“Oh ya, oh ya!” I exclaimed as I saw a new brown AMAZON box just sitting on the table waiting for me to open it.
On the box I saw the name: “Unkle Isaac” it read. The brown Amazon box was from my uncle that lives in Alaska. I saw a black and white Amazon note card that read: “Happy birthday Addison. Best wishes from Isaac.” In my head I thought that all the notes that I get from Amazon. They are white and black and they always have a note that says Happy birthday (your name) best wishes. (the senders name) I know this because all of my notes from Amazon are say that.
I opened the brown Amazon box and there was a fish-like creature swimming as gracefully in the clear, glass water.
“What is it?” I curiously asked.
“It’s a tadpole, a tadpole is like a fish at first, but then it turns into a frog.” My mom explained.
“I can’t believe I get my own pet! And even better I got a frog” I shouted.
“I bet you are.” My mom sighed.
My sister Avery overheard and came stomping like a giant saying, “No way you get a animal, what about me?” She whined as always.
She was wearing a pink sports outfit that said “Girls Rule.” She smelled like roses that were blossoming in the spring.
“Ya I did, and even better I got a tadpole named... Bob.” I agreed to myself, trying to annoy her.
As I took a glance of my sister’s fists and I thought that she could have broken all of her fingers! Stay away. I thought
(My mom would know what to do in moments like these.) Steam was bursting straight out of her ears as if a train was going crazy in her head!
I took a glance to look at the Brown Amazon box and in bold letters there was a sign that said “FEED FISH IMMEDIATELY!” So as quick as a blink of an eye.Sentences where flashing in my head, will he die? Will he live? What will happen? What did I do?
I got out the container of tadpole food that was filled up to the brim, full of tadpole food that was scented like dog food, the reeking of the odor was intoxicating my nose. “Ohh my nose!” I yelped.
I fed my empty tadpole with the orange paper like food as quickly as possible.
The next morning I gave my precious tadpole one last scoop of tadpole food and then I said my goodbyes to my precious tadpole, like it was the last thing I would say to him, like he wouldn’t be there when I get home, but I knew that wasn’t true.
When I rushed into my cozy, brown house I shouted “Bob where are you?” My sisters and brothers were looking everywhere, we looked right, left, up, down trying to find him, we looked right where I left him, I looked in my room and everywhere until I felt a voice in my head saying “ Go, go to the bathroom, go to the bathroom.” It bellowed. “I rushed there as fast I could, I saw my mom frozen over the white, shiny toilet in our house.
She moved her hand as if she was saying come here.
What are you doing standing over the toilet? I thought. From that moment on I knew that someone or something will die today.
“Look in the toilet.” She mumbled.
“What is he doing in the toilet?”I questioned.
He’s… he’s dead.” She stammered.
“What? No that can be true!
“He’s dead.” My Mom mumbled.
“NO HE’S NOT! HOW IS HE DEAD?”
“I don’t know I just know that he wasn’t moving, so I flushed him down the toilet.”
“He was not dead, you flushed him down the toilet because you don’t like him, that’s what happend isn’t it.” I as my hands were getting as tight as can be, my body was getting denser and denser, my face was getting redder and redder by the moment.
“That’s not the reason why, I flushed him down the toilet. I flushed him down the toilet because he wasn’t swimming or moving, I swear, do you think I would lie to you?” I was so frustrated that my tadpole got to live for only one day that I ran upstairs and slammed the door as hard as I could.
My fingers were so tight that I thought they broke. 10 minutes after Bob died I heard footsteps on the stairs leading to my room. This reminds me of the day when my dog died because that was one of the worst moments in my life, now I’m going to remember this moment for the rest of my life. When she entered, she seated herself on my bed and muttered
“I’m sorry Addison, I didn’t mean to flush your tadpole down the toilet, I really thought he was dead.”
“That sentence was a sentence that I thought I would never hear ever in my life.” I blurted out loud as we both laughed.”
This reminds me of the day that I caught the bright green, pine tree right next to my house, on fire.
I sat down with my parents and thought about what I did. That day I felt depressed and I felt like I was scarred for life.
“I think I got caught up in the moment. I’m sorry that I shouted at you”
“This is all my fault.” my mom sorrowed.
“No it’s not. It’s mine. If I didn’t want this tadpole for my birthday this wouldn’t have happened.” I said confidently.
All out of nowhere I saw minuteur raindrops falling from the sky outside my window.
I smelled the soft and humid smell of nature, the smell of a nature calms me down and at that moment, I felt as calm as a butterfly in the spring.
My eyes started to fog up like there was something in my eye. It was like there was my own raindrops coming out of my eyes. That moment I felt the feeling of sadness. One of the worst feelings.
I didn’t just rain outside, I felt the the wet dops of my eyes slowly falling down my soft checks.
And as soon as I looked up I was glued into my mom’s arms. I felt so safe and I felt like nothing could ever happen to me. I forgot of how Bob just died and how everything I just blocked out.
“Let’s go down stairs to eat.
Everyone will be happy if you go down stairs. dad just got home. Then I heard my brother and my two sisters and my dad laughing, so why not go down stairs.
This was like the time when my dad and I were angry at each other and after we sorrowed we forgive each other. My mom and I forgave each other, we felt like we can never be more sorry in our life.
I went to sleep thinking I’m kind of glad that this happened to me because then I can remember the time of when my pet tadpole Bob died and how I felt when he died. This was a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.
I was drinking hot cocoa when we heard the news. Even though it was March, winter still hadn’t passed yet. It was as cold as Christmas Day. We bolted to the car as fast as we could.
”I still cant believe it's a GIRL. Jalen said with disgust. “We’ve already got one too many.”
“Hey!” I yelled defensively.
“Jalen.” Nana scolded (shooting him a killer glare.) “You love your sister, don't pretend like you don't.”
“All I’m asking for is a boy! Girls are poop.” he mumbled.
“Your gonna marry a girl, so don’t even start.” I argued.
“Oh, please.” Jalen answered.(Emphasizing on the PL.) “I’m not marrying anybody. Instead I’m getting a cat-”
“Are you sure about that?” Grampi asked. “Jack would be really sad if you got a cat.” I smiled as I remembered Jack, Nana and Grampi’s dog. He was a black lab about 3 years old. Once he had once woken all of us up by barking at a chipmunk in the middle of the night. Jalen rolled his eyes and continued.
“I’m gonna name my cat Mr. Ruffles, he’s gonna be potty trained……..” I groaned.
“Enough of that already!” I yelled. But being Jalen, he didn’t stop. And for the rest of the car ride we were forced to listen to Jalen’s dream life, without any poopy girls.
After what felt like 1 trillion hours we arrived.
“Here we are kids, the hospital!” I pressed my face against the clear, car window. The chilled glass made my cheek numb.
The hospital looked like a skyscraper! But then again, everything was big, exciting and interesting to a curious first grader.
As we got out of the car, Grampi hugged me.
“You ok?” He asked pulling me into his packer-green winter coat. “Remember, whatever happens, you’re still only second best.” I giggled and rolled my eyes. Grampi was chuckling quietly to himself. Although he could be annoying, he was a jokester!
A Few Minutes Later
“WAP WAP WAP-BAP WAP!” Went Grampi’s fingers. He was drumming to a song that was probably popular back in “his day”.
“Oh for crying out loud Jerry!” Nana sighed. “Please, for their sake stop!” Grampi just winked at me and kept on drumming’. Jalen was laughing so hard, he was shaking the elevator! “Jalen,” Nana scolded,”Don’t encourage him…” Then, miraculously, the song changed and Grampi stopped.
“So Buli,” He started. “How do you feel about being a Big sister?” As soon as he said those words, I smiled. I imagined playing soccer or watching movies with my new sister! Sleeping together and always being by her side. For years I had been the smallest. No one to play with, no one to rule over. But now, I would be older. “Y’know it’s hard work.” Grampi said. “Everything’s different.”
Jalen grunted. He looked so sullen. Like one of those sad, sad donkeys at the farm.
“I’m still the oldest,” He said. He looked like he had been punched in the gut. All the color had drained from his face like a wet sponge being ringed. And I actually heard a bit of rejection in his voice, and I realized,
“This must be hard for him.” He had always been the oldest and, he wanted a boy. But I don’t think anyone heard me. Nana rubbed his back.
”Of course you are. You’ll always be the oldest.” She said. “Julia’s just excited.” But the truth was, I was so much more than excited.
Later That Day...
“C’mon! Nana, why can’t I see momma?” I whined.
“It’s ok Julia. She’s just not ready. We can’t rush her….”
“Please…. “ I begged. “Grampi, can I see momma?”
“Hmmm?” He answered. “One moment Julia, I’m about to Win.” Oh my gosh. I thought, rolling my eyes. Sometimes Grampi made me want to explode!
“Jerry, stop playing on your phone!” Nana said.
“One moment.” Grampi repeated, holding up his finger.
“Jerry,” Nana steamed. “Jerry….” she said, getting angry now, “Put the phone away!”
“YYYY YESSSSSS!” Grampi whisper-screamed. “I won I won I won!” Me, Nana and Jalen shared the same glance, “Who is this guy?”
A Little While Later...
The door opens, I see my mom, I yell, I am pulled into a hug. She smells like vaseline. I don't care. She’s my mom. My dad comes over,I hug him, smells like vaseline, don't care, repeat. “I missed you guys.” I say. “I really did.”
“We missed you too.” Dad says. “But, you should be very happy because,” He points to mom who was holding a bundle of blankets the whole time. She smiles.
“Say hello to Jemma.” She says. I walk over to the bundle and peer into her mushed up face.
“Hello Jemma.” I whisper.
First Home Run
We were playing Danbury in our first district game. The district tournament was in New Fairfield. The drive to the field had so many cool statues and artifacts, but it took a long 45 minutes to get there. It was a hot day with the weather in the 80s.
As we arrived at the field the sun started to beat down on my neck.
“Let’s go wait for the rest of our team in the shade,’’ TJ said.
10 minutes later everyone arrived and we went over to the batting cages for batting practice. When we were taking batting practice Will said to me, “I think you will hit your first home run today.”
“I really hope I do.” I replied.
As he said that, I thought to myself could this really be the day I hit my first home run? I really hope I hit a home run today! Before the game I was not thinking about hitting a home run, I was only thinking about getting our team a win. As the game started I lead off and flew out to the left fielder. After that at bat I told myself do not get down,I will get more chances so be ready for when they come.
I came up again in the third inning with a guy on first and 1 out. We were losing 6-4. I knew we had to get a rally going to bring up our momentum. Tyler Fehey was pitching for the other team. The first pitch I let go by for strike 1. I bared deep, and on the next pitch I clobbered the ball over the wall.
“HOMERUN” the umpire declared!
“Nice hit” the coaches shouted.
As I ran the bases I was so excited,I almost missed
second base. I was thinking about what Will had said before the game. As I stomped on home plate everyone crowded around me.I then thought of the time when I hit my first inside the park home run and how happy I was.The best part of that was how much joy I brought to my teammates. But this felt even better because I hit a ball over the wall.
“Nice hit!’’ TJ shouted.
As I jogged back to the dugout, Lucas’s brother Kyle, TJ’s brother Jack, and Jesse’s brother Mickey came up to me and congratulated me with a high five. Everyone on our team was so happy that we had just came back and tied the game up. They also all said how good of a hit I just had. I was so excited and happy in the dugout. I then realized that we still have a long game ahead of us.
My next and final plate appearance I hit a bomb that hit the wall. I sprinted in with a play at third. I dove head first and I got under the tag.
‘‘SAFE!”The umpire shouted.
It was a hustle triple!
“Nice hit again’’ coach Forte said to me.
On the very next pitch, I scored on a pass ball. I then thought to myself we will win this game. But then it started to go downhill from there and despite probably one of my best hitting games we ended up losing 9-7. After the game everyone came up to me and congratulated me.As they congratulated me I was so happy even know we lost the game because if I can do that once I can do it again.
My dad then told me “I found the ball that you hit.’’
“Where was it” I asked?
‘‘It was in the grass across the street.’’ My dad said.
As my dad said that I thought to myself that I just hit a ball over the fence and across the street.That was one of the best moments of my life because after my first at bat I never gave up!
When I was three he was always there. When I was four he never ran away from me when I screamed, cried or just acted downright crazy. When I was five my baby sister came and he stuck by my side. Six years old. Dear Kaya, I’m sorry for pushing you down the slide while you were taking a nap on the rainbow kick board. When I was seven I found out he hated when my sister pulled his tail. Oops! Eight and nine, thanks for always being there.
Here’s the story about how he came into our family. My family found him in a shelter in New Hampshire. One day my dad comes home to my parents apartment with a tiny trembling black cat, and starts marveling over his incredible “pattern”.
“Look at that!” he exclaims “ he’s got stripes.”
Meanwhile, my mom is there staring and the cat who has as much “pattern” as a wall painted one solid color.
“He’s been through alot”,... my dad starts to explain when my mom chimes in.
“Ok” she says. “Come here Kaya, you look like your hungry.”, my mom cooes.
And there my dad is shocked that he responded to Kaya. I never get sick of that story.
As I stare out of the cold, foggy window the heavy breathing on my leg warms me up. I gently pet the top of my cats black head. He begins to purr loudly and soon he drifts off into a deep sleep. And I remind myself how grateful I am to have him.
Days, weeks, even months pass by quicker than you can imagine. Rock climbing, homework, parties, family events, and chores all keep my schedule full. The seasons speed by as if they were riding on a jet ski. My sister and I are playing in the snow, but then suddenly BAM! We’re rolling down a hill covered in lush green grass. As much as we were enjoying that in a blink of an eye I find myself swimming in the beautiful Florida ocean while the sun is beating down on my tan shoulders. The cycle keeps repeating. Over, and over, and over, again until I end up back in winter.
One morning I wake up and rush so hurriedly out my bedroom door. I go to the bathroom, down the stairs, past my mom, around my dad, straight into my sister and over my cat. Until finally I am staring at my glimmering christmas tree filled by candy canes, and ornaments. I look under to make sure they are still there. And there they are. My unwarped gifts calling out to be played with. I’m about to open my brand new skateboard when my mom calls me into the kitchen.
“ Alex it’s an emergency!”
I’m not sure but from down the hall it sounds like she is on the verge of crying. But let me tell you something about my mother. She never uses the word emergency unless of course it actually is. Like for example, there is a robbery, we aren’t safe, or if someone was bleeding badly, dying, or seriously hurt. I run into the kitchen leaving the half unwrapped skateboard behind.
I come into the kitchen and everyone is crowded around, Kaya, my black cat. He is curled up in a weird shape, almost as if he were a comma in someone's writing essay. Normally, I would take this as cute but considering he is whining, and crying out I grab the phone and dial the number for the vet. I jam in the digits. As the cheerful ring of the phone does it’s thing it just makes my stomach more knotted every time. As I hear the receptionist’s voice, I give the phone to my parents and pull my trembling hand away.
I sit by my cat until it’s time to go to the vet. By now I have completely forgotten about the skateboard and all the other presents nestled safely under the tree. I hold him tight from the time I entered the car to the time I exited.
Dread and fear take over me as I sit in the waiting room while my mom and the vet “chat”.
Although, I’m two rooms down I overhear some of the conversation.
“ Heart. Problem. We might have to. No. Put down. Is old. Medication. Suffering.”
I am not in that very room in this very moment, but I am pretty sure what they mean and how things are going to play out.
No, No, No. Please no. I thought to myself. I swallowed hard. And took a deep breath. But, it somehow felt as if was constricting me and was trying keep the air out of my lounges.
When I was one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and, ten I saw him everyday I was at my house although I might not see him at my eleven birthday.
Later that night my mom comes in to tuck me in and just as she is about to leave I ever so quietly call out to her. She turns around and walks back to my bed.
“Mom”, I asked. “ Will we have to put Kaya down?”
There was about five seconds of silence until my mom replied.
“Well” she sighed. “ He’s been through alot plus he’s been around since your dad and I were 25.”
By now my mom is sitting next to me on my bed.
She continues her thought, “He’s suffering and has been sick without us even knowing. We might need to.”
With that she gives me a tight squeeze, a kiss on my forehead, and quietly exits the room.
I am left in the pitch black darkness. That swallows you whole, and abandons without any escape out leaving you to crumble alone.
Before I go to sleep, I pray. I pray to god that if Kaya really does pass then in somehow, in someway I will see him again. As much as I am heartbroken, and devastated I know I will move on. I shut my eyes
and in minutes am fast asleep.
It is a unusually warm winter day. December 29, 2016 I wake up and eat breakfast. Happy to still see Kaya in the morning, afternoon, and night.
Later that night I am about to sit down in front of the TV when my mom yells.
I run at warp speed into the kitchen and find Kaya in the weird comma shape again, and my mom was right he is suffering.
I scream and run out of the kitchen. I bury my face in the corner of the couch.
“No kaya. NO. NO NO.” although my voice is muffled you tell I’m crying. Sorry that is an uderstatment, I was bawling. Still doesn’t sound right I was completely flipping out while while crying buckets and sceaming so loud it sound like a scream through the soft corner of the couch.
Not even the glimmering, shimmering christmas tree or the crackling fire can comfort me.
Later that night my parents bring the cat in and we continue to pet him. The vet suggests something that I predicted a week ago but what I have feared deeply. Before I go to bed I ask Kaya to make it just through the morning.
“Please don’t die alone here.” I whispered in his ear.
With that I go to bed. I can’t believe how I’ve never realized this before, but my family is like the solar system. My mom is Earth, caring for us and keeping us alive. My dad is the Sun, telling us how to do things right and teaching us. My sister, well, she is mars. A big ball of fire. My cat is mercury. The smallest planet, rotating around the sun just as he follows my dad. And I. I am Neptune just out there floating around. But, no matter what we stick together and rely on each other.
The next morning I throw on my clothes and prepare for a bumpy morning. I don’t even realize that it’s New Year’s Eve!
We enter the vet’s office and they guide us into a small room. They ask us if we want to stay in the room. We all decide to stay. And for once my sister has an emotion other than anger or annoyance. My dad takes off his collar and hands it to me. To this day I still keep it in a little wooden lock box and I consider it to be one of the most valuable things to me.
They shave off a little square of fur on his leg…
We leave the vet carrying an empty cat box. On the day before he died I took pictures of him with my instant camera. I take one of the pictures and cut it into a small oval shape just big enough to fit in my locket. I hug the locket tightly to my chest and swallow hard.
After about three long months later a family-friend informs us that they found a stray cat. They take him to the vet for shots and ask us if we want him. I have a good feeling and I go to bed knowing what it means. The End.
Now my family has a black and white tuxedo cat. Who lives happily with us. He loves going outside, and chilling in the lime green lawn chair. But also enjoys following us around and sitting by a big, roaring fire. He is a hige ball of energy and enjoys playing with feathers and rubber bands. And his name is Yogi.