Why Am I Here?
Looking back at it, I’m glad I experienced the whole thing. I learned a major lesson, and have never been the same since. People change you, and you might not realize it now, but people have such a huge impact on you in the long run. As I was leaving baggage claim, that day two years ago, I got another text from my mom.
Remember, sweetie….They should be there at 5. Don’t get lost and have fun!
Having fun will probably be the worst part of this whole shenanigan.
I can’t have fun without my friends. Especially in this stuck-up city.
I walked toward the exit. It was roughly five forty-five. As I was waiting, I was drawn to a spray-painted bench. After attempting to make out the writing, I thought to myself.
Maybe she just sent me here, because she doesn’t want to deal with me, but then again, who wants to deal with me? She is ridiculous. Where is my ride? Shouldn’t they be here already? Ugh. I’m gonna melt if they take any longer. Literally.
Aggravated, I checked my phone. Five fifty- nine. In that instant, a small black car with tinted windows rolled up. A gray- haired old guy dressed in a suit stepped out of the car.
Jeez, if I’m hot, he must be dying in that thing.
“Miss Collins.” He nodded and opened the door welcoming me into the car. Without hesitating, I got in. He took my bags to the trunk, even though I easily could have put them in the back myself.
But then again, it’s his job so what does it matter. I bet they have snobby butlers too. I could get used to this.
After a little bit, he took a turn onto a back road. I almost didn’t see. The entrance was small, and the whole stretch was covered in dirt. Then the car slowed down. A giant white gate opened, revealing a ginormous ivory mansion.
“You didn’t tell me they live in the White House.” He looked at me in the rear-view mirror, but didn’t say anything. Eventually I got out of the car. My bags were in my hands and I rang the doorbell. After a long echo, a man opened the door.
“…Mar-?” It wasn’t him
“Oh, um who are you?”
“Your uncle is upstairs, I am his butler. My name is Edward, but call me whatever you’d like. My purpose is to-” I cut him off.
“I know what a butler is, I’m not that stupid.”
I was right, they did have a butler! How lazy can you be?
Even though I had been there like five seconds, I knew it was going to be a long trip for me.
“Follow me. I’ll show you where you will be staying” He said, grabbing my bags. I followed him up a massive staircase, which lead to a long hallway. After finally reaching the end of the hallway, he said “Here is your room. Press this button if you need anything.”
I had no clue what to think at that point. Whether it was a punishment to be here, or if I was being rewarded, I had no clue. I didn’t miss school at all. It was such a relief to be gone from that disgusting building.
“KNOCK KNOCK! Can I come in? Here I come. Hey, kiddo! It’s been forever! Gimme a hug!”
“Mark! What’s new?”
I couldn't have cared less.
“ Oh, nothing really. I’m more interested in you.”
He continued. “How are you handling everything?”
“Well, I guess…. Dunno.”
“You’ll be home in no time, just enjoy yourself while you’re here. Okay? Alrighty. Well I bet you’re jet lagged. I’ll let ya relax.”
“Thanks, Mark. It’s nice to see you.”
“You too, kid.” He shut the door.
As soon as I finished unpacking, I immediately took out my notebook and wrote. Time slipped away from me, and it wasn’t until an hour later, that I realized it. I exited my room, only to find Adam, and Emma playing on the stairs with their toys.
“KATE!” They screamed in unison.
Yep. Definitely just blew an eardrum. Keep walking. Ignore. Ignore. IGNORE.
“Kate. Kate. Kat. Hey, Katie! Kate! Oh, Katherine!” Adam said.
“What, guys?” I asked.
“Goodbye.” I said and proceeded into the kitchen.
Don’t get me wrong, they were pretty entertaining at times, but this time, I just couldn’t. So, I went into the kitchen, expecting to find dinner waiting for me, but it turns out, as spoiled as they were, my cousins did not have a personal chef. Mark was sitting at the table reading a newspaper.
"What's for dinner?" I asked
“Here’s some Corn Flakes. There’s a bowl over there and a spoon in this draw.”
“Devine.” I replied.
“Ya know, Kate. They’ve been talking about you all day.” I rolled my eyes at him. “Hey, cheer up, he’ll be fine.” I poured the milk and went back upstairs.
“Nighty night, cuz!” I heard them say, and then went to bed.
The next morning, I was awoken by the flavorful smell of crispy meat.
So they do have a chef.
But I was mistaken.
“Morning, punk! Here's your breakfast. Did you wake up on the right side today?”
“I hope so.”
“Well” he started. “I called in sick today, and the other punks are at school, so we can do whatever you want.”
“Oh, uh, I don’t care what we do.”
“Lake? Park? Mall? C’mon, there’s gotta be something.” I didn’t say anything. We didn’t do anything either. Three days past and I not once did I leave the house. Finally, Mark decided to take me out.
“Where are we going, Mark?”
“I have a surprise. No kids, just us. Sound like a plan, kiddo?”
“I guess” We pulled into what looked like a restaurant.
“Did you and dad use to eat here as kids or something?”
“Whatever.” As we walked in, I was expecting a high-end, overpriced food place with under-sized portions. But I later learned that is was just an old diner.
“Did you and Gramps use to come here?” I asked.
“Ha, do you honestly think your grandfather would take me here?! No.”
“Oh, okay.” I mumbled.
“Two please. Yep. Thank you.” He said to the server. After she took our order, I thought about it until I was positive.
“Was it her favorite restaurant? Did you and Ellie meet here?”
“Nope.” There was a period of silence before I blurted out again.
“Mark, what is this place?” He took a sip of his soda, and replied.
“To be honest… I have no clue. I pass it every day on the way to work. I thought we should try it.” he said with a giant smirk on his face.
“You dragged me to the middle of nowhere? You really brought me to this stinky, old, run down diner, because you wanted to ‘try it’? What were you thinking? I'm not a little kid anymore, you can tell me. Why am I really here, Mark. Why?” He fiddled with his straw and took another sip of it. Putting the glass down he looked at me.
“Why?” I said in a more serious tone. After a brief pause, he answered.
I didn’t know whether to be angry or upset or if I should pretend I was fine.
Should I even bring up dad? I mean they are brothers, he might get upset, if I do.
But that’s when it hit me. I was miserable, yet somehow he was willing to take me to a random restaurant on the side of the freeway, just cause.
“I’m not ready for this.”
“None of us are, hun. You shouldn’t expect to be prepared. Nothing in life comes with a warning. That’s what life is.”
I figured it was easier for him, because of Ellie, but I asked anyways. Just to be sure.
“Then how come it’s so easy for you?”
“It’s not easy, Kate.”
“Listen, Kate. Just because it is harder on you, it does not mean things are easy for me. There’s no such thing as easy. We all die at some point, Kate. It’s just a question of when. ” After analyzing what he said, I replied to him.
“You still never told me why are we here.”
“I did…maybe you weren’t listening.”
“Well then why are we here?”
Whatever. He is old. He has no clue what he is talking about. Stupid old people and their sayings....
Two years later, on this dreary unwanted day, it finally all makes sense.