was flawless, beyond compare, as always, and no longer pink.
“Sooo I really enjoy going out with my friends and especially my best friend, Oli,” she looked at me and smiled, I smiled back. “I also like to practice with the cheerleader team of the school, and school plays.”
I noticed how all the boys, except for Justin, were looking at her boobs.
“And yeah, I am always open to meeting new people and having new friends, so don’t be afraid to come and talk to me!” she sat down and the boys started to whisper with each other.
“Perfect, Randy, right?” asked Mrs. Robinson.
“That would be correct,” said Miranda.
A couple of kids passed when it was finally my turn. “Olivia Pullman, please stand up!” Mrs. Robinson said.
“Hello, everyone, my name is Olivia Pullman, but you can call me Oli.”
As I was saying this I noticed how two of the boys in the class were paying way too much attention. It was Mark and the only boy that had not presented himself yet. He was blond and had beautiful green eyes.
“I like to participate in musicals and spend time with my friends and family, I guess. Most of the time I am with Justin or randy, or both.”
As soon as I finished, I sat down.
“Okay great, these only leaves Ian Rosselli,” Mrs. Robinson concluded.
“Hey, my name is Ian Rosselli, uh like Mrs. Robinson just said,” he giggled. “I like to paint and spend time with animals. I do horseback riding and I am a volunteer at an animal shelter and veterinary.” Ian said, he was kind of shy but seemed really nice and sweet. He seemed so familiar, I just couldn't figure out why or where I had seen him before.
After two long periods, it was finally break. As usual, I hung out with Justin and Randy, they were acting really weird. Did Not talk unless I said something to put conversation. They didn't talk much at all, so we just ate. I had an apple. A red apple.
Mark was across the hallway looking at us.
The ride home
I took off walking towards the metro station when I saw Ian walking in the same direction. It was kind of weird, since I didn't see him that morning on the ride. We got to the station at the same time and were awkwardly standing there, waiting for the train to come. We exchanged glances a couple of times but didn't say a word.
It was a rustic station, smelled damp and moldy, but it was a really particular smell. It was just like the parking basement of my old building, the one I lived in when I was four years old (Auggie was not in the picture yet). A small apartment in Fifth Avenue, rugged floor, of a deep, grey color; the furniture was pure white, as well as the walls. And regardless of the noise of traffic outside, people walking on the streets, on the park, and of ambulances, it was cozy. We had no issues, everything was perfect, no problems present.
Anyway, my subway was five minutes late, I jumped in, and Ian followed me with his eyes, then, jumped in after me. I was really confused by then, I just could not figure out where I had seen him before, because it was definitely not around the neighborhood.
He sat next to me on the train but did not say a word, until the subway got to my destined station, and as I was leaving, I said goodbye. He smiled at me and the door closed.