By: Kelly O'Connor and Brooke Garvin

Hi. My name is Luna Amoretti. And here is my story. My lesson is to teach you that, you never know how brave you are, until being brave is the only choice you have. I took my life for granted. I had been sheltered from the outside world my whole childhood. My parents taught to say please and thank you, to clean my room, and to wash my hands after I go to the bathroom. But one thing I was never prepared for was how to react when my life is at stake. That's when you have to pray for a hero. When you don't have a hero, you have to find the courage to be your own hero.

Ever since I was in day-care, the boys have been chasing me, pulling my hair, and trying to kiss me in the sand box. I was the star in the 5th grade school play, and I got all A's. Every girl seemed to want to be my friend. The truth is, I could have any guy I wanted. But, the problem is, I really don't want any of them.

Elementary was easy. All you did was do simple math problems all day and go outside for recess. I thought I had my whole life figured out. Tom Archer, the most popular boy in the grade, kissed me by surprise on the last day of school. Then he told me he loved me, and I was his everything...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

I knew the only reason why he "loved" me was because he thought I was pretty, and that's not true love. So, I kicked him in the shins.

Summer came and went, and the days blended together. My Dad owns Amoretti Auto Insurance, so I guess we have a lot of money. Since I'm an only child, I usually go to Florida to see my cousins during the summer. Clarissa is 13, and she says she envies my beautiful green eyes. Alessandra is 1. She threw up in my hair.

Over dinner one night in July, my father cleared his throat.

"Luna, you will not be going to Orlando this summer."

I looked up from my pasta, puzzled.

"Why not…?" I asked suspiciously.

My dad looked at my mother, she shrugged.

"Christina, you tell her," Said my dad.

My mom cleared her throat.

"You will be going to Sicily."


"Yes… In…Italy... You will be visiting your Great Aunt Adrina and Uncle Fabiano. Your Aunt is very ill, and she wants to see her "La sua Bella nipotine" before she passes away."

I was so confused...I have never even met my Great Aunt Adrina or Uncle Fabiano before, and now I'm leaving the US just to see them?

"But, you guys will be going too, right?"

They shook their heads. I stared at them, in disbelief.

"Alessandra? Clarissa? How about Aunt Maria or Uncle Demarco? Are they going?"

"Luna, you will be going alone. Your father and I have too much work to do at the Auto business, and we can't just take a month vacation off from-

I dropped my fork.


My parents sighed, clearly exasperated.

"I'm sorry Lu, everything has already been arranged. Your aunt really loves you, you know."

"I've never even meet her!"

My parents started to laugh, with shocked looks on their faces.

"You don't remember, do you? Aunt Adrina use to babysit you when she came here in the US in the summer. You guys were two peas in a pod."

I couldn't believe this. My parents just told me I'm going to a foreign country with two people I don't even remember...For a month! And my parents were acting casual about it!

I looked at them with wide eyes. "Please, I don't want to go. Can't she come here?" I begged.

My dad snorted. "Luna, get real. She can't even walk. You're going, and I don't want to hear another complaint. Sicily is beautiful. You will love it there! You can go to the beach every day, site see historical places..."

I knew I wasn't going to win this fight. I excused myself from the table and ran up to my room and slammed the door.