So here it is, the first story that explains Brightdale's life. Even if you haven't read "Party", it makes sense by itself, since it takes place before "Party".

Brightdale leaned back in the hammock, closing her eyes. Then she suddenly sat up straight, snapping them open. This wasn't who she was.

Approximately 24 hours ago she had promised herself that she would be lying in a hammock, or down by the creek just a 5 minute's drive from her house. She had craved peace then, hoping to get away from the hectic weeks of middle school. Well, she had got her wish then, but it wasn't the same anymore. She never craved peace, after all.

She stood up abruptly.

"This isn't who I am," she said aloud. "I am a member of stage crew, and yet I am a singer. November 10 and February 10 will forever be lodged in my memory. I will always remember Murphy. And I will never stop trying to go back. And most of all, I know what summer is like. I know vacations and camps and I know what life should be, and what life is, even if they are not the same thing.

"And what summer is not, is lounging around in a hammock reading and waiting for things to fall into place. I hate waiting. When I'm in a line, I'm always playing a portable video game or reading or something. Life's like that. We're always waiting, but we can make it fun."

And with that, she hopped off of the hammock and onto the swingset. As she sat there, she sang every song that came to her mind, including "Animal" and "Country Roads".

Soon, she got tired. At that point, random thoughts came swimming into her head. One was, "How did I get here?"

The answer, she knew, was not that simple. But she rewound her head anyway, back to the event that set all the other events in motion. And that was moving from Brightdale to Murphy.

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