Jay’s Mistake

by Ethan Schwartz, age 10
Jay’s Mistake Ethan loves the color green and Ethan loves pizza.

“”This is gonna be a bad day,” said Jay as he got up from his bed, smacking his hand on his alarm clock.”

Buzz… Buzz… Buzz… Jay tried to ignore his alarm clock. He didn’t feel like even opening his eyes because if he did, he would never fall back asleep, not even if he tried to. Every second it got harder to sleep because he was waking up more and more. He closed his eyes as he sat up in his bed, waving his arms around like a sleeping zombie, trying to shut up his alarm clock. It was 6 a.m. on Saturday and he’d forgotten to set off his alarm clock.

“This is gonna be a bad day,” said Jay as he got up from his bed, smacking his hand on his alarm clock. Jay’s know-it-all father then walked into Jay’s room. Jay hated when his 6’3” father gave him advice.

“Jay, I heard you say this is gonna be a bad day, am I wrong?” asked his father, talking like a wise genie. Jay sat there stretching, annoyed at his dumb alarm clock. He was so frustrated he took it off the table next to his bed and chucked it to the floor. Sadly it didn’t break because his floor was carpet. “Jay, why did you do that?” asked his dad.

“This little fellow was keeping me from my beauty sleep,” said Jay, super frustrated.

“Jay, you must learn to control your anger, my son,” said his dad again. “Just remember,” said his dad as he walked out of the room, “Every day may not be good, but something good is in every day.”

You may think Jay is some ninja or spy or something, but no. Jay is just your average 16-year-old living a normal life. Jay took his basketball and shot it into his mini hoop. It went in and out. He chucked it at the hoop so hard it made an echo of noise. Moments later his 8-year-old sister came in.

“You did that on purpose, didn’t you?!” shouted his sister for the third time. It leveled up Jay’s anger for the third time; Jay hated her loud screechy annoying voice.

“Why don’t you just believe me!!” shouted Jay. His sister and him went on and on and on about arguing who did it if it was on purpose or not. Jay and Sydney kept arguing.

“It was SIX O’CLOCK and you couldn’t let a poor little 8-year-old sleep, now could you???” shouted his sister at the very top of her lungs. Jay held back for a second, pretending that he didn’t need to respond — but he did have to.

“I don’t know if you noticed, Sydney, but we’re not poor, we’re millionaires. MULTI-millionaires.” The words sounded way better in Jay’s head.

“Jay, you’re not supposed to be saying that private information to Sydney,” said his parents as they walked in suddenly. All the blood rushed to Jay’s head and Sydney gave Jay an evil smile. Wait, I said that wrong, it was the evil smile she had been giving Jay her whole life.

“It was just, he scared me…I just wasn’t ready for it,” said Sydney, pretending to be worried.

“Oh, it’s okay,” said her mom, hugging her. Sydney was faking. Jay was positive it was a fake because she’d done that her whole life and every time they believed Sydney.

“Sydney, let’s go, and Jay, you’re grounded. You’re staying in your room for the whole day,” said his dad and slammed the door shut. This was really going to be a bad day. But of course, Jay didn’t say that because his father was like a stalker that heard everything he said, but wouldnt walk in if he didn’t say.

Two hours later… Jay was lying on his bed with his body playing dead. His head was flopping down off his bed and he was bored to death. His room stunk. His bed was smack in the middle of the room. He had nothing absolute nothing to do. One of his teachers, the science one, once told him to make boring moments fun. Even if they are boring, YOU have to make them fun. Jay snickered, it sounded like his life-lesson father. He’d been trying to have fun but it was impossible. He was having a little fun playing mini-basketball, but he knew he’d get bored, it happened a little quick though. He asked himself, what would I normally do everyday and maybe I can think of something, but then he realized how boring his life was. He wished for a change, a big one.

A painful twenty minutes passed by Jay, still super-bored. He was so bored. He had tried taking a nap, but too much sun shone through his window. And his bed, his mini-hoop, and closet were basically the only things he had in his room. Jay then thought of an idea. He grabbed two socks and kneeled down on the side of his bed. He pretended to do skits with sock puppets. Every minute was ok, until his imagination spread. He folded shirts up to make a wall that the socks would hide in. One big red sock would be the villain. It was his sister’s sock. He thought, it was funny, she’s the villain in real life. The socks were hiding and fighting, they jumped off a cliff which was the basketball hoop, and then he got more and more clothes and more socks and made it like an army! He stood on his bed and looked at all the different clothes and stuff and in his imagination it was a battlefield masterpiece. Until a villain came in. It wasn’t his sock. It was his parents.

“CLEAN THIS PLACE UP, YOUNG MAN!!!” shouted his parents.

” I’m…just having…a little fun,” said Jay, worried.

“Grounding is not for fun, it’s for disabling! You shall not have fun, you sit there.”

His parents walked out, leaving Jay stunned. He sat at his bed for a little and then sadly picked up all the imagination. The kingdom was destroyed. His parents stomped all over his happiness just because of his dumb little sister.

It was now the fifth hour of his painful grounding. His lunch tasted like jail lunch. He had also asked for snacks but his parents wouldn’t let him. He’d been arguing and arguing to get him to do something. He knew he was acting like a seven-year-old, but it was unfair. His parents watched a movie, but Jay pressed his head to the wall so he kinda heard it. Sydney had been teasing Jay.

“Mom! Dad!” said Jay for the third time.

“WHAT IS IT?!” shouted his parents from their room. Jay hated that.

“Come here!!!” Jay screamed as he sat on his bed. He heard footsteps coming as his mom opened the door. A little joy struck Jay’s head. He knew his mom had a better chance of saying yes than his dad.

“Could I play my iPhone or something”? Asked Jay.

“You know the house rule,” said his mom, giving his iPhone to him. “Only for research,” said his mom.

“Ok,” said Jay as she walked out of his room. He went straight to researching his favorite animal. Sharks.

Another hour passed but it wasn’t painful, it was good. He was researching a mulberry shark. They were 12-16 feet long, a gray fin on the bottom and black on top with white skin. He was still researching when he looked at the clock. It was six already. He was still researching when his mom came in his room. “Jay,” his mom said.

“Yeah,” he responded.

“Your father wanted me to tell you your ground is over and to never do that again.” Jay was so relieved.

“Yes! Thank you,” he said excitedly.

“We’re going to eat dinner at Port’s Barbecue. We want you dressed and ready by 6:20.”

His mom said that as she walked out of the room. Without hesitation, Jay quickly slipped on some clothes from his kingdom that was destroyed. After he was ready he figured he would just shoot some hoops. He did that for a couple of minutes then stepped out of his room for the first time in twelve hours. No bathroom breaks either. “Haven’t seen you in forever,” he said to himself as he walked to the hallway. Sydney heard that.

“Mom!!!” Sydney screamed in her loud annoying voice.

“Jay said that he didn’t want to see me ever!!!” she screamed, and gave Jay an evil smile. His dad walked out of his bedroom. “No Sydney, he didn’t, you tried to get him in trouble.”

said his dad. For once Jay was actually being defended by his parents.

“NO I DIDN’T!!!” she screamed, pretending to cry.

“Sydney Rose Walker, you did too! Go sit in your room, you’re coming to dinner,” snapped his dad as he pointed to Sydney’s room.

“But –” Sydney started to explain.

“Don’t even go there, but you can go in your room.” Her dad shoved her in her room. Jay then gave the evil smile to Sydney. The three of them went to eat dinner as they parked their boat. It was a restaurant where you park your boat and eat.

“Would you guys like dessert?” asked the waiter as she took their food.

“Yes please,” said Jay. “I’ll take three scoops of strawberry ice cream.”

The waiter wrote down the order on her paper and went to get it.

“It will take a half hour,” she said as she left.

“I’m going swimming,” said Jay as he took of his clothes. Don’t worry, there was a swimsuit under it.

“Ok,” his parents said. Jay ran down the stairs to the restaurant and did an epic cannonball in the sea. He was just swimming around doing his own thing until the lifeguard scared the heck out of him.

“OUT OF THE WATER, OUT OF THE WATER NOW! NOW!!!” he kept screaming. Jay’s face was red as he rapidly swam to the shore. There was a little 16-year-old girl screaming. “What is it?” asked Jay to an adult.

“I don’t know,” he said, “but that’s my daughter.” She was screaming until she was pulled underwater with her hand sticking up. Jay saw black, just a little. Jay then thought, it was a mulberry. A mulberry shark. He wasn’t exactly sure because he was still on land, but he went to go see. He knew how to stop them. He didn’t want to be a hero or anything. As he jumped in and swam to rescue the girl, it was for the sake of saving her life.

He was two feet away from her. He was super-scared a shark would jump up and kill him, but he would do it for the little girl who looked like she just went skydiving and landed on rocks. He put his head under water. He saw the girl’s head from the dusty polluted water, he saw a speck of blonde hair and blue eyes.

There was no blood, there was no shark. He could barely see through.

Then he saw a huge thing come charging at the two people of what may have looked like a baby mulberry but still very harmful. That was the shark. Jay knew it had to be the shark.

 

Jay was screaming for his life under water. So was the girl, but it just sounded like bubbles. Jay tugged her arm and pulled her above the water. “Why did you save my life?” she asked from the little breath she had. She was breathing like Jay’s heartbeat, and Jay’s heartbeat was pretty high, knowing there might be a shark.

“Because, why wouldn’t I?” he asked her. He swam as fast as he could but he knew even with a head start and only 60 feet from land, the shark or fish-thing would beat them. He had the girl’s hand; it was almost pitch black so he couldn’t see her, he had to feel her, but then she got pulled under water. A little bit of blood oozed. He no longer felt her.

“Where are you?” said Jay to himself, super-scared. Jay very worried, looked down to see a little fish. There was no shark, everything would be fine. His breath all came back knowing that all that was just a fish when he’d thought they were gonna die. No one else knew it was a fish. The whole beach was screaming in terror.

They were 20 feet from shore as they were swimming to shore. “Why were you drowning?” asked Jay while he was swimming.

“I guess a seaweed was wiggling around and grabbed my foot and tugged down. I was screaming because it was squeezing so hard I couldn’t breathe,” she said as the two went on shore. The whole beach was hugging the two of them. The girl’s father was hugging the girl when he told Jay, “Thanks for saving my daughter,” and Jay’s parents were crying in worry. The TV media was here. They pulled Jay aside along with the girl.

“We are live at Port’s Barbecue with a young man. What’s your name?” the reporter asked. Jay realized he was on live TV, NBC Nightly News. He was famous!

“Jay Walker,” Jay said.

“And you”? Asked the reporter to the girl.

“Veronica Hope,” Veronica said.

“How old are you guys?” asked the reporter. They each said 16. A couple more minutes of answering questions and then the reporter told the rescue story. Jay tried a couple of times to say it wasn’t that or that never happened but the reporter kept talking. The reporter said Veronica drowned and Jay saved her at the last second with a shark charging at her and that the blood on her foot was a baby shark. But it was really seaweed and fish. Big difference, Jay thought. After an hour, Jay went home and after all the drama, on Instagram he went from 200 followers to 200,000 followers. He was mega-famous!

He was a hero for saving her from a fish that was harmless. Still, he’d take what he could get. He wasn’t sure how living like a celebrity would be, though.

It was 11 o’clock when Jay finally got home and started to go to bed. He closed his eyes but heard something outside the window. He slowly got up and opened the blinds.

“What the-?” He looked out and saw cameras flashing and NBC outside. It was the paparazzi! He opened the window.

“Hey! Hey you! Get out,” he kept saying. It took literally twenty minutes for the last one to go away. Jay was starting to wonder, would it be like this all his life?

Sure enough he got up and turned on the TV and when he put on the news, the top story was his rescue. They somehow got a picture. It wasn’t accurate though. It was a shark chasing two people. It looked like animation.

They made it sound like it was Jaws! News flash, that was like 30 years ago.

“I hate being a celebrity!” Jay shouted in anger. His wise father came in. He poked his head through the door and said, “Then why did you become one? Answer that question and ask yourself, was it really worth it?” said his dad, then shut the door.

Jay then asked himself. I saved someone’s life but now my life is ruined. He thought he was being selfish. He thought it was worth it, and barely any people get to be a celebrity so he was going to try to enjoy it.

His sister came in all jealous.

“It should’ve been me!!!” she screamed at Jay. Jay laughed for a second.

“I wish it was you,” said Jay.

“Now you’re just teasing me!!” Sydney screamed. “Mom, dad, Jay’s teasing me!!”

“Sydney, you’re grounded for lying,” his mom said.

“Thank you,” said Jay, gasping.

“I’m not done with you,” said Sydney under her breath. That worried Jay for a second. But if he could save another girl’s life from drowning and saving her from a two-foot fish, he could probably deal with an 8-year-old sister. He just wanted to relax for an hour, because that never happened except for when he got grounded, so he decided to shoot hoops. Sydney knew what he was doing. Right when Jay jumped to do a dunk Sydney opened the door and slammed Jay to the ground. “Ouch,” Jay said.

“Whoops,” Sydney said sarcastically.

“Maybe I can’t handle an 8-year-old sister,” said Jay to himself.

But jay remembered the paparazzi and how the cameras were flashing like a bunch of trees rustling in the wind. Was his sister harder or easier? His mind was so mixed up it might explode. He simply knew this was the beginning of Sydney’s terror of evil. Only the beginning of both situations.

The next day his eyes were opening as slow as a slug’s walk. He finally managed to wake up, but it took him twenty minutes to get out of bed. He put on some clothes and when he opened the door a giant plastic bean bag fell on him. He kept walking and he slipped, and fell on water. He had two scrapes under his mouth and a bruise on his left arm. Sydney then came outside and said sarcastically again, “Whoopsie daisy,” then walked away laughing an evil laugh.

This means war, Jay thought. Jay was thinking about what prank to do on Sydney. It couldn’t be a normal boring one though. It had to be big. It had to put her in her place.

He was still thinking about a half an hour later, his mind still blank. He had decent ideas, like put slime in her cereal, and he was almost going to do that one but he figured that was amauteur hour. He was still thinking. He all of a sudden needed a water. He turned on the sink and green goo came out of the sink into his water. He quickly turned around looking for Sydney to say, “Whoops,” or “My bad,” but she didnt. Jay didn’t even see her. He saw on the bottom of the sink it said in green slime, “whoopsies.” There it was.

Dang, she’s good, Jay thought to himself. Just then the door opened and Sydney walked in. This house was now haunted. Jay quickly ducked down and opened the cabinet under the sink, he had been hiding under the sink and he knew that Sydney knew where he was hiding.

“Ja-ay, I know where you are,” said Sydney in a creepy slow voice.

He looked at the sink. There was a small hole patched up. He took away the tape. Then a line of green slime shot out and Jay thought he would be covered in slime, but he took an empty box, waited for the slime to fill up, and then he patched the hole. He heard Sydney say to herself, “Ha! I bet Jay’s covered in green slime.”

But Jay was going to cover her. He opened the cabinet door and dumped it all over Sydney. Sydney had slime and dumped it on Jay. They were both fighting but Jay was the first to realize that the paparazzi were taking pictures. The whole world was going to know what they just did. This time Jay hoped the reporter would screw up the story.

A day later the prank war was just getting started. Jay put slime in Sydney’s cereal. When Jay sat down on the toilet, water shot up and landed all over the floor (his parents grounded him for an hour). Then Jay’s head popped out of the sink and scared Sydney, but Sydney just turned on the sink water, so that was like a lose-lose and the thing that made Jay surrender was when Sydney told the media all of Jay’s secrets plus pictures of him getting pranked plus the sink head and then Jay just gave in. Sydney had won.

“What do you want, Sydney?” asked Jay as he started to bow down.

“I want your fame,” said Sydney.

“Trust me, I would’ve given it to you by now, but if really want it, do something that stands out,” said Jay.

“Nice advice,” said his dad.

Not him again, Jay thought.

“But Jay’s right. He deserved it, but he regrets it. Your time will come, everybody at least gets a chance,” said his dad. For once Jay agreed with him. “Oh, and were going to Port’s Barbecue,” said his dad. Where it all started, thought Jay.

“Jay what wou,ld you like to eat,” asked the waiter. The waiter knew his name from the news.

“A double cheeseburger with lettuce, ketchup, tomato, olives, and pickles,” said Jay. She took all the orders and went to cook the food. Jay and Sydney went into the water. But it was creepy. The paparazzi popped up from underwater taking pictures.

“Just leave me alone!” shouted Jay. He pushed them back while Sydney was posing. He heard the reporter talking about how this was where it all started. Then for the second time…

“OUT OF THE WATER, OUT OF THE WATER NOW!!!” shouted the lifeguard. Everyone came out except Sydney. It wasn’t a fish. There was a boy screaming and there was a shark fin. This time it was clear there was a shark.

“Sydney, don’t do it!!!” shouted Jay. Sydney was the only one not out of the water.

Sydney was swimming towards the boy ready to be a hero. She was so excited and hyper she thought she might explode. She had reached the boy. “Don’t worry, I will save you,” she said.

“Dont try to be a hero, this is not your time!!!” Jay shouted from the beach. The reporter came up to him.

“Jay, how do you feel about Sydney going out there?” asked the reporter. He grabbed the mic and slammed it to the ground.

“DO YOU NOT SEE WHAT’S GOING ON?!” Jay shouted, knowing he was making more drama.

“Sydney, you’re gonna get yourself killed!!!” shouted Jay. Sydney was then pulled underwater along with the boy.

“Oh no,” Sydney said. She was hoping Jay would know, jump out, and save her. The shark bit her stomach as her life vanished before her eyes. A gallon of blood shot up in the air and the two bodies were floating. After twenty minutes Sydney’s dead body floated to shore. That was the end of Sydney Walker.

“Jay, how do you feel about this?” asked the reporter. Jay tackled the reporter and shoved her face in the sand.

“You idiot,” shouted Jay. He picked up the dead body and started crying. All this because of stupid Veronica Hope…

“Please Sydney,” said Jay on his knees.

“Please come back,” shouted Jay crying. “Jay,” said his dad patting his shoulder. His dad’s stupid annoying voice was actually calming him down. Jay looked around. The whole beach: waiters, employees, customers, families, and party people were gathered around. “Jay, remember what I said,” said his dad. “Every day may not be good but there’s something good in every day.”

Jay felt alone now. He didn’t know why but he missed Sydney’s pranks.

“Curse this dumb restaurant!!!” Jay shouted. He hated it more than Veronica, and with Jay in this mood he now remembered his dad saying, “Is being famous worth it?” For saving her life? Now Jay was angry. It totally wasn’t worth it…

“I’m never, ever, ever coming back to this junk fest,” said Jay. “I hope the same shark comes and eats all the wooden poles to make the restaraunt fall to its place.” He was now calming down and getting ready to leave before anything else happened.

“What are we doing about Sydney’s funeral?” asked Jay. His parents were too sad to answer. Jay said it too quickly. Everything happened too quickly. At the wrong time, for the third time, a guy came out of the trunk, snapping photos.

“WHAT THE HECK MAN, DO YOU NOT SEE WHAT WE’VE BEEN THROUGH?” shouted Jay. He hopped out of his seat, opened the trunk while the car was driving, and threw the guy out the trunk. He got back in his seat and without his parents getting mad they said and Jay agreed that that guy deserved it.

The next day Jay looked on the news and the top story was Sydney’s death. The blood fountain picture was just mean, and when Jay threw the guy out the window and crawled back up, a part of his butt was showing. He was now embarrassed like the slime thing, the sink thing, the bean bag thing, the Sydney thing, the butt thing — TOO MANY THINGS, Jay thought.

He was not angry at his alarm clock for waking him up at 6 o’clock again. He was FURIOUS. He couldn’t stand this dumb thing. “I just want to smash you!” shouted Jay. His dad walked in.

“You must prize your possessions, other-”

Jay cut him off.

“Shut up dad, just shut up!!! All my life you’ve been doing this stupid genie stuff and you haven’t been being a father!!!” shouted Jay. That felt really good.

“Jay, control your anger,” said his dad.

“No!!! YOU control your wisdom, there’s a time and place for everything!” shouted Jay. He had just used his dad’s wisdom. His dad then walked away. He used his dad’s wisdom to solve the problem; maybe using his wisdom would get him out of this celebrity nonsense!

Jay was now set in stone, his plan was ready.

“Ok,” he said as he walked outside looking for people. “Let’s do this.”

It didn’t take long for jay to find a reporter.

“Hi, Jay Walker,” said the reporter.

“Hello.”

Thats all Jay said. The reporter gave him an odd look.

“Ok…” she said slowly.

“Um…how do you feel about Sydney dying?” asked the reporter. Without hesitation, Jay said in five words and words only:

“It is what it is.”

The reporter was shocked. Jay knew the reporter was trying to make drama. Not gonna happen, thought Jay.

“Wow, um, ok,” said the reporter.

“So, um, about that shark,” the reporter began. Jay very quickly cut her off.

“No, it was a fish and seaweed,” said Jay quickly. This time jay had not been cut off.

“Um, no it wasn’t,” said the reporter in protest. Jay without getting angry, without making drama, and without making any news, said, avoiding argument, “I’m hungry, I’m getting a snack.”

He completely ignored the reporter’s requests and he walked back in his house with silence. He immediately saw on the news the top headline, “Walker losing his fame, is he really boring?” Normally Jay would be mad, but he sat on the couch smiling, knowing that maybe less and less people would try to talk to him.

Now everyday he talked like his dad, when one person asked, “How did the day go when Sydney died,” he said every day may not be good but there’s something good in every day. And when the reporters were angry because Jay was refusing to talk to them he began to say, “You must control your anger.”

A few days later he had lost all of his fame. No one now knew who he was, no reporters were on his back like paint on a wall, no nothing. And he also saw Veronica Hope on the news, she was starting to become famous and she said to herself on TV, “I can’t wait to become a celebrity.”

“What a mistake,” Jay said to himself. His dad then walked in the room.

“What are you doing here?” asked Jay.

“I’m just saying I knew you could do it,” said his father.

“What do you mean?” asked Jay,

“All those stupid wisdom things. I was waiting until you used them positively, then I would stop giving them to you,” said his dad.

“Thanks,” said Jay.

“My pleasure,” said his dad when he walked out of the room. Everything was good between him and his dad. Everything was good between him, and fame, and everything was good overall, except for Sydney’s death of course, but now everything just seemed to be going perfect for Jay. Perfect. Well, there was nothing else interesting that happens, so I’m just gonna end the story right here…the end.

 

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