The Trials of Tessa, Part 1


“I wonder when I’ll adjust to this new family, Cooper,” I say to McKenna’s Labradoodle. We’re sitting on the heart, bored. Cooper, because he hasn’t gone for a walk today. Me, because I have no idea what to do to entertain myself in this new house with my new family.


“Hey, Tessa!” McKenna calls, materializing next to me in that creepy way she does. “What are you up to?”


“Nothing much,” I tell her. “Just hanging out with Cooper.”


“Ohhhhhh,” McKenna sighs. “I see. You’re bored, you have no idea how to fit in with your new family, and you think we have nothing in common.”


“How did you know?” I ask, shocked. Can McKenna read minds in addition to appearing out of nowhere?


“Trust me, I’ve been through this with four other sisters. You would think I would understand the signs by now,” she explains.


“Oh,” I say. “So . . . they went through this too?”


“Absolutely. And the best way to cure it is to do something fun together. Hey, I’m about to head to the gymnastics center for open gym time. Wanna tag along? I have a gazillion extra leotards that would probably fit you,” McKenna offers.


I ponder this for a few minutes before nodding my head. “Sure. It’s worth a shot.”

It’s not like there’s anything else I can do.


“Watch and learn, sis,” McKenna says forty-five minutes later. We’re at Shooting Star gymnastics, and my sports-obsessed sister is about to show me a few moves on the bar that I’ll (hopefully) be able to do.


McKenna flips herself upside down, her legs reaching the bar.


In one swift motion, she’s on top of the bar. “That was pullover,” she explains. “The most basic bar move. Wanna try?”


That was basic? I think, as I step up to the bar. I replay what McKenna did in my head, hoping I can do the same thing.


A few seconds later, I’m on the ground.


“Um, maybe bars isn’t your thing so much,” McKenna says. “Why don’t we move on?”


We step over to the beam, where McKenna hops up and positions herself. “Watch this. It should be simpler for you.”


McKenna flicks her arm out and I step back. With just the right amount of sass, she begins to walk down the length of the beam.


A few minutes later, McKenna hops off. “Why don’t you try now,” she says. “Gymnastics have to look confident, and walking on the beam is the best way to practice that.”


I hop up, McKenna watching from behind. “Go for it, Tess.”


It doesn’t go quite as McKenna’s did. My legs begin to wobble instantly.


I fall off the beam, crashing into McKenna. “Owwwww,” we moan in unison.


“Ya know, Kenna? Maybe gymnastics isn’t my thing at all.” I say.

From behind me, McKenna says, “Yeah. Maybe not.”

-End of Photostory-

Did you guys enjoy the beginning of an informal little photoseries? I think it’ll be around three or four parts, once each week. Kind of illustrating Tessa’s journey in becoming a part of her new family. Sound good? Is there a specific sister you think Tessa should follow around in the next few parts? Just leave me a comment down below!

AGs in Alaska