The air was filled with the noise of our laughter. This movie trailer that we were creating, was going to be the best thing this world has ever seen. Gabby, had the lead role. She was wearing her fuzzy, cookie monster onesie. The camera on my computer beeped three times and clicked. Gabby pretended to be chomping on the cloth cookie. As we re-watched the video all of us exploded into laughter. We laughed until it brought tears to my eyes and my stomach hurt. We calmed down but kept laughing. We reshot the scene many times. Finally it was perfect. We opened a new computer window for the next scene. It was going to be Ava, Emilia, and I going on a journey. The camera clicked and started recording. Before I could even stand up, a big, purple, blob sped right past me. I blinked and shook my head. I looked over at Emilia who was just as stunned as I was. Before I even had time to think about what just happened we all erupted into uncontrollable laughs. Ava had thrown her purple sleeping bag at us. Our honking laughter sounded like a group of crazy geese. For hours we recorded more videos. We jumped on top of each other and smacked one another with pillows. We pretended to look at maps that had something extremely amazing on it. Our facial expressions were horribly dramatic. They were way too exaggerated. We gasped and opened our eyes wide. We clasped our hands together from joy. It seemed like a rollercoaster of emotions had rammed into us. We re-watched the whole trailer from the beginning. The adventure music set the mood very well. Our trailer deserved an Oscar.
I was sitting in the car with my sunscreen all over me making me feel slimy. I was sitting in the back of my grandma’s car. The sun was shining right on my leg making it itch and throb very uncomfortably. I took my sweatshirt and covered my legs with it. We were driving to a Bealls store to pick up a long sleeve swim shirt for me. While we were there, I got an orange Under Armour sweatshirt. I didn't like the fact that there were no pockets on the front of it. Then we got in the car and drove some more. We finally pulled up to the parking lot and we drove around for 20 min looking for a space. The space we got was awesome. It was in front and very close to the walkway. I got out of the car, grabbed my bag, and started walking. The sand felt like an entire beach of memory foam on my feet as I walked down to the water. I put my stuff down, got my boogie board, surfed the waves. The cool sea mist felt refreshing on my face as I sliced through the water. Then I dug a hole in the sand thinking I was going to relax in the sand and used the boogie board as an “umbrella.” I relaxed and let the wind flow through my hair. My sister was sitting under the beach umbrella and digging her own hole. She made a seat then a foot rest that went a foot underground. My mom and grandma were sitting next to each other drinking their coffee. They were definitely having fun at the big, beautiful beach. Or so I think. We all sat and chilled for about an hour. Then we left to go to my sister's birthday dinner. We went to Cedar Reef and had a nice fish dinner. The appetizer was shrimp with horseradish dip. My entree was “Big Shrimpin.” It had big shrimp in a basket. Then we went home.
The chilled air nipped at my hands as the wind whistled soft, sad tunes in my ear. My father (who was a doctor) and I had gone camping near the Rock River. The green tent was built, the fire crackled. We gathered dark wild berries and caught fish that were like shimmering scaled rabbits. Of course, they didn’t have arms or legs. I was chopping thin tree branches with a pristine blade that split the wood like butter. Cocking my head toward the satisfying thud of the axe as it went through the wood, my backpack leaning me back. Rustling, shaking, a nearby bush, lush and green, erupted with leaves.
There stood a mass of dark brown fur, powerful muscles visible through its hide, claws like blades, teeth gleaming in the sunlight. The clearing, our campsite, which was surrounded by trees, wasn’t commonly known to exist. The unknown hid here, thought to be too foreboding for campers. We hadn’t known that. I screamed, my cries heard for miles, a sound of pure terror. My father appeared suddenly, his dirt-brown hiking boots sinking in the mud. The bear swung and its claws easily submerged into the soft, light flesh beneath the blue fabric. My father fell, blood soaked his clothes, soaked the ground, the sight of warm, red blood chilled my very soul. It approached. Squish, squash, swip, shwap. Adrenaline rushed through my veins, my feet moved on their own accord, but the sudden burst of energy couldn’t remove my feet from the liquid earth. The massive paw shot mud as it entered the ground. I laid defenseless, the wet snout snorted inches from me. It turned and bounded slowly past me, toward the underbrush.
I regained my footing and the axe was pried out from the log under my grip, and I charged. The wild beast got closer and closer, the glimmering blade sung a haunting tone as I plunged it into the bear, once, twice, three times. The gore sprayed onto the axe, and dripped onto my hands. The whine of the sharp metal through the air ended, replaced by muffled whines and groans. Pit-pat, pit-pat. The ball of fur appeared from the vegetation. A tiny paw reached out and rested on the bear’s nose. I felt an aching in my heart and I knew what I had to do. I had to try.
I set down the axe and slid off my backpack. I crawl to my father, the sack gouging the ground and I remove my hunting knife. I cut away the thin threads of the cloth. The rubbing alcohol sterilized his cuts as it ran over his wounds. I pierce his skin with a hair-like needle and thread from my first aid kit. The long, thin piece of metal slowly closed the injuries.
I shuffled back and repeated the process, desperate to save the hulking beast. I knew what it was like to lose a parent. I wouldn’t let it happen to anyone, anything. The bear staggered as it stood; it slowly went on its way with the cub in line. My hand inched to my bag and closed around a thin tube. The sky burst with vibrant colors of red, blue, and green. My bones and body aching, collapsed on the ground, I rested and waited for help.
Walking onto the court,
Is one of my favorite things.
I take my headphones off.
Put my shoes on.
It’s Game Time.
Is one of my favorite things.
Between the legs
Behind the back
In and out
Around the back
The shot goes up in the air,
And comes down in the bottom of the net.
It’s Game Time.
Playing in games,
Is one of my favorite things.
They hit the 3.
I take the ball up.
Cross, In and out, Cross, Between.
I got the shot up,
I hold my breath.
Guess what time it is.
It’s Game Time.
Hitting the game winner,
Is one of my favorite things.
I took the shot that no one thought would go in.
I hit it right in the face of my defender.
But I don’t brag.
I’m a good sport and say good game.
“Run it back?” they say.
“Sure,” I say
It’s Game Time.
Leaving the court,
Is one of my least favorite things.
I take off my shoes and pack my bag.
I say my goodbyes
Try not to cry.
And say farewell to what is like a second home to me.
It’s Game Time.
It was a very bright and sunny day and it was the very first game of the Great Lakes Soccer Tournament. The grass was perfectly cut and the air was crisp. Perfect soccer weather I thought. Though, there was one thing holding the perfect soccer weather being at its 100%. The big blinding sun that didn’t let any clouds roam the sky! That made it hard to see the ball when it was in the air. That’s one of the most annoying cons when you’re playing soccer. Once, at a corner kick, my team had the ball. Nick backed up to get ready for a powerful kick.
“Colorado!” He yelled. (We have secret code names for how we do the corner kick. Colorado means that the ball will go high and towards the goal).
Nick booted the ball up high. It went soaring towards the opponent's goal and I was in front of it. I could score! Wait! I can’t see! All I could see was pure yellow and orange, no ball in sight! I had no clue of what was going on! I closed my eyes, they were full of sun spots. The ball came down and Matheus kicked the ball and missed. I should have helped him but there was no way I could because I was blinded. I was getting a little mad. Darn it I said in my head.
Another time when that big blob of fire gave me a challenging time was when our goalie punted the ball up in the air and it sped towards me. Again, that sun was in my way! It blinded me once more. I struggled, trying to find the ball in the air. No ball! I looked down and tried to regain my sight. Sun spots all over the place. I blinked and squinted. At this point, I could not deal with this any more. I just needed some luck. I kept looking at the ground waiting for my luck. The perfect Puma ball bounced right in front of me. Yes! I quickly took the ball and dribbled up to the half. The other team was ganging up on me. I passed to Mitchell, Mitchell to Antonio, and a swift kick into the goal. Our team scored! Hooray! It was the highlight of the game!
The landscape was glowing, the sunlight reflecting off the blood and glass on the ground. The mountain missing a big chunk from the explosions. Houses have no roofs, some are completely gone, some look like the wall will come off at any second. On the ground I see skeletons molding with color; there is green and black all around. I do not see a single speck of white in this whole field. But a month ago, I came here with my father looking at the mountains, beautiful full with green from all the trees and grass. The houses shimmering with their steel freshly cleaned. The air smelled fresh like it just came out of the dryer. The ground flat and freshly mowed. I could see my house in the distance on the mountains looking like a cherry on top. But then the Civil War destroyed us all. My house overlooking it all, the cannons blasting with noise still taunts me at night. My dad was the mayor; that's how they could not hit us. Our slaves shooting anyone coming up to try to hurt us. Me and my dad hiding in our bunker. It was all steel. The walls dusty from never being touched before. The room was empty with the exception of a desk with a computer connected to the cameras to see what was going on.
Oh how I miss the apple trees that used to grow. In my hand I had the last apple left on Earth cut off from the last apple tree left on Earth. It was shimmering red. Every day I would clean it. I knew it was old and molding in the inside; like a spider when it dies. It has been well over 17 years since my father cut it when I was born. But with one bite of it I knew the Civil War would stop.
I was waiting in line looking up at the enormous mountain in front of me. The chair looped around the towering conveyor belt ahead. It moved with a loud squeak to signal us to move forward. With my brother at my right and my sister on my left, we struggle to move. Though tough at first we manage to move our heavy gear along with ourselves. We stare as the chair that will take us to the top swerves around the structure that is now behind us. The chair slows as it comes behind our rears. We sit down on the chair, our gear weighing us down. We try to imagine the task afoot but simply cannot. When we reach the top there is no telling what challenges we might face. Will our ability be able to withstand them? Will our mission immediately become a failure? No one will know until we reach the top. We try to imagine other things to talk about like the beautiful view or how great we’ve done on the last task we proudly completed. We, however, failed and could only think of the horrible things that could happen when we reach the top.
The fresh snow coated the ground lightly. Wind smacked my face. The cold whipped me around like a soccer ball. The hill, steep ahead of me. ‘Will I do it? Will I go down this hill?’ repeated in my head a hundred times. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go down the hill. My dad nodded at me to encourage me to go down the hill. My heart beat increased. My knees shook. This was my first blue hill. ‘What if I fall? What if I don’t make it to the bottom of the hill alive? I know that if I give up now I’ll never have the courage to go down the hill again. I have to do it. I have to. I tell myself it will be okay over a million times. I know that I can’t do it, but if my dad thinks I can, I won’t let him down. I move forward using my poles to turn to face toward my dad. I feel every muscle ache for the pain yet to come. I take one more glance down the hill. I turn toward my dad who is now staring at me, anxious to go down the hill. I nod back.
The pool glowed with sparkle, as the water rushed swiftly and gently from the ledge of the small fountain. The sight was breathtaking as I prepared myself to leap into this moist oasis. I floated into the water with a graceful hop and let the water swallow my entire body. The water cooled my skin, yet warmed my soul. The water swished calmly through my hair as my body caressed the smooth liquid. Sunlight stabbed its way through the water, as I willingly allowed the light to be absorbed by my pale skin. My lungs hungered for oxygen as I pulled myself up and away, slicing through the broken surface of the water. My lips curved upward into a meaningful, yet slight smile as air rushed through my nose, filling my lungs with gold. With the mountains in my view, I sighed. The essence of a perfect moment traveled through my entire body, making my eyes close in total peace. Then an unwanted thought intruded on my paradise. Oh no! I forgot to put on sunscreen!
There are so many people in our lives that we can’t just pick one person that inspires us in everything in life. You can pick one person that influenced you in a moment that you had with them and made you do something else. To me that person would be my dad when it comes to music. Not only that but he’s hard working and always wants me to do my best.
Five to six years ago I was really interested in music and would play a lot on my brother’s old keyboard. It was getting pretty old, the keys were starting to get yellow and were scratched up. Although it did have some pretty cool and old songs that it was able to teach me. I was amazed by the beautiful noise you could make and how older musicians could move their fingers so quickly and look so focused in what they were doing. I wanted to try that, and I wanted to know what it felt like. My dad loves the guitar and he used to be in a band when he was younger. He had three guitars, two were electric, and the other was acoustic. My dad loves music so much that when he saw me really interested he told me, “Lizette, if you really like music and the piano I can enroll you into classes.”
“Yeah! Please Papi!” I said with exhilaration. My hands were so high I could have touched the sky.
“Ok, I will, but you have to practice, love it, and have fun with it.”
“Ok I will Papi”. So he enrolled me in classes and my music teacher is Mrs. Stoike now. If it wasn’t for my dad I probably wouldn’t be in band or in piano lessons. After a while we asked her if I should change from my keyboard to a piano. She said it would be much better so that when I got older I would have enough room for my fingers on the piano more than on the keyboard. After that we went to a piano store and tested out a lot. I didn’t know what was going on because I was six or seven years old and playing around with the different kind of pianos. There were electrical, stylish, new, and old pianos, I loved the grand piano, but it was way too big!
It was a week or two after we went to the piano store and I was speeding my way back home from school. I went through the garage and I had no idea what was going on because there was a big car in the driveway. My parents didn’t want me to go through the entrance, instead the garage. I was a little curious, but I listened and didn’t go through. I tipped toed through the entrance and put my hand over my head as if I was a spy on a mission. When I went in I didn’t see anything, as soon as I put my stuff down I saw it! It was an electric piano, now MY PIANO! I was so thrilled to see it that I was jumping all over the house. My dad was holding it tight so it wouldn’t fall. He finally got it in through the door with help from the workers and put it in the corner of our house. I was in shock and couldn’t wait until I could use it and practice on it to make myself and family happy. I told him, “Wowwwwwww!!!! Thank you so much Papi!”
“You’re welcome Lizette, but remember our deal! I love you, and I hope you are really happy with this and music”.
I still have the piano and practice it, I am so happy to see my dad’s face every time he hears me play. He has tears of joy and smiles at me, he tells me, “Thank you for the songs and I’m so happy you still do piano, I hope you continue to love it and don’t give up on it”. My dad has influenced me into my music life and has made me think about many options to do with my music life. If it wasn’t for him to influence me, I probably would be practicing something completely different. Something we should always remember is to appreciate what we have. I know we get that message all the time, but the slightest thing can change our whole lives and we really need to say thanks to those that brought us closer to it. That is why I thank my dad and mom for believing in me and still taking me to band at 7:05am and taking me to piano classes every Friday at four. Even if I really don’t want to wake up in the morning….
Never In my life I had thought that I will be going to foreign land again after Japan in 2009. So when I left my motherland for Spain on December 24th, 2011, I was in a 100% happy mood after 2 years.
We arrived in Spain on 25th December 2011. Yes, we came in on Christmas.My dad was there to pick us up.
The airport was not hustling and bustling since it was evening. Most of the passengers were there to greet their friends and relatives. There were no new international arrivals at the airport.
We were in Barcelona, where there are very few Indians. In the seven months I stayed, I came to know very few Indians. I didn't know this until I went there, naturally.
The drive from the airport was long Even though there is a lot to see on the coastline,it was evening. The taxi had no radio. All I remember is that I was sleeping. Since there are several modes of transportation in and around Barcelona, my dad (who had been living there since September) hadn't bought any car or any other vehicle.
In about half an hour, we reached our new home. It was a little new for my dad too since before we came, he was living in somebody else's house, with the owner.
Our house had multiple modes of transportation. There was a subway station about 10-15 blocks away. A railway station from where trains went everywhere in Spain, was on a fifteen-minute walk. There was a bus-stop right below the apartment we lived in. The bus from which I went to school after a few weeks later, had it's stop a few blocks away.
If you are ever going to Barcelona to stay for a long term, remember this crucial fact that you don't need to buy a car.
The very next morning after our arrival, me and my mother went out for a walk. Since Spain is on a latitude south of Illinois, it was a little warm there even in late December. We were in normal clothes as we would wear in India in winter (It is always warm there. 24/7). We lived in a town of Barcelona called Les Corts. Les Corts took up nearly one-third of Barcelona's area.
Barcelona is a beautiful city, with lots of sights. There are always scents of pizza and spanish foods, some open space, many flower shops etc. You have Liceu, La Rambla, the harbor of Drassanes, fort Montjuic with the Olympic Stadium. The last one mentioned was my favorite. Even if you stay there for two years, you are always going to find something new to visit.
At the sea facing side, you can see the entire port of Barcelona plus the landings of planes on El Prat international Airport. the whole view is just breathtaking, with the smell of salt and fish, the whistles of cruises and transport ships. It feels like you have been stuck over there with glue. It is impossible to take your eyes off the coast.
Anyway, I spent seven months in Spain. I was learning more about the country and Europe day-by-day. I visited Madrid, Andorra la Vella, Vilanova and Costa Brava. Outside the country, I visited France, Switzerland, the Alps and Germany. And by the time I came back to India on 3rd July 2012, I had been to one of the most different places on Earth