Three Strangers, One Family

Submitted into Contest #157 in response to: Write about somebody looking for love on a reality TV show.... view prompt


Fiction Middle School Happy

“Come on you have to come Jennie! I even saved money from my monthly salary for this. You have to come!”, said Lily forcing me.

“But why do I have to come? I am not interested at all and I also have to work at my part-time job tomorrow. I know that you want to meet that TV host you love. What was her name again?”, I frowned.

“Sarah. Come on! She is so cool. She asks people their deepest secrets or anything they want to share with her and exposes them. It’s so fun and this time she is hosting the show at the nearby amusement park. We can’t miss this!”, Lily said trying to convince me.


“It’s the weekend tomorrow. Besides, we have lived in this orphanage our whole lives. We don’t even have enough money to buy a new house, plus we are still in high school! A two-day break would be great to stay away from this place.”, said Lily. 

Yes. I do deserve a break from school and my job. I’ve been working day and night, doing well at school and at work just to be a famous chef one day. I guess a little break won’t hurt me.

“Okay. I will talk to my boss and ask him for a two-day break and then, we can go to the amusement park.”, I told her.

“Yay! Thank you!”, said Lily, being overly excited. 

At night, after my boss approved my holiday, Lily and I had dinner, booked the tickets, packed our bags, and slept, knowing it would be a long day tomorrow.

 The next day, we arrived at the amusement park as early as possible. As soon as we entered, Lily ran into a huge crowd. I followed her and realized that it was Sarah who was standing there.

 “Hi guys! I am Sarah Diaz from EXPOSE! and now LET’S EXPOSE!”, Sarah said that in a way that the crowd hyped up and cheered for her. Lily and I were in the front of the crowd and Lily waited for Sarah to notice her. Sarah asked a couple of people their darkest secrets and the crowd laughed at them. Sarah then turned towards Lily and me and then asked me a question.

“Hello! What is your name?”, asked Sarah. 

I wasn’t ready for this to happen. “Hi! I am Jennie! It’s a pleasure to meet you!”, I said politely.

“Nice to meet you too! Is there something you want to share with us today?”, Sarah asked me. 

I stood blank for a few moments but then I spoke up. “I haven’t ever told this to anyone, but I am ready to say it now. I am an orphan. My dad was in the army and he died in a war when I was five. After one year, my mom died in a car accident too. I have grown up all alone and I never really had anyone I could talk to, share my thoughts with nor love except for my best friend, Lily and I just want to say how grateful I am to her because she has always been the one and only person I ever had.”, I said turning to Lily.

“Oh my god! I feel terrible! I am so sorry for your loss. But I can tell that you two are amazing friends. Let’s take a moment of silence for Jennie’s parents.” Sarah said and spoke again after a moment, “I’ll meet you again after a short break. Be right back, Sarah Diaz from EXPOSE!” The crowd scattered and Sarah went to talk with her cameraman. 

“Thank you, Jennie, but why did have to do that? I know how much it hurts you thinking about your parents.” Lily asked me.

“I just- I don’t know honestly. I had no secret that I wanted to share with Sarah and that was the only thing that came into my mind. It’s okay though. I’m all fine.” Jennie said.

“Okay. I want to go to the restroom. I will be right back. Till then you can go to that rollercoaster over there.”, said Lily.

“Okay great!”, I said as I headed towards the rollercoaster. As I sat onto it, I saw Lily walking to Sarah and talking to her.

“Hello! I am Lily, Jennie’s best friend.”, said Lily to Sarah.

“The girl I talked to right now?”, asked Sarah.

“Yes, her. I actually wanted to ask a favor from you for her.”, said Lily.

“Of course! Go ahead.”, said Sarah.

“As you know her parents died, she doesn’t really have anyone to care for her. What I mean is that she has barely received any family love,” Lily tried explaining. 

“And you want me to do something about it?”, said Sarah confused.

“Yes, let me come to the point. Could you please put Jennie in the TV show “Three Strangers, One Family”?”, Lily said.

“I don’t know if I can do that. I’m so sorry.” said Sarah.

“Oh! Could you at least try to do something about it because I would love to see her interact with other people. I want to see her smile again and I think that this show may help her do that. Please! There must be someway”, said Lily.

“Okay fine. I will do it. Give me your phone number and Jennie’s email. I will text you and if my boss agrees, I will send an email to Jennie.”, said Sarah.

“Thank you so much! You don’t know how happy I am. Thank you again!”, Lily said and gave her phone number and Jennie’s email to Sarah. 

I saw Lily coming to me and said that she went to Sarah because she wanted to tell her how much she loved her and her shows. 

After enjoying the two days at the amusement park, and coming back home, I received an email. It was from Sarah. I was in shock. The email said -

“Hello Jennie,

I am Sarah Diaz, the TV host of “Three Strangers, One Family”. I would like for you to participate in this show. This show is about three strangers (two of them are allowed to be related) living together in a house provided by us for a week. It would be great if you could join us.

Looking forward to a positive reply!


“Wait what? You should totally do it Jennie. This is such an amazing opportunity to meet new people. I can already imagine seeing you on TV.”, said Lily acting surprised.

“No, I already have so much on my plate. I don’t know if I have time for this.”, I said refusing to do the show.

“No! This is not it. Look. You have to do this show okay? This is just the beginning. You said it yourself how you didn’t receive much love growing up. Who knows if you find happiness AND love from this show?”, said Lily trying to convince me.

“Okay fine. I will do it!”, I said.

“Yes! Reply to her right now.”, Lily said.

Sarah sent me all the details of the show and I got excited about it too. 

I was approved of a week off from school and work. I packed my clothes and the other things I needed for a week in my suitcase and the next day I went down to Maple Street, the place where the show was being held.

As soon as I reached there, I saw many cameras lined up in front of me. I got out of my car and heard a voice behind me. 

“Hi Jennie!”

I looked behind, “Hey Sarah! It’s so nice to see you again!”, I said.

“Come on with me. I will show you the set, introduce you to the staff, and Jasper and Rosalyn Hart, and Edward Garcia.”, said Sarah.

“I’m sorry but who are these people, Jasper, Rosalyn, and Edward Garcia?”, I asked.

“Oh, Jasper Hart and Rosalyn Hart are the two other people you will live with. The two of them are married and Edward Garcia is the director of the show.”, explained Sarah.

“Oh great!”, I said. I then met all of them and Sarah explained us everything about the show and what we were going to do. 

After that, it was officially time for us to go in the house for a week. I was in awe by how big the house was. There were three bedrooms for each of us, a gym, a lake for fishing, some firewood for camping, a tent, some volleyballs, a tennis court and much more. It was amazingly big. I absolutely loved it.

Since it was time for lunch, I thought to ask Jasper and Rosalyn if they wanted to eat something.

“Hello! Would you like to eat anything? I am making myself a burger. I could make one for both of you if you would like that.”, I said.

“Yes! It would be very kind of you to make that for us. Thank you!” Rosalyn and Jasper agreed.

“No problem! I will go make it then.”, I said and went to the kitchen and made three burgers for the three of us. They loved it. 

After a few hours, I saw Rosalyn making salad for the three of us, so I decided to help her out. We ate dinner together and got to know each other. We all decided to make s’mores to end the night. The night sky was enchanting.

The next day, I woke up early and worked out for a while. Then, we made pancakes with each other and had them together. 

We had a fun time together. I felt so alive with them. It felt like my parents were back again. I did not want this time to end. Lily was right about this. I had found my happiness AND love by living with them. They were such amazing people. Kind at nature, helpful, friendly, and moreover, they felt like they were my parents because of the way they were taking care of me. It was insane how it felt like I had started loving them within a few days even though they were complete strangers for me. We talked, played games together, went fishing, watched movies, stayed up all night, and got to know each other more. I felt like this was destiny; this was supposed to happen; it all felt like a deep connection within me – a connection of love. I was pretty sure that felt that too. 

Jasper helped me with cooking food and fishing and Rosalyn helped me with volleyball because she had played it all throughout her high school. I felt like we weren’t in a reality TV show; we were just living our lives. We were like a family. They genuinely cared about me and I did too. I was so close to telling them how much I appreciated them and loved them. 

On the last day of the show, we all had individual interviews. I spoke about how I became so happy and how I felt alive during these seven days. I also said that I enjoyed every moment I spent with them and that it was strange how they a brought smile onto my face after everything I’ve been through. “I had never imagined that I would lose my parents but when I met Jasper and Rosalyn, I felt like my parents were actually here – they were with me. The way they cared about me – that was everything to me. Now, I can’t imagine going back to my old, boring life without them. It feels like they are a part of me and we were meant to meet. I’m so happy I got on this show and got a chance to experience such a thing. I would like to thank Jasper and Rosalyn with all my heart. No one made me feel so comfortable and happy as they did, after my parents passed away. I also want to thank Sarah for letting me be on this show. I could only experience all of this because of her.”

After the interviews, everything was about to get over. I turned around to see Jasper and Rosalyn for one last time. They said, “This was a wonderful experience for us. Thank you. We would like to share something with you. We had lost our daughter a few days after her birth. We felt nothing but miserable until now. When you were with us, it felt like we were a family. You made us feel like our daughter was there with us. We felt like our souls were complete when you were with us. It would be great if we could meet more often.”

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t know that. Well, I have a similar story. My father was in the army and died in a war. My mom got in a car accident and died a year after that. I feel the same. I feel we’re like a family and that we’re meant to be. Thank you so much for everything.”, I said, appreciating them as much as I could.

“If you would like it, would you like to be our “indirect daughter”?”, Jasper asked me.

“What do you mean by that?”, I said.

“Not our daughter legally, but just so that we can tell each other that we’re a family.”, Rosalyn explained.

“I would love that!”, I said and hugged them. I was so sad to see them leave but unfortunately, I couldn’t do anything about it. I waved them goodbye and headed back home.

My world was dark, but not until now. Jasper and Rosalyn made me believe in love again. I, too, needed family love again, and they did that. Jasper and Rosalyn came into my world like angels and filled it up with light, warmth, happiness and love again. Now, it felt like, I had found my love. 

August 06, 2022 03:40

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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