“I hate going to the beach! All I want to do this summer is hang out with my friends, play video games on my laptop, and watch TV! But do my parents care? NO!! They just come up to me and say, ‘Jenny, even though we know you hate the beach, we are going there today because we want to torture you.'”
I hate going to the beach! All I want to do this summer is hang out with my friends, play video games on my laptop, and watch TV! But do my parents care? NO!! They just come up to me and say, “Jenny, even though we know you hate the beach, we are going there today because we want to torture you.”
Okay, maybe they didn’t say that last part. People think that when you’re an only child your parents give you everything and let you go anywhere you want to go, but that is totally not true. When you are an only child, your parents are totally overprotective, and they bring you wherever they go because “you are their only child and they want you to protect you.” So, here I am crawling around in the sand because I dropped my iPod when my dad snuck up on me and told me to “put the iPod away and come play in the water, because when he was twelve, his parents never took him to the beach so I should be grateful.”
Well I would be grateful if you would just leave me alone, thank you very much. I wish I had a little brother or a sister, because I could boss them around and my parents would get off my back. When I was little, I asked my parents for a sibling but, instead, they got me a puppy. Not that I’m complaining about that. Sky is amazing. So, anyway, now I have to go in the water with my parents.
Oh my god, I thought that the beach was the worst thing my parents could make me do. But no, they found a worse thing. Going to the neighborhood family festival. Every year, a bunch of people set up games and some bouncy houses and a bunch of snack booths. Sounds fun right? WRONG! You know why it is so boring? Because it is set up by parents! So all the snacks are fruit, the games are lame, and the bouncy castles are for babies!
Oh, here comes Daisy. My best friend. People would NEVER guess that we were best friends EVER EVER EVER! Oh great, she’s running over here waving at me. I wave back but WAY less happily. Oh, she’s stopping to talk to some random people about how great this is. I guess I have time to tell you about her.
She is really really happy, and I mean happiness overload. Her favorite color is pink, while mine is black, and (yes, I know that is technically a shade). She has a younger sister, and her parents are not over-protective. They let her go wherever she wants as long as she’s not in trouble, which she never is (which is another difference between us).
Oh shoot, she’s talking to me. I wasn’t paying attention, so I just nod.
“So, anyway, I’m so excited that you’re coming to my beach party! I know you don’t like the beach, but I’m sure you’ll have fun!”
“Uh huh,” I say, still not paying attention.
“Ok! Let’s go to the bouncy castle!”
“I don’t want to.”
“But you just said that you would.”
I did? Oh, that’s probably what I nodded to when I wasn’t paying attention.
“Oh, right,” I say. “I thought you said let’s not go to the bouncy castle.”
“Great! Bouncy castle here we come!” Daisy says.
Yippee. I get to go bounce around on an inflatable princess castle. Did I mention it’s pink? I should probably tell my parents were I’m going. Wait, actually, I won’t because they’ll see that I can handle my self alone. Uh-oh, here they come. They don’t look very happy.
Yesterday, I went to Daisy’s birthday party and, for some reason, people find it offensive if you bring a journal to their party and write about how boring it is. Also, I’m grounded for a completely terrible reason. I didn’t tell my parents that I was going to the bouncy castle with Daisy. I mean, I just wanted to get away from them for a little while. Is that so wrong? According to my parental dictators, it is! So now I can’t play on my laptop, hang out with my friend, or watch TV. Also I’m not allowed to leave the house unless I tell my parents where I’m going. Sadly, I was allowed to go to Daisy’s party, even though I told my parents I didn’t deserve to go. They said that since I already said I was going, I had to go. So all I did at the party (which was three hours long!) was sit in the sand and do nothing. IT WAS SO SO SO BORING! Please don’t tell Daisy I said that, it’ll hurt her feelings.
So today I’m going to talk to my parents about not having to tell them everywhere I go. I go into my parent’s room. They’re watching TV. Mom is in matching blue PJs. They pause the TV and Dad says, “What’s up?”
I say, “Mom, Dad? Do you think you could give me a little more independence?”
Dad rubs his eyes, “What do you mean, honey?”
“I mean, maybe being able to go out with friends without having to tell you who I’m going with or where I’m going everytime.”
“Well, sweetie, how would we get in touch with you if you get hurt?” Mom says.
I smile and raise my eyebrows. “I could get a cell phone?”
“Jenny, right now you’re grounded. Do you really think you deserve a cell phone? And I beli — ” I cut Dad off.
“Think about the reason I got grounded. If I had a cell phone I could have texted you guys!” I’m whining.
Mom and Dad’s faces darken.
“Jenny, I don’t think you’re old or responsible enough for a cell phone,” Mom says.
“Right. Cell phones are very expensive,” Dad chimes in. “What if we buy you one and then you lose it or break it?”
“Sorry, sweetie. you’re just not ready,” says Mom.
“Ahhh! You guys are being so dumb and unreasonable!”
Ok, so maybe I didn’t say that but I definitely thought it! Ugh parents can be SO ANNOYING!
Anyway, I gotta go cool down.
“Are you even listening to me?” asks Daisy.
We’re sitting in Daisy’s bedroom.
“Nope not at all,” I say.
“I said that you were acting really moody at my birthday party.”
“I’m sorry, but you know I don’t like the beach and I didn’t know anyone besides you
“Well it hasn’t been only that moment. You’ve been really moody and not paying attention lately.”
“Give me an example,” I say.
“Well, at the family festival, you weren’t paying attention because you didn’t know that we were going to a bouncy castle.”
“Well I’m sorry that I didn’t want to bounce around on an inflatable princess castle!”
“Well then, you should have paid attention. You know, I don’t like it when you don’t pay attention to me! I mean, it’s not like I do anything that annoys you.”
“Yes you do!” I yell.
“What do I do that annoys you so much?!”
“You’re way too perky!”
“Yeah, well you’re way moody and I’m getting tired of it!”
“Well I’ll leave then!”
I slam the door of her way too pink and perky room and stomp out of her way to happy house.
So you’re probably wondering by now why the heck me and Daisy are best friends. Well, the short answer is she was the only one who talked to me when I moved here three years ago. So basically, I walked into my third grade classroom for the first time. The schedule was up on the board and the first thing it said was free time. This may surprise you but I’m a huge neat freak. So I thought the first thing I would do was organize my cubby and desk. Unfortunately, I didn’t know where either of those things where because apparently instead of putting our names on our desks, cubbies, and other stuff Ms. Wyatt (who by the way was the best teacher of all time) assigned each student a color. And since I had come in the middle of the year I didn’t know my color yet. Then this little girl wearing all pink and a huge smile (can you guess who it was?) comes up to me and says:
“Hi, I’m Daisy. What’s your name?”
“Jenny,” I said.
“Do you know your color yet?”
“No,” I admitted.
“Oh, well I’m your welcome buddy, so I know!”
“What is it?” I asked.
“You got so lucky almost every girl in the class wanted this color but you got it!!”
Oh no I thought that can’t be good because most nine year old girl’s favorite color is …
“Great,” I said.
“We’re gonna be best friends forever!” said Daisy
So I agreed to be her best friend because no one else would talk to me. Now, I don’t have any friends. When I get home I go to my room to play on my laptop but then I realize I can’t do that because I’m grounded for a completely stupid, terrible reason! Ugh.
So I do what any rational twelve-year-old girl would do at this moment. I scream into my pillow. Then, when that doesn’t work, I throw it across the room. It hits a picture of me and Daisy skiing. I don’t pick it up. Sky comes in, because she heard all the noise, climbs up on my bed, and starts to lick my face. Then she curls up into a little ball. She’s so cute. She’s a three-year-old golden labrador retriever and she’s really energetic. I start to cry and I burry my face in Sky’s fur.
I hate my life.
When my mom gets home (my dad is on a business trip to Asia), she sees the pillow and the picture and me asleep with my head on Sky. She wakes me up and says:
“Honey what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” I say.
“Jenny, something is obviously wrong,” she says.
“Fine, me and Daisy had a fight.”
“Daisy and I,” she says under her breath.
Did I mention she’s an English teacher at our town college?
“Mom,” I say in a stern voice.
“Fine. Continue,” she says.
“I wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying. She got mad at me and started saying how I’m moody and don’t pay attention and then she said that she never did anything that annoys me and I yelled at her saying she was too perky. Then, I stomped out of her house.”
“Well, sweetie, were you being moody and not paying attention?”
“No! Mabye. Yes,” I say.
“Well then you can’t blame her,” says Mom.
“But she knows that’s who I am,” I say.
“Well, honey, it can be annoying. And I should know. I’m your mother.”
“Okay. Tomorrow, I’ll go to her house and apologize to her.”
“That’s a great idea sweetie!”
“Okay, bye Mom.”
“I’m ordering pizza. I’ll call you when it gets here.”
Mom walks down the hall. I’m going to take a nap until the pizza gets here. I hope she ordered Sicilian, it’s my favorite. Daisy’s too.
I’m walking over to Daisy’s house to apologize. I hope she forgives me.
I walk up to the door and knock. I see Daisy in her bedroom window. Her mom comes out.
“Oh, hi Jenny!”
“Hi Ms. Ackerman. Can I talk to Daisy?”
“Um… Daisy isn’t here” she says looking over her shoulder.
“Oh well tell her I want to talk to her,” I say, sadly.
“I will,” she says.
I start to walk away and, after a couple seconds, I turn around to make sure Daisy’s mom isn’t looking then I start to run. When I get home, Mom is also home because she has off on Fridays. She sees that I’m crying.
“What’s wrong, Jenny?” she asks, kind of panicked because I never cry in front of people.
“I went to Daisy’s house to apologize and I saw Daisy in her bedroom window but when her mom came to the door she said that Daisy wasn’t home!” I sobbed.
“Oh sweetie I’m so sorry that’s terrible! Do you want me to talk to Daisy’s mom and tell her that you just wanted to apologize.”
“Okay,” I say slowly.
“I’ll talk to her. Oh and Jenny? That was a very mature thing you did. Your grounding is over.”
“Thanks,” I say.
Mom smiles back me. I go up to my room and play Minecraft.
Tomorrow’s my birthday and I have a plan. Since it’s my thirteenth birthday, I’m going to ask my parents for a phone. I have a plan and it’s foolproof! You’ll see what it is tomorrow. When my mom got home from talking to Daisy’s mom yesterday, I asked her how it went and she said it went fine. I still don’t think that Daisy forgives me. I asked my mom if Daisy was coming to my party and she said that she didn’t know and that we’ll see tomorrow. Anyway I’m so excited for tomorrow. I’ll officially be a teenager and have a reason to be moody. I’m probably just gonna play on my laptop all day today.
It’s my birthday today and my plan is in action. I’ll go downstairs and my parents will be at the table and they’ll have made pancakes. Then they’ll yell happy birthday. Then they’ll ask me what I want for my birthday and I’ll say a phone! It’s foolproof! They can’t say no since it’s my thirteenth birthday! I’m going downstairs now. I peek around the corner of the stair case. Okay, good. There are pancakes on the table with a “13” candle on top. So far, so good. I walk into the kitchen.
“SURPRISE!” My parents yell. I act surprised even though I’m not.
“Oh my gosh!” I say in my best surprised voice.
“Sit down honey,” says Mom. I sit down and as expected they ask me what I want.
“Well,” I say pretending to think, “it would be great if I could have a phone.”
My parents look at each other smiling.
“We thought you would say that,” says Dad. They take out an iPhone case.
“Oh my God!” I exclaim. Then I open it and there is an iPhone 5s!
“Thank you thank you thank you!” I say excitedly.
“You’re welcome,” says Dad. “There are some rules, though.”
“Ok what?” I say skeptically.
“Here’s a sheet of paper with the rules,” says Dad handing me a sheet of paper. It reads:
I would complain about these rules but I don’t want to lose my phone.
“Let’s go get ready for the party,” Mom says.
We are in our backyard for my party. It’s really sunny and nice out. I’m really bored. My cousins are running around playing tag. The grownups are talking about politics. Boring.
I wish Daisy was here. She used to be the only person I would really talk to at my parties. Usually at my birthday parties it’s me, my parents, Daisy, some of my aunts, uncles, and cousins, some of my parents friends kids, and my grandparents. But I don’t think Daisy is going to come even though mom said the talk with Daisy’s mom went well. I feel a tap on my shoulder. It’s Daisy!
“Hi Jenny,” she says.
“Hi,” I say.
“I’m sorry,” we say at the same time.
“Let me go first,” she says.
“Okay,” I say.
“I’m sorry I told my mom to say I wasn’t home and that I called you moody,” she said, sadly.
“Okay, my turn,” I say. “I’m sorry I called you too perky and that I wasn’t paying attention to you. I am moody, so I forgive you.”
“I forgive you too,” she says, happily.
“I’m going to think about how moody I am and maybe try to be a little bit less moody. I said try. No promises!” I say to Daisy.
“Great. And I’ll try to be less perky,” Daisy says.
“No don’t, I kind of like it,” I admit.
“And I kind of like how you’re moody. I guess we kind of balance each other out!”
“Okay. Oh, and guess what? I got a phone!” I say excitedly.
“Really? What kind?” asks Daisy, even more excitedly.
“An iPhone 5s!” I say.
“Oh my god that’s awesome what’s your number?” she asks
“(212) 566-7653” I say. She taps it into her phone.
“What’s yours?” I say.
“(212) 356-3579,” she says.
“Oh, the cake is coming. Let’s go!” I say
“Okay!” she says. Then we run and get some chocolate cake with vanilla frosting that my mom made just for me.
So, right now, I guess I don’t hate my life.
Amazing story, Bella! You’re such a natural writer. Thanks for sharing your story with me – I really enjoyed reading it. I look forward to your next piece.
Hi Isabella, I am a friend of your Mom’s. I read your story and really loved it. It was so real and so well written. It reminded me of when I turned 13. I had a journal and I had fights with my friends, and you captured it so well. I didn’t have a cell phone back then, just a “land line”, no computers but there was a game called “Pong” that I played on my friend’s Atari machine… Good writing transports the reader to new or old/remembered places, and your story certainly did that for me! Thanks so much!
Isabella that is truly an amazing story , you have a wonderful gift!