Amazing Kids! Magazine

An Ordinary Day

By Hannah Warner, age 15, Colorado

 

In today’s economy, a lot of people are out of work.  If you are lucky enough, maybe you struck it rich or you might have gotten an inheritance.  I had neither.  I was dead broke.   Don’t get me wrong, I had enough for the essentials, but nothing more.  This is why I disliked going shopping. Not only that, I had no one to go with.  I hated having no one to visit, and I also loathed having to work all the time and having no time to myself.

It was just a typical shopping day and I was walking inside my local supercenter. Searching for my weekly groceries of milk, cheese, and eggs, I noticed an older man leaning up against an end cap on an aisle. His eyes were following my every movement, as I observed for a minute not letting him know what I was doing. This man was about 50 years old I guessed, and scruffy looking. I thought nothing of it as I thought it would be interesting to watch people too. It wasn’t until I found him at the front of the store when I was checking out that he scared me. I paid, loaded my two bags of groceries into my cart, and as I was making my way to the doors he was sitting in the little cafeteria area up front. When I peeked over my shoulder to see what the man was doing, he jerked his head as if he knew what I was thinking. Eyeing me glaring at him, he smiled a crooked tooth smile at me and I practically bolted out the doors.

As soon as I got to my Jeep Wrangler in the crowded parking lot, I packed my groceries in the cab with me. I took care of the cart, and after I got into my car I noticed that my gas tank gauge was dangerously low to the E mark. I drove to the nearest 7-Eleven to get a quick fill-up for the next time I was out and about. I pulled into pump #5 and I checked my surroundings before I climbed out.

There he was again. Yes, ugh…that old man was there leaning against a “too good to be true” car. It was expensive, small, and contained a huge amount of horsepower. Of course, it was a black-as-night Ferrari. What would a scraggly, old, almost toothless man want with a Ferrari? If that was the case, why didn’t he spend the money on his looks? Maybe he didn’t care and had a successful life already. Thinking about this, I hurried and paid, getting ready to pump. Six minutes later, when I was about done with the pumping, the old man climbed into his car and pulled into the pump across from me. I wished the gas pump had injected the gas faster into my car. The old man almost fell out of his car getting out.

“Excuse me, but um…did you hurt yourself climbing out of your car?” I asked him in the most obnoxiously polite voice.

“No. However, thank you for asking,” he said. The man spoke in a much younger voice than I had expected.

He seemed to be nice in a creepy sort of way, but I was still edgy. So, I decided to ask him a few more questions.

“Do you want me to pump your gas for you?” I questioned being the good person I was.

Then the old man replied, “No, it’s okay, I’ll do it.”

Following what he said, he started filling his Ferrari, full probably of the best (and most expensive) fuel. I was starting to finish up as I saw my tank was getting nearly to the top and then he spoke.

“Sorry, I was sort of following you, but I need to ask you a favor,” he said.

“What?” I asked confused.

“You are Augustine Lynnette Harlow. Correct?” he questioned me.

I was appalled that he knew my name and I was bound to find out if he knew more. So I questioned him right back, “Really, you think that I am this girl you speak about? If you know her what is her favorite type of music?”

“I think it is country music.”

“Really,” I said. “Well, then what does this girl you speak about like to do in her spare time?”

He replied in a laughing tone, “Go outside and enjoy the sunshine with a glass of sweet iced tea in your hand.”

“How do you know all of this? Have you been spying on me?” I asked almost yelling at this point.

“No. I would never do that to anybody. Can we go and have lunch together and talk a little more in private, perhaps?”

Now, I was still on edge about this old man. I made sure I had my pepper spray in my pocket just in case I did go with him. As soon as he was done pumping gas, he decided that we should go to Subway just down the road. I knew Subway was quite bustling during the lunch hour and there was always heavy foot traffic there. It was the perfect place to talk privately, with a “new to you” strange person. I followed him driving there. It was 12:00 pm on the dot and I was getting hungry. He ordered and then I did, but he ended up paying for mine. I thought, Why?!  (Although, I was quite happy since after paying for groceries and gas, I had $10 to make it to my next paycheck.)  We went on having lunch outside and talking.

We talked and I ended up asking him, “What is your name and what do you do for a living?”

“I am A. J. Easton,” A. J. Easton said.

“Well, it is finally nice to know your name Mr. Easton,” I said.

“Please,” Mr. Easton said, “call me A. J.”

“Okay.”

I had heard of this name before as it was on the front of MSN.com saying that this guy was a business mogul that made millions in an internet startup company.  Wow, I was sitting next to a well-known businessman. I played on that I didn’t know any of this. We talked awhile, well more like 3 hours. We struck up a fine friendship in that small time frame but after a while the church bells rang and it was 3:00 pm. A. J. said that he had to leave, due to a meeting with his fellow board members on whether or not they should make a promotion ad for  a lotion crème. Of course, he told me a tall tale saying that his profession was making sales pitches for cosmetics. I still knew the truth. At any rate, I didn’t really need to know. Before he left he gave me a note, and left while I read it.

This is what it read:

Dear Friend,

You have made me your friend. I thank you for that. You will be rewarded in many ways.

Easton

I was already rewarded I thought. I had met a well-known businessman, made him my friend in a few hours and he must have enjoyed my time as well. I gathered up my purse I had carried with me and left.

Six weeks later after encountering A. J. Easton

It was a normal day working in my little cubical with my awful, boring job. I was working right along when I started hearing little whispers everywhere. Then my boss paged for me over the phone to get to her office right away. When I was walking there, I noticed several of my fellow colleagues were huddled together talking amongst themselves. I walked into my boss’s office thinking of all the worst possibilities that could happen. The worst one I thought of was getting fired. My boss was in there and so was my lawyer. Great day, what is going on?!

“Miss. Harlow,” my boss said as soon as I was in the office with the door shut behind me, “you have business to discuss with your lawyer, immediately.”

“Okay, what is going on? Am I being fired?” I asked sort of panicked.

Just then the lawyer said, “I would like to speak with you in a more private setting.”

We walked to an empty office that was around the corner. I started to sweat in the palms of my hands and on my forehead.  Boy was I super nervous. I drew the blinds so no one could see my state of panic.  After sitting at a leftover desk and two worn out chairs, we got down to business.

“Miss. Harlow I have received some good news and bad news,” my lawyer, Mr. Blackburn, said. While hearing that, I noticed that he was a stately man, quite attractive but far too old for this 22 year old girl.

“Do you want to hear the good news,” Blackburn said, “or the bad news?”

“The good news, preferably,” I answered.

“An acquaintance of yours has left you a large sum of money.”

I jumped up and said, “Who left me money? I don’t know anyone with more than the measly amount I make, but of course you. You probably make a whole lot more than me.”

“Yes, well that brings us to the bad news.”

I was thinking after Blackburn said that. The only bad thing that comes with money and bad news is the death of someone. Even that is bad news because with the death of someone who leaves you something comes debt, a lot of debt. I had already dealt with the death of my mother a couple years back. My mother’s passing left me with: a house with a mortgage, a fluffy cat which my mother named Queen Elizabeth (which had a bad attitude), and me brokenhearted from her passing. Now I have to deal with something else.

“A wealthy entrepreneur died a few weeks back leaving you enough money for the rest of your life,” Blackburn said in the most respectful tone of voice.

“Who would have done this? I don’t know any entrepreneurs.” In that instant, my mind drifted back to a couple weeks prior, to when I met A. J. Easton. But that hadn’t been weeks ago, had it?

“Mr. A. J. Easton who passed away recently was the man. Did you know him?”

Of course, I had a dumb look sitting across my face. I know I didn’t meet him recently. I decided to play stupid and say “Nope.”

“He also left you the keys to a car which is sitting out front.” And with that he handed the keys across the desk to me. Then he said, “I have arranged to have the money placed into your account at the bank and if you need any more help, feel free to contact me.” With that Blackburn packed his briefcase and left me sitting there in awe.

I rushed back into my boss’s office. I told her that I needed some time off and she said that was fine. I went back to my cubical, grabbed my wallet which I had locked in the file cabinet, shut down my computer and left down to the lobby area. I walked outside, seeing a bunch of cars all parked on the curb. I clicked the lock button on the keys and the lights of a black-as-night Ferrari glowed. I walked over to where the car was parked, unlocked the doors, got in and drove away.

Some say that I went off to spend my allowance daddy gave me; others started rumors and gossip about what I did.  The truth is that I drove away only to find more questions than answers about A. J. Easton.

One comment

  1. Mr. James /

    Cool story, Hannah! Sound like she earned some money for being nice and making a friend.