Disclaimer: I do not own The Boxcar Children or Starbucks Coffee.

Jessie Reflects by AtlantisKitty101

My name is Jessie Alden. I'm currently 30 years old and my life is not that great. The only light to my life is my 5 year old daughter, Alice Violet Alden, named after my cousin, who died in a car accident with her daughter, my adopted second cousin Soo Lee, who was 18 at the time. Soo Lee survived, just barely, escaping with having to sit in a wheelchair the rest of her life.

I should probably tell you my story. I hate thinking about it and have kept it locked away for a long time. But it's coming out, and It'd be best if you knew.

Here goes.

One morning, I woke up happy and feeling great. That night, I was sobbing my heart out. The next morning I woke up at an awful orphanage which we were to stay at until they found our grandfather, who we thought to be mean. That night we ran away. We walked until we came upon a boxcar and lived there for a month or two. We found Grandfather, who was a nice, wealthy man, and lived happily, solving mysteries, going to places. That all stopped when I was 16, Henry was 18, Violet was 14 and Little Benny was already 12.

School had gotten out only 2 days before. I had just gotten my driver's liscense, Henry had been accepted into Dartmouth, Violet was going to go to art camp that summer, and Benny was going to basketball camp. Life was great. Then one day we came home from Greenfield's city water park and were going up to say hello when Dr. Moore stepped out of Grandfather's bedroom, looking sullen and despressed. He told us grandfather waas very sick, and probably wouldn't get better. That week, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who went to sleep crying.

We all changed that year. Benny and Violet silently canceled their summer plans, and Violet took on a dark appearance. Benny went to school, got straight As, came right home and did his homework, then sat in his room till dinner. Violet piled on black makeup and wore dark clothes instead of lavendar. The bright, bubbly kids we knew were gone. Me, I closed. I drew into myself, said the bare minimum and just watched and listened, not responding to anything. Henry took it the hardest. He joined a terrible gang, saying it was just temporary. He slunk around and developed a horrible temper. There was at least one yelling match a day with Henry. Finally, after many months of his gang activity, he was murdered in a gang fight. Even though in his last months he had been the worst ever, we still were devasted. Then another horror came the next month. Mrs. McGregor died of a heart attack. Our lives were crumbling.

The day arrived when Grandfather left us. The three of us left almost died of grief.

Then, when we thought nothing worse could happen, it did. Grandfather's will went missing, and Cousin Joe produced a note "written by Grandfather" that he was to have everything. Grandfather had alwayspromised we would be cared for, but he wasn't planning on Joe betraying us. Alice divorced Joe.

Benny, Violet and I lived with Alice two years, until I was 18. We rented a mini apartment. I had given up all dreams of college, as had Violet. I worked 3 different jobs to keep up with bills, food and Benny's college fund, since we were determined not to let our innocent little food loving brother's life get ruined.

I was 25. Working as a secretary, I had managed to pull myself up by taking a few college classes. Life was finally looking up. Benny was starting college, Violet met a nice guy, and I was almost ready to start a family. I went out to celebrate. Well, 5 years later I have a daughter starting kindergarten. I wasn't planning on her. She was a bit of a mistake, but I couldn't imagine life without her.

I settled into a purple recliner and opened up a book crammed with pictures. Alice peered over my shoulder. "Is that Uncle Henry? Ooh, there's Auntie Violet, but where's Kate?" she asked, wondering where Violet's 1 year old daughter was. I smiled. "She wasn't born yet. I'm only 16 here, and Violet 14." I gasped when I realised what picture it was. The day we heard about Grandfather. Violet just got a new camera, so on the walk home from school we asked a woman passing by to please take a picture of the four of us.

"What's wrong?"Alice asked.

I tried to smile. "I just remembered something, that's all."

She shrugged. "Okay."

The phone rang and she ran to get it. "Uncle Benny!" She cried and started jabbering to him. I was so thrilled with Benny's new life. After college, he got a great job and now his wedding is in just 3 weeks.

The next morning I was sipping an iced coffee at Starbucks while Alice was at school when I noticed a tall man keep looking my way. Our eyes met once but I quickly focused on my cold drink. Finally he walked over.
"I'm really sorry, but this has been bothering me ever since you walked in. You look like an older version of someone I used to know. I just can't place my finger on it."

"Uh, well, I'm Jessie..." I trailed off nervously.

His eyes lit up and he smacked himself on the forehead. "Of course! Jessie Alden! My mom lived with you guys for a long time! Mike McGregor is my name. Maybe you remember me? We met twice.

"Of course." I said, grinning. "How could I forget?"

How do ya like it? I originally wasn't going to make life better in the end except for Benny, but it has a life of it's own.