Poppy

I got dressed and brushed my curly hair away from my face. All of my bags had been packed last night, and now all there was to do was wake my sister up. That sounds like it would be really easy, but that is just not the case with Riley. She sleeps like the dead and you practically have to push her off of the bed to wake her up, and when she does finally get up, she's in a horrible mood. My method was usually to push her from her bed and run as soon as she hit the floor. Sometimes, even that couldn't save me.

I pushed open the door leading to Riley's room, laughing at how she sprawled out on her bed with her arms and legs taking up the whole mattress. I slid my feet across the soft white carpet until I reached the side of the bed. First, I shook her shoulder gently, hoping that she would wake up just by that but knowing that she wouldn't. As I had predicted, Riley didn't even stir from my attempts. I sighed, knowing that I would have to use drastic measures if she didn't wake up soon. "Riley," I said in a sing-song voice that my sister always told me was annoying. She still didn't move in the slightest. I let out a huff before pushing her shoulder hard enough that she rolled over and fell off the other edge of the bed.

She hit the floor with a thump and afterwards everything was silent for a moment. Then I heard the sound of the sheets moving. Then I knew that she was awake. "Poppy Marie Carson!" My sister's voice called from her spot on the floor, "What the hell was that for?" Uh oh, I was expecting it to take a little longer before she became lucid enough to realize that it was me that had pushed her. I tiptoed back in the direction of the door, but before I could even take two steps Riley was standing up with her arms crossed across her chest and a glare pointed in my direction.

Deciding that attempting to escape her wrath now would be pointless, I simply shot her a cheery smile. "We have to start driving to New York now if you want to get there before its dark." I said. The drive from New York from Nashville was about 14 hours and 30 minutes and it was eight am now. And since Riley would be driving half the time, and she drives slower than our grandmother, it would be a really long trip.

Riley made a noise that was a cross between a growl and a hiss before pushing me out of her room and slamming the door. I grinned at my sister's 'cheerful' attitude then I made my way to the kitchen to eat. My parents had left for work a few hours ago, but we had said our goodbyes last night at dinner. I grabbed a bagel from the refrigerator and popped it into the toaster.

A few seconds after I finish eating, Riley comes into the room looking much more alert and much less annoyed than when I last saw her. She was wearing some of the clothes she had gotten for her twenty-first birthday three days before. She was older than me, I was nineteen and my birthday wasn't for a few more months. I handed her the half of my bagel that I didn't eat and she stuffed it into her mouth.

Riley took the first shift driving, because she knew that later in the day there would be more people on the main roads then she felt comfortable driving around. My sister was the most cautious driver ever. I agreed to do the driving once the roads got more crowded.

A long while later, I sat in the driver's seat my hands on the wheel and some pop music that my sister liked played from the radio. Riley sat in the passenger seat; her head leaned against the glass of the window. Her eyes were closed and had been for some time, and I was pretty sure that she had fallen asleep despite her promise to stay up with me and ensure that I stayed awake. The trees and grass that had been flashing past the windows for the longest time, had now transformed into tall buildings and sidewalks. We were officially in New York. I wanted to wake Riley up and tell her the good news, but I knew that driving and attempting to wake her up could possibly be dangerous.

I turned down numerous streets, packed with cars, people, and bicyclists. When I found the street marked with the name that the apartment we were to stay at, I turned down it and parked the car just in front of the entrance. I turned the key and pulled it out of the ignition. "Riley," I said, using the same annoying singing voice I had used to wake her up that morning. No response. I groaned and unbuckled my seatbelt, leaning over the middle seat to kick her.

"What!" She grumbled angrily.

"We're here!" I said as I pushed open the car door and jumped out. As I did so, the door bumped into someone. "Oops, sorry." I called after them, but they were already walking away. Riley got out of the car as well and stepped onto the sidewalk in front of the apartment building, looking around as she made her way to the back of the car where our bags were. I grabbed out the bag at the top of the pile and nearly fell over due to the weight of it. "Gosh, Ri. What do you have in this thing? Bricks?" I said, struggling to carry the bag to the entrance.

"I think that one has my shoes in it." She said, smirking at my appalled expression. Who has enough shoes to fill an entire suitcase? My sister, that's who.

It took the both of us about thirty minutes, maybe longer, to lug all of our belongings up the many flights of stairs to our apartment. Of course, the elevator just had to be broken on the day we arrived. Lucky us! By the time all of our bags were piled in the entryway of our small apartment, the muscles in my arms were throbbing and Riley and I were both exhausted. It was only nine o'clock, but both of us were so tired from driving for so long and carrying all of the bags that we rummaged around in random bags and pulled out clothes for us to sleep in. I found a tank top and plaid pajama bottoms, and Riley pulled on a shirt (that she stole from me) and

shorts.

The apartment, thankfully, did come with a small amount of furniture to begin with. A couch included. Our parents had insisted upon calling someone to furnish the rest of the place, along with the kitchen, bedrooms, and the main room which now held a TV.

My sister and I exchanged looks, no doubt both thinking that our parents always overdid everything. We decided that we would leave the unpacking for the next day, instead pulling a big blanket out of one bag and a few DVD's from another and settling into the couch to watch a few movies.

Two DVD's later, Riley was asleep with her head propped up on the arm of the couch. The 'Titanic' movie was in and I was twirling the pieces of my hair that had fallen from my bun around my finger absentmindedly as I watched. A little while later, I was just about to sleep when music started blaring from somewhere. It was so loud that I could literally feel the vibrations. I was wide awake now, any hope of sleeping soundly shattered along with the quiet.

After listening to the loud music for a while and the murmur of laughter and voices, I determined that it was a party. A wild party. Normally, I wouldn't have minded if someone was having a party, heck I might have even joined it, but at that point I was too tired and annoyed to be anything other than furious at whoever was throwing the party. It sounded like it was coming from somewhere on this hall.

My judgment obscured slightly by fatigue and annoyance, I threw the blanket off of me and marched to the door looking for the source of the noise. It turns out; it was coming from the room directly across the hall. Still angry, I stomped over to the door and knocked sharply hoping that someone would hear it over the noise of the music. I stood there for a long time, waiting, before my anger and impatience got the better of my and I pushed the door open and walked in anyways.