Mrs. Ewen’s 4th Grade – 4th Hour
Max Bob never dreamed that at sixteen years old he would be living in a mansion in Lexington, Kentucky. Three years ago, after a fire destroyed their Cape Coral, Florida home, Max and his mother moved to Lexington to live in the home that had at one time belonged to his grandparents. It was on that long drive north that she had revealed to him his true identity.
Max stared at his reflection in the mirror. He remembered when his wardrobe consisted of soccer t-shirts, cargo shorts, and flip-flops. His thirteen-year-old self would have never pictured the person in front of him dressed in suspenders, a plaid bow tie, long dress socks, and dress shoes. “It’s all part of the look,” his mother had said, just like his name, Max Bob—short for Maxamillian Roberts, III. Max blew the dark black hair away from his bright blue eyes. It was still so hard to believe. He pulled back the cuff of his sleeve and read his watch, 3:30. He would much rather be outside playing soccer, sitting in front of the TV watching Spongebob, or eating a big juicy hamburger at a cookout with his best friend, Jason. But, here he was waiting and wondering what would happen next in this new life he had been given.
His stomach growled at him. Max checked his watch again, 3:31. He had twenty-nine minutes before the others arrived. “Enough time to grab a snack,” he said to his reflection. The kitchen in the mansion was as big as the house his mother had owned in Florida. The refrigerator was bigger than his bathroom. Max flung open the door and checked out the leftovers . . . two slices of pepperoni pizza and broccoli salad. “Definitely not the broccoli,” Max mumbled. If there was one thing that Max absolutely did not like, it was broccoli. Frustrated and hungry, Max shut the door and slid open the freezer drawer. Just what he wanted—ice cream.
The rich creamy chocolate melted in his mouth. The sweet taste reminded him of his life before the fire. Everything in his life seemed so simple then. He had gone to school like all the other kids his age, rarely did his homework unless it was math, and had dreamed of one day joining the army to be like his father. That was until he learned the truth.
Max took a final bite of the ice cream and then began his walk down the long hallway of the grand entry hall to await his guests. He stopped halfway and rubbed his leg. Occasionally the pain from where he had broken his femur a year ago returned. He had become accustomed to the bumps, bruises, and breaks of his new life. He took a final look in the mirror and adjusted his bowtie. He thought the light blue one would look much better, but his mother had disagreed, saying that the plaid made him look more mature.
The doorbell rang. Right on time, Max thought. He opened the wide double-doors to see five men dressed in black suites standing in front of him. For a minute, Max could only think about how short he was compared to them, but then he remembered the truth. It was because of them that he and his mother had survived the fire—that was one fear he would never be able to overcome.
“Right this way, gentlemen,” Max said in his thickest southern accent.
“Before we proceed, I have news of your father, Bob the 29th, BT29.”
Max turned around quickly. “My father?”
“Yes, sir. It seems this last mission was a success. He will be joining you and your mother within the month.”
So much had happened in the past four years: his father had vanished mysteriously, his house had been set on fire, and he had learned that he was the 30th member of a society of secret spies. Bob the 30th, code name BT30.
Max could hardly speak. This was the best news he had heard in a long time. He cleared his throat, held back the tears and motioned for the gentlemen to follow him. Max could hear their whispers. “He’s awfully young to be our top scientist, isn’t he?” Max smiled and continued to walk to the secret door behind the stairs.
“That’s why we had him in hiding so long,” another whispered. “The boy had no idea how smart he was.”
Max knocked three times, releasing the hidden door. “This way,” he said motioning to the descending staircase. The suited men passed by Max. Max pulled the door shut behind him, straightened his bow tie with a grin, and followed the men down into his laboratory. He had a good life in Florida, but life in Kentucky was proving to be so much better.