Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Trip

By Julian Gray, age 18, Missouri


Having coasted on a cramped and uncomfortable plane for four hours to get here, I rise from my seat and walk towards the front exit. I step into the long, gray tunnel that shows its years; having long black lines across the sides of its carpeted floor. Its upwards tilt helps guide me to my destination. As I approach the end of the tunnel, lights appear, drawing me forward. My heart begins to beat a little faster, my steps become a little quicker, and a grin spreads across my face. As I walk out of the tunnel and into the terminal looking back over my shoulder through the gray, dim windows at the horizon, I see lush green hills and the beautiful light blue sky. To my left is one of the highest and longest bridges I have ever seen. It connects the City of San Diego to Coronado. I have been here so many times, visiting here is like arriving at my second home or at least a place that could have been.

I met my sister at the curb outside the terminal. Her long blonde hair is pulled back in a loose bun and her sky blue eyes remind me of my dad’s. She says to me, “How have you been?” “Good,” I reply. She responds with a sympathetic statement, “Sorry that you couldn’t move here to go to college. We looked at everything we could.” I reply, “It’s okay. I know. I appreciate it, thanks.” Our attention turns back to the ahead. She drives along a long road that winds through these wonderful hills and at the bottoms there are these little bustling towns with every place you could ever want. The tops of the hills are adorned with amazing houses that you know must fantastic views. As we continue on I have my first peek at the ocean. The vastness looks infinite with the waves perpetually coming on to the shore, rising and lowering into itself during the day. The deep blue, sparks pictures in my mind of the blue marble picture from the Apollo 17 spacecraft. We continue through what I would come to describe as a blissful paradise, with a little bit of traffic, for an hour.

We pull into the driveway and the unique black and completely solid rectangle of a garage door open. This was a difference I noted one of the first times I had come here. I had always seen garage doors that broke off into sections as opened, not one solid piece. I step out of the car into the cool California air. My hand grazes against the rough exterior of the house that makes the house wild-fire proof. I walk into the garage that reflects my sister and her husband’s dedication to staying healthy, a treadmill sits perpendicular to the garage door. There is a mat, a row of weights, and a pull-up bar on the left. On the opposite side of the garage is all of their equipment and toys for the beach and nearby bodies of water. There are multiple surfboards on top of each other that remind me of my first time coasting on a surfboard back into the sandy shores and the rush that came with it. Maybe that could have been a hobby of mine, but I don’t know if I ever would have gotten very good at it. There are wetsuits hanging above the boards that remind me of the absolute frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean. The rush of adrenaline when the water hits you is not enjoyable but is completely worth it, for the thrill of riding the waves that hit the shore. My attention drifts from the garage to the door to enter the house.

I grasp the cold, silver doorknob and turn it. The door always provides a little bit of resistance when you push it forward. It opens in front of me and I see the beginning of a carpeted staircase to my right, a tile floor in front of me, and a large kitchen island made of marbled shades of gray. Tall black chairs surround the island on three sides, on the fourth side, there are a sink and dishwasher. The upper and lower white cabinets run along the surrounding walls. Past the center island is the living room which is blocked off by a two-foot fence so that the dog does not chew up the furniture.

Over my head, there is the sound of rolling thunder followed by howls of laughter. Suddenly down the stairs descend the three little “monsters,” as my sister calls them; yet they are sweet as angels. They swarm towards me, screaming my name and jumping up to hug me. It is hard to imagine anything that can make me feel more loved. I feel like I belong in my sister’s family. One of my favorite things is that they have so many family traditions that they practice on a regular basis. They eat dinner together every evening, they have family game nights, and every single day they have a plan to spend time together. It makes me think of the life that I could have had, and wonder what could have been.