Author: Jane Haworth
Genre: Coming of Age
Synopsis: A mysterious envelope arrives with an all-expenses-paid overseas trip enclosed. Teenaged Trisha reluctantly embarks on a surprising journey that leads her into tangled threads of family history still knotted with hostilities.
It was the usual pile of junk mail but what caught her eye was a small, unassuming envelope with a colorful stamp. On closer examination the handwritten envelope had her name written on it! Intriguing, thought Trisha. She carried the mail from the decaying mailbox and dropped it onto the crowded kitchen counter.
The last day of school had been boring and the high school year was finally over. The other kids were excited about summer, but Trisha Smith was not. Great, no more homework but the pressure was on to figure out what to do with her life. Soon she would be a senior with college applications approaching and a personal essay to write. She needed time to focus. She had been planning fun things that could occupy her time during those twelve weeks. Maybe learn to play the ukulele, finish that crazy sweater she started knitting six months earlier or adopt an unloved dog. She had tried to get a job in town but for all her effort she had come up with nothing. Was it her they had not liked or was it just other kids that came across as more appealing? Perhaps this intriguing letter would be her answer.
Trisha, with her short, punky haircut, wasn’t your average trendy high school student. She had a handful of friends, was happy in her own company, and was quiet. She spent a lot of time daydreaming about things she could aspire to and had huge ambitions to save the world, but she lacked confidence. Thoughts of travel terrified her. Her bedroom walls contained posters of Paul Watson from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and panoramas of Macho Picchu and chocolate box kittens. She imagined one day developing a cure for an incurable disease, ridding Africa of its Malaria problem, or coming up with a solution to famine in the Third World. Trisha knew she wanted to go to college to study something useful but was afraid of leaving home. She dreamt of working for the Red Cross, Heifer International or perhaps delivering Toms shoes to all the shoeless children of the world.
The letter distracted her from making a plan for her future. It wasn’t everyday she got mysterious correspondence from overseas. The writing on the envelope was in a decorative script using a fancy ink pen and the attractive stamp showed it came from ‘Great Britain’. Trisha’s pulse raced she had no idea who would write to her from Great Britain. Grabbing the kitchen knife she found lying next to the used chopping board, Trisha sliced through the top edge of the envelope. Out spilled a small note card and an airline ticket. Oh my, thought Trisha.
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