Kayla and the New Land

Jaela Gillin, age 9
Kayla and the New Land Hello! To Jaela's dear friends, gum drops, gummy bears. Jaela likes to write, draw, watch people, write, watch people, draw. She also loves outdo - outdoors on the computer. She also loves Animal Crossing, so yay! From a dear stranger, Jaela Gillin.

Knock, Knock.
My mom ran to the door and my mom saw that it was the community police that would go around our town to check to see if everything was good. At first, Mom thought that we might have done something wrong, but when the police came, they said,
“I see you have a bunch of past-due bills. And that’s a problem,” they told my mom. “Either you have to pay those bills back or we will have to fly you to America and give you and your husband a house and a job and you have to stay there until you can pay the money.”

Chapter One: Kayla and the New Town

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“Hi, I’m Kayla. I’m three years old and I live in a small town called HERISHI. I wuv my family awot.”

Knock, Knock. 

My mom ran to the door and my mom saw that it was the community police that would go around our town to check to see if everything was good. At first, Mom thought that we might have done something wrong, but when the police came, they said, 

“I see you have a bunch of past-due bills. And that’s a problem,” they told my mom. “Either you have to pay those bills back or we will have to fly you to America and give you and your husband a house and a job and you have to stay there until you can pay the money.”

After a month, we got to America. Luckily, the war had been over by then for a year. People were dancing in the street. I now lived in a small apartment room and I was now seven. My mom got me a backpack. It was really cool. She put it on me and said, “You are special.”

I said bye to my mom and I walked to school. I looked next to me as if my two best friends were I killed everyone. A girl came up to me and said, “Hey, twerp, I’m here and you’re there.” She pointed to the trash.

She grabbed me and pulled my head in there. I wanted to punch back but instead, I said, “Thank you.” 

I walked around and then there was a MEEP MEEP! I said to myself, “First bell is the toughest bell of the new year.”

I put my hoodie on my head and then I walked to class. I was so close, then I got stopped by a girl from the chess club who gave me a flyer. I said, “Thanks.” She was spitting at me while she was talking like a kindergartener. She said, 

“Welcomes, I tells yours news. Here’s a flyers.”

Finally, I got to class. The teacher said, “Get your textbook out, it’s time for history.”

Everyone was like, “Ugh!” 

But kind me said, “Can we learn about Hitler during the war he was a bit well diabolical?”

She stepped back and grunted. I laughed because I saw someone grunting on the streets, but I think this one was serious.

Chapter 2: The Heart Attack

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She was grunting she was on the floor in pain. I was worried right then and then I knew. She was having a heart attack. I went to my teacher and said, “Where is your phone?” She fell on the floor. The class said, 

“Get the principal! Get the nurse!”

I took the phone and called 12345678. The people in my class said, “Call 119! Call 911!” I called the smartest one I heard. I called 119. It took me to a lady screaming in the phone saying,

“Lacey, stop it! You’re not funny!” 

 And I said, “It’s not Lacey, it’s Kayla!”

She said again, but yelling, “lAcEy sToP PrAnK cAlLiNg!!!”

I said, “Lacey is funny and she can prank call.” 

I hung up the phone then I called 911. They didn’t answer cause they were taking a break from the WWII people. The last thing we had to do was call the principal and the nurse. Everyone walked out of class. There were teachers yelling, and a lot of kids got spanked with paddles, but the only one left was me. I rolled over, did a tumble, and hit my head on a locker. I said dramatically, “This is the end!” I went on the floor. 

Happily, I got up and sprinted. I stopped and I was in the middle of trouble (if you didn’t know, it was still my first day of school so I HAD NO CLUE). My dad always said, “When you’re in the middle of trouble, do the smartest thing I repeated to myself the smartest thing the smartest thing I thought what is the smartest thing ?”

Chapter 3: The Dumbest Thing Ever!!!

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I kept tumbling and I got stopped by the lunch lady. She said, “What are you doing out of class?” Now, so you understand, this had been going on for two hours now. I said,

“Uh, uh, I… “

Luckily, it was lunchtime. She said, “Kid, stay out of trouble.” She went to the cafeteria.  I sneaked, and still dramatically, then at the right time got to the nurse’s office. I told her. She said my teacher might be dead. She asked me if I knew CPR. I said, 

“Yes, one of my dad’s jobs was CPR during the war.”

When we almost got to the classroom, she said, “You’re a brave kid.”

I said, “Thank you.”

We sprinted to my classroom. We got there and she was on the floor, dead. I could tell she was not breathing. The last thing I could do was CPR.

1-2-3-4-5, again. 1-2-3-4-5, again. 1-2-3-4-5.

She didn’t wake up. The nurse had a breathing thing that would help her breathe. I thought while I was helping her, What could the hospital be doing? Probably eating donuts. I thought they restored for health. 

Soon, the principal came and understood what was going on. Everyone got to go home early and the teacher was dead.

I went home to my small apartment and I saw Dad there, just Dad

 Chapter 4: Dad

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I asked Dad, “Where’s Mom?”

“Home,” Dad said. 

Home. I know he had to be joking because we were home. I knew something was up. He didn’t ask me how school was. I asked, “What’s going on?”

“Nothing.” 

I sighed. “Dad, tell me.”

He said again, “Nothing, okay? Now there are kids in this apartment playing downstairs. Go check it out.”

I stomped outside the door and cried, “UUGGGHHH!!!” I went downstairs to the kid’s playground and I saw three girls and two boys. They were chasing each other. I ran to get the closest weapon I could find and held it up and said,

“WhAt’S GoInG oN?”

They all laughed. I was confused. Wha — there was one girl, she had wavy hair that was so smooth and very nice clean clothes. 

She said, “Oh, we forgot to introduce ourselves. I’m April, and that’s Sunny, Dany, Sam, and Sammy. Sam and Sammy are twins. These are my friends.”

“You must be new,” said Sammy. “Where are you from?” 

April said, “The twins are very nosy, ignore them.”

I still answered his question. “I’m from Herishi.” 

They all laughed. “You mean, back in the time during the war? You were alive? That’s why you tried to kill us?”

“Well, yes, I guess.”

“It’s okay,” said April. Dany rolled his eyes.

“Why are you here?”

“Well, I don’t know — “

“Ignore him. C’mon, we will fix you up. We’re American. We have the new stuff.” She showed me a little thing with spikes. I said,

“I surrender.”

“No, silly,” said Sammy. “It’s a brush for your tangled hair.”

I was confused. Sammy said, “Danny and Sam, stay here.” They pulled me to the second floor to a very nice apartment. April said hi to her mom and went to her room. They placed me down. Sam went to April’s closet to see if there were any outfits for me to wear. April gently brushed all of the tangles out of my hair. While April brushed my hair, I thought, What is going on with my dad? Where’s my mom? I thought less and let them do what they had to do. Sam eventually found a good outfit for me. It had a big dog on it and a nice sparkly striped turtleneck. I put it on and I loved it. I asked if I could keep it and April said yes. I wanted to go home so I made an excuse to leave. I ran to the fourth floor, to my apartment. My mom and dad were crying. I wondered, Will we move again? My mom and dad said, 

“We have to get a new job.” 

I laughed. “Why so sad? We can make money.”

Chapter 5: The Job

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They did not want a job so I just ignored them and went to my room. I got out a book and wrote: Now that I’m in America, what will I do?

I wrote down:

1.Make friends

2.Become rich

3. Become famous

4. Go home

I always wondered what rabies were. I heard rumors about it being in America. Maybe tomorrow after school, I would see what rabies were. Would I even have school tomorrow?

My dad called me down and asked what I was doing. I lied and said nothing. He said, “There’s no school, what happened at school today… ”

“Well,” I said, “Long story short, my teacher may be dead from a heart attack.” Then I ran to my room until dinner. I kept writing, 

“What will I do in America?”

My mom called me down this time and I went to the kitchen and asked, “Yes?” She said dinner was ready. I was so happy. It was Herishi’s best dish.

It was a bread shaped like a donut with tomato sauce covered in cheese, then some pepperoni. My mom said, “It’s called pizza in America.”

I wasn’t listening but instead, I just enjoyed my food. When I was done, I went to the bathroom and picked up a toothbrush. Thugga thugga thugga thugga. Then I put on pajamas and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up to a note saying — oh, well, I forgot to say, well I couldn’t read so I’ll show you what it said: 

We are at a job interview, there is cereal in the fridge. April’s mom will watch you

Ps: Mamma and Papa

Well I knew what cereal was so I went to the cabinet to get Frosted Flakes and to the fridge to get milk. I heard to knock on the door, it sounded like: Knock kna kna knock. I opened the door. There were two girls standing there. One was April, she had a button-up shirt and a striped pair of pants and was holding a slice of bread. Then her mom, with scrunchies in her hair and a onesie, holding bread.

I let them in. She placed the bread on the table and sat down. I finished my cereal and got some toast, it was soooo goooooooood. I took like five  more slices to the point were I was so full, I could barely walk without jumping.

April chuckled. “You must like it.”

As I looked at her toast, she finished her toast right when I went to grab it.

I sighed. Mealanie (the mom) said, “Girls, go change.” She threw April a white t-shirt with a blue skirt and threw me a baby blue shirt with shoulders like a flower and an orange bottom. I changed. April came into my room. 

She said, “Wanna watch Adventure of Mr. Puppy Face and Prickly?” (Matilda Magaldi, 2020).  I said, 

“Yes, but where will we watch it?”

She laughed. “You have a TV!” I was confused. She said, “Think of it like this: a moving picture.”

When I said that I knew what she was talking about, we went to the living room and I just sat there. I waited for the TV to come on. When it turned on, I loved it. My favorite part was when Prickly had her birthday party, eeee!

 Chapter 6: Parents

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So when my parents got home, I was happy they had a face as if 1 million dollars was in front of them. They pulled out two hands and said, “We got a job!” Reeeeee! I was happy and was so excited, I did a little dance and said,

“Hitting the kay!” Kay stood for Kayla Alli Yeeck (pronounced y-eck). I stopped dancing and asked, “What job did you get, Papa?”

My dad smiled and said, “I’m your new teacher!” There was an awkward pause. I sighed.

“Why my class?”

Well,” he said, “I thought you would like it.”

I wasn’t happy. I held my hand up for my dad to stop and asked my mom, “What’s your job?”

My mom sighed and said, “I don’t think you will like it.” I immediately knew she was working at my school. I got really mad and stomped to my room. I didn’t even have dinner.

The next morning, I held my belly and felt like I was going to vomit. April told me, “If you need to throw up, go to the bathroom.” I ran to the bathroom and krrrr! There it went, this brown goo came out of my mouth. My mom came running to the bathroom and saw me. It kept coming out. I didn’t feel well. My dad ran to the cabinet to get medicine. Then he went to the basket to get a blanket for me, he also got a bucket. My mom picked me up and sat me down on the couch. He put on the TV to Tails of Mr. Puppy Face and Prickly. They told me where all the food was for breakfast and told me there would be no babysitter. I ignored them and just slouched. I enjoyed watching my Puppy Face. I heard two knocks on the door. I opened it and coughed. It was….

A salesman. He was at my front door saying “Hello, ma’am. Want some yummy peaches?”

I slammed the door and said, “This is not America.”  

I walked back and forth. “I don’t want peaches, I don’t want peaches.”

Then I heard another knock on the door. I practiced fast, saying, “I dOnT WaNt AnY pEaChEs!” I opened the door and yelled,

“I DON’T WANT ANY YUMMY PEACHES!” Then there was a pause. I looked up and it was April holding in tears. I held out my hand and apologized. She was all dressed up so I told her I couldn’t make it to school today, sorry. Then I closed the door. I jumped on the couch as if I weren’t sick anymore but again I still had to vomit. 

A few hours later, I heard my mom and dad come in. I jumped up and they had ishi pizza. It’s like pizza in Italy but it’s from Herishi. I immediately knew something was up. I jumped up and asked, “Did you quit your job? Did you kill someone? Are we going home?” 

They all chuckled and said, “No.” My mom hugged me and asked,

“Are you feeling better?”

 I said yes, and I jumped up and said, “PIZZA!!”

I ate a lot of it. It tasted like a gooey, yummy, cheese sensation, and I went to bed. The next day, I had to go to school. Ugh, school. I hated school now that my dad was my teacher. It was gonna be so awkward. So I put my happiest face on and walked out of my room. I waited for my dad to drive me to school, but instead, my mom and dad drove me to school. I found out MY MOM WAS MY PRINCIPAL. I held my excitement in and waited until I got to schoolground. When we got to schoolground, I jumped and said, “GOOD GRADES FOR LIFE!” But then I wondered, Wait a minute, why would I be happy with my mom as my principal and my dad as teacher? After that thought, I quietly walked away before my mother saw me. I walked into class aka homeroom and told April, “My dad is our teacher.” I told her to tell Sammy and tell Sammy to tell Sunny.

She chuckled and said, “Okay.”

My dad came in and said, “Okay, class, quiet down, start your warm-up. I’ll be writing down our schedule for the day.” I toughened up and started my warm-up. It was pretty simple but I had trouble with one question. It was:

400+280=n

What is the missing number n?

n=?

I raised my hand for my dad to come and help me and he came over and bent down and asked, “What do you need help with?” I showed him the paper. He told me to take 80 away from 200 and add 4+2 said 6 he gave me a high five and he said, “Add the 80 and you have your answer.” I wrote in my neatest handwriting:

400+280=n

What is the missing number n?

n=680

After that, I was done. On the board, what it said next was to get out your math book to practice 3 digit addition and 1 digit subtraction. I opened my math book to exactly page 560  and I continued until page 565. I stopped and I was so bummed the bell rang. I got my backpack and before everyone left for lunch, my dad said, “Have fun!”

I stayed behind and asked, “Dad, what’s for my lunch?”

He said, “Go to your desk, your mom is picking up pizza. She should be back by now.” I heard three knocks on the door (not like I was counting) and I opened the door. It was my mother. She was holding a happy meal. Back in Herishi, McDonald’s was a thing. I jumped up and down and quietly said, 

“I’m special! I get to have lunch with my mom and dad!” I sat at my desk while my mom sat at my dad’s desk. I enjoyed my burger and fries. There was another knock. I peeked and it was April. She said she wanted to eat lunch with my parents and me. I let her in and we talked about what we would do after school. My mom checked her watch and said, 

“Oh my, lunch is over, take her to recess with the other kids.” My dad said, 

“Okay,” and held April’s and my hands and we walked out the door and another door and another door to recess. I never had recess before so I didn’t know what to expect. April held my hand and dragged me to Sunny and Sammy. I asked,

“Where are Dany and Sam?

Sammy replied, “They don’t go to this school.”

“Oh,” I said.

“We have 15 minutes so let’s play tag!” Sunny said. I jumped up and said,

“Okay!” Well… I knew what tag was, it originally came from Herishi so I was pumped. We played tag until recess was over then we went back inside. 

“Two more hours left of school,” Sammy said with a smile on her face. 

“Are we going to the play area after school?” I asked.

Sunny replied with a smirk, “Of course we are, now let’s focus.” I raised my hand. 

“What are we doing?” I asked. My father smiled and said,

“Continue on that page and wait for everyone to finish up.”

“Okay,” I said and got back to work.

Chapter 7: A Few Years

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Well, a few years passed by and I was now in the 5th grade and well I was ready to learn more! Sammy and Sam moved and so did Dany which left me off with April and Sunny. Sammy and Sam, well I still got in contact with them but other than that I had not seen their faces in so long apart from the time they would send me pictures or videos on the holidays. I still lived in my apartment though with my mom and my dad. We also now had a cat. I think you know what that is. As I moved up in grades, my dad was still with me apart from second grade. I was now a straight-A student with no favoritism. I earned it. My mom was still the principal and will forever be the best, just like my dad. Now back to the story.

Chapter 8: School

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So it was a Monday and my first day of fifth grade. I was gonna ask my dad to drive me but instead, Sunny and April wanted to walk me so I got out of my room, grabbed my backpack and my waffle, and ran. I said bye to my mom, my dad, and my cat, and left the room. I went outside to see April wearing a green turtleneck and her hair was straight and Sunny was wearing the same thing but with a blue turtleneck and blonde hair. I was wearing the same thing but with a yellow shirt and black hair. As we walked, I looked to the right and the left of me to see my best friends. Wait a minute, that reminded me of my very first day of second grade… anyway, we walked and we got to school. We did our secret code word: hehe hoho go go to do do. Which meant, translation: time to go to school into class.

We all looked at each other and hugged each other. “Our last first day of school,” Sunny said. April corrected and said, 

“Our last first day of elementary school.”

I laughed, then I walked in and breathed in and out. This year we got lockers so in my backpack, I had some decorations but before I decorated, I wondered, it’s been three years, have we made the money yet?

Anyway, I wanted to enjoy my year. I put a picture of my cat in my locker and put a mini disco ball and a fluffy carpet and a big K for my name. After that, the school bell rang. I toughened up and said, “First bells have no mercy against me.” While I was walking, I was daydreaming about me as a superhero, but the daydreaming got a bit out of hand so I stopped every time I got called on to answer a question. I said, “Kay kay girl,” and the whole class would laugh, even my dad. I was so embarrassed, but other than that, my first day of school went well. 

I walked home with April and Sunny and we went to the kid’s area which was a playground but indoor at our apartment and we went under a slide. We told secrets and we told jokes. It was funny. After that, I went to my apartment and I told my dad my whole day again. He already knew how my day went, he was my teacher. My dad told me there was a school board meeting and my mother would be home late. 

“Oh,” I said under my breath. “That’s okay.” I jumped to the living room, but right before I could even touch the couch, the doorbell rang. I yelled, “I’ll get it!” I opened the door, but before I did, I prayed it wasn’t a salesman, but it was the mailman handing me a card. “Wha — ” I said in shock. When my parents came home, I showed them the letter.

Chapter 9: The Letter 

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When I saw the note, I immediately called my parents and told them to come. In the meantime, I called April in tears. “I may move!” 

I grabbed the nearest pillow and snuggled it. I also got my cat and cried. “I don’t wanna go!”

April said, “Calm down, how do you know?” I told her my story? “You I can’t believe it.” Then she hung up. I was gonna call Sunny but I was sad enough. With my cat in my hand, I glared outside as the rain fell peacefully. I had a smile on my face. 

I heard a click. “MY MOM AND DAD ARE HOME!” I showed them the letter and they sighed. 

“Our time in America is over.”

I shouted, “NO, NO! I  made friends, I got a cat, and I have the best life here. I don’t want to go!” They sighed again, as sarcastically as they could, and said, 

“Sorry, Kayla, I know you loved it here but it’s time to go.” With tears running down my face, I said,

“Get on a plane and fly home, I’m staying with April!” And ran to my room. My mother then said to me,

“Our time in America is done. We will no longer live in this apartment. We are moving AND STAYING IN AMERICA AND BUYING A HOUSE!!”

I was so happy, I wanted to hit the kay, but I was still sad. 

A few days later, when we were moving out of the apartment, I hugged April and Sunny goodbye, and our new life in America hadn’t ended. It had just begun.

                  The end

Credits: Thank you to Matilda Jean for allowing me to use her book as inspiration for the TV show Kayla watches

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