As the years went by, Cousin Ray and I grew up. Cousin Ray was an adult and I was a teenager with a ten year old sister and a seven year old brother. Like most teenagers, I liked to talk on the pocket phone and type and read pocket phone novels. I text so many pocket phone novels, that my parents bribed me to stop.
But I can’t live without pocket phone novels or my pocket phone. My sister T.R. has gotten into them, too. Now there are two pocket phone novelists in the family (three if you count my cousin Ray.)
It was the summer of last year that my life would change forever. I was walking home with my Platonic Girlfriend, Mari. We were talking about the recession and how we lost our jobs.
“It’s just a shame,” she told me. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“Me, too.” I added. “My daddy is going to be upset that I lost my job. I just had the job for a year now, and they let me go. What am I going to say to my daddy?”
In truth, I’ve lost my job a week ago and my family thought that I was still working. Mari glanced my way. I could tell that the news was not good.
“My dad‘s taking us to Porto Rico for a month to work for his brother’s company.”
“You are not serious!”
“Nope. My father says we have no choice. Its either that or we go hungry. Man, I hate my cousins so much, they make me so mad. We don’t get along that well. It’s so unfair.”
“At least you get to go to Porto Rico, Mars! I wish my daddy was taking us somewhere. If only my momma haven’t left us, that is.”
My momma is a freelance photographer for a newspaper called ‘The Freedom’. Last year, my momma got promoted to another city on the west coast. Momma made the decision to take the job since it was a once in a full moon chance. Daddy respected Momma’s decision to take the job. After Momma left, I became the woman of the house. I not only took care of Daddy, but also of my sister T.R. and my brother Jordan.
“So, when do you leave for Porto Rico?” I asked.
“Tomorrow.” Was my friend’s answer.
“Man, I’m going to miss you all summer.” I told her. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”
“Don’t worry, Butterfly. It’s just temporary,” Mari said. “It’s not like we’re staying over there forever. It’s the first time that I’ve gone to Porto Rico since I was three. The sand, the sun. God, I miss that.”
“Will you send me some post cards?”
“I will, Sweetie.”
A guy on a motorcycle drove up in front of us. I knew that it was Mari’s brother.
“Mari, let’s go!” he said. “Dad’s waiting for us!”
Mari and I said our goodbyes as she got on the back of her brother’s back. Mari put on her helmet, as her brother started the motorcycle. Mari’s brother looked my way and mouthed something to me that upset me. As he rode off, I shouted, “I’m not that fat, jerk!”
For five years, I never knew why Mari’s brother made fun of me. It was when he told me on the eve of my graduation that the reason why he made fun of me was because he liked me. And the second reason was that he was three years older than I was.
“You, know,” he told me over the phone, the reason why I did it was that I wanted to get to know you, Butterfly. I guess it worked.”
I dated Mari’s brother for a few months before we decided to become friends. Sure he was a perfect 10 and a prince, but we were on the different sides of the ocean. It wasn’t meant to be, so we broke up.
When I got home, I checked my Facebook page for any messages. As I read my messages, I notice one from my Cousin Ray that read:
My dearest Cousin,
How has your summer been so far? Are you and your family enjoying yourselves? I hope you are. My summer’s filled with work and court cases. I saw your mother’s photos on her Twitter page. She wrote about the photos and how California is hot. I rarely get to see you and your family. I have to cut this letter short, please give your family my love. I love you my honey.
My birthday is coming up on July 4th. I’ll be the big 3-0; I guess you can call me ‘grandpa’ now. Please take care.
On the attachment, there was a video of Bugs Bunny break dancing. I typed Ray a response letter. After I finished the response letter, I sent it to his email address. I felt a presence in my room. I got up and went over to my closet door. As I closed in, I heard soft whispers and whimpering.
“I know someone’s in my closet,” I warned. “A boy and a girl, along with a pug. You three know what I do to two kids and a dog that sneak into my room while I am away.”
I reached the doorknob and gave it a turn. I burst opened the door and went for my prey. “I tickle them!”
I tickled my brother and sister in the closet as my pug Potato tried to run away. My sister caught my dog and tickled her. Potato licked my sister’s face in return.
After the tickle attack and Potato’s kisses, I confronted my brother and sister about being in my room (again).
T.R. and Jordan are my little sister and brother.
T.R. was ten and was the gifted child of the family next to me. She loved art and music. She has the class of Lisa Simpson and Sally Brown rolled into one. Like most sandwich kids, she is often bullheaded. My sister’s real name is Tokyo Rose. She was named after the Japanese capital and for my momma’s favorite flower. T.R. is so cute with those bright eyes and her shining smile. She likes to talk on the phone and likes pop culture. My sister is a huge otaku-freak.
My seven-year old brother Jordan was like most boys his age. Likes science and math; eats a lot and likes video games. Although Jordan is autistic, he is given the same rewards and punishments just like me and T.R. My brother is good in math and science. One time there was a contest on the radio to answer a trivial question. It was a radio program of professor Michio Kaku’s that my brother listens to all the time. I can’t recall what the question was, but my brother knew the answer to it. My brother dialed the number and got through. When my brother said the right answer on the radio, he jumped for joy. As a prize for his right answer, professor Kaku gave my brother an autographed book and a picture. To this day, he still has the book, the picture, and the title of happiest boy in Harlem.
Two kids, sitting in front of me on my bed; in trouble.
I asked my brother and sister, “What were you two doing in my bedroom?”
T.R. and Jordan paused to think their answer.
“We wanted to talk to you, Sissy.” Jordan said. Jordan always calls me ‘Sissy’ as his pet name.
“About what?” I replied. T.R. spoke up for Jordan.
“Daddy said that he wants to talk to you about your job. And he has something that he wants to tell us.”
I knew that my daddy had found out that I lost my job at the library.
“Daddy said not to worry,” Jordan added, “He isn’t mad that you lost your job. He wants to talk to us about a trip we’re taking.”
“Shhh!” T.R. hissed.
“What trip?” I said.
Jordan answered, “We don’t know. All Daddy said was that we’re going on a trip. When you got home, he was going to tell you.”
My heart stopped a beat. A trip. What kind of trip was Daddy taking us? My mind was wondering as to why my daddy was taking my siblings and me on a trip. New York State was facing a rescission and most of the residents were staying home for the summer. It was odd for people to take trips during a rescission.
I got back to reality and went back to scolding my sister and brother.
“Alright you two,” I said, “you have to leave, now. I had a long day and I need to rest; so I need my room back. Now let’s go.”
T.R. and Jordan did as I ordered and walked out my door. Potato left with them as well.
When I was alone, I stretched out on my bed and thought about the trip my daddy was talking about. What kind of trip was it? Why was it so importantfor us to go. I kept thinking over in my mind about the trip. My mind was clouded withthoughts about the trip, that it was hard for me to sleep. I gave up going to sleep and went outside to join T.R. and Jordan in the den to watch television.
Even that didn’t take my mind off of the trip.
To be continued/Stayed Tuned!