Stronger Than You Seem

Alexis is about to enter her senior year of high school. She is visiting her grandparents in Chile over the summer. An earthquake that has been predicted for years by scientists finally occurs. Just when Alexis thinks that her family is safe something disastrous happens.

June 15, 2064


Hi! I’m Alexis. I am almost seventeen and I will be a senior when school begins again. I am currently sitting on an airplane on the way to my grandparents home in Chile. My mother thought that I should come visit. I haven’t seen them in years.

Some facts you should know about my grandparents:

  1. My grandpa is a scientist in Chile.

  2. If I recall correctly he is a fun loving, adventurous person. . .

  3. My grandma is not ^


Some other facts you should know:

  1. I am only keeping this journal because we are supposed to document our summer for AP English.

  2. I am looking forward to seeing my grandparents but am not thrilled to be traveling to Chile alone.

  3. If this kid doesn’t quit kicking my seat I am going to get really irritated and probably accidentally say something mean to him.

  4. I am terrified of airplanes and traveling alone.


Anyway… This is where I will write all about my summer adventures in Chile. . . because I am staying ALL summer.

June 17, 2064


I am at my grandparents house. It is HUGE! I knew that my grandfather made quite a bit of money but I never expected anything like this! There are six bedrooms in this house. One for them and five guest rooms. I (of course) chose the one closest to his library. . . Yeah! He has is own library!!! I will be spending a lot of time in there. He also has a room with all kinds of computers and other electronic devices. He has his office, a huge kitchen, a formal dining room, two living spaces, and five bathrooms! Not to mention the attic and basement. He has a huge yard and little house that the lady he pays to clean lives in.


Well enough about his house. When I got off the airplane this creepy looking guy kept staring at me. I quickly walked towards the bathroom. When I came out he was still waiting there for me. I went to a little cafe and ate and he stood outside the entire time! I called my grandpa and asked him where he was and that there was a creepy guy following me. He told me to send him a picture of the guy. As nonchalant as I could I took a picture and sent it. It turns out he was a guy that worked for my grandpa… oops! It was still a scary experience though. He drove me to my grandpas house.


The people here are very interesting. They all seem to be nice but it is very different here than from my home in Arlington Texas. People line the streets to sell food, art, etc. It’s actually kind of cool, . .

June 25, 2064


Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I have been busy exploring this house, reading in the library, and discovering more about the people in Chile’s culture. My grandfather is going on about something called the “Megathrust Earthquake of Chile” that has apparently been predicted for years. And since it has been predicted for years no one believes him.

July 7, 2064


Well. . . a lot has happened since the last time I wrote. . . I don’t know where to start. First of all. . . we should have believed my grandpa. There was, in fact, an earthquake. A BIG earthquake. We were stuck in the safe room for hours. A lot of damage was done. Phones and electricity aren’t working. Homes were destroyed. In the middle of it  I am actually terrified of earthquakes but when my grandpa disappeared and my grandma started panicking, I had to be the brave one. Before my grandpa disappeared, he said that we would have to help some of the peoples whose homes were destroyed. His house was still in great condition because he expected the earthquake and had some special work done to his home to prevent complete destruction. There was damage done but in comparison to some of the other homes, it was in wonderful condition. He didn’t know when stating that we would help others after the earthquake ended that he would soon go missing. He told us to stay put and left to go get something. He never returned. Police have been searching for three days but they are very  busy with other things because of the earthquake. My grandma is terrified, She keeps talking about some special project he was working on and that someone must have kidnapped and/or killed him. I keep telling her that he is smart and can take care of himself so she won’t worry. She’s not buying it. . . and frankly, neither am I. He wouldn’t just disappear like this. . .


July 10, 2064


My grandma is making me volunteer at a local orphanage because that’s what grandpa would have been doing if he was able. As I was helping on of the kids, I saw a man quickly disappear into a nearby building. He looked a lot like my grandpa.. Maybe I’m hallucinating. . . I know for a fact he wouldn’t just leave without letting us know. . . unless he had no choice. I don’t know. Once I finish with the kids I will investigate.

July 12, 2064


When I knocked on the door of the building a middle aged woman answered saying that it was probably just her husband I saw. . . “People often mistake him for someone else”. I don’t think so. I caught a glimpse of him again as she closed the door. After I could hear laughter. .. . Am I going crazy??? I am almost positive it is him. . .

July 20, 2064


I am continuing to look for my grandpa. I haven’t seen the mysterious man since the first incident at the orphanage, I am still volunteering in the community. There was a lot of damage done to these people’s homes. I did, however, find my grandpa’s watch outside the lady whose house my “grandpa” disappeared into.


July 27, 2064


I just found my grandpa’s journal he always carries around. When I opened the journal I saw a map. The map was of the entire town. There were three places marked with an X. The first was his house, the second the mysterious woman’s house, and the third the orphanage. I intend to investigate all three locations.


July 30, 2064


I found nothing at the orphanage and nothing at his house (as I expected). Only one place left to look. I intend to sneak into the house when the lady leaves to shop tomorrow.


August 17, 2064


I found my grandpa after sneaking into. It turns out that lady was his cousin’s daughter and he was hiding from me. . . he said he wanted me to have a more interesting summer to write about. . . It sure was interesting. ANyway, I haven’t Written in so long because I have been busy looking for him.. And it turns out that my grandma was in on it too. The entire thing was just an act! He was intentionally planting clues around town. I found his watch and a little notebook he always carried around. Well, either way I found my grandpa and people are recovering from the earthquake. My grandfather keeps saying “Just remember Alexis, You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”.


Well. . . I am currently on my way home. This is nothing but my AP English Summer Journal and I am sure no one will ever read this except my teacher. Either way it something for me to look back on. . . the time my grandpa disappeared in the middle if an earthquake.

January 13, 2083


I am now grown and I am just writing this page as an “ending” to my adventurous with my grandparents. They both passed away about 3 years after my summer experience. I will never forget them and I will ALWAYS remember when my grandpa disappeared.


On another note, I am now 36. I am an AP English Teacher who forces her students to document their summers. :) And compared to my summer, these children have boring lives. Well. . . This is my last entry. I not only remember my grandfather’s quote, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”, I tell my students the same quote and apply it to my life as well. Just remember that one quote and you’ll be good to go! :)



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