The Vespasian Warner Library is Proud to Present "The Nursing Home," by Aubrey Oakley
Throughout the month of February, the library invited teens to flex their creativity and write an original short story. We're proud to be able to share some of the winners with all of our patrons. Featured below is our Second Place winner, "The Nursing Home," by Aubrey Oakley.
The short stories are published in the format in which they were submitted. Enjoy!
"The Nursing Home"
by Aubrey Oakley
I live in a Nursing Home as an entertainment child with my best friend, Richard. I am a female and I have no one but Richard and My aunt who works at the Nursing Home. I see so many old people everyday. Although I do see a fair share die.
I seem to be okay now. I haven't eaten much in the last three days but I'm okay. So who cares? I look around. The room is empty, there’s a small table next to me and a mattress beside mine with a boy who looks my age in it. The table has a glass of water and a note. I pick up the note and I read to the best of my abilities. Come to the diner once you wake up -Aunt Phila. My hair is a mess and I’ve been wearing the same pajamas for like a week. I know where I am and the last thing I need is old people judging me. I began to freak out. Where’s Fluffers? I get up in a hurry and move blankets around. He’s under the blankets. I sigh in relief. I put the stuffed animal back on my bed and head to the diner. The diner is full of elders. Some glance at me. I smile at one of them and look for Aunt Phila. I found her washing dishes in the kitchen. I give her a good morning hug and thank her for the water. She takes me over to the cafeteria and helps me grab some Breakfast. I get lots of eggs and some orange juice. “Go find somewhere to sit, ” She says, drying off her hands with a towel. I walk over to a table with two old ladies at it. I plop on the chair without looking at the women. “What’s your name, ” I look up only to see that the old lady is talking to me. I can’t ignore her now, we’ve locked eyes. “Nora, ” I say. “Where’s your mom and dad and your siblings?” “I don’t have any, ” I say, stuffing my face with eggs. “My name is Elizabeth, I saw you walk out of your room, ” She says with a soft smile. “I live here, ” I say. The other lady leaves and I feel I’ve kept everything in way too long. “My parents divorced, they both wanted to start fresh and not have any evidence of ever being together so I’m now living in a Nursing home with my mom’s sister, Phila, ” I tried to say it all in one breath. I wish it all happened as fast as one breath. “I get it, ” she says. She begins putting her napkin on her paper plate. She left. The boy on the mattress next to me walks in the cafeteria. He comes over to sit with me. “I’m Richard, your aunt Phila told me we are roommates, ” He said with a warm smile. He had black fluffy hair that almost covered his eyes, he was tall, and wore a brown bag around his arm. “I’m Nora, nice to meet you!” I was very glad to be talking to someone my age. His dark skin reflected in the sun. “I’m only here because I was an orphan who got too old for the orphanage, ” He sat right next to me. “I know everything about you, your aunt told me everything, ” I smiled. “I’ll see you around, ” I said, throwing away my food and leaving. I walked back to my room and opened up the drawer to the nightstand. My aunt grabbed some of my blocks and put them in the drawer. I loved building the tallest tower but I knew it was childish. Richard walked in and I frantically threw all the blocks in the drawer. “Woah you have those blocks?!, ” I nod my head slowly. So embarrassing. I blushed, not even my friends knew about these. “Cool, ” He said, walking to his side of the room. I shoved the rest of the blocks in the drawer. He pulls open his drawer. Creakkk. He pulls out a book titled Lonely, if you are. Aunt Phila bursts in the room. “You both have gotten your buddy, ” What? “Her name is Elizabeth Smith, ” Said Aunt Phila, grabbing both of our arms. Me and Richard looked at each other and silently laughed. We were rushed to Elizabeth’s room. Aunt Phila knocked on the door. I smiled, eager to meet the woman.
An elderly woman opens the door. She is wearing a floral gown and has long gray hair. She looks down at Richard and me and grins. “Don’t be shy, come on in, ” she says. “My name is Elizabeth but you can call me Shay, ” She grabs two bottles of water from her fridge, sits us down at her table, and gives them to us. “You guys can chat with her, I’ll be in my office, ” Aunt Phila says, rubbing my head. She left the room with a smile on her face. “It’s spring, I know you two are starting school soon, ” Shay says. “School’s already started, we are going next week, ” Richard said, opening his water. Ugh! I knew this but I hate to be reminded. I for sure wasn’t ready. “Y’know when I was your age, I hated school, ” I suddenly lost all my shyness that I had gathered from when I walked in. Shay sits down with us. “I haven’t been to school in a while, ” I say. I look to the counter next to me. A journal that reads Fulfill your dreams.. “What’s this, ” I say, pointing to the Journal. Shay walks over to the counter. “Just some things I’ve learned since I’ve been here, ” Me and Richard look at each other. “I’ve got to go to the bathroom, ” Shay says. “We should look in the journal, ” I say. Richard smiles and nods his head. I grab the book and read the first page. Here at GreenFest Nursing Home.. I realized most people here die at an exact date from when they get here. I’m very scared because it’s always three months from when they get to the nursing home they die, I’ve been here for two months. I’m writing this so that if I do die in exactly three months you will know who to blame. -Elizabeth/Shay Smith My jaw drops, I look at Richard to see that his has too. “Close it, ” He says. This can’t be true. It’s a nursing home. Maybe old people just die? Shay comes out from the bathroom. I think she caught us. “I have a checkers game to go to, It was nice meeting you both, ” Shay smiles at both of us. “Same time tomorrow, ” Me and Richard leave the room. We don’t say a word to each other. Oof. We bump into Aunt Phila. “How’d it go, ” She says. “You kill people?” Asks Richard. “What?” “We read Shay’s Journal and it said that all the elders here die exactly three months after arriving, ” I say, trying not to blame it on Aunt Phila. We are standing in the hallway. My knees feel weak. “I’ve never even heard of that, ” Aunt Phila says. “Some of the old people are crazy, but I know Shay very well and if she’s saying that I best believe it, ”Aunt Phila walks us to our room. She pulls out a book from a shelf in front of our mattresses. “The arrival and death records, ” Aunt Phila gasps. I know what she saw. “Let me go talk to my coworkers, ” Aunt Phila leaves the room. Even though it wasn’t safe. I wished to be back in my old room. Eating a bag of potato chips that had been sitting in my room for who knows how long, watching a R rated movie, knowing that if Mom found out she would she would slap my arm and tell me I’m a disappointment. The next day Aunt Phila did not bring me water. She brought me a note. I think I know too much now.. Meet me in my office as soon as you wake up -Aunt Phila. My hair was now brushed and I was wearing new Pajamas. I hopped off my bed. Richard wasn’t in his bed so I assumed he was in her office. I knock on the door and hear Aunt Phila say come in so I do and I see a police officer, Richard, Aunt Phila, and Elizabeth sitting in chairs. “You’re here, can you explain what you saw, or found, ” I sit down in one of those uncomfortable office chairs you usually sit in at the hospital waiting room. “We found a Journal, ” Says Richard. I explain the rest in full detail. “My coworkers declined it at first but then agreed, ” Aunt Phila says, shaking her head. The officer darts eyes at us as we speak. “I will have my team and others work on this, but for now I will leave, ” He continues saying things that are probably important but I wasn’t listening. He leaves the room and Aunt Phila looks at me and Richard. “You two are going to live with me until I know this place is safe and for you Shay, I have found you another Nursing Home in town, ” I curl up in the chair and cry because what else can I do? I feel Richard sitting next to me. He walks me back to my room. “Let’s pack, ” He says, putting his hands on his hips like a superhero.
I am now living in Aunt Phila’s house. I have my own space and Richard and I are closer than ever. “Let’s go, ” Richard says, grabbing my hand. We get out of the bright yellow bus and walk into the school. The door opens for us and I feel myself beam with joy. Maybe school wouldn’t be so bad after all. Richard heads to his class and I go to my locker. Me and Aunt Phila decorated it beforehand. I walk into my first class. Mrs. Flee smiles. “This is Nora, she’s our new student, ” Kids clap and I smile. The teacher passes me a cup that says. New.. for now! I thank her.. I am standing in front of students. In a school filled with more students. In a world filled with millions. “Who’s that?” One of the kids say. They point next to me. I look to the side. This isn’t real. Mom and Dad are standing there right now, right here. I leap into their arms. We’ve realized we are nothing without each other, ” Mom says. That’s right.