Beautiful Life

Beautiful Life

Kaylynn Waldron, Co-Editor

I heard my sister Hannah run into the house yelling, “Mom, mom,” and sighed. Always another thing with her. Hi, my name is Bruce and I want to tell you the story of how I went from the most annoying and careless person into the world to someone who actually looked around him and saw the beautiful world we live in. I got up to get a sack when I saw a girl in the dining room. I had never seen her before and I was about to ask who she was when my sister came into the room. 

“Come on Alex, let’s go up to my room.”

Oooh, it was just one of my sisters friends. Although, she did look a little different. She had been wearing muddy clothes that you could tell she had been wearing for a while. Her hair was wet and dripped onto her worn out sneakers. Come to think of it she kinda looked like a homeless person or someone who slept on a bench for three days. I shrugged it off then, not knowing that that girl would pretty much change my life. I went outside and began walking across the courtyard to my house. Oh, did I not mention my dad is like the super rich. Yeah, he owns like Amazon or something big. Anyway, we live in a mansion where we and my sis have our own houses. Anyway, I got to my house and went down to my theater room, where I watched a few movies and walked back to the mansion for dinner. When I stepped in the kitchen I saw the girl again. This time she was in a cropped camo sweater with a black skirt that stopped right above her knees. Her hair was done up into a messy bun and she was wearing a dark purple lipstick that complimented her eyes. I was a little awestruck. She had gone from rags to riches. 

“Alex is staying with us for dinner tonight,” Hannah told me. I nodded and took my seat at the table. Alex sat across from me and kept tucking her hair behind her in a nervous fashion. I smiled at her and she smiled back and then dinner was served. We ate haliba and salad that night and it was amazing! During desert Hannah stoof up and ping her glass with her spoon several times. 

“I have an announcement to make!” she exclaimed excitedly. “After talking with Mummy and Daddy, Alex we would like to welcome you to the Aldersmith Mansion!”

“What?!?!”  I said. Alex looked around wildly trying to comprehend what was going on, but at the time I hardly noticed her. “What do you mean welcome her to the mansion?!?!? She only met you today and she is totally poor, did you see what she was wearing? Dad, you can’t be on board with this.”

My dad glared at me and said, “ Young man, do NOT tell me what I can and can’t do. There are perfectly valid reasons why Alex is staying with us  and if you can’t deal with it you won’t be allowed in the manion.”

“Whatever”, I muttered and stormed off to my house. 

 

Later that night Hannah knocked on my door. I opened it and she started talking before I could even open my mouth.

“There are things about Alex that you can’t know, ok? She is living with us and that is the end of it.” Then she turned around and walked back to her house. I could see Alex through the window of her room and I almost screamed. There is no possible reason that dad would justify giving a room to a poor girl with no ties to anybody. I’m going to find out what is going on, and when I do…

 

That morning I got up early and followed Alex. She woke up around 7 am and got dressed, walking out the door and across the courtyard to one of the limos. I saw her go behind a bush and pull out… WHAT!?!? A huge wad of cash?? Did she just steal from us after we gave her a home? Is that her plan? To rob us? She smiled and talked with the driver for a minute then got into the back seat. From the house she went to a school and I saw her give half the money to another girl who pocketed it and nodded. Then, Alex stopped at an old abandoned gas station and went in and through the window I could see her giving it to a boy about 15 years old. What was she doing?

 I followed her every morning for a week and everytime it was the same routine, but she went to different places. One it was a cabin in the woods, another time it was a shed out by a grocery store. When we were at our house I would do my best to avoid her but would be cold around her everytime we crossed paths. Alex and Hannah would do everything together and Alex was always really nice to her and tried to be nice to me too but at the time I didn’t want to be associated with her at all. After I had gathered enough evidence that Alex was stealing from us I decided the next step was to confront her. So, one day when Hannah was out I knocked on the door to her room. 

She opened it a crack before opening it fully and said, “ Oh, uh, hi, what’s up?”

“I think you know,” I replied.

“Know what?”

“You have been stealing from us Alex!” I yelled. 

“Um, excuse me, I have not stolen anything from you.”

“Oh, right, sure, so what are you doing in these pictures then?” I pulled out the photos I had taken of here getting the money from behind the bush and giving it to the people. “A regular Robin Hood, huh?” 

“Were you spying on me? What is wrong with you?” 

“Don’t try to turn this around on me, I know what you are. I know that you act pathetic so that you can live here and take our  riches. That you act defenseless but really you are cruel and unforgiving to people who are better than you. Don’t pretend that you don’t know what I am talking about.”

“Wow. Just wow. I mean I new you were dumb but this is a whole other level. I may be weak and pathetic but do you wanna know why? Hannah found me sleeping on a park bench wearing the same clothes I had had on for a week. I was starving, thirsty and had no place to go. My…. my mom was… is an alcoholic and my dad died when I was three from a motorcycle accident. She never got over it and always went back to drinking as her comfort. There were nights when she would get so drunk she would hurt me. So I ran away. She didn’t care of course, just one less mouth to feed but I hadn’t eaten anything for days and hadn’t had clean water for a week. Your sister practically saved my life. And I don’t steal from you. Hannah puts half of her alliance by that bush every week so that she can grab it on her way to going shopping. She gave it to me to give it to others in my situation who don’t have a friend like her. So maybe next time you blame someone for something, know what you’re talking about.” She pushed past me and I could see she was on the verge of tears. I just stood there in awe about what had just happened. I was so wrong and I felt so bad for her. I heard the door slam down stairs just as the snack door opened and closed. Hannah was home and Alex had left. What was I going to tell Hannah?

“Alex?” Hannah yelled up the stairs. She saw me and walked up to the bottom of the stairs. “Where’s Alex?” She asked. 

“Alex left.” I replied. 

“What, why? Where did she go?”

I didn’t even know how to respond, Alex’s words were still sinking in. 

“I yelled at her and thought she was stealing from us but she wasn’t doing anything wrong and I was the one who was wrong. She ran out of the house really upset and I don’t know where she went. I’m sorry Hannah.”

Then Hannah got really mad. She ran up for he stairs and started screaming at me for being nosy and stupid and a selfish little brat. I just stood there and let it happen because I knew it was true. After about six minutes of some intense yelling, she took a deep breath and said, “Ok we have to find her, she could be anywhere, did she say anything before she left?” 

“No,” I sighed. “She just took her coat and walked out the door.”

“She took her coat? That’s odd, it’s like 90 degrees outside. Why would she want a coat?”

“Maybe she was going somewhere that was cold. But there’s not a lot of cold places in the summer.”

“OMG I KNOW WHERE SHE IS!” Hannah exclaimed. She grabbed her coat and went running out the door. I sat down in the living room utterly exhausted from the past week. All the stalking, and following all to come to the conclusion that I am a spoiled piece of crap brother who couldn’t accept that he was living with someone he thought to be lower than him so he made something up in his head to get them out. I was disgusted with myself. Plus, Alex was actually a really pretty, really nice girl who had been through a lot in her life at such a young age. At that moment I decided that I would NEVER be like that to someone ever again and would always look out for Alex and the people I cared about because they are what is important in life. This whole time I was begin dumb and irrational, acting like a little boy and what I failed to realize is that things aren’t always what they apear. All over people are hurting and they don’t show it but if you care enough about them, then you’d look further into their heart to see what is wrong and help them get through it. 

I probably sat there for 20 minutes thinking about how I was going to apologize when I heard the door slowly open and close and Hannah talking to what appeared to be Alex as they walked into the living room. I got up to greet them but when Alex saw me she looked away dejectedly and started walking up the stairs to her room. 

“Wait,” I called after her. “What I did was completely out of line. I was cruel and selfish and mean and I wish I had never done it. You are an extraordinary person, and to go through something like that is terrible. But the way you handled it and how you are still so sweet and caring now is amazing and I know now I was wrong. Not about the part where you were stealing though because you have stolen from us. You have stolen our hearts because of the way you live life like it is the most beautiful thing in the world. How you cherish every moment not because of what you are getting from it but because you are genuinely happy to be in this world, living and thriving. You’re the one person who deserves a house here and a seat at the table because you have fought so hard to be a great person and you’ve won. I am so sorry for ever saying any of what I did and for not understanding whatever it was you were going through.”   

She smiled at me and walked back down the stairs. She gave me a big hug and whispered, “Thank you,” in my ear. I nodded and hugged her back. 

“Where did you go by the way?”

I went down to the ice skating rink. It was whereHannah and I first met and where she took me after I was invited to live here. She taught me that not everyone in the world will just walk on by and mind their own business while you are dying to their left. She gave me a home and I will always be grateful for that. 

“Awwww thanks Alex,” Hannah said, giving Alex a huge hug, much bigger than the one I had gotten from Alex. 

 

1 YEAR LATER 

 

It’s been a year for us now and it is almost Thanksgiving. Alex had her own house built now and is sharing it with her new boyfriend James. I made sure he was good and had “the talk” with him last time he was over so don’t worry about that. Hannah’s shopping habitats have cut down quite a bit and she has taken to ice skating as her new hobby. She is fairly good at it too! My parents are on vacation right now with their new best friends they met at a jazz brunch (whatever that is) and that brings it to me. I have successfully gotten a job as a McDonald’s cashier and with a little loan from my parents am putting myself through college to become a counselor. I want to help kids like Alex so that they don’t have to go through what she did. I am also moved out of the mansion and into a one story cottage dorm five minutes away from my college. So we are all doing really well! But remember, the point of this story isn’t to ask your parents to adopt a homeless person and buy them their own house. No, it’s to teach you that the harder you look at someone the more you’ll see and to never judge someone by your own facts about them. And know that sometimes things aren’t always what they appear so it is your job to help others when they need to and to save them even if the don’t know they need saving. To help them have their own beautiful life.