1. The Worst Day

I was standing in on the beach in a long, light blue flowing dress which blew in the wind. The sun was setting and I was in the arms of Darrin, looking tall, dark, and handsome as ever. The air was warm and birds flew overhead. I was in paradise.
Church bells were clanging in the distance and the gulls squawked noisily as they hunted for fish in the salty waves. The sounds were so beautiful and -- suddenly I woke up from my beautiful dream. Those weren't church bells clanging. That was the piercing sound of my alarm clock, telling me that it was 8 'o clock. And those weren't gulls squawking. Those were the sounds of the twins fighting over some toy.
I rolled over in bed. It was the beginning of another Summer day. I slowly and sleepily dragged myself out of bed, surveying it. My silver iron day bed was a mess with the light green with pink Hawaiian flowers bed spread all twisted with the lime green sheets. My lime green pillow was lying in the middle of the shambles.
I sighed and made the bed, for my mom, a clean freak, would give me another lecture if I left the house with it unmade. Then I looked at the room I shared with my sister, Abby. Abby, nearly as neat as our mother, always kept her side of the room neat as a pin. Our room was decorated in a Hawaiian theme, for mom was part time interior designer. Our beds matched and there were lime green painted shelves and dressers on each side, but Abby's shelves were filled with books and mine with framed pictures. Abby was the reader, I was the photographer.
Abby was not my blood sister, but she was like one to me (though sometimes we'd fight). I was the oldest at seventeen and my brother Curtis was the second child and fifteen-years-old. My parents had wanted three children and tried to have a third, but without success. When my Aunt and Uncle adopted a baby, my parents decided to consider doing the same. So when I was five and Curtis was three, they adopted a little girl named Abigail, who was two years old. Then, to everyone's surprise, eight years later, my mother got pregnant. With twins! Lander and Laila are auburn curled, blue eyed four-year-olds who are mostly wild and silly.
After cleaning up the film, dirty socks and shirts, and photography magazines which covered the tan carpeting, I hurried to the bathroom, saying a quick prayer of thanks when I found out that no one was in it. Taking off my pink and red polka dotted pajama pants and matching shirt, I took my shower and washed my hair with berry scented shampoo, which got in my eyes. It stung, but eventually I felt around and found a clean, white towel.
Out of the shower, I brushed my teeth and finished getting ready. While I was blow drying my frizzy strawberry blond hair, I heard a pounding on the door.
"Let me in!" said Curtis impatiently. "I need to use the bathroom."
"I am busy!" I answered back. "Go downstairs!" He did so, but I was annoyed at his rudeness.
I finished blow drying my hair and combed in some hair gel, making it look straight and to my shoulders. In my green eyes I put in my contacts and began applying make-up. Foundation, pale pink lipstick, a bit of white eye shadow, some gray mascara and eye liner and I was finished. In my jeans and light purple tank with my silver and emerald necklace around my neck, I was ready for the long day ahead, even if I felt more like going back to bed.
"Raleigh!" I heard mom call from downstairs. "Breakfast is ready!" I slipped on my white flip flops and hurried downstairs.
I got downstairs and took a look at the plastic table clothed round kitchen table and groaned. Sitting on the olive green plates were pepper and sausage omelets. My mom loved them, but I hated them. I quickly offered mine to Curtis and wet to the cereal cabinet. All we had were some generic junk cereals. Frosty O's, Rainbow Puffs, and Orange Tarts. I decided Frosty O's were the least gross, but there wasn't enough in the box for a whole bowl, so I was stuck with Rainbow Puffs -- anything but Orange Tarts.
They were overly sweet and turned my milk into a queer shade of green, but I gulped them down painfully. Then I got myself a glass of orange juice and drank that. I then got up, put my dirty dishes in the sink, washed them, and headed for the day. I had to be at work by nine and it was already 8:45.
"Raleigh!" I heard mom call from the study. "Where do you think you're going? You have to watch the twins while I work!"
During the school year, she worked (at home, so she could be with the twins), but none of us except the twins were around to know most of the time. But in the Summer, we were her slaves. She would draw her designs and work all day long, expecting us to do all the mom work.
"I have to work today, mom," I said.
Then she began fretting. Dad was at work (he worked for a small company that made educational documentaries), so he couldn't watch Lander and Laila. She asked Abby if she was busy, and she said yes, she was going to the mall with some friends. Then she asked Curtis, who said he was planning to go to the football field today. But finally she persuaded him to stay home and play baby-sitter just as I was walking out the door.
Our house was a New England style, green with white trim and a gray roof. We lived on a curvy street in a Smyrna, Delaware neighborhood. Within a few minutes, I was in downtown Smyrna and soon reached Callister's Candy Shop, where I worked. I had my license, but no car yet, so I was working to save up for one. My dream car was a green two door Acura RSX. I wished I had a car right now, because the July heat was making me sweat unbearably.
Once inside the candy shop, Mrs. Callister greeted me with a warm smile and I put on my blue pinstriped apron. I then stood behind the glass counter of sweets, ready to serve customers. A few trickled in, and I weighed, bagged, and charged their selections.
By 10:00, the shop was full. Suddenly I saw Darrin, my boyfriend, walk in. We'd been dating for three months. He had never come to the shop while I was working before, but still I greeted him with a happy smile. Maybe my day would start going well now.
"Hey, Raleigh," he said smoothly, his dark brown eyes and dark brown hair making him look like a picture from a magazine. He was tall, thin, and muscular. "I uh... have to tell you something."
"Yes?" I asked sweetly, wondering what it was. Maybe he was going to tell me he loved me, or that he was going to take me on a date to Everest's, the ritziest restaurant in Smyrna. I grew excited.
"Well um... I met someone yesterday. Her name is Belle-Anne. And we hit it off real well so I just wanted to say ... sorry but I think we're gonna have to break our thing off." he sounded nervous.
"Our thing?" I asked, tears in my throat. "Our relationship?"
"Yeah, that," he said simply. Then he turned around and left.
I just stood there in shock. He was the only boyfriend I'd ever had. I had liked him since the 8th grade. When he'd finally asked me out months ago, I'd been so happy. It was a wish come true, a dream come true. And now it was over.

I somehow got through the rest of my work shift. I tried to smile, but inside I was weeping, hurting, dying. At 3:00, it was quitting time and I hurried out of the little shop and down the street. By then, tears were streaming down my face. My life was over.
I walked hurriedly, but I didn't want to go home. Not to my fighting siblings, my busy parents, and barking dog. I wanted quiet, tranquility. Suddenly my foot tripped on a big crack in the sidewalk, one that hadn't been there before, and I fell to the ground.
When I landed, though, it wasn't on the hot, cement sidewalk. It was on a patch of soft, cool, green grass. I rubbed me eyes and pinched my arm, but I was still there, laying face down on this grass. There were trees all around and I was filled with confusion. Where was I?
Suddenly I heard a barking dog and a boy about eighteen years old hurried up to me, wearing brown knickers and a white shirt. On his head was a coonskin cap. I sat there, very confused. Who was he?