All I knew was that it was a job and that I was looking for a job.
When I saw the ad in the newspaper, all it said was: “Tutor needed for the son of Mr. and Mrs Ordake.” They were paying a lot of money. Well, I was a teacher, so I applied for the job and somehow got it!
So the next day, I caught the bus uptown. I arrived in the fanciest neighborhood I had ever seen; even the squirrels had bushier tails and walked like they owned the world. I even thought I saw one with a necklace. I followed the directions, from the letter they sent, and walked the few blocks to get there. Number 23 was just as big and grand as the other houses on the block, trim and elegant. I nervously walked up to the door, picked up the stone knocker, and tentatively tapped it against the tall, oak door. No one answered. I knocked again, this time louder, then a little louder. Finally, I heard footsteps. Smoothly, the door opened, and a man in a dark suit stood in the doorway.
“Are you the new tutor?” he asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“This way.” He gestured me inside.
I walked in. I tried not to stare at the crystal chandelier and the plush red carpet. I knew they were rich, but this was unbelievable. The man led me up five flights of stairs and into a small room with a bed and a desk.
“This is where you will sleep. You can put your bag in here.”
I did so and followed him, down three more floors, into a humongous room strewn with toys and video games, and shelves filled with more toys and games, and on one wall, a gigantic T.V. with millions of remotes and DVDs. And there, lying on the bed, was a skinny little boy with mousy brown hair and dull green eyes.
“Give me cake now!” he ordered.
“And this,” said the man, “is your pupil, Allen.”
Later, I learned that his mother and father were always too busy with their work to pay any attention to him. Mrs. Ordake was an extremely successful businesswoman, and Mr. Ordake was a famous actor. I’m not saying they were bad people; it’s just, if they had paid more attention to their son, he might have not been, well, such a brat. Allen was very spoiled; his parents gave him ridiculously high amounts of money and hired servants that would do whatever he wanted. But, since his parents neglected him so much, I was sure he was a poor, misunderstood child.
“So, how far have you gotten in math?” I asked Allen the next day.
“None of your beeswax,” he muttered.
“Yes it is. I am your teacher.”
“So, you need to learn, and I need to teach you.”
“Please, stop saying ‘so’!”
“You’re saying it too.”
“No, I’m not.”
And that is how it went, over and over again. It was very, very exasperating. I missed my grandmother. I took out her last gift to me, her (now my) book. When my entire family perished in a bizarre accident, my grandmother passed the book on to me. I was alone in the world now, with no money–that’s why I had to take this blasted job. The moment before she died, in the hospital, she told me to be careful and heed any warnings the book said. The book’s cover was made out of solid gold. There were two pages torn out in the very beginning. I could have sold the gold and gotten out of there. Instead, I had opened the book. Inside the front cover, there was a short message:
Be careful what you write, for it will become your reality.
That’s strange, I thought, but I didn’t really worry about it. It was probably just a quote. I placed the book on my bed and hurried downstairs to supper. I was down there longer than usual because Allen would not eat anything, except for candy, and when I asked him to please, eat some real food, he stormed upstairs. After I finished my meal, I went up after him. He was in his room writing! I couldn’t believe it! After all these weeks, he was finally putting pen to paper and forming words; it was a miracle! Allen looked thoroughly absorbed in his work, so I left the room, not wanting to disturb him.
The next morning looked to be a promising one. The sun was bright, and there were just enough clouds in the sky. Allen did not whine once during breakfast. After breakfast, for once he seemed eager to start his lessons. In fact, he asked if it was okay if he worked on his writing. It was amazing. He was abnormally focused.
“Can I see what you are writing?” I asked.
“No,” Allen said.
“Because, I don’t have to.”
“It seems to me that you don’t want to show me it. So, why don’t you want to?”
“Well, why should I?”
“So I can help you.”
“I don’t need help.”
I sighed; this kid was very stubborn. I glanced at the book he was writing in; the cover was solid gold.
“Allen,” I said, “where did you get that book?”
“I found it.”
“Why should I tell you?”
“Because that is my book, and you need to give it back right now!”
I stood up and extended my hand. Instead of giving it to me, he took off, running down the corridor. He was faster than me, so he beat me to the door and ran outside.
“It’s too late!” he yelled. “When I am done, you will never order me around again!”
This did not sound good. I wanted to run after him, but he was already too far away. I searched for the rest of the afternoon. Then I told Allen’s parents, (they hadn’t even noticed) who then called the police. I think they felt guilty. But, who could be sure? They never said anything to me, so I stayed at their mansion without their knowledge. After a week went by, without news of Allen, I started to look for him again. I needed to stop him, and I needed the book back. I didn’t know what it did, but I knew it had fallen into the wrong hands. I searched for about a week. I read the newspaper every day, trying to find news of him. Eight days after Allen ran off, it was reported that leaders from all over the world started to go missing. I never thought Allen would be behind it.
One night, when the air was particularly crisp, I came back to my room to find the door open. Through the door, I could see the window also wide open, with the curtains blowing in an unmistakably creepy way. I rushed inside. I have heard that the simplest mistakes are the worst ones, and I definitely saw that. The person who had opened the window was still in the room. I had fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book. Allen was behind the door. I turned around to face him. He was holding the golden book, my golden book.
“Allen,” I said with all the calmness I could muster, “what are you doing here?”
“You’re the only one who can stop me. For this, you will die. My parents never noticed me; I spent my whole childhood trying to get their attention. But this, ruling the world, will get their attention.”
As he went on and on, about what he would do once he ruled the world, I started to think. There was no way to stop him, unless the ripped out pages. . . I wondered . . . suddenly I understood how it all happened. I had seen Allen writing in the book. What if what he wrote somehow came true? Or, maybe the book had taken over his mind. Back to the ripped pages, if I could somehow tear the pages out, maybe… maybe everything would go back to normal. But, how would I get the book out of Allen’s hands? I decided to go with instinct. While he was distracted, (yes he was still talking) I lunged at the book. I grabbed and, as quickly as I could, opened the book and ripped out the pages. The world was spinning round and round; it was over.
The next week (after I had guilted Allen’s parents into paying more attention to him):
“So, Allen where have you gotten so far in math?”
“Not so far.”
“Okay, let me help you with that then.”