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Rich Remains

by Delaney Hockenbury 2 years ago in art
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It's always where you least expect.

It was a brisk day with clammy air. I was propped against my favorite dogwood tree sketching some new illustrations.

“Kyra, come inside for supper please!” Mom dictated. I close my little black notebook & skip up to the porch.

“Here, go take this to Mr. Cyrus next door, they gave us his mail again.”

I look at the name at which it’s addressed. “This is a girl’s name?” I ask in confusion.

“Yes that’s his daughter, she passed a few months ago, it must be upsetting to still be receiving mail in her name, but it’s none of our business, now go drop it in his mailbox.” She ordered.

I let out a sigh and walked next door. A mysterious little black notebook was lying on the porch side table. It looked very similar to the one I own except mine has a tassel. I impulsively picked it up without even thinking and skimmed through it. Drawings on drawings. Good ones too. I was genuinely surprised that an old man could be capable of this.


“I-I wasn’t snooping!” “Promise! Here! Your mail got sent to us by accident!” I timidly put my head down and lunged away.

Those drawings were beautiful, they reminded me of my own. Who would’ve thought the grumpy old man next door and I shared a common interest.

“Nosey kid.” Mr. Cyrus grunts. “If that kid’s already snooping through my stuff there’s no telling what else she’s capable of.”

Mr. Cyrus lifts up the mattress in his bedroom and pulls out a few wads of cash. He makes his way outside and discreetly walks to the dumpster. Mr. Cyrus dumps the money in. "Trash doesn’t run until Thursday, I’m okay for now.” he mutters to himself.

“You need to start thinking about what you want to do long-term career wise.” Mom ranted.

“Mom, I already told you I want to be an artist.”

“Kyra, I mean something practical. Why not go to college and major in business?”

“My art is practical.” I replied viciously.

“Kyra I mean it, I will not let you throw your future in the garbage.”

“Mom I already have a plan! The biggest art school in the nation is coming to town this weekend to teach classes for a special event. I know you have a college fund for me but I would really like to attend these lessons, I know they will teach me everything I need to know, I just need 10 thousand-”

Mom didn’t even let me finish before she was screeching at the top of her lungs. She started laughing hysterically.

“You really expect me to give you $10,000 to waste on an art class?” She asked mockingly. “You are in for a rude awakening kiddo.”

I couldn’t hold back my tears. I clutched my little sketchbook and scurried out.

I made my way to the dumpster, looked at my notebook as my tears fell against the leather and chucked it in. I turned around and started to head home, I immediately regretted what I had just done.

I stopped in my tracks and dove right in without any hesitation.

“Gross..” I say as I dig out week-old spaghetti and crushed up tissue paper out of my hair. I am now in a dumpster searching through trash for my sketchbook. Why do I do these things to myself.

My hand touches something as I'm looking for my sketchbook. I look down.

"No.. Way..” “Is this- is this real money?” “Who would throw away this much monopoly money?”

I felt it, held it up to my flashlight. It was real. My next question was “Who would throw away $20,000?”

I gather it all and climb out along with my notebook. I ran inside, covering the money with the left side of my coat. “Kyra.” My mom tries to speak to me but I walk right past her and go to my room.

I can use this to attend the art classes this weekend! I hear a large horn coming from outside of my window. That’s weird, the trash usually runs on Thursdays. Good thing I got there when I did.

I decided to go out for a walk and contemplate if I’m going to tell mom or not. I trip over something as my head is in the clouds.

It’s his little black notebook. “How does this thing keep finding me?” So weird.

Then I got the idea. I brought the notebook back to Mr. Cyrus’s porch, stuffed a good $10,000 in the front, and left a note. “I see you enjoy making art. Please accept this and attend the art class being hosted at the rec center this weekend. You deserve it.” I didn’t sign it because I’m not sure if he’s a huge fan of mine, but this should make up for me going through his personal property. I rang the doorbell and leaped down from his porch, making a shortcut through the bushes so he wouldn’t see me.

The following weekend came, I decided it would be best not to tell my mom about the money and had one of my friends drop me off. I’m so excited! I can’t believe this is happening. How lucky am I. Someone walks through the door last minute.

It’s him, Cyrus. Can’t believe that grumpy old man actually came but I had a feeling he would maybe show up. The last open seat is next to me, shocker.

I sheepishly smile at him, he doesn’t seem to have much of a reaction.

“Mr. Cyrus! What a pleasant surprise, I didn’t know you were into art, super cool!” I say as I’m trying to tone down the awkwardness.

“Oh yeah? You couldn’t tell by how much snooping you do?”

I laugh nervously, not really sure how to respond.

“I'm just joking with you.” “My daughter was really interested in drawing, sketching, and all that good stuff, but I never really took the time to look at her creations. I wanted her to be a doctor or something, I was really tough on her so I feel like I owe it to her now that she’s gone. To be honest, I used to be quite the artist myself, but my folks didn’t like it too much.”

“Oh.. so those amazing drawings were yours in that notebook?” I asked, trying to lighten the mood.


“Wow Mr. Cyrus, they’re absolutely wonderful! I’m sure your daughter would have loved them.”

“Thanks and say.. was it you who left me the cash?” He said kind of seriously.

I gulped, I didn't want him to say anything to my mom. Without thinking I said, “Maybe it was the garbage man!” I shrugged my shoulders laughing nervously.

The look on Mr. Cyrus’s face quickly went from serious to utter shock.


About the author

Delaney Hockenbury

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