By Isabel M.
Eleven-year-old Elizabeth was sitting down, speechless. She was shocked. With her jaw dropped, she looked as if she was in a trance. She didn’t know what to say. She didn’t know what to do. Her camera was gone. It was missing.
“I searched everywhere,” Elizabeth said to herself. “Everywhere! In every spot, in every corner of this house I looked! But yet, my camera wasn’t found. It wasn’t found!”
With intensity, the words kept ringing in her head: it wasn’t found. Her two sisters helped her look. Her parents helped her look. All Elizabeth could do now was just sit there, and not move. Nobody quite knew how devastated the girl was. She was a passionate photographer. So much so that she couldn’t imagine life without her beloved camera.
The camera was the most expensive one she had ever had. And it was her favorite one, too. She had some cameras before, but none of them matched up to the performance of this one. She thought it was irreplaceable.
Life suddenly seemed very strange for Elizabeth, who sat there that afternoon, in the quiet house, in the living room.
Elizabeth’s two sisters, 9-year-old Sarah, and 14-year-old April were each in their own rooms. Neither could really bare the sight of their sister. The parents, Claire and Gradgrind, were also gone, out of the room. There was nowhere else they could look for the camera.
Nobody liked it this way. But more than anyone else, the youngest sister, Sarah, didn’t like the gloominess in the air. The house wasn’t the same without Elizabeth’s cheerfulness. Sarah wanted to change this. She moved about, and paced with doubt. Finally, she thought it was a good idea to see her sister, and try to make her happy again.
Sarah walked into the living room. She sat down next to her sister. Elizabeth didn’t blink. She didn’t move.
“I can’t believe your camera is gone,” Sarah said. “It’s a mystery indeed.”
In her best encouraging voice, Sarah added: “But you know, Elizabeth, there’s a lot more cameras where that came from.”
Elizabeth was deep in thought. “She doesn’t quite understand. My camera was the best,” she said to herself.
“You know, it’s getting late Elizabeth. Don’t you think you should go to bed, and perhaps wake up without thinking of your camera?” Sarah attempted yet again, but nothing seemed to work. After trying, and trying, and trying, and trying to make her sister happy, it was 10 p.m. Sarah went on for about two hours. Her sister was pretty upset. The girls were told to go to bed by their mother, and Elizabeth, practically had to be forced to go to bed.
Early the next day, everyone was at the kitchen table for breakfast. Nobody was really all that happy, besides April, the oldest sister.
“I’ve got an awesome idea!” April said. “I’m going to help Elizabeth find her camera!” The family looked at her, wondering how she was so content, and so sure of herself.
“April,” Gradgrind began, “I know things are sad right now, and you’re trying to help out. But, we don’t want anybody’s hopes getting high now.”
“But daddy!” She continued. Believe me, it’s going to work!!! Look, here’s the plan! I’m going to give it specifically to my friends!” She gave her father a sheet of paper. It said this:
Just yesterday morning, my sister lost her camera. She’s very sad about it. We all are. You see, she was in the backyard, swimming. Mom was in the garage, working on something, and also watching Elizabeth. I was gone at my friend’s house, and so was our youngest sister. Daddy was at work. It was then when Elizabeth first realized her camera was gone. It could’ve been that she left her camera on the chair next to the pool, and it slid off on the hole that was next to the chair. Again, mom wouldn’t know, because she was only watching Elizabeth, and didn’t really pay attention to the chair. We don’t know. It also may be that she left her camera in the house somewhere, and it got lost, and she totally forgot about it. This is because she was really excited about swimming, and nobody else was thinking about her camera. Otherwise, we would’ve been able to detect where it last was. Again, she was pretty upset about it gone. Nobody ever found it, though. It’s a mystery where it is.
Anyway, I thought of an idea to find this camera. We’re all going to look super hard around our house, today, all right everybody? Sure, our family already did, but you all, my friends, could double check! Come on friends, do it for my sister! You never know where it is. It could be that when me and the rest of the family looked, we may have skipped something. Who knows. But today, at 3:00, I would like us all to gather and do this!
Gradgrind read this paper.
“You know, April,” he began, “this may be impossible. Who knows where that camera really is. It’s hopeless. We already looked everywhere This plan wouldn’t work.”
April was no longer all smiles. The table was sad again. Her father said it, and it was final. The plan wouldn’t work.
It was a dark and gloomy day.
And so was the next day. And the next. And the day after that.
Finally, about a week past. Elizabeth was getting used to the idea of living without her one, irreplaceable camera. But she was still sad.
Sarah had gone back to everyday life, doing what she always did before the camera was lost. Today, she was on a mission to look into April’s cabinets to read her diary!
Sure enough, that day, April went to her friend’s house, and the rest of the family was busy doing things. This was Sarah’s chance. She was, indeed, successful.
Coincidentally, the first page she randomly stumbled upon while opening the notebook was this:
My sister is devastated, because her camera is gone. Poor her! She looked all over the house for it. She acts like it’s the end of the world. “Waaaaaaaaaaa! I can’t find my camera!” Is what is sounds like she might as well say. Anyways, when she was absorbed in the pool, and mom was in the garage, I took my chance, snatched her camera, and hid it by the flowers. Deep in the dirt, too. They didn’t notice it. So much so that I had plenty of time to do it. She deserved it. She always wants to make fun of me. She always told me to “wash the dishes” if I want to earn a camera. “I did it myself!” She said. Whatever. Anyways, that’s what’s going on. Me? I’m enjoying the peacefulness in this house. But the rest of the family is feeling sorry for my sister. I’m just faking to feel sorry. In fact, I made a plan for me and my friends to “search” for the camera. To make it seem like I’m the great sister, mwahahahahaha 😉 However, my friends would act like they didn’t find it. When they actually could help me put the camera deeper in the dirt!
So I say again, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Amazingly written by,
— April the Cool One
Sarah ran to the kitchen, where her mother was at. She ran. And ran. And ran! She was so content, so happy, because — finally — the mystery of the missing camera was solved.
When she reached the kitchen, she screamed out loud, “MOM! MOM, LOOK AT THIS! DADDY!!! QUICK!!! COME HERE!!!” Hearing the screams, Claire and Gradgrind moved as fast as lightning.
“What is it?” Gradgrind said. “What’s got you screaming your head off?”
Sarah handed him Aprils’ diary and Gradgrind read the entry about the camera aloud. Both of the parents were shocked. Full of fury. They were angry indeed.
“Wow!” Gradgrind said. He went outdoors, to grab the camera. He managed to dig deep, and took it out.
April, was in the middle of painting her nails, across the street, upstairs, at her friend’s house. She was enjoying her time.
Claire quickly walked across the street.
“April!” She said to her daughter, looking up at the open windows upstairs. “You’re in trouble. I suggest you come down here. NOW.” She tried to say this calmly, but, you can imagine, she was really quite upset.
April’s friend looked at April. April was totally embarrassed. But do you think her mother cared? No. (And she shouldn’t have cared either.)
The mother of April’s friend opened the door.
“What on earth is going on out here!?” The mother said. Her daughter, and April, were now behind her, at the door.
“My daughter is in trouble. I’ll talk later. For now, I’m going to take her home.” Claire looked hard at April, but tried to stay polite in front of the neighbor. And, again, tried not to lose her temper. They walked across the street. April didn’t say a word. But she knew she was obviously in trouble.
She was inside now. The whole family was at the kitchen table: the parents, and April, of course, and also Sarah and Elizabeth. They all looked at April. Still, she didn’t dare say a word, since she was picked up at her friend’s house. Everybody knew about the paper, and Elizabeth was all smiles, with her in-perfect condition camera in her hand. But of course, it had to be cleaned up a little bit because it had been buried in dirt.
“You don’t want to do the dishes, I see,” Gradgrind said. “So, your jealously made you go, take your sister’s camera, didn’t it? Your jealousy, and lack of wanting to earn something. You stole, and you made your sister upset.”
All eyes were on April now. And Sarah couldn’t help but to sneak in a laugh.
“You’re going to do all these dishes,” Claire spoke up, “breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes! All of them! Two months straight! Nobody will be allowed to help you! And did I mention, your use of Facebook? NO FACEBOOK! NOT AT ALL! For six months! Apparently, you’re not mature enough to handle it. Oh yes, and did I mention, you’re cleaning this whole house tonight? That’s right. All of it. Now explain, why did you do this?!?!”
April looked around the table. She was still nervous, but then, more evilness kicked in. This wasn’t just about a camera now. Her younger sisters were ruining her reputation. And she did not want this to pass without protest.
“Well mom,” April quickly said without much thought, “Sarah read my diary, did she not? What about her? Doesn’t she get any punishment?”
Of all the crazy things she said in her life, that was the craziest! She shot herself in the foot.
“Wow!” Elizabeth said. “You falsely accused my sister, my kind sister, Sarah!”
Now Claire piled on the punishment. Lots of dishes. And lots of cleaning. Claire was fuming. And the rest of the family was upset with April, too.
The day came to an end. Everybody went to bed. Except for one. April had to do her math.
The family went on and enjoying their time, while April suffered for what she did.
Eventually, after about a few months, April went to apologize. And it was a sincere apology. April was honestly, truly feeling sorry. It was too bad, though, that she didn’t learn sooner, before causing a photographer’s nightmare.
But at least it was over. And it ended well. Eventually, everybody, including April, were all on a happy high.
And April never did a foolish thing like that again.