It was a normal day in New York. The sun wasn’t shining, the cars were honking, the people were yelling. It was perfect! Well, perfect for everyone but me. I’m Nikki Castellano. I moved here to New York City three semesters ago and I have lived here ever since. Anyway, my imperfect, stupid and weird day all started one morning. It was not just any morning; it was the morning of my last day of eighth grade. I had always loved the last day of school. My mom and dad would take me to my favorite place in Seattle, and we would get ice cream, dance, sing, and laugh. It was great! But those days are over. My mom and dad divorced a few years ago. I wanted to move to Peru with my dad, but had to stay with my mom in Seattle so I could move to New York with her for her job. I miss my dad. I miss my mom and dad together. I miss them tucking me in together, laughing together, dancing together, us together.
After math, science, lunch, and English, the last bell finally rang. I checked my phone: no text from Dad. He promised he would text me. I slowly and sadly walked to my locker. I was so sad I almost forgot my locker combination. As I cleaned out my locker, I found pictures of my mom, dad, and I. Us at the ski lodge, us at the beach, and, my favorite, us at our old house. I slowly walked towards the door, and once I got outside, I sat on the picnic table. I usually would spend an hour there waiting for my mom after school, but today I barely had to wait at all. Just as I sat down, a car horn honked very loudly. I jumped up and turned around.
It was my Aunt Emma! I darted to the car and hopped in. “Aunt Emma! What are you doing here?” I asked, hugging her. “Well, your mom knew I was in town, so she asked me to pick you up,” she squealed. She whispered, “And to take you to the Statue of Liberty!” She put the pedal to the metal and we were there in no time.
As we took pictures, Aunt Emma walked towards the bathroom. There was a line that went all the way to the other end of the bathroom, so I assumed it would take her a while. I wanted a closer look at the statue, so I climbed up a set of stairs. When I reached the top I heard my aunt say “Nikki?”
Oh no! I can’t let her see me!
Suddenly, something strange happened: a small tunnel opened up in the statue. And then, I went in! What happened next was scary and unpleasant. I slid down a cold slide, and landed on a hard platform. I then crawled through a vent, and, finally, I landed in a trashcan in a conference room.
A few minutes later, a bunch of people came piling into the room, and out of nowhere, I sneezed. A small girl with glasses opened the trashcan. Then, a tall man with brown, slicked back hair picked me up and said, “Who are you, and what are you doing here?” I just stared blankly at him hoping, he would drop me, but when he didn’t, I kicked him. “Nikki!” my Aunt Emma yelled from behind.
The man dropped me and stood up tall. “How did you get in?” my Aunt Emma asked. The wrinkles on her forehead were popping out along with her veins.
She signaled for me to follow her, and we walked to another room. She showed me to a room where the door read “Vice President”. I sat on a white couch as she paced around. I told her how I got in, and then she explained to me that I was at a secret spy base. There was a moment of silence before she said on the loudspeaker: “Will the six country girls please come to the Vice President’s office? Thank you.”
Six country girls?
A few minutes later, six girls came running into the room.
“Sit,” Aunt Emma said in a confident voice. They all sat on the floor. Aunt Emma rolled her eyes and said, “Will you please introduce yourselves?” The girls nodded their heads. First, a girl in jeans, a white shirt and a leather jacket loudly and excitedly introduced herself. “I’m Vivian and I’m from the best place in the world, France!” She offered me a macaroon, but I declined. Next, a girl with black and purple hair shyly said, “I’m Maria and I’m from Peru.” She offered me some tea, but I said no. The other girls I was introduced to were:
- Chloe. She is from the South Pole.
- Mia. She’s from Australia.
- Ella. She is from South Africa.
- Kayla. She’s from China.
Just as Kayla finished talking, an alarm went off. ALERT!!! ALERT!!! ALERT!!! Reboot attacking!!!
What? Who is Reboot? Why is he attacking?
Everyone scrambled into a seat, grabbing gadgets, turning on electronics and locking doors. Maria grabbed my hand and lead me up three flights of stairs, took me for a 30 minute car ride, and guided me through a lot of walking.
Eventually, we came to a stop at a wall. The six girls started feeling the wall for something. I just stood there. “Where are we?” I asked. “Augusta, Maine,” said all the girls at once. “Yes!” Said Chloe, hitting the wall. A doorway appeared. We darted in and slammed the door shut behind us.
Augusta, Maine? How’d we get here in less than an hour?
The hours began to pass and it was boring. I just need to stay awake a little longer. “So, who is this Reboot guy?” I asked. Vivian coughed and said “Girl.”
“ Well, Newbie,” said Mia, “Reboot is Mr. Castellano’s ex wife. They got divorced after she went over to Black Spider, which is the bad side.” Wait…Mr. Castellano? My dad? Ella chimed in and said, “and now he is in Peru at a spy base working on a case, but he wishes he could get closer to
his daughter.” Kayla leaned towards Ella and said, “She is his daughter.” Normally I would care if I weren’t so tired.
After I fell asleep, they took me back to New York, but had me stay at the spy base to hide from my mom. When I woke up I was in a comfy bed and right away I knew it wasn’t mine. I got up, got dressed and went to eat breakfast.
Once I got to breakfast I found the seat with my nametag and started eating my pancakes. “So…Nikki, I was talking with Mr. Castellano, um, I mean your dad, and well, he wants you to work with us, you know, as a spy,” Aunt Emma said in a compassionate voice.
What? Me? A spy? Why?
I was so confused. “Why?” I asked in between bites.
Aunt Emma opened her mouth to answer, but someone beat her to it. “Because you’re the best daughter in the world.” I turned around and yelled “DAD!” I ran up to him and we hugged. Why was he here? I wondered. “Why are you here?” I asked anxiously. “Because I have a surprise and I had to tell you today.” Dad said happily. He pointed towards the hallway and there was… my mom?
Why was she here? Was she going to hurt us? She tried to hug me but I dodged her. “Mom,” I said in a confident voice. “Aren’t you working for Black Spider?” She stared at me then said “What? No, no, no! I was working on a case. A case to protect you!
I breathed a sigh of relief. I was safe with my family. I was safe and sound and wasn’t going anywhere.