All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
I don’t know where he came from. What his name is, I don’t know. His soft black, shaggy hair and deep green eyes were all I remembered. I walked down the halls casually. Then, a certain feeling of excitement ran through the chills going down my spine. I passed him. He walked by, strutting in dark wash jeans. He looked like someone I once knew. There was familiarity in his appearance, but I couldn’t comprehend the full features of his face. For some reason I couldn’t look him in the eye. Something in my gut was telling me to back away. I walked past and swung my red tote bag in the deodorant scented air, as my curls bounced against my shoulders.
Thoughts raced in my head, all going towards the imaginary finish line in my brain. My school had just been re-done, and my locker was in a bright, white, complex wing. When I was finished with my daily pack-up-after-school drill, I sprinted out towards the buses in my non-approved-school-dress-code, flip flops. I flung the door open and the moist air made my golden locks pull away from my face.
“Graaaaaaace!” Nate shouted out from across the buses.
“Nathan!” I yelled back. I love that kid. He’s been my go-to-guy since I met him in a Gap dressing room, and realized he attended my school.
“Jeez Gracie, I haven’t seen you since, like, dinosaurs were alive,”
“Mall later?” I suggested.
“You know it. Ohmehgod, Grace. I need a shirt for you’re Sweet Sixteen.”
“What the heck, Nate? I don’t even know what I am wearing,” I smiled, “Therefore, you don’t either.”
“Oh my goodness, Grace, you’re like one of those annoying brides on We TV who want their bridesmaids too look gross,” Nate joked. “Text me later!” he said in crescendo, as he strutted away with great confidence. I wiggled my fingers in his direction as a wave goodbye. I jumped onto the city bus, pulled out my iPod, and rested on the ugly-blue, two-seater.
I walked across the garden and walked up the concrete stoop of my New York home. My niece, Rosalie, Rosie for short, was sitting on the hardwood floor, crawling in her array of toys my sister had spoiled her with. Nella, my older half-sister, was doing some researching on her Mac Book while keeping an eye on Rosie. Nella was also my god mother, and now, she and her husband, Dean, were my legal guardians. Their home is my home.
“Hello Gracie!” Nella said in an enthusiastic, motherly voice.
“Hola,” I picked up Rosie and gave her a quick kiss on the forehead; as if a reward for being the first runner up for a “Little Miss Perfect Pageant.”
“Grace, could you help me with the Valentines? I need them done by Sunday for the kids at Rosie’s day care,” Nella asked politely.
“Sure. Yeah. Let me just get my homework done, I don’t have much,” I draped my white jacket over the cherry wood dining room chair, before I ran up to my gorgeous room. Nella studied interior design in college and created this dreamland of a room. Shades of white, silver, purple, burgundy, and orange filled the space. I put my assignments for the day onto my glass desk, and got to work, starting with Algebra.
About fifteen minutes later, I was done. I skipped down the carpeted stairs in my fuzzy socks and started my task. While writing out the Valentines in my feminine penmanship, I couldn’t help but think of him. I wanted his arms around me at that moment. My thoughts drifted back to the school day. Out of nowhere I sighed with a lack of self-confidence. I took a break of my caring effort to make some little strangers happy, and stared into space.
To be honest, I loved Valentine’s Day, avoiding the fact that I haven’t had a boyfriend since grade two. Unfortunately, I need to “wait until college, when boys don’t care about your popularity, and they are actually mature enough to hold a relationship, or better yet, a conversation with a girl,” as Nella tells me. I really don’t have a problem with my self-image. I’m a good weight for my age, but I’m no tooth pick. My course, dirty-blonde hair is always in smooth curls and swept bangs over my right eye, which doesn’t compare to the other girls. With their orange sun-kissed bodies, solid-color camisoles, ripped jeans, and tattoo-splattered sneakers, the boys find it hard to resist. These girls were once my good friends, but a change in school layout somehow made their popularity blow up with the helium packed inside their perfect little heads.
After my day-dream session, I finished writing to the boys and girls. I gathered all the heart-shaped cards and handed them to Nella.
“Thank you,” she said handing me five dollars as a reward for my favor for her. I gave her a heartfelt smile.
“Let me go start dinner,” she continued, “watch Rose for me.”
“Got it!” I said, loudly.
Rosie was sitting up perfectly now, so I didn’t need to hold her. I sat next to her and pulled out my phone. There was a text from Jade lurking my attention, so I opened it. In my head I read each word:
Jade: Grace! I met a guy!! Call my cell if you want details.
My fingers sped across the keys, as the dial tone waited. No answer. In the midst of my second try, Rosie started to whine. I scooped the baby in my arms and sang the alphabet. Her heavy eyelids dropped to sleep. My feet dragged up the stairs with Little Miss Rosalie in my arms. I placed her in her crib, as the tiny body snuggled into the fuzzy, lavender quilt. While leaving the nursery in peace and quite, I texted Nella informing her on how I put Rosie to sleep.
The picture of Jade and I that hung on my deep purple wall reminded me to call her. Again I dialed. Between each ring, I thought of him. If only he were to answer. If only that were to happen in reality.
“Helloooo!” Jade shrieked with excitement. She and Nate are, in my opinion, some of the most amazing kids in the world. “Hi, so who is this guy?” I said quickly and anxiously.
“Alright. His name is Brad,” she boasted in a girly tone.
“Where did you meet him? Did he ask you out?” I asked.
“At Tiff’s Sweet Sixteen. He didn’t ask me out. Yet!” she replied starting with a happy, peppy tone, ending with disappointment.
Jade continue to babble on, but I had to stop her. Once saying our goodbyes, I threw the phone across the bed and drifted into a peaceful un-planned nap. It felt good to sleep, since it was a way to escape my reality.
My weekend was over and it was time for school once again. The warm spring air spiraled around the leaves in my walkway, as I headed out for school. My dreaded Monday has begun.
Jade and I met up along the private school’s entrance and talked about our weekend. “Ohhhhhh, I love your shoes, Grace!” she said, staring down at my golden gladiator sandals. Jade always tries to make people feel good about themselves, which I admire about her. I thanked her and we started walking toward our destination. Once we went our separate ways, I scanned the classroom that I had just entered. Sure enough, there he was. His gorgeous eyes stared at the garden of tulips in the schoolyard. While walking to my seat, I must have tripped on a pen or something and gave out a little screech. My classmates yanked their torsos in my direction and smirked in amusement. Expect him, not a single movement. His eyes never met anyone’s but the brown chipmunk’s outside. I sat down, relieved that he didn’t dare to look.
“Since it’s a new day, I’ve decided to change things up a bit. Everyone, out of your seats and single file, starting with Aiden,” said Mr. Birch.
Aiden, Aiden, Aiden. That’s his name! That’s his gorgeous, prefect, ah-mazing name! That feeling of apprehension to be near him, suddenly vanished. I got way too excited, and jumped out of my seat, no hesitation.
“We’re changing seats. Who here needs to be up front for seeing reasons?” he continued. My hand shot up in the air. Without my contacts, I’m doomed. My hazel eyes looked around the classroom for other raised hands. Aiden raised his naturally tanned arm.
“Garcia and Travis, you two up front,”
Yes! Grace Garcia and Aiden Travis. What a lovely couple to be.
He and I walked to the seats, awkwardly, as Mr. Birch continued assigning at random. I kept my cool, and so did he. His hair drifted across his shoulder as he leaned towards me.
“Excuse me?” whispered a soft, soothing tone. I whipped my trembling body towards Aiden.
“Yup?” my mouth managed to get out.
“Do you have a sheet of paper I could borrow?” Aiden asked in a very gentleman way. Usually, I never let people borrow my things. I buy them and they are mine, not yours. But today, I couldn’t resist. My shaking hands went on a paper hunt in my thick English binder and ripped out a sheet.
He smiled his not-quite-white-not-quite-yellow-teeth in my direction and I began to blush. The day dragged on, and I saw him again in chorus class. We flirted in between each song, we were unstoppable. I was gloriously happy and it looked like he was, also.
“Jade, answer this for me?” I said, after class. I was so happy, I couldn’t help but grin. For no reason whatsoever, I felt like he was already mine. And I wish that were true.
“Shoot,” Jade said, chewing on a granola bar.
“Am I blushing?” I asked, knowing that I was.
What a lovely day. I walked inside my house, slipped my schoolbag off my shoulder, and relaxed on the beige-colored leather couch. I sighed in accomplishment. “Hello lovely family!” I screamed. Nella ran in.
“Look what I found,” Nella said, ignoring my hello, “It was your Mom’s!” She handed me the box. I sprung it open and gazed deeply into the diamonds. It was a beautiful ring, rich in carats and pure silver. The thick band of diamonds dazzled in the bit of sunlight coming from the old-fashioned window in front. My mouth dropped to the ground.
“I love this ring! I remember I used to take it off of her finger and run around in plastic high-heels and a fake bouquet, when I was little!” I squeaked.
“Save it,” Nella requested, “Dad and your Mom wanted you to keep it for your wedding day. Isn’t this exciting?!” I knew what she meant. This really is an exciting thing. Through all the happiness, I couldn’t help but think of my darling mother, gone to soon. And my strong father; gone with dignity. My whole life, until I turned eight, I didn’t know what my life would be without Mommy and Daddy. They gave me life, love, and protection. No one else loved me more then they did.
I always wished I had more time to tell them how I felt. Though, my life had gone back to normal, and I am safe and loved, my life changed at that moment, eight years ago. Two evil, unemotional, humans did the worst thing anyone in this world could go. Take a life away from an innocent someone. Skye and Gabriel were my parents. Murdered by a way I can’t describe. I wasn’t there. No memories were worthy enough to be remembered, but sadly, I just can’t get them out of my head.
It was the night after my birthday party in the yard. Green lanterns hung over the patio. I went over Jade’s house, because her family was having a little party for me. Everything was great. I was an 8 year old with no troubles, no worries. Driving home, watching red and blue lights burst in front of my old home. It was seeable from around the corner. Jade’s mother stopped at the corner, left us in the car, alone and curious, and sprinted to the house. Jade and I had no clue what to say, what to do. We sat, still buckled in, with the leftovers of cake and birthday presents in our laps. I was always a very sensitive and worrisome child, but not that day. My feelings were carefree. We looked at the car clock on the dashboard. Forty-five minuets had elapsed. Finally, Jade’s mother climbed in, covering her face with her hands. Ominous silence. I noticed she was crying. There was never a time that I had every seen tears run down her cheek.
I pushed open the door with much strength, and ran as fast as my tiny legs could. Jade followed. The police officers and ambulance attendants asked me a lot of questions. I answered, with heavy breaths of tiredness. Shouted, I shouted the words so loud: “WHAT HAPPENED?” They explained, my skinny body trembling. My parents were gone.
Three hours of legal work, explanations, and questions. Jade’s mother took us back to her house. I curled myself in a ball on the couch and cried myself to sleep.
After thinking about the day, I stand here, looking down at my mother’s ring. Erasing the horrible moments and replacing them with warm, joyful memories. And to think, I almost forgot about Aiden. Quickly, my thoughts drifted to him and his gentlemen ways. I grinned and blushed….Again and again. I convinced myself to think of happy thoughts, which I did. Thank goodness I have him.
I stopped. Of course, nothing this good as being in a relationship with a great guy could happen to me. Aiden Travis. Travis. That was their last name. The humans, not people, but humans, who killed my parents. They were in jail now, hopefully feeling terrible for what they did. Aiden has given me his number, so I ran up to my room, jumped on the bed and called him.
“Aiden?” I asked.
“Yeah, it’s me.”
“I was just thinking about you,” my heart skipped a beat when the words came through the telephone. “Do you want to go out with me?”
“Yes! Yeah, I would love to,”
I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for anything. We talked a little more, about our day and ourselves. We tried to set up our very first date.
“Alright, my foster parents could drive,” immediately, a million curious thoughts came into my head about how his childhood was, being
raised in a foster home, or wherever he lived.
“So you’re a foster child,” I said, rudely, immediately regretting the words that came out of my refreshed Burt’s Bees lips.
“Yeah, my parents are in jail,” he told me. Awkward? Yes. I waited there, uncomfortably until someone talked.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to pry.” I said sweetly. He accepted my apology and we talked a little more.
Wait. No. It can’t be. Can it? If he’s Aiden Travis, then his biological parents are the Travis’s. They killed my parents. His parents killed mine.
At the speed of light, I hung up on him. My body sat straight up, stunned and confused. Could this possibly be possible? How could people so cruel give birth to some one so kind….So gorgeous?
To be continued…… ♥