On a rainy morning in January in my classroom, we had inside recess. I decided to draw a picture. I drew a tiny rainbow colored man. The paper started convulsing. All of a sudden he popped right off my paper! He was so tiny he could probably ride a worm! Then all of a sudden it started raining cats and dogs!
And the tiny man said, “Hello my name is Alberto, and what in this weird place is dropping from that big gray thing?”
I said, “Well Alberto, it’s called rain.”
“Well if rain can fly, I can fly!” said Alberto.
“No Alberto no!” I said.
But it was too late. Alberto had already jumped off my desk and I said, “Alberto!” BUt then all of a sudden something flashed above my desk. “Alberto?” I said.
There he was and said, “I am Alberto, I can do ANYTHING!!”
“Wow,” I whispered. When my teacher walked in and illuminated the room and I said, “Oh no we’re dead meat. Alberto fly, run, hide or something!”
“Go hide in the books!” I said. Then Alberto said, “Yes sir!”
“I’m a girl!”
“Then yes ma’am!”
As my teacher walked in I was pretty sure she was gawking at me but I wasn’t sure. Then all of a sudden she yelled, “Everybody there’s a squall!” The storm was only getting worse. I tried to find Alberto but he was too small! Everyone was going through the door at once, and I was really scared!
“Alberto!” I yelled. “Alberto!”
“I’m right here!” he said. But his voice was too tiny to hear. The emergency bell rang. He was right in front of my face.
“Alberto,” I said, and I tried to give him a hug but he said, “No, we do not have time for that, we need to get to a safe place under the school.”
“OK,” I said.
Alberto said, “Follow my lead.”
The glass broke all around us but luckily neither of us got hurt.
“To the elevator!” Alberto said.
I said, “There is no elevator only stairs!”
“OK the, I guess that’s safe.” I saw my teacher looking for me. I ran to her.
“How did you get here?” she said. “Especially without getting hurt?”
Alberto didn’t want me to tell the teacher about him. “I don’t know,” I said while looking at myself.
“Well come with me to the cellar.”
“But -” I was cut off as the vast ceiling came caving in when all of a sudden Alberto came, touched the ceiling and became as strong as the ceiling. He flew up with all his might and threw the ceiling back up for enough time for us to run down the stairs, and Alberto was riding in my hair. We finally got down to the cellar. I saw all the kids down there.
“Alberto we made it!” I said. “Alberto?” I wondered where he was. When the squall was over we finally went back up the stone gray stairs. I had to spend the whole day and night at school before the squall was over.
We were learning about palindromes when the squall happened, and that’s all I can remember. I still haven’t found Alberto yet. I really miss him. When I got back to the classroom and saw the paper I drew Alberto on, it was blank! That meant Alberto was out there!
“Alberto!” I called. I didn’t get an answer. I called a second time. “Alberto!” This time I got an answer.
“Hello?” It was Alberto!
“Alberto where are you?!” I called.
“Where you told me to go,” Alberto said.
“In the books?” I asked.
“Of course,” he said.
“Well … then come land on my finger,” I said. “Please?”
He came to me and gave me a hug. This was the hug I’ve been waiting for ever since I drew him. The school was seriously damaged so I had to go to a different school, but I guess it was OK. The next month in February we were back at school. The paper was still there. But then Alberto started to convulse. I knew this day would come. The paper started to convulse also. As Alberto started to fade away onto the paper, Alberto was clinging onto my bed sheets, but soon he was holding on as tight as he could. He was trying to hoist himself up but he just couldn’t. I grabbed his little arms and tried to pull back, but soon I was holding his hands.
“Don’t let me go!” said Alberto.
“I won’t, Alberto, don’t worry little buddy!” I said.
“Listen,” Alberto said in a very calm voice. “You don’t have to do this.”
“Yes, I do, Alberto!” I said.
As Alberto started to let go, I grabbed tighter. “Please, don’t do this to me, Alberto!” I said. I just couldn’t let him go.
“Please, if you do do this, it’ll make me the happiest little rainbow colored man alive!” he said.
“Alberto, you won’t be alive if I let you go,” I said.
“Please, if you do this you won’t have to worry about hiding me,” Alberto said. “Fine, then maybe this will change your mind … I used your toothbrush to clean myself!”
“Oh no you didn’t!” I said.
“Let me go!!” he said.
“OK.” As I let Alberto go he smiled the cutest little smile ever. I found him on my piece of paper the next morning. And even now, I still carry the little piece of torn up paper with a tiny little rainbow man that changed my life. His name was … Alberto.
- Hailey is a student in Molly Farrell’s fourth-grade class at McKinley Elementary in Ottawa, IL.