My life story, or at least the part of my life story you’d be interested in, begins where a tragic story might end — with the digging of several holes. Before we continue, I will assure you that this story is nothing like that, but if you’re looking for a story with that kind of drama and sadness, please ask your librarian to refer you to the tragedy section. With that out of the way, let’s get back to the story: I ran frantically around our miniature backyard, waving and digging with my plastic shovel like a maniac, my brain bubbling full of hatred and loathing for my older brother. Although this may seem like a funny anecdote from your end, I can promise you that it was a horrendous experience, for me, at least.
My life story, or at least the part of my life story you’d be interested in, begins where a tragic story might end — with the digging of several holes. Before we continue, I will assure you that this story is nothing like that, but if you’re looking for a story with that kind of drama and sadness, please ask your librarian to refer you to the tragedy section. With that out of the way, let’s get back to the story: I ran frantically around our miniature backyard, waving and digging with my plastic shovel like a maniac, my brain bubbling full of hatred and loathing for my older brother. Although this may seem like a funny anecdote from your end, I can promise you that it was a horrendous experience, for me, at least. A week ago, Ben, my older (and devious) brother, told me that if I buried my candy in the ground and dug it up again a week later, a majestic candy fairy would exchange it for money. I thought this was an extremely clever plan and did exactly what Ben told me to do. I even put a card in the hole to tell the fairy how much I charged for the licorice. However, after I dug the loot back up, all I found was the card. On the back, in my brother’s handwriting, read:
Sorry, but I’m not very liquid right now, but tHAnks for tHe cAndy! – C.F
Now, after completely destroying the backyard, I finally had to accept the truth: the whole thing was a huge scam! I sat down on the now ruined lawn and began to cry. Like a guardian angel, who can sense sadness and despair, my mother came flying out the back door to comfort me. It was only until she dried my tears that she noticed the wrecked backyard.
“Goodness me, Marley! What in heaven’s name happened to the backyard?” she exclaimed, as she scanned the destruction. The flowerbed was half crushed, the grass was nearly all torn up, and the cherry tree in the corner, the only nice thing in the entire neighborhood of bleak houses and cheap grocery stores, had a groove in its trunk, most likely from my shovel.
“Ben happened!” I pouted, waving my shovel and breathing heavily in the humid summer air. I told my mom about the whole ordeal, expecting her to grow angry at Ben for teasing me, and unleash her whole sympathetic lecture about how her older siblings teased her when she was a kid. However, to my astonishment as well as disgust, she started laughing. At first it was a small snort, then a giggle, and all of a sudden she was laughing so hard that she pressed her hands to her stomach and doubled over, giddy tears streaming down her face.
“Mom!” I exclaimed, shocked and feeling extremely betrayed.
“I’m sorry, honey, but you have to admit, it was kind of funny.”
“What???” I said, in complete disbelief, “I thought you were on my side!”
“I am, Mars. Here.” She reached for my hand. “I’ll prove it.”
She grabbed my hand and helped me stand up.
“Where’s Ben now?” she asked.
“At the pizza place with his skateboard,” I said, “He was going to head to the park afterwards.”
“Good,” she said. “Let’s catch him there before he goes to the skateboard rink.”
I followed my mom with a new bounce in my step. As we walked through the neighborhood, I thought of the ways Ben would get punished. Maybe he’ll get grounded, I thought hopefully. Or no candy for him for a whole month! The pizza place was probably the nicest thing around our neighborhood, besides the park. And even then, that was saying a lot. By the looks of the paint job and the dirty tile floor on the inside of the shop, you could tell it hadn’t been cleaned in years. When we got to the pizza place, instead of finding Ben prancing around eating pizza, we saw him sitting dejectedly at one of the tables, his arms wrapped around his skateboard, his pizza to the side, forgotten. When he looked up at us, I saw something in his eyes that I had never seen before. Tears. My mom rushed over.
“Sweetie, what happened?”
Ben wiped the tears from his eyes, “My skateboard,” he said, holding it out to us. “It broke.”
My body was shaking with rage. Mom had promised that she would punish Ben for using me, but now she was comforting him, drying his tears. The only thing that stopped me from throwing a full on tantrum was the skateboard. I loved fixing things, and recently I had been breaking things on purpose to put them back together. (The last time I did this was on the vacuum cleaner, and I lost the airbag, so now we don’t have a vacuum cleaner anymore, as well as something for me to fix.) My curiosity took hold of me, and before I knew it, I was bending down to have a closer look. I winced. One of the wheels was almost torn off, hanging by one measly nail and a whole lot of hope.
“Dad would have been able to fix it,” Ben spluttered. “He made it himself, but now he’s gone… ”
“It’s okay,” my mom tried. “We can get a new one–”
“No! This is all I have left of him, I won’t throw it out, broken or working.” Ben hugged the skateboard to his chest, still crying. I felt like I had just been punched in the gut. What was I even doing? Would Dad want me and Ben to fight each other? I looked down at my feet. 2 minutes ago, I was all for seeing Ben down in the dumps, but now I could see that he was just like me. He missed Dad as much as I did…
“I-I think I can fix it,” I said, surprising myself. I always had the innate ability to fix things, and in the hot summer days it was hard getting through all of the boredom. My only friends were the nuts and bolts in my toolbox. When Dad was still alive, I spent a lot of time with him in the workshop, and hopefully I learned enough to get the wheel back in place. After walking home to our run-down neighborhood, I thought about the tools I would need. I thought of it as what Dad would have done. Though as I slowly made progress on the skateboard, I later had to begrudgingly admit that it had been fun. A day later, I handed the cherished skateboard back to Ben, grins on both of our faces. Ben took the skateboard gingerly, turning it over in his hands. Then he looked back up at me.
“I have a thank you gift,” he said, looking back down at his feet.
“You do?” I said, my heart pounding. Maybe he’ll apologize. Or he could buy me a slice of pizza. Or he could let me have a go at his gaming computer!
“Your licorice was delicious,” Ben said with a smirk. “I have to go meet my friends at the park sooooooo… bye!!!” And with that, he retrieved a bunch of black licorice wrappers, stuffed them in my hands, and ran out the front door before I could even react. I stumbled back into my room, numb with anger. I felt like punching Ben in the face. After all I did for him, and he couldn’t even give me a simple thank you? Throwing the useless wrappers into the trash can, I turned around to collapse on my bed. But I couldn’t, because there was already something on it. A kit to build your own bicycle. To the left was a note.
I staShed my emergency supply of licOrice in your desk dRawer: you aRe going to need a lot of energY to build this thing – C.F
P.S AND did you know THAt if you doN’t rub your Knee a thouSand times your nose will fall off?
Before this story ends, I would like to inform any youngsters who are reading this that if you don’t rub your knee a thousand times, your nose will not fall off. However, I will point out that burying money instead of candy will grow a money tree, which will give you far more profits than exchanging candy for money. With that said: