"There ya go, now you've got it," Twilight said, just as I had finished the last homework problem for the night. I then took a look at the clock on the new stove, which read 10:15 pm.
"Wow… finished even faster than last time," I say, quite surprised.
"Well, that just shows how much better you're getting at this," Twilight says with a smile. She then got up from her seat and got a glass of milk before heading back to her room.
"Well, better get some sleep, we've got to get up early to catch the metro tomorrow."
"I'll do that," I say, smiling and waving good night.
Twilight flashed that cute smile of hers as she walked into her room, closing the door behind her. I start packing up my school supplies, as I think about how great everything has gone over these past few months. Ever since that first night, she's been helping me with homework, and words can't begin to describe how thankful I am for her. It's like having my own at home tutor, whose help is getting me through college. I'm now starting to understand the material a lot easier and my grades are at an all time high.
So I finally finish packing and turn in for the night. After a short night of rest, the dawn finally approaches and, of course, Twilight is up before me. Naturally, she's fully dressed and has that magenta purse hanging over her shoulder. Did I mention she takes it everywhere nowadays?
"C'mon, Tai," Twilight says with a laugh. "We don't want to miss the train."
"There ARE other trains, Twilight. We could always catch another."
"Yeah, but then we'll miss all the early morning activities. Remember our trip to the spy museum?"
I groan a little bit. I do actually like to sleep in on Saturday, but she's been waiting all week for this, so I'll do it for her.
"Alright," I say, wrestling my way out of bed. "But for getting up so early, I get to pick where we eat lunch."
"Deal," she responds. "Just hurry up and get ready!"
I hop in the shower, get dressed and head to the front door, where Twilight's standing like an excited kid waiting to go to Disney Land. I grab my house keys and we head out the door. I walk at my own pace while Twilight can barely hold back from getting ahead of me. Honestly, I've never known anyone to get this excited to go to… the aquarium. Yes, I said the aquarium.
Believe it or not, she's actually the one funding this trip. About four weeks ago, she saw a commercial for the aquarium, and has wanted to go ever since. When I told her that I couldn't afford to pay for the full trip, she became determined to find a job and raise the money herself. So I finally managed to find her a "permanent" job… at the library. I thought it would be a good job for her, since she seems to love reading. Basically, her job is doing a bit of everything, from organizing books, to checking them in, to doing a couple of other things behind the scenes. She's pretty good at her job, and is a very hard worker who aims for the utmost satisfaction. But despite her intense work habits, she has a tendency to read on the job every so often. But at least she hasn't been fired yet.
Ever since she started working, she's been using her extra cash to fund a number of field trips. First, it was the little petting zoo. Then, it was the spy museum. And now, she's finally saved enough to go the aquarium. I usually help out by paying for the metro tickets. I don't really mind. Now that we're both paying the rent, there's a lot more extra money. Besides, it does get me out of the house.
So anyway, we get onto the train and head downtown. The whole time Twilight's asking me what we might see at the aquarium. Of course I don't know what to tell her, I haven't been to the aquarium in years. This only makes her even more excited. So excited, in fact, that you'd think she was on a sugar high. I kind of find it adorable actually; like taking a kid to the toy store.
So we get to the aquarium, and Twilight pays for the tickets. We get inside and she tells me to wait in the lobby for her. So I do so, and watch as she heads for the gift shop. At first, I'm a little confused; she was so excited to come, and the first place she goes is the gift shop? She buys herself a pen and notepad and sticks them in her purse. She then walks out and tells me "let's go" as she leads the way to the first exhibit. She walks with great posture, back straight, shoulders relaxed, like a soldier determined to complete his mission. What is going through this girl's head?
Our first exhibit is the octopus, and we find there's a kinder garden class there on a field trip, as well. Twilight wastes no time getting up close to the glass. She looks into the container with great astonishment, as though she was seeing something nobody else saw. I work my way over to her side, when all of a sudden the octopus slams into the glass, underside facing its audience. All the kinder gardeners and myself jump back in fear at the creepy sight. Twilight on the other hand stays right where she is, as though she had planned for this to happen. She reaches into her purse and pulls out the notepad and pen.
She then starts jolting her pen forward as though she's counting something, and then starts writing with it. The octopus stays in place for about three minutes before crawling up the side of the glass. I go back to Twilight's side and ask what she wrote down. She then shows me her notes and starts getting excited again.
"I counted 240 suction cups on just one of that octopus' tentacles. So if each tentacle has that exact same number, that must mean that an octopus has…"
She then writes a math equation on the same page, which she solves in about forty-five seconds.
"1920 cups in total! Isn't that amazing?"
I give her a bit of a dumbfound look. Aside from the fact that she would actually go through the trouble of figuring that out, she was actually able to count all those suction cups in that brief amount of time? Then again, this is the girl who learned to read and write after only eight weeks of PBS. So why is this surprising?
"Uh…" I start to say. "Yeah, real amazing. Um, are you gonna do that for every exhibit we go to today?"
"You betcha," she says in a determined voice. She then started getting somewhat theatrical with the next phrase that came out of her mouth.
"I'm on a mission Tai. A mission to learn all there is to know about the beauty this world has to offer. If there's knowledge to be had, then I will have it. I won't leave any rock unturned, any question unanswered. There's so much to learn out there and I will learn it."
I chuckle a bit over her speech. I've never met anyone who was this passionate about learning. I mean, sure I enjoy my classes that are related to my major, but I wouldn't really spend all my spare time trying to get to the bottom of them. But at least I finally know the reason she likes going to these places. It's also a lot better than sitting around the house all day, doing nothing. So I might as well support her in her "mission."
"Alright, well we'd best be moving on. There's more knowledge to be had," I say, playing along with her.
Twilight happily scampers over to the next exhibit, the shark tank. She attempts to count how many teeth the sharks have, but she's unable to, since they won't stand still long enough. So I show her the aquarium fact board, to which she starts copying it down in the notepad… paragraph by paragraph.
By the end of the day, her notepad is completely full. Both the front and back of each sheet is jammed full with notes. And yet Twilight is still a little upset, since she didn't have enough room for every paragraph in the building. I suggest she either learn to paraphrase or bring a recording device.
Before leaving, we come across a hands on exhibit where guests can actually hold some of the aquatic animals. Twilight instantly grabs my arm and pulls me over to it. She wanted to hold each and every animal that was available, and wasted no time doing so. She picked up a starfish and started giggling.
I was truly surprised, as most girls around my campus would probably freak at the mere thought of touching such a thing. Yet here was Twilight, laughing and giggling like a kid with a new puppy. Truly she is a one of a kind girl.
Then she turns to me, still holding the starfish in her palms.
"Tai, you wanna try it?"
"No… no, I'm fine."
"Oh come on, it's pretty cool."
"No… really, I'm good."
Twilight gives me another smile, which, of course, I'm powerless to resist. So I decided I'd do it for her. She hands me the starfish, which quickly grasps onto my fingers. It felt pretty creepy, like it may be attempting to bite me or something. So I scream and toss it right back into the tank.
Twilight starts laughing again, and tells me that that wasn't the way to do it. She reaches in and picks it back up, telling me to rest my hands easy. I didn't want to go through that again, but she urges me to experience it. So I hesitantly accept her help and reach out with both hands laid flat. Twilight puts the starfish right in my palms, and tells me to just relax and let it be. So I take her advice, and sure enough… it works. I can feel the thing's little tentacles bristling against my skin.
"There, now ya got it. Like learning Calculus, right?"
I look at her with a small smile.
After a few minutes, I drop the starfish back in the tank, and we walked out the door.
"Well, now what?" I ask Twilight.
"Well, as we agreed, you get to pick lunch."
I then smile a wide smile.
"Well, Little Miss Explorer, you want another adventure? Ya feel like trying Italian?"