by Sophia Brown
This is a story about a little girl named Izzy who was 8 years old. Her father was a captain in the Army who was stationed in Kuwait for the past six months. She felt very sad he was gone. One day during art class, she watched a boy make a paper plane, write a note on it, then throw it to his friend who was across the room. This gave her the idea of making paper airplane then throwing it out her window in hope that it would reach her dad.
That night, as she was falling asleep, she imagined herself nestled among her words in the paper airplane. She was sailing through the night air looking at all the stars glowing overhead. She peered over the edge of the plane and saw the glittering ocean below; dolphins were breaking the surface occasionally with their jumps. Eventually waves crashed against the shore. The desert rose from the ocean undulating in sandy waves deeper into the land. Over a hill, she saw her father’s military base arise from the desert. Soon the paper airplane was gliding towards the base. It skidded to a stop in front of her father’s barracks. Izzy jumped from the folds of the plane and ran up the steps. She threw the door open, ran inside, then saw her father. He turned to her and kneeled to the ground with his arms open for a hug. She sprinted towards him only to find she ran right through him, lost her balance and began to fall. She woke up falling out of her bed. It was all a dream.
The next day, Izzy woke with determination in her mind. She decided to start writing letters. She then made them into paper airplanes. Her desire to start her project followed her through school. She had a hard time focusing on her work. She just wanted to write her dad. That evening, she scrambled through her homework so she would have time to write a letter. Once she was at her desk, she thoughtfully wrote the letter. After many inspections and corrections, she folded it up, then threw it out her window. As the letter sailed away she said a heartfelt prayer and watched it disappear in the moonlight. Every night she repeated this process and soon ninety letters flew out the window.
On the ninety-first morning she woke up and happened to look out her window. She was shocked to see a little letter coming towards her. She opened the window and caught the little plane. She turned around frustratedly thinking the wind had blown her own letter back to her. As she examined the letter, she realized the writing on the wings was not her own. Now she was curious. As she opened the letter, the familiar scrawl of her father’s writing began to reveal itself to her. It was a miracle! A letter from her dad had travelled to her. Excitedly, she read, “Dear Izzy, I received your letter while I was working on a late night project. I had the window open to let a breeze cool me off when a paper airplane sailed in and landed in front of me. I thought it was a joke. I thought that one of the other soldiers was playing games with me. Imagine my surprise when I opened the letter I saw that it was from you. My heart was so happy! I miss you so much! Love, Dad”.
Izzy fell on her bed crying tears of joy. She could not believe the letters actually got to her dad. Over the course of the next eighty-nine days she got a letter every morning. Each letter held a story that during that day. She learned about the people her dad and his soldiers were helping. Some of his story were funny. Some were sad. All of the letters taught her about the bravery, compassion, and patriotism her dad and his soldiers had to have to do their jobs well. Izzy felt so much pride. Her dad was the most amazing person in the world.
On the ninetieth day Izzy woke up and went to the window. She opened it and waited for a letter to arrive but on this day a letter did not come. She was heartbroken. Why did the letters stop coming? Had something happened? Izzy was sad and worried. Dejectedly, she went downstairs to have her breakfast. When she finished, she grabbed her school bags and headed for the door to walk to the bus stop. She opened the door and stared. There on the path, she saw her father walking towards the house. His duffle bag was over one shoulder and the last plane was in his other hand. Izzy dropped her school bags, leaped off the stairs, and sprinted down the path toward her father. He dropped his bag and knelt to his knees. She crashed into him. Strong arms wrapped around her and held her close and tight. Dad was here, and this time, it was not a dream.
Art by Abby McCaughan, Grade 8