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The Long-awaited Trip

By Saman, age 11, 5th Grade, The Bullis School, Potomac, MD, USA

This book is dedicated to Samira.

"Sam? Are you still on?" I heard a dial tone. "Oh… how rude! I wonder if Jessie is home? Hello, is Jessie there, please?" I politely questioned.

"Yes, hold on please." A woman with a high voice responded. "Hello?"

"Hi, Jessie. I was just talking to Sam but she hung up. I'm not going to call her back because she hung up for a reason. I wonder what it is. It's probably nothing."

"I am so bummed. I don't know what to do about the test in two days." Jessie said with concern.

"You mean the one on Tuesday? Yeah, me too. I don't understand anything. What am I going to do?"

"Probably the same thing I do."

"What's that?"

"I have no idea."

"O.K. well if we're going to do the same thing we better study."

"Yeah, well bye. See you tomorrow, I guess."

"Yeah, bye!"

I am so tired. We have a big test on Tuesday and I don't know what to do. It will drag down my whole average. Let me call Sam back.

"Hello, is Sam there please?"

" Yes, hold on one moment."

" Sam?" I questioned.

" Yeah," Sam replied.

" Uh, I am so tired and there's only two more days until the test! What am I gonna do?"

"I don't know what I'm gonna do! I'm sorry for hanging up. My mom thinks I'm studying and she walked in. If I have to hang up again I'm sorry. Well why did you call?"

" I don't know, I thought we didn't finish our phone call. But I guess I was wrong. I'll see you tomorrow. It's getting late and my mom wants me to help her with the dishes. She also wants me to study. "

"Well, it sounds like it's going to be a long night for both of us."

"It sure does sound like it."

"O.K., see you tomorrow. Bye!"


The next day we were reviewing for the test. It was so boring, Mr. Lunch's class is right before lunch and I can't stand it. Even though it's one of my only classes that I'm with Sam and Jessie. Sam and Jessie are my best friends. We are the most popular girls in the class other than the snobby ones. Jess is going out with Josh, another popular boy. And Sam, she has just broke up with some snob that cheated on her. His name is Josh too but his last name is Lestering. He is a snobby boy who should go with a snobby girl. I knew Sam shouldn't have gone out with him right from the beginning. He is sort of cute so I didn't blame her. Then there is Greg who has a big crush on Sam and everyone knows it except her. That is the weirdest thing. Then there's me and..... no one. Which I don't think is going to change for a long time. Yes! there's the bell!

"Saved by the bell!" Sam announces with glee.

Jess, Sam, and I walked to the lunch room. We sat at a table with Greg, Josh, and Scott. They too are pretty popular.

"Hey, Sam," said Greg, "What's up?"

"Nothing much," Sam replied.

"How about you, Kelly?"

"Oh, I'm probably going to fail the test tomorrow. But other than that I'm pretty good, and you?"

"I'm good, but you know how summer's coming up and I was just wondering if you guys wanted to go on a trip together? It would be really fun and organized too, and if Sam helps out it will even be more organized!"

Everyone seemed excited but thought it probably wasn't going to happen. But by the end of the day it sounded good or should I say great? We all decided to tell our parents that night.

I talked to my mom about the trip and she said she would talk to my father about it. She could always get him to say yes. My mom is very insightful. I love her a lot. She is the cook in the restaurant we own, and my dad helps sometimes. They're both teaching me the business, so I could run it one day. I really don't want to because I want to become a lawyer. I was hoping John, my younger brother, would run the family business when he gets older. I haven't shared that with my parents yet, but he's part of the family too and would enjoy it more than I. At least that's what I think.

I studied my hardest that night. The next day I was so nervous about the test. I was shaking when I was choosing my clothes. Finally I chose my outfit and got dressed. When I went down for breakfast, I ate a lot so I would do better on the test. My mom says that when you eat, you think better.

"Mom, did you tell Dad about the trip?"

"Yes, he said he will talk to you about it at dinner."

"O.K." I finished up and went to school.

When I got to school Sam was there talking to Laurie. Laurie was someone who we disliked because she did some mean things when we were in tenth grade last year. Sam's party was coming up and she already gave her invitations out. I think Laurie wasn't invited.

I walked up to the two of them and said, "Hi Sam." Laurie saw me and said, "Hi, Sucker. What's up?" I didn't answer because that would be answering to Sucker and well she would make fun of me with her only friends Lisa and Shannon. They were the snobs of the school. Everybody hated them except for the boys who were dogs and just went out with girls to take advantage of them. Sam always says that's why some of the girls are like that and Jess agrees.

" Laurie is such a bozo, she has to be related to the clown," Sam said.

I started laughing when Jess came off the bus and said, "What is so funny?"

" Well Laurie just came and was talking about some garbage and Sam said she must be related to Bozo the Clown!" Then we laughed some more.

We walked down to Ms. Parch's classroom together and sat down. We were early so we talked for a few minutes about our clothes and where we got them. Today I was going to Sam's house so I asked her if she wanted Jess to come too. Sam said if she could it would be fine with her.

I asked Jess, "Do you want to come to Sam's house with me after school today?"

"I can't it's my turn to cook dinner tonight. Sorry"

Mrs. Parch walked in and announced, "Class, quiet down!"

We sat there quietly. Mrs. Parch said, "The test will be eighth period in every class unless you have an activity and then you will have it seventh period. Is that understood? OK, what do you guys have trouble with? After all today is the test." Almost everybody's hand went up.

I knew someone would ask about antonyms so I didn't bother to raise my hand. Finally someone asked about antonyms and I listened carefully. I was happy at the end of class because now I understood them better. Jess and Sam told me after class that now they were more confused and that the bell didn't save them today.

At fourth period I felt like I was going to get an average grade on the test. Jess and Sam didn't feel confident at all. I didn't know why because they were pretty good students and they always got the hang of things earlier than most of the students. Greg, Scott, and Josh didn't talk about it.

Greg brought up the trip again and said, "Did you guys talk to your parents?"

" I talked to my Mom and I'm going to talk to my dad tonight at dinner."

Everyone but me forgot, but they were surely going to talk to their tonight so it didn't matter. But now I was nervous because I have an activity in eighth period and so I have to take the test in seventh period, and seventh period was next.

I walked down to the room where we had to take the test. Everyone was quiet so I sat down in an empty seat. Josh was in this too and he sat across from me. I have never seen his face so worried. I thought to myself, if everyone fails then we would take it again and I would do better the second time around. So I had a good feeling in me until the teacher said, "Ok, is everyone here?"

Then I sat up straight and listened carefully. He said, "If you find anyone looking at your paper tell me even though I will be watching you closely. Is everybody ready? OK, once you get your paper you may begin." He came around to me and I was feeling sick to my stomach. I saw the questions and I thought to myself, "These aren't that hard!" I was feeling ok until I touched the corner of the sheet to turn it over and I felt a whole booklet of pages. I was now worried that I wouldn't finish it in time so I just sat there and continued my work.

Mr. Parks announced, "If you haven't finished your test, tell me. That way you can work on it instead of going to your next period, ok? Come up if you're finished." Only two people went up. They were the geeks of ninth grade. "Now turn your test booklet over and go to your next class and tell your teacher that you need to stay here to complete your test. Then once you're finished you may go to your next period class. Understood? OK, go ahead."

I finished the test at the end of that period. I was lucky because the people who didn't finish had to stay after school or get an incomplete. We were supposed to get our tests back the following week on Friday.

That night after the I took the test I talked to my parents about the trip. They decided it was ok as long as there was adult supervision nearby. They kept on explaining that nearby meant next door or at least five minutes away so nothing would happen. They would check on us twice every day just to make sure everything was alright. I was so happy because that meant it might take place after all. I couldn't wait to tell the others.

The next morning I woke up in a panic. I was an hour late for school so I ran and got ready for school. I scurried down stairs to eat breakfast.

"Where are you going?" questioned mom.

"Why didn't you wake me up?"

"You don't have school today," she announced with a smile.


"A water pipe broke, so you won't have school until Friday. You just have to pick up the work that you missed."


I was so excited I called Sam and told her to call our group to arrange a get-together, maybe the movies or something.

She arranged for Josh, Jess, Sam, Greg, Scott, and I to go out for dinner and a movie. We went to a pizza shop before the movie. The food wasn't that bad either. We ordered one large cheese pizza and one small white pizza. Jess was allergic to tomatoes.

We talked about our summer trip because everyone was allowed to go. Everything was under control. Then I asked a question, "Where are we going to stay?"

"Well, we will probably rent a house by that lake that is a couple of miles from here," Greg said. "It's better that way, because the expense will be lower. What do you guys think?"

We all agreed. Then Greg said, "Let's all share responsibilities. One of us will find a house for rent by the lake and in a good price range. After that we will see what the house needs so we can bring everything with us. Last but not least we should make sure there is some sort of transportation that we can use to get up there and back and as well as in the case of an emergency." We all agreed. I had to arrange the transportation. That was a good one for me because we had an extra car and it was a four-wheel drive van.

On Thursday half our plans for the trip were completed. I couldn't wait until it was time to depart. The next day I got up and put on a brand new outfit. It was the last day of school. I got my test back first period and I was happy because I got a 90%! That was one of the best scores in the eleventh grade. All my friends got average scores except Josh who got a 95%.

I was lucky to get a good grade because now my whole average is up. And next year I will start out fresh again. I'm going to be a senior!

The date of our trip was just a week and a half after school ended. We would stay at the lake for two weeks or sixteen days according to Jess. She always is funny like that. I like her so much even though she just came to this school. She had a motor boat which she was going to bring along. There would also be people living next door to us who somehow knew my parents. They would check on us because they were old and usually home.

The day before we were to depart for the lake Sam came over and helped me to pack. She is so neat and punctual. We took a whole bunch of things we could layer just in case it was cold at night. The neighbors said it usually was warm at night and rarely chilly. But if the temperature were to drop at night, it would be pretty cold so she said to bring sweaters and extra blankets. I packed enough for all of us.

The next morning we all piled into my van except for Jess. Jess was going to come up later with her parent's boat. Everyone said good bye to my parents and thanked them for the van. It was a long journey there because we got lost and went around in circles for about an hour.

Once we finally got to the lake Scott knew where everything was and was able to show us around. I had my own room. It was a fairly large house so only one room had to be shared. Greg and Scott shared it. They said they would only share if there were two beds. They got the best and only room with two beds. It had a view of the lake with a fairly small balcony. They asked us if we wanted it just to be gentlemen but that room was cold so we said no thank you. The kitchen was dusty and dingy since it wasn't used for a long time. I cooked most of the meals since I was the only one who wanted to. They thought I was a pretty good cook. The first night we had spaghetti for dinner since it was the easiest thing to make. We ate dinner and went to our rooms early since we had a long trip and wanted to rest.

The next day Sam and I were tanning on the beach. We had just finished setting up a picnic for lunch. Sam loved picnics ever since she was little. When we played together when we were about eight years old she would always want to have a picnic for lunch in her back yard. And when she came over to my house she would want to have a picnic for lunch. She was so cute when she was little.

From a distance we saw a row boat below the dock. There were oars and life jackets in it so Sam and I got in and went for a little row.

"Its so peaceful," said Sam.

"I know."

"I love it."

Then all of a sudden a motor boat came by us too fast and too close and made us capsize. Then the boat went back to the other side of the lake without even checking on us. We couldn't see who it was but we swam to the edge of the lake, and Greg came out and said, "What happened?"

We told him the story and he said, "Do you know who did it?"

"No" Sam replied.

"What if it was Jess,?" I questioned.

"It wouldn't be Jess," Sam reassured us. She knew her longer than me. "What does her boat look like? Do you know? Did you see this guy's boat? I mean she is supposed to come today. Isn't she?"

"Yeah, that's what she said. But I did see that the boat had a big green stripe across the middle of it but I didn't see any more than that." " Well, sorry to disappoint you but I've never seen her boat. And I don't think it's her."

" Me, either," Greg said.

"What are we saying guys? I mean, maybe he really didn't see us. I mean it was a high boat."

"Yeah you're probably right"

Then ten minutes later I heard a gun shot and a scream coming from the side of the lake where the boat disappeared. Sam went inside to get some lemonade and I don't think she heard it. I told her about it and she said, "What if it is somebody hunting?"

"Well, what about the scream? It came from the same side of the lake where the boat was heading?"

"I don't know there is all this weird stuff going on, it could be anything. A coincidence?"

When I went inside to get some bread Sam and Greg were outside and Greg asked Sam to be his girlfriend. Sam was so excited because she had a secret crush on him too. She didn't tell anybody except her diary. She was so happy for the rest of the trip and so was Greg.

All of a sudden we heard a motor sound on the water. We went to check what it was and we saw a motor boat coming. We thought that it was the same one as before because it too had a big green stripe across the middle! Then we saw Jess's face. She came by the dock and went into the boatlift. She got out and said, "Give me a hand here! I have a whole bunch of junk that my parents made me bring. The boat is ready for any emergency. It has flashlights, nailed in furniture, fresh water, and batteries with a radio."

"That's great! Now come on inside it's really cool," I said.

"OK, I'm coming, I'm coming."

"We set up a picnic lunch. Are you hungry?" Sam asked.

"Yeah, even though there's food in the boat it was still a long way coasting and trying to find the house. Or should I say any house. There is like only two of them here. Isn't there?"

" Yeah, I guess so," I said, "I really didn't see."

"Well, after lunch I'll take all of you guys for a ride. OK?"

"That sounds good," we all agreed.

"Hold on, let me get the boys. I think Greg and Josh are still sleeping because we only saw Scott this morning for breakfast. I didn't have any breakfast, so I'm really hungry let me see if they're up. One second."

"Hey, Jess, What's up?"

"Nothing much, what about you?"

Interrupting him Josh says, "Hey what's up? I'm hungry."

"You should be. How long did you sleep?" I said.

"Ok, let's have lunch. To the picnic everyone!"

"It's a beautiful day."

"I know, isn't it?"

"Yup, what do you guys want for lunch? P.B & J, turkey sand, or grill cheese? Which one?"

While we were eating we overheard the neighbors fighting. They went inside their house but then the woman screamed, "I'm blee..!" And then we heard nothing. We were all freaked out, especially Sam and I. After lunch we went on a boat ride. Nothing else weird happened after that. That night Sam and I said that no matter what happened, we would always stay together. We also talked about how weird Jess was acting, and all the coincidences with her boat and the guy's boat. I also noticed that she arrived from the same side of the lake as the guy and the same side that the shot of a gun came from.

The next few days were pretty uneventful. Then on Wednesday we saw a note that stated:

July 16, 1997

Dear friends,

Please leave this house as soon as possible.

There is a bad spell on it. So get out Fast.

As fast as you can please.

Thank you,

Your friend.

There was one suspicious thing about the note.

It was really close to Jess's handwriting except it looked like she wrote it in a rush.

Sam advised, "We should leave, we really should, I mean, look at all the things that happened around here, I mean we could be next! Come on let's go. What are you waiting for?"

"I don't know, let's show the others. I mean what if they wrote it to try to get us out of here sooner? I mean anyone could be behind this, can't they?"

" Yeah, let's show them."

We showed them the note we found and we all decided to leave the very next day. I don't know what would have happened if we stayed. All I know is that we made the right decision.

The End

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Last revised: 9th June 1999