by Ishi Bhattacharya
I had only flown once in my life and that was to Disneyland when I was seven. Today the clouds were beneath me and my head was spinning trying to put the pieces back together of about these past three weeks. The plane was coming to a gradual descent as I woke up from my nap. It felt like I had been on this plane for ages and was I was eager to get off and start my journey. The airport greeted me with smiling faces, welcoming smells, and bright sunshine….. The scene was so captivating that I almost forgot why I made the journey!
My name is Isabella and, I am on an expedition. I am trying to find out what my grandmother left me in her will only using the clues that she gave me. She was very vague, but that is just like her, always wanting to have a good mystery. I’m an only child and my grandmother’s only granddaughter. I had just landed in Madrid, Spain, alone with no directions on what to do or where to go next. As I was studying the line of drivers, a sign caught my eye with the letters, Isabella Johnson in big letters. As I stared at my name, an odd looking man with an exceedingly long beard noticed me, motioning for me to come over. I hopped on over, anxious for the trip to start.
His name was Carl and he was a friendly man who listened closely as I explained my background. We drove to the destination he was instructed to bring me to. Soon we arrived at a small apartment with vines growing all over the stucco and a small painting. Carl told me his instructions were for me to ring the doorbell and say the word “jewel”. Amused, I followed the instructions,but I was confused as to what to what the plan really was.
A sweet woman opened the door with a big smile on her face and asked, “How may I help you?”
I responded, “My name is Isabelle Johnson and…… I guess I am supposed to say the word jewel.”
Her smile seemed to grow bigger as soon as I said “jewel” and she welcomed me in, saying her name was Maya and she had been expecting me for months. I sat down and she offered mesome cookies and tea. Up until then I hadn’t realized that I hadn’t had a meal since yesterday. She was dying to tell me the story and started talking right away. We talked for what felt like hours about my grandmother. I was raised to believe that she had grown up poor with almost nothing. She fell in love with my grandfather and soon after they got married and came to America. However the story Maya told me didn’t line up with the one my family told me. It turns out my grandmother was a very wealthy woman who lived in a gorgeous mansion at the edge of Madrid. This was quite a surprise to me because I didn’t think my parents and grandma would be able to keep such a such an enormous secret for so long. She also explained to me that I was looking for a necklace with a stunning jewel clasped onto it. The next clue Maya was supposed to give me was on a slip that said I had to go to a tourist spot that my grandmother used to love and find a tour guide named Amada. Yearning to move on I thanked Amada (is that the woman’s name??? I thought that Amada was the tour guide??? for all the help and got on with myjourney.
I called a cab and they took me to Palau de la Musica Catalana. There I was confronted by gorgeous and detailed architecture that was generations old. I could tell why my grandmother loved this place very much. When I was inside I asked the receptionist for a tour guide named Amada. They called her on the speakerphone and she soon shuffled in. I introduced myself and told her why I was here. She led me to a corner and with excitement on her face, her words just came spilling out. She explained that her mother was friends with my grandmother because she visited here so often. So this practically made my grandmother Amada’s aunt! When my grandmother knew her time would, sadly, soon be coming to an end, she wanted me to have something special to remember her by. Hence the search for the jewel.
Amada wrote on a slip of paper the address I was supposed to go to next and wished me luck in finding the jewel. I took a bus and then walked the rest of the way to the address that Amada given me.
When I walked in, my jaw dropped. The house had an intricate design and the architecture was amazing. I walked around (or across the property?) the house for an hour or two and that’s when I noticed a small path going further into the property. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to go or not, but Ii decided to just follow it. To my amazement it led to a magical little garden which looked like it could be from my dreams. I slowly walked across the delicate scene when all of a sudden I remembered something. The fountain behind the benches reminded me of a picture my grandmother had shown me when she used to tell me a story. It was my favorite story about a little girl who would always have tea parties next to this fountain. Then, one day she found a jewel necklace. I realized that was the story of how she got the necklace and I started searching. Soon I found it exactly where she described it to be. My eyes started tearing up realizing that she no longer was here. I stayed in Spain for a couple more days to take it all in. But too soon was on my way back home.
When I got home, I realized that was the biggest adventure I’ve had for years. Most of the time, I was behind a desk working to get money. The thought popped up in my head that maybe that was the real reason my grandma sent me on this journey, to go live my life to the fullest. Ever since then I have travelled to all types of new places and met new people, including my husband.
“Wait so great-grammy did all of this?” my granddaughter Amelia asked.
I responded saying, “Yes, yes she did.”
Ishi Bhattacharya is from Chester Springs, PA.