Grades 6-8 2nd Place "A New Beginning" by Jordan Moore Klein ISD Grade 8 Teacher: Holly Walsh I stared out of my window for what seemed like days, even though they were just hours slowly ticking by. We soared high above the clouds like birds, unwilling to come down back to earth. The ride was peaceful, and my eyelids soon became heavy. The soothing lullaby of a mother cooing her child into a deep sleep caused it to be almost impossible for me to keep my eyes open. The cool air from the air-conditioner resulted in a shiver going down my spine, but on the inside I was warm and cozy. I dreamt about my new beginning in America. I was excited, yet scared. I was being sent to live with my grandparents, on my mother's side, whom I had never met. My parents had passed away recently on a cruise around the world when the ship had caught fire. Now, I had to travel all the way to California, along with my brother and sister, to live with relatives that I've never seen. Thirty minutes later I was in the airport, carrying a solid black duffel bag and dragging my suitcase behind me. Suddenly, I tripped over the foot of a lady taking a selfie and fell into a shady looking man dressed in an oversized t-shirt and baggy jeans. "Sorry," I mumbled, scrambling to my feet. I flung my duffel bag onto my arm and ran to catch up with my siblings. We stared at the line of people, all of them holding a sign with a different person's name on it. Finally, the name "Dean" caught our eye. A gray-haired woman with kind green eyes smiled at us. "Are you Lena, Kyle, and Mason Dean?" she asked. "Yes," my sister Kylee said, running up to the woman and wrapping her arms around her. After we exchanged greetings, we loaded into my grandmother's SUV and were off to her apartment. I couldn't shake off the feeling that someone was watching me, yet I knew that I was safe as long I was with my family. I stared out the window as we drove, taking in the views of California. A familiar looking face stared at me form the car next to us. It was the man that I had run into at the airport, and he was looking straight at me. A shiver ran down my spine as we pulled into the parking lots of my grandma's apartment complex. * * * After dinner, I sat in my new room, doodling on a sheet of notebook paper. My parent's faces, drawn in lines of ink stared up at me. Their faces smeared from my tears. My parents had always been there for me, no matter what they had going on, and the one time when they had been taking a break from that, the tragic event 25

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