by Alyssa O., Age 13 , Grade 8, Lexington Montessori School, Lexington, MASSACHUSSETTS USA
Teacher: GM Hakim
Today was a day like any other, except that my brother ended up making a very strange friend. That became a day I never wanted to forget.
After an exhaustingly long drive to the beach from our rental home that we are sharing with some family friends. We finally arrive, we walk up the pavement, trees and shrubs surrounding it. Then we see an opening and we walk through and see the beach brimming with palm trees. The crystal clear, blue water is calling me. I drop all the bags that I just lugged over to the spot my parent chose. I take off my shorts and sprint into the water, my siblings not far behind.
We splash and play for an hour, then the friends we were staying with arrived. I call my best friend, Maia, into the water, she declines. It takes some convincing but finally she walks slowly over until she’s right next to me.
After another half an hour, or so, we are the only ones in the water, my whole family huddled on a singular blanket. Suddenly, I hear them scream my name, so Maia and I run over to find my brother cupping his palms. I peer over the side of his hand and see a little lime green lizard looking back at me.
“His name is Gecko!” he exclaimed with pride.
“Did you just grab him or did he come to you?” I ask him, already knowing the answer.
“He came to me!” he screams. I move on from the lizard and ask my mother for some money to get ice cream. She gives me the money but tells me to get some for my siblings and Maia. I nod, sprint over, stop and turn around once I reach the the stand. I notice my brother has not moved while my sister, Arielle, and Maia are already here. I wait for a few long seconds for him to get up and come over here, he doesn’t, so I run back. Maia and Arielle follow.
“Why didn’t you come with us?”
“I don’t want to lose him!” he cries. I sigh.
“What do you want? I’ll get it for you.” He thinks for a few seconds and tells me his choice,
“Vanilla!” I try to remember the flavors.
“There was only pineapple and mango.” I think. My brothers eyes relax and his face wrinkles, tears start gathering in his eyes. He ignores them, instantly I know what he’s thinking ‘ugh they never have what I want!’
“Ugh I guess I won’t have anything.” close enough.
“Are you sure?” I check, he nods. Arielle, Maia, and I run over and get the ice cream, well sorbet. I ask for three mango sorbets and pass the crinkled money. We get the three sorbets and run back, hot sand scorching our feet. I jump onto the damp towel and start eating the bright orange mango sorbet. Maia and I chat while Damir watches his lizard climb around his body. Hours pass he still has the lizard and is as amused as he was a few hours ago. Our parents start collecting our towels and bags, Maia and I run to help. My brother still sitting with the lizard, I walk over to break the news.
“It’s time to let him go. We are leaving.” Damir whips his head toward me and gives me a death stare but then that stare turns sad, I can see that he understands. “You should probably let him go where you found him.” Damir nods and walks over to a group of palm trees huddled together, squats down and places him in a short patch of grass. He squirms away; Damir stands up and turns away from the trees as he walks toward our parents.
I follow him back. Everything is already packed and they are heading toward the car I jog toward them and ask for my clothing. My mom reaches into the bag and pull out my shorts. I pull them on and run to get my shoes. Then I walk to the water. I wash off my feet and slip on my sandals and carefully waddle back to the car. I try my hardest not to get sand in my shoes, which obviously doesn’t work but at least I tried. My feet are now exactly the same as they were before. Maybe I shouldn’t even have cleaned off my shoes, the sand would have eventually just fallen off. I hop in the car and we all buckle up. We drive away up and away, over the hill, and back to our rental. My brother still sad from the loss of a new friend.