In the end, everyone dies I guess. Don't get me wrong, I think about death quite a bit. What I learned this summer was that my life is like a wave; everyone's is; Some just fall faster than others.
Gabe is just spending a normal summer with his grandparents in Miami. -or so he thinks. Everything is pretty dull until a massive tsunami hits the city, and his grandfather goes missing. It becomes a race against time for Gabe to find his grandfather before the end of the summer and he has to leav
Gabe’s summer writing journal
June 10th, Entry 1:
Grandfather had the idea that I start keeping a summer journal so that I can submit it when I start applying to colleges. I don’t understand how that’s going to make the few colleges I am applying to more likely to accept me, but he is the professor so I’m just gonna go along with it. I’ve been in Miami for a week now and all I’ve really done is sit on Grandpa’s computer because it is constantly raining here. I probably won’t even have a tan to show for my summer when i return to school in August. But I like the idea of getting out of the crazy city for awhile, getting away from my “friends” and my parents, always worrying and looking over my shoulder, terrified that I’m actually really depressed sounds kind of nice. I like it here because my grandparents treat me like an actual human being, also my grandmother is a fantastic cook. My normal diet of take-out chinese food from across the street has gone to rest, replaced instead, by home cooked meals that are absolute perfection. It’s near 11 now, I should probably go to sleep now. I wouldn’t want to be tired for my “busy” summer.
June 20th, Entry 2:
I haven’t really had time to write, a lot has been going on. The weather cleared up, so I guess I will have a stereotypical summer in Miami; Sunny and 75. I’ve been helping grandfather get some work on the beach house done, he insists that it looks it’s best since it’s summer and there will be tourists. I have already developed a distinctive tan that Mackenzie Mince would refer to as “wheated”. She is a girl from my school and she has a ‘slang’ word for everything. Any reminders of school just get me down, considering I only have a month until I have to go back and endure just one more year of school, and then off to college I go. Speaking of which, whoever reads this, college is very important to me, and it is very important to my family that I go. Sooo please let me in. Okay not going to do that anymore. Grandfather promised me that we would go fishing off of the dock when he got home, and that is him pulling in now, so I will will write tomorrow!
June 25th, entry 3
So i forgot to write. Just like I forgot to do so many other things that would have made the past few days go better. It all started with the shaking. I was in the house with grandma when it happened. We weren’t really sure what was happening at first, because earthquakes don’t happen in Miami. As soon as we realized it wasn’t stopping, she yelled for me, and we met in the kitchen. I then led her to the front doorway, because I learned that it was the safest place during an earthquake drill at school. Grandpa was at work, and the both of us were worried about him. My grandma got on her knees, grabbed my hand, and started praying that everything would be okay. The shaking stopped, but we stayed put for about 20 minutes. After that, my grandma could not stand it anymore and she ran and grabbed the house phone. I overheard their conversation from her end:
“Yes we’re okay are you?”
“I’m so glad.”
“Are you going to come home now?”
“Elliot you need to come home to your family”
“Okay I can understand why that makes sense.”
“Promise you’ll call me later?”
“Alright I love you too.”
After that I went outside onto the deck and closed the door. I was glad to see that my grandparents still love each other, and I started to wonder if it was easier back then. But right as I stated to chase that rabbit trail, I hear a scream from my grandmother. I run in to see my grandmother gaping at the television, open-mouthed and shocked like she just saw a ghost. Looking at the TV, I see a weather report saying a large wave is sweeping up the east coast. Immediately, I see my grandmother grab her phone to call grandfather, tears swelling up in her eyes.
The tsunami is going to hit any minute and I’m scared. What if I don’t even get to graduate? What if I don’t get to go to college? What About grandfather? There’s a possibility they won’t be able to find him. Every time grandma calls him, there’s no answer. I don’t know what to do at this point. I don’t like anyone in Texas enough to call and tell them goodbye, besides, no one would even realize I was gone probably. Then I think about my parents and how hard they’ve worked to give me a good life. I tell myself I have to make it so that I can be someone they would be proud of. I have to go make sure everything is safe.
The tsunami was a disaster. The entire city is in turmoil. People are in critical condition, a few dead. I can’t believe this has happened. I want to go out and see if there’s anything I can do to help but I don’t want to leave grandmother alone. There has still been no contact from grandfather and I’m beginning to become scared. The past couple of nights, I have been able to hear grandmother crying in her room, and it makes me sad, makes me realize how much she needs me right now. I don’t know what I will do if they don’t find grandfather in the next few days. I have to leave for home on July 1st, a mere 3 days away. Grandmother would never agree to come with me. And what if they don’t find grandfather? I guess I would have to transfer up here for my senior year. I can already feel the changes starting to take place, my head is spinning faster and faster.
So yesterday I passed out, I guess. I haven’t gotten much sleep the past couple of days because of the stress. I went shopping with grandmother today, we ended up having to go to a different one than the one she usually frequents because it was all flooded. Funny how something as simple as an earthquake can cause so much distress. Really it wasn’t even the earthquake alone, just the effects. It makes me think about the butterfly effect that we learned about in school years ago. If someone were to make one simple wrong decision, it could end up destroying -or ending- someone’s life. I tried to figure out where grandfather’s disappearance maps out in this particular concept. Where could he be?
So this morning, I woke up at around 5:30 and decided I would go to the docks and do a little fishing, seeing as I haven’t this summer and I’m about to go home. I did not take into account however, the fact that we just had a tsunami and I sat there for about 20 minutes and nothing was biting. So I packed all of my stuff back up and went back up to the beachhouse, trudging through the low waters that had snuck their way into our area. I walked up the stairs quietly so I did not wake grandmother. When I reached the top of the stairs, I heard grandmother on the phone. I almost yelled out to her, but then I heard what she was saying.
“Elliot, explain to me again why we I can’t just tell Gabriel about this?”
I sit there, confused. Grandfather has been missing for 3 days, why can’t I know they found him?
“So let me get this straight, we get him to stay here and finish out high school, and you will mentor him through his senior year so that he will make it into good colleges?”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I have so many questions. But I know the right thing to do. They want the best for me and for my future. I’m not sure why they have to keep it such a secret though. My parents!!! I still don’t understand why they would hide it from me. I decide not to tell grandma I know anything about their plan. I only have to hold it in for 2 days, afterall.
Today is supposed to be my last day in Miami, my flight leaves tomorrow. I don’t know how to bring it up with grandma, so I say,
“I’m worried about you being up here all alone grandma.”
“Well Gabe, you could always stay with me. We have a wonderful school system up here and it wouldn’t be a hard transition.”
“Would you like that grandma?”
“Well Gabe, you’re in a crucial level of learning and ultimately it is where you feel comfortable.”
The conversation went on for a few more minutes in which we both decided that it would be better for me to stay in Miami with her. I pretended not to know anything about the plan, and I think that actually helped a lot. My phone call home didn’t go too well, but I agreed to go ahead and fly home tomorrow and spend a few weeks, get all of the stuff I would like to take together, and tie any “loose ends” as my mother put it.
Today my flight leaves. The color has returned to my grandmother’s face, and she seems quite a bit happier now, I guess she’s been talking to my grandpa some more. As we got to the airport and were waiting for my flight, a man walks up and sits beside me. I recognize him as my grandfather. We laugh and get up and he engulfs me in a big hug. Before we can talk anymore, they call my flight. I say goodbye to him and my grandmother, smiling, knowing I have a cherishing family to come home to.
May 16th(of the next year)
Today is my graduation day. My journal that I wrote over the summer, although not very good, helped get me into the University of Miami, where my grandpa is currently a professor. I have taken up the habit of writing in my new journal everyday. Living in Miami with my grandparents this year has been life changing. I really pulled everything together, and I am now graduating at the top of my class, with honors. It pays to have a change of scenery, after all, life is always going to have it’s ups and downs. It’s how you handle them that show your true colors.