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Submitted on 09/28/2020

Categories: Creative Nonfiction Kids Adventure

The Unexpected Surprise 

By: Haripriya 

Grandpa: It’s been a long time since I have lived all alone in my small, rented apartment. I haven’t heard from my old friends. I have no one in contact and can’t reach anyone. It’s been a sad and far too long time since I have last contacted with anyone.  

But, why do I care? Have they ever cared about me? No, they haven’t. Have they ever inquired about how my life was going and helped me get into that group? No. So, I can’t keep sobbing all day, can I? Sulking about it makes matters worse. 

“Dad! Hello! Finally, you picked up the phone, by the way, is your new phone ok? Can you hear better now?” my daughter asked. 

“Hello! Yes, my new phone is much better now.” I replied.  

“We were planning on sending her to your house. If that is fine with you. We just thought that our daughter hasn’t interacted with our own family members in a long, long time. This isn’t going to end up good in her future. Which is why we thought for her summer vacation, we’re going to send her there.”  

“Really! It has finally been time since I got to see my granddaughter again! Why would I refuse to see her? Tell her to pack all her stuff and come here! I know we are going to have a blast together.” I screamed excitingly. 

Finally, I wasn't going to be all alone. Having someone accompany me, oh that was going to be great! Spending more time with her is going to be the best summer vacation that I have ever spent in the last 20 years of my life. This summer, I must make it the most memorable one, and I know just the thing. 

… 

Lyla: I was so excited in spending my summer break in summer camp! Me and my friends were all going to be in the same bunk and in the same cabin. We were all excited. It was a 2-month long summer camp with full of exciting activities. I had gotten everything ready in my suitcase when I heard my mom call me. 

“LYLA!! Come over here! I need to tell you something about your summer camp.” my mom shouted across the hall. 

“Mom, I’m coming!” I hollered back to her. 

Thinking that it was going to be something amazing, something spectacular I put a bright smile on my face and slowly walked up to her. 

“Now what was it that you wanted to tell me again?” I asked my mother. 

To my horror, and doom, I heard her response. 

“I am so sorry, but I had to cancel the summer camp...there is always next year though! So, this summer you will be spending your time with your grandfather and that decision is final. There is no change about that. But I am glad you packed your suitcase in advance! Now, all you must do is get ready that morning and take your suitcase with you. I will be dropping you. I know it will be fun.” 

I couldn’t believe it. On a scale of 1 to 10, my level of madness and disappointment was at an infinity. Yes, I was that mad. I couldn’t stand that terrible news. I was upset.   

“But...I have no say in this! I can’t give in... just like that! Mom, we had planned this entire thing almost 2 months! You promised me that I could go to that summer camp! Please mom! I can go during the winter break!” I pleaded. 

“ Of course I had thought about sending you to your grandpa’s house on the winter break, but then the summer camp owner called me and said they were all out of places for you to fit any cabin, or a bunk. So, I thought this was the perfect opportunity. I am sorry, but next year you will definitely get a spot.” my mother reassured me.  

I nodded my head reluctantly though I felt sad. But there was nothing that I could do about it. Sulking won’t help, I just had to live in the moment and make the best out of this situation.  

“Oh, it wasn’t mom’s fault. It was the summer camp’s fault. Either way I couldn’t have got in the summer camp. Well, let me make the best out of it and spend as much time with grandpa as I can. I will let the others know tomorrow at school that I cannot attend. It’s not a big deal, I mean there is always going to be next year.” I thought to myself as I slumped my shoulders and put a frown on my face as I walked into my room.  

... 

Grandpa: “Is she coming or not?” I had asked my daughter on the phone.  

I was dearly hoping she would, though Lyla had been talking about some summer camp she really wanted to attend. I was worried if she really didn’t have any interest visiting here or was being forced to come here. I only wanted her to come if she really wanted to, not because I wanted to see her. The point was that I really wanted her to have fun during her stay here.  

“Yes, she really does want to come. You know my child, so understanding and adaptable. Once I told her how the summer camp had told me there was no seats left for her, I...” my daughter started talking, but I interrupted. 

“Wait a second, they didn’t have enough slots to fit her? That is so sad! She had been dearly longing to go to this trip...” I started. 

“Well... that problem is solved! She has you! I know you two are going to have a lot of fun together.” exclaimed my daughter.  

Maybe, I really was going to have with Lyla. I just really hoped I can make her happy and not let her be bored. I wanted to be the best grandpa for her. I hope I don’t do anything wrong to fail at that dream.  

I week later... 

Lyla: Finally, it was summer break!!! I could not wait for going to grandpa’s house! He is a very nice man, and I was so happy. Though I was equally excited for summer camp, (which I am trying REALLY HARD not to think about it too much...) I knew this was going to be a new experience and a new opportunity to bond with grandpa. Honestly, I should be happy that I am visiting a new place this summer. I should be very lucky to have something to do this summer and not stay bored. 

“Lyla, come on down! Quickly, you want to reach there before noon, don’t you! Grandpa said he was making you lunch so if you really feel hungry during the ride, eat some apples, or some chips.” my mom told me. 

“Yes, mom I will.” I replied. 

The car ride wasn’t that special for the first hour. I mean, I had seen these roads like a million times, so there wasn’t anything special. But soon, I saw such beautiful valleys and hills. Mountains reaching to the sun and giving a high-five to the clouds. The forests were greener than any others. So many rabbits and calves were there next to people’s homes. They were their pets, and farm animals. Stables were built for every little house. There were also chicken coops. Horses, goats, sheep, cows, and chicken were spotted everywhere throughout the town. Wow, this really might be a memorable trip, something way better than I thought. 

1 hour later... 

“We are finally here Lyla. Slowly take your bag and I will bring your suitcase. Wait for me, will you?” asked my mom. 

“Yes, though do make it quick!! I can’t wait to meet grandpa and have so much here! This seems like a very beautiful town. I can’t believe I have never visited grandpa’s house before.” I replied. 

I wondered and marveled the backyard and the patio as I had reached the front door. I saw a little chimney up on the roof, and a weather vane up. It was pointing towards the eastern side.  

“Thanks for waiting, now knock on the door Lyla.” told mother. 

I did as she had instructed me to do.  

… 

Grandpa: Knock. Knock. I heard it very clear. I was very happy.  

“Coming! Coming!” I screeched. 

When I opened the door, I saw my granddaughter, now 4 more years older than before. She was going to be a very strong and bold women. I hugged little Lyla.  

“Oh, come in here little one! It’s been a long time since I saw you! How are you Lyla? Is your school ok? How many friends do you have? I know you’re starving, so I am going to get you something and then we can talk.” I told. 

“Grandpa! I am doing well, and after I met you, even more! How are you doing? I see you really are fitting in to the rural lifestyle, aren’t you?” Lyla asked me. 

“Well...you do what you have to do, you know. Must be ready to adapt anywhere and whatever life may throw at us.” I replied calmly. 

“I am going to go now, dad. I will back 2 months later and pick up Lyla and remember be a good girl and don’t get into any trouble Lyla! If you ever need me, then don’t forget to call! Have a great time you two!! Bye!” my daughter yelled across the field. 

“Yes mom! I will. Bye!!” Lyla shouted back.  

1 hour later... 

“Lyla, I really hope you liked your lunch. Meantime, I will quickly close the kitchen windows and lot any bugs in.” I said. 

“Why would I not like any food when I was starving?! I really like it here, the calm and relaxing weather. The amazing view of nature. Farm animals everywhere. Wait, that reminds me, why don’t you have any pet or an animal? Everyone else seems to be having one.” Lyla curiously asked, now turning towards me. 

“Well...I don’t really have the need for any milk or eggs because I can’t afford them. My daily budget isn’t much because, I have lived alone for almost 20 years of my lifetime. You get used to it.” I told her, and sighed heavily.  

“Why don’t you mingle with the next-door neighbors? Everyone seems to be lovely folk.” Lyla asked. 

“I mean, I am very busy everyday and...am not much of a talker. Sometimes, I think I deserve to be alone.” I replied. 

“That’s not true! No one deserves to be alone! Why don’t you invite your old friends to visit you?” Lyla pondered. 

“You see...that is just the thing. I have never heard of them after our school years ended and after that, everyone parted their own ways. Now, I have no contact or nothing about them.” I explained to her calmly.  

“I can help you find your old high school friends. I promise you. See today’s date grandpa? I assure you that at least the day before my last day staying here, you will have high school reunion. I do know a few things about technology, so I think I could do a few things and will save you from your loneliness. Now come on, have a smile on your face. A promise is a promise after all.” Lyla replied confidently and smiled. 

“Thank you, Lyla. I have faith in you.” I said and smiled back.  

Lyla: It was the next morning, and I recalled my promise from yesterday. 

Now, what can I do...let’s see...wait, I got an idea!” I thought for a little while, questioning if it will work or not, but hey, there’s no harm trying.  

“Grandpa is it fine if I... play outside. Please?” I asked grandpa. 

“Oh, sure! Go and have fun, make sure to stay near the community and don’t go too much on the outskirts.” grandpa warned. 

I nodded my head quickly and dashed outside. 

“Ok Lyla. First things first, talk to the neighbors. See if any of them have any connection to the high school grandpa studied in and go from there.” I told myself. 

I knocked on every door, at first I was thinking if my investigation was leading to nowhere but annoying the neighbors in the morning, but I soon found a lead. 

Knock. Knock. 

“Hello young girl, what are you doing out here when it's cold outside?  It is a little chilly in this morning.” an old lady had opened the door.  

“Hello, Ma’am. I hope you are having a fine morning.” I greeted her. 

“Aww...little kid! I am fine thank you! How may you be doing?” asked the old lady. 

“I... I am fine, thank you! I actually came here to ask you a question, if you don’t mind.” I told her. 

“No, I don’t! Ask me anything.” the old lady replied. 

“What I wanted to inquire about was, if you have ever studied, or heard about the high school Westwood High?” 

“Why of course I have! I studied there long ago.” the old lady answered. 

“Really! Yes!! Finally. Ok, do you know someone by the name Phillip... Phillip Edmond?” I asked her when I got the chance. 

“Yes! He was my brother’s best friend. I wasn’t in his class, but my brother was. I haven’t heard that name in a long time though. Why do you ask?” the old lady asked, looking at me curiously.  

“That is my grandpa. He is your neighbor; didn't you know that? I asked. 

“Really!! Oh, little girl...” the old lady had started. 

“My name is Lyla. You can continue, sorry.” I told her. 

“Well... Lyla, I just recently moved her almost 1 week ago. That’s probably why your grandpa and I never met. My brother moved here, he is the door right next to me and my husband. I am still in touch with the entire high school, except your grandpa. Actually... can I tell you something? After I tell you the details on how to join the High school group, could you persuade your grandfather to come to our high school reunion this Saturday?” the old lady asked me. 

“OMG!! I thought you never ask! Of course, I will! Thank you so much. You can quickly write the details to me on this sheet of paper, and I will make join the group, and trust me, my grandpa would be delighted to come to the party. Thank you so much for the invite.” I squealed and told her.  

“Thought, just one more question, I can’t believe I forgot to ask this but, what is your name?” I asked, then laughed sheepishly. 

“My name is Harriet Hubert, thank you for asking.”  

“Thanks again Mrs. Hubert, I can't wait to tell all of this to my grandpa.” I waved goodbye and smiled at her.  

I saw her waving back too.  

… 

Grandpa: “Grandpa!! Could you please open the door! I can’t really see through all of this mist!” Lyla hollered.  

I quickly opened the door. 

“I have a lot of important news to share with you. Also, to summarize it though, you’re going to that high school reunion I promised.” told Lyla. 

“How, what! Young lady, you have got a lot of explanation to do.” I told her surprising and jokingly.  

Though, I still could not believe how on the second day of her visit, she had fulfilled her promise. That was one kind-hearted granddaughter I have over there. 

“I will tell you. So, do you know someone named Harriet Hubert?” she asked me. 

“Yes... I do. I was...” but when I was about to continue, Lyla came in. 

“Her brother’s best friend, yes I know.” she told me. 

“Here, this is how you can join the group, ok. Also, Mrs. Hubert has asked me to ask you if you’re going to the reunion this Saturday, so...will you?” Lyla asked, I knew that she already knows what my answer was going to be. 

“Ok, little girl. Of course, I want to go! Thank you so much Lyla for helping me. I mean I can’t believe you succeeded something in 30 minutes which I couldn’t achieve in 20 years.” I told her and gave her a big hug.  

She was the most perfect granddaughter I could ever have.  

~ The End~ 

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2 comments

Sowmya Rana
22:10 Oct 29, 2020

Great!!! Keep up the good work.

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