Somehow ch. 5 (third part) This should be the end of the chapter!


“Aspen,” Mom announced to me when I got home from practice. “The family has moved the spring reunion to Tennessee!”

I beamed. “And I’ll finally meet Auntie Gaby, Uncle Phillip, and Cooper!”

Auntie Gaby lives in remote Alaska, so I’ve never actually met her in person, but she’s funny and nice, like her husband and her daredevil son, who is about my age, Cooper. I just couldn’t wait!

“Look,” Mom said, waving the phone. “Auntie Gaby is on the phone right now!”

Auntie Gaby chuckled on the screen. “I can’t wait to set foot on the lower forty-eight again! Charlene, Alaska is great, it’s so beautiful!”

I wrinkled my forehead. “Lower forty-eight?”

Auntie Gaby laughed as her connection started to break up again. “Sorry! It’s the mainland!”

“How’s Phillip,” my mom asked. 

“Taking pictures as always,” Auntie Gaby smirked.

Uncle Phillip is a wildlife photographer, so you can guess why he even moved to Alaska in the first place. Auntie Gaby is the school nurse ( the eight grade class has only four kids in it, and the high school has a maximum of ten students) in Cooper’s school, which is, like, the only school. Luckily, they live in a mostly Christian environment, with an Adventist church with like, what, sixteen families attending? The town has about sixty or seventy families, so in proportion, it isn’t too bad. In fact, two of Cooper’s eight grade friends happen to be Adventist.

“Auntie,” my eyes danced with excitement as I told her about my performance.

“Aw, man, I wish I could be there,” Auntie Gaby sighed. “I can’t wait to see Belle again, that’s for sure. Hey, Charlene, sometime we should arrange for everyone to come to Alaska for a family reunion!”

My other aunt is Aunt Belle. She’s not exceptionally fun because she hangs out with the adults more. Who’s really fun is my out-of-the-ordinary Grandma Carly. She doesn’t bake brownies and knit all day, she likes making poured paint art and rollerblading. The only thing I don’t like about her is that every Friday night, she pulls out all the leftovers and serves them for dinner.

Gaby and Belle are sisters, and when Gaby was about thirteen, her family adopted a kid, also thirteen, called Nate. Nate made friends with another guy called Isaiah and a girl named Charlene, who was Isaiah’s twin. Nate hated Gaby and Gaby hated him back. But then some really dramatic stuff happened and became really good friends. Later in life, Nate and Charlene fell in love and married, and they had three daughters by the names of Cadenza, Aspen, and Virginia. You can guess where this is going.

“Will we,” I asked hopefully. “Really, Mom?”

“We’ll see, Gaby,” Mom chuckled.

And then the call ended because both our connections went out.


I think I started to freak out Jenny, because throughout the next couple of weeks, she seemed to hide from me, and I chased her. More than once I received a sticky note screaming:

Stalker! 🙁

And then it got Sharpied on my locker:

Stalker! 🙁

But hey! Doesn’t the Bible say, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”? (NKJV Mathew 5:10.)

So I added:

🙂 Proud       Stalker!:(

And then Jenny and I got sent to the principal’s office, charged with vandalism. And because of that we had to spend Sunday with the cleaning crew, trying to pull out black gum from under the  desks. Not to mention the long questionnaire at home after the school email about the situation, and the consequences at home.

Thank you for reading!


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Somehow ch. 5 (third part) This should be the end of the chapter!

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