The Trip

By Adhvika Karthik, age 9
The Trip Adhvika Karthik is a 9-year-old who loves to sing and read fiction novels. She is a fourth grader at Brooks Global Studies in Greensboro, NC. She also enjoys playing the piano and loves Harry Potter.

“I knew I was I going to get into trouble, so I didn’t make a sound. I felt like a maniac. Why didn’t I just say a plain, old lie? But I felt sooo good saying the truth – as good as it would feel to go on the trip to D.C.”

Eavesdropping

I woke up with a start! Mom was flipping the pancakes in the frying pan while scrambling her eggs at the same time. The sweet smell of maple syrup and batter filled my room.

I overheard my parents talking about going to D.C.

“No, David. She can’t go!!! She needs to stay-” I couldn’t make out the next words, only a name: Aunt Riannon.

“But, Rachel,” Dad said. I still couldn’t make out a lot of words. I tried to strain my neck to hear better.  I wasn’t going on the trip, I thought. That was all I heard.

I felt like screaming, but I didn’t want my parents to know that I was listening to what they were saying. I felt my cheeks get as hot as a frying pan. They knew that I hated my nanny. My nanny’s name was Aunt Riannon. She was a stubby woman with some really sharp, white teeth. I was just an 11-year-old girl. Why so much torture for me, I thought. I got out of bed and went to the bathroom to quickly brush my teeth and take a shower. While I dressed, all I thought was Why, why sooo much torture!!!

At breakfast, my parents looked like nothing had happened. I gave them a suspicious look, but they just smiled back. So I drooped around doing the casual routine (making the sandwiches for lunch, feeding the cat, eating my breakfast, packing my bag, going to school, sooo boring) the rest of the morning.

 

School

I couldn’t think of anything, except what I heard Mom and Dad say. Then suddenly I heard Mrs. Mitchell’s voice. I had been daydreaming!

“Uhumm, Taylor, please be focused. You are now a 6th grader!” she said in a confused but stern voice. When Mrs. Mitchell passed out the math tests, all I kept thinking was, Taylor, it’s all right. You might have misunderstood, BUT you know you can’t go on the trip, so don’t waste your time thinking that you can go. I stared at the math test Mrs. Mitchell had passed out. I couldn’t even see straight with all the stress I was having. I couldn’t even think what 1+1 was.

Mrs. Mitchell called “Time!” and I felt my tension go up. I was still just staring at the first problem. Mrs. Mitchell picked up my paper and saw that it was completely blank.

“You alright, Taylor? You haven’t been acting like you usually do.”

I stared into Mrs. Mitchell’s light blue eyes and then looked myself in the  classroom mirror. I saw a stupid little girl who wanted to tell her teacher everything, but couldn’t. I knew that Mrs. Mitchell was the nicest teacher ever and I could tell her anything. Should I just say a plain, old lie or tell the truth?!

I just blabbed everything out.

“I heard my parents say that I can’t go to D.C and that I have to stay with the meanest, ugliest, stupidest nanny in the whole world!” I lowered my voice. “I’m pretty sure, anyway.”

“Okay, just calm down and come with me,” Mrs. Mitchell said in a concerned and curious voice.

I knew I was going to get into trouble, so I didn’t make a sound. I felt like a maniac. Why didn’t I just say a plain, old lie? But I felt sooo good saying the truth – as good as it would feel to go on the trip to D.C.

Mrs. Mitchell took me to her office. “Tell me everything right now.”

I took a deep breath and started talking. “I woke up in the morning and–” I could feel a burning sensation in the corner of my eyes. “I can’t take it anymore. I am just a horrible kid and I am so stupid.”

“Now, now, you are the best kid in 6th grade. You always follow directions and get good grades. You’re also a very great friend. So tell me again everything that you had said.”

I cleared my throat. I was about to tell her everything about this morning’s incident. Then Mrs. Mitchell said something that I was hoping nobody would ask me. “How did you hear that?” she asked.

“Uhhh, um may I use the bathroom?”

“Fine,” Mrs. Mitchell said.

I ran up to the bathroom, locked myself into a stall and burst out into tears. This was the worst day ever! I thought. But it felt good to let my emotions out. I came back to my senses. What was I going to tell Mrs. Mitchell when she asks me again the question? The same question I had in mind a few minutes ago came to me again: Should I just say a plain old lie or tell the truth? Mrs. Mitchell is a very trustworthy teacher!

I heard Mrs. Mitchell’s voice calling for me. So I took a quick glimpse at the mirror and wiped my tears away and left. I met Mrs. Mitchell back in her office.

“I was getting worried about you,” she said. Then she asked me the question that I hate so much. “How did you hear what your parents were saying?”

“Well, I kind of ish was listening to what my parents were saying without them knowing that I was doing that, but it was a mistake,” I said.

“So you were basically eavesdropping,” said Mrs. Mitchell.

“Well not really,” I replied. There was a long silence and then Mrs. Mitchell said that it was getting late and we better get going to the classroom. I looked at her clock. It was about to strike one and we had to go to back to the classroom for lunch. When we came back to the classroom everyone was reading their books and they all had their lunch cards with them.

 

Friends Go On The Wrong Side

In the lunch line to get my lunch, I wondered if my friends would ask me why I left the classroom or if they would talk about the stupid field trip that I’m not going to!

I sat down with my friends. We all were silent for a few minutes.

“Are you guys going on the D.C field trip?”  Katie said.  

Everyone replied, “Of course!” in harmony.

“What about you, Taylor?” Katie asked me.

“Well, I haven’t asked my parents yet, but I’m pretty sure they’ll say, ‘uhh, no.’” Just after I said that I regretted it. I sounded so stupid.

“Okay, just please ask your parents when you go home,” Katie said. All of my other friends agreed.  

I couldn’t believe it — I had disappointed my friends!!! I felt so awful. What had I done? I hadn’t completely told the truth, but I somewhat did.

At recess it was even worse. My friends kept asking me why I think my parents won’t let me go on the D.C trip with them, when they usually would allow me to do anything like that. My response to all of them except Mia was, “I’m not sure, because sometimes they don’t want me around.”

But to Mia it was different. Mia is the trustworthiest, worthiest, and best friend I’ve ever had in my whole life. She won’t tell any of my secrets to anyone else. She always does nice things for me. She helps me with my work when I’m struggling and so much more.

I took a deep breath, but no words came out.

“You know you can tell me anything, you know that right?” Mia said. I was quiet for a few seconds.

I told Mia EVERYTHING I had heard my parents say word for word. “I was partly eavesdropping and I had heard my parents say that I was going to be stuck with Aunt Riannon.” Mia knew how Aunt Riannon was because I’ve spoken a lot about her. It’s almost like she was there with me at Aunt Riannon’s house.

“Wow, that sounds nothing like your parents,” Mia said.

I guess, I thought.

Mia looked at me and saw that I had a really depressed face. “So, let’s talk about something else now,” she said.

“Sure,” I said, relieved. So we talked about school and art and we didn’t bring up the D.C. trip again for the rest of recess.

When it was time to go back to class, my friends kept giving me “Are you okay?” looks. We started packing up because it would be time to go home soon. Today, Mrs. Mitchell didn’t tell us to pack our bags as usual, but I thought maybe she forgot and she still wanted us to. So I went to get my book bag.

Just then I heard Mrs. Mitchell’s voice. “Don’t get your book bag, I have something to say about the D.C trip.”

That’s when I got a really frustrated feeling and burst out, “IF YOU CARE SOOO MUCH ABOUT THE FIELD TRIP, WHY DON’T  YOU TEACH A WHOLE ENTIRE LESSON ON IT. YOU KNOW SOME KIDS REALLY WANT TO GO, BUT THEY CAN’T!!!”

I took a deep breath and said, “I’m going to put my head down and close my ears while you talk about the stupid field trip!” I had lost my voice but let out a few words.

“I — don’t care, uhhhmm, if I — don’t go in the, uhhhmm, field trip.”

“May I talk to you, Taylor?” Mrs. Mitchell said in a worried and mad voice. She took me into the hallway.

“We’re going into my office now, please.” Before I could reply we were walking down the hall. The last time I had gone this way I was going to repeat the stupid eavesdropping dilemma, but this time I was sure I was in big trouble.

 

Magic Has Taken Over My Body!

WHO IN THE WORLD WOULD SCREAM AT THEIR TEACHER AND SAY SOME NONSENSE STUFF ABOUT THEM, I thought.

We arrived at Mrs. Mitchell’s office. But Mrs. Mitchell didn’t sit down or ask me to. So I just stood.

“This way,” Mrs. Mitchell said. She walked up straight into a brick wall and said the word Operiano, then the brick wall magically opened. I just stared at Mrs. Mitchell.

“Come on, we don’t have forever.”

This has to be a dream, I thought. I pinched myself. Ouch, well, it isn’t a dream. Mrs. Mitchell led me down a dark hallway. I swore I saw a teddy bear wearing a hat run into a closet.

Then I finally saw a little bit of light.

“Race you,” Mrs. Mitchell said. I looked at her confused, but she started running as fast as a cheetah. Wow, I thought.

I tried to catch up to her, but by the time I took my first step, Mrs. Mitchell was already outside. When I got out, I was panting SO hard, while Mrs. Mitchell looked completely fine.

“Wow you’re fast,” I said with my hands on my knees.

“Ran the Boston Marathon in a 1½ hours and other marathons in usually 30 minutes.” I looked at my teacher as if this was the first time I had ever seen her.

“No, no no, that can’t be true because when the kids were playing tag outside you were the slowest person and you kept getting tagged.”

“I did that on purpose because I didn’t want anyone thinking that I was fast, so they won’t want to race me or ask me questions about my life.” I just looked dumbfoundedly at Mrs. Mitchell.

“Come on, I really want to show you this.” Suddenly, Mrs. Mitchell looked like a teenager to me.

“How old are you?”

“Why?” she asked.

“Just curiosity.”

“25.”

“Are you a Mrs.?”

“No.” Mrs. Mitchell laughed.

“Oh, then why do you not say anything when all the kids in class call you Mrs.?”

“I wanted you guys to think that I wasn’t that young.”

I saw a lot of candies flying through the sky.

“We better get going,” Mrs. Mitchell said. “It’s about to rain.”

As we continued toward the city, I wanted to talk with her more.

“What’s your whole name?”

“Taylor Caroline Mitchell.”

“We have the same first name!”

“Yeah… We gotta get going.”

“WHERE?” After all of the weird things I had seen, I wondered if everything I was seeing was fake or real.

“It’s a surprise.”

What a weird conversation I was having with Mrs. Mitchell, or should I say Ms. Mitchell or maybe Ms. Taylor, wait is it Ms. Caroline? My life just got so confusing in the last 30 minutes. AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

Ms. Mitchell and I were walking on a yellow brick road. I saw gingerbread houses, signs made out of lollipops, little fairies nibbling on gingerbread houses, and then gingerbread men screaming at the fairies as they broke down part of the gingerbread houses. Sad!

Then out of nowhere it started raining candy corn, Skittles, Mike and Ike’s, Hot tamales, M&M’s, 3 Musketeers, Air Head bits, Reeses Pieces, and more sweet treats.

“Oh dear, it’s raining,” Ms. Mitchell said.

I was running like a maniac to get candy in an old and rusty bucket that I had found on the floor.

“Oh my,” Ms. Mitchell mumbled under her breath.

But then she was right next to me.

“See who gets the most candy!”  

A few minutes later Ms. Mitchell said it was time to go and then in a really fast motion, I couldn’t breath, I was really dizzy and then I fell PLOP into the chair in Ms. Mitchell’s office. I was breathing SO hard.

“So how was that?” Ms. Mitchell asked.

“Great,” I wheezed. “Why’d you take me there?”

“I wanted to show you that you are not a stupid little girl and you’re really fun to be with. I wanted to show you that you can go up to your parent and ask them if that’s really what you heard.”

“You don’t understand, they’ll ask me a question that I hate.”

“I know exactly how you feel because I was in the same problem as you.”

Mrs. Mitchell took a breath.

“When I was young I had been awoken one morning and I heard my parents say that I was going to be stuck with my stupid aunt and I couldn’t go to the D.C. trip. Or at least that’s what I thought. All my friends would ask me about it. And, like you, any time my teacher was about to talk about the trip, I started to scream things. WHY DON’T YOU JUST TEACH A WHOLE LESSON ABOUT IT!”

I suddenly felt really ashamed about myself and also really, really, REALLY happy that Ms. Mitchell knew exactly how I felt.

“Why did you do that?”

“That is for you to figure out.”

“Uuuuuhhhhh…”

“Come on, it’s time to go,” said Ms. Mitchell.

When I was walking, I was thinking about what Ms. Mitchell had said. Then all of a sudden I heard Ms. Mitchell’s voice.

“Watch out!”

I saw a big bowling ball flying toward me, a bat that was about to smack me in the face, and a lasso that was coming toward my neck. I felt confused, but I didn’t have much time. The rope was around my neck and I started choking. Then I felt the bowling ball hit me on the chest and the bat smacking my face. Then everything went blank.

***

I woke up in a soft, comfy bed. Ms. Mitchell was screaming at the kid who had hurt me. Then she became quiet and came toward me.

“Who was that you were screaming at?” I asked.

“It’s nothing. Just a kid who was horseplaying at school.”

I tried to get up, but halfway through everything got blurry and I gave up.

“I have some good news and bad news,” she said. “Let’s start with the bad news.”

“Is it about me?”

“Kind of, but not exactly. Your parents had to go on an emergency business trip and they told Aunt Riannon to take care of you.”

Before I could say anything, Ms. Mitchell continued.

“But the good news is, I refused to let Aunt Riannon take care of you because of all the bad stuff you said she had done to you and now you’re going to spend the weekend at my house, which means you’re going to have to stay with me after school and even help me grade papers. Lastly you can finish that math quiz I gave you this morning so you don’t get an F.”

Wait. Mom and Dad went on a business trip and didn’t tell me? They haven’t been acting at all like their normal selves today.

“Now that I told you the news,” Mrs. Mitchell said. “Just close your eyes for a minute and relax.” I did as told and then I heard Ms. Mitchell’s voice say, “Healoria.” All of a sudden I felt back to normal and I saw that the time was 4:55, which meant school finished 25 minutes ago.

“Come on, let’s go,” Ms. Mitchell said. I followed her to the classroom and there I saw MIA!!

 

D.C Trip Yes? or No?

“AHHH!!!” Mia screamed. I began screaming, too. I have no idea why. Then Mia and I stopped and laughed at the same time.

“Why were you screaming?” I asked. “Well, I was scared the principal had come in.”

Mia and I just stared at each other in an awkward silence for what seemed like  forever. Finally, Ms. Mitchell came in and said, “Girls, I need to tell you something very important.”

“Sure,” we replied in unison.

We were sitting near Ms. Mitchell’s desk.

“Okay,” she said. “Just take a deep breath and relax.

“Well, your parents have gone on a business trip-”

“Not Aunt Riannon,” I said.

“Please don’t interrupt, Taylor,” said Ms. Mitchell. “Where was a I? Oh yeah, well your parents have gone on a business trip to Poland and they can’t take care of you while they’re halfway across the world so I want you to fill out a form.”

Mia and I just shook our head. Ms. Mitchell gave us the form and it said:

House location: 5421 Broadway Street, Los Angeles, 54634

School: Brooks Global Studies

Parent Phone Number: (573) 374-5479

Person to contact in an emergency (other than your parents): Lia Mitchell

Their phone number: (573) 934-2043

Closest relative: Parents – Dad and Mom – David Jackson and Rachel Jackson

Teacher’s name: Taylor Caroline Mitchell

Grade: 6th

                             Signature:

Taylor Caroline Mitchell and Taylor Jackson 

 

“Well, am I right with all the information? And please fill out your signatures. I know it’s not fair if I do it for you,” said Ms.Mitchell.

“You are right with all my information,” Mia said. “But how do you know that because none of the teachers in this school ask for your personal information?” I wasn’t listening to the next few words since I was trying to see what Mia’s form said, but this was all I saw was the house location, L.A.

“Well what do you think, Tay,” I heard Mia say.

“About what?” I was confused.

“Well, duh! DO YOU WANT TO STAY AT MS. MITCHELL’S HOUSE THIS WHOLE WEEK WITH ME?” Mia took a big breath and finished her sentence. “Since our parents have gone to a business trip to Poland.”

“Wait, explain,” I said.

“Well you see, like I just told you, our parents are in Poland.”

“But-”

“Wait, can I continue?” said Mia.


“Yes,” I sighed.

“Where was I? Oh yeah. Well our parents went to Poland for a business trip and they were really worried about how we could go to the D.C. trip, so they asked Ms. Mitchell if she would take care of us.”

“Wait can you repeat the line about the trip?” I said, curiously.

“Our parents were really worried how we could go to D.C. trip,” said Mia impatiently.

“Wait so, am I going on the D.C. trip or not? I’m really confused right now. But that can’t be possible because I know. I heard my parents say I couldn’t go. (I might have misunderstood, but there’s only a 20 percent chance, well fine 70 percent, but what’s the big difference?)

I put the things together and thought back to the conversation I heard Mom and Dad having this morning:

“No, David, she can’t go with Aunt Riannon. She needs to stay with us, never Aunt Riannon.”

“But Rachel, she could maybe go on the trip with Ms. Mitchell.”

“We’ll think about it,” Mom had responded.

I can’t believe that it all made sense now.

“Oh my gosh, this is awesome. I really need to go,” I told Mia and Ms. Mitchell. “See you in a sec.”

I got the school phone and called my mom.

“Hello, who is this?” I heard this woman say.

“It is Taylor Jackson. Can you please give the phone to Rachel Jackson?

“Hellooooo,” I heard my mom talking in her fake accent.

“It’s me, your daughter, Taylor Lee Jackson,” I replied.  

“Oh hey honey,” Mom said in her normal accent. “What’s the matter?”

“Well the matter is that you’re in Poland and you left me with Ms. Mitchell and you didn’t even tell me. The problem is actually that you never told me that you were going to travel halfway across the world!” I replied.

“Honey, I was going to tell you the problem this morning.”

I had totally forgot that Mom and Dad had had the talk this morning. I was thinking that it was yesterday or the day before.

“But you looked sad and down,” Mom continued. “So we decided that it would be best to not tell you, so yeah.”

“Wow,” I thought. “Well bye,” I said.

I hung up. That was the most unusual talk I had with Mom. I returned to the classroom.

“Ready for the trip?” Mrs. Mitchell asked.

“Of course,” I replied.

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