Posted in My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life: Episode I-The Summer Everything Changed Installment VIII

Chapter VIII

Sleepovers & School Switches 

I lay outstretched on the B&B lawn. The sun shone on my face and kept my body warm. Cars passed by and almost all of the them honked. Becca Lou, who was supposed to be watching Mini-Lou, ran around the yard making bubbles with Rachel and Bella. Meanwhile, Mini-Lou threw mud on unsuspecting people.

“Penny for your thoughts,” Leo said laying down next to me.

“I wish summer could last forever,” I whispered.

“I just wasted a penny,” Leo mumbled as he threw a penny on my stomach.

“Jokes on you! I didn’t even feel it!” I shouted.

“Well do you feel THIS?” Leo shouted. He turned over and started tickling me.

“Stop it!” I shouted as we started to roll down the driveway.

“Never!” Leo shouted as he continued to find a feeling spot.

“Aren’t you supposed to say ‘as you wish?’,” I joked.

“Huh?” Leo asked as we landed at the end of the driveway.

“Leo? CHARLLY!” Virginia screamed from down the street.

“Oh no,” Leo mumbled. For the first time ever, Leo actually looked scared of Virginia.

Leo quietly picked me up and carried me back up the driveway to my wheelchair.

“Well aren’t you going to say anything?” Virginia asked sending daggers with her eyes at us.

“What do you want me to say? You’re controlling, bossy, and loud?” Leo asked.

“Excuse me?” Virginia asked outraged.

“Or would you me to say I made a big mistake when I sent you that mushy Valentine?” Leo asked.

Virginia tried to speak, but no words came out of her mouth.

“It’s been fun. No actually, that’s a lie,” Leo said.

“I’m breaking up with you Leopold Logan the Second!” Virginia screamed.

I tried not to laugh at this very tense and serious moment. Leopold?

“I never asked you to be my girlfriend in the first place!” Leo shouted as he walked down the driveway.

Virginia looked at me and then at Leo who was almost out of sight.

“That did not just happen,” Virginia spit. “He did not just break up with me.”

“Virginia, I’m sorry,” I started.

“No, you’re not!” Virginia screamed. “You planed this whole thing! You just stole my boyfriend!”

“What!” I shouted. “I’ve only been here for three weeks!”

“So your plan worked faster than you expected!” Virginia shouted.

“What plan?” I asked.

“Mi Scusi! Excuse me!”

Virginia and I turned. Neither of us had noticed a yellow taxi drive up the driveway or a young man get out of it.

“Can we help you?” Virginia asked.

“Maybe you can,” The young man said with an Italian accent. “I’m looking for an O’Donnell residence.”

“Ms. Shelby O’Donnell?” Virginia asked.

“Yes! She’s my sorella sister,” The man said.

“You’re Giovanni!” Virginia shouted in full drawl. “The Italian half-brother.”

“And you must be Virginia,” Giovanni said. “The girl with the terrible drawl.”

Virginia blushed.

“Ms. O’Donnell doesn’t live in Florida. She lives in North Adams. You’re about twenty minutes away from your destination. Her orchid is the first house on the outskirts of North Adams. If you see a brown barn, you’ve gone too far. That’s the Woods property.”

“Grazie,” Giovanni smiled. He got back into his taxi and it took off.

“Who was that?” Regina asked sneaking up behind us.

“Giovanni Moore,” Virginia said all dreamy.

“Does Leo have competition,” Regina joked.

Virginia stared at Regina. The fire was back in her eyes.

“UGH!” Virginia screamed. “Rachel! We’re going home!”

“No, I’m not!” Rachel shouted back. “I’m staying over for the sleepover.”

“Sleepover? What sleepover?” Virginia asked.

“Becca Lou’s having a Before School Sleepover here tonight,” I said.

“Well, then I’m having a sleepover tonight!” Virginia screamed. She ran into the B&B.

“Virginia’s heartbroken,” Rachel said. “Virginia does crazy things when her heart breaks.”

“Why would a sleepover be crazy?” I asked.

“Charlly!” Mom shouted. “We need to talk to you!”

What had Virginia done?

**

Actually, Virginia had not uttered a word about my ‘evil’ plan to steal Leo away from her. When I rolled into the B&B, I found Virginia on the phone trying to convince her aunt to let her have a sleepover and Laz, Mom, and Lou sitting on the couch.

“I should go,” Cece Elizabeth said getting up.

Lou almost looked disappointed.

“Charlly, we need to talk about school,” Mom said.

“Ok,” I said. “Are we going to start late or something? I hear that this new CO/OP center for homeschoolers.”

“Charlly, honey, you won’t be homeschooled this year,” Mom said. “Neither will Becca Lou.”

“What! Why?” I asked.

“Charlly, we aren’t going anywhere,” Mom said. Lou and Laz nodded in agreement. “Laz and I have decided to stay in the Berkshires for at least until after Becca Lou’s graduated. We love it here. We love that you guys have made friends so fast. Laz has his family here. I’ve finally found a place I can call home.”

I just stared at them. I thought about the words Natalie had said when she finally realized that Florida was the perfect place for her. Was Florida the perfect place for me? I jumped in my wheelchair as Virginia slammed the door as she left. I had already made an enemy, but even with that the want to go back to Chicago was slowly fading away.

“I’m staying too,” Lou said looking off in the direction Cece Elizabeth went.

“You like her,” I blurted.

Lou’s cheeks turned crimson.

“That’s a discussion for another time,” Lou said.

I winked at him and he winked back.

“So tomorrow I will take you down to the high school and sign you up,” Laz said quickly. He gave Lou a quick stare.

“Charlly!” Natalie shouted rolling into the B&B. “Virginia’s having a sleepover! And I can guarantee it’s gonna be CRAZY!”

**

Just the sight of chickens, a goat, and a pig told me why a sleepover would be a crazy idea.

“You have to be careful when you’re at Virginia’s house,” Natalie explained. “I almost squashed a chicken once.”

“Note to self. Don’t go out in the yard,” I said.

“Forget the yard,” Natalie said. “There are chickens in the house.”

“Are there goats too?” I asked.

“Nope,” Natalie said, “but I think Rachel keeps one of the baby pigs in her room.”

“Who lives like this?” I asked as Natalie rang the doorbell.

“Farm people,” Natalie said.

A tall boy yanked open the door.

“In the family room and FYI I’m not lifting you girls up the steps,” The boy said with a Massachusetts accent.

“Hi, Andrew,” Natalie said sarcastically.

“What did ya’ll think of that? Leo’s been giving me voice lessons,” Andrew said.

“I think you should do what I did,” Natalie said.

“And that is?” Andrew asked.

“Let it naturally find its way into my accent. I love the way I say ‘car’ now!” Natalie shouted.

“You’re accent is cute. You got a little British, a little Southerner, and dash of Massachusetts. My accent is a big piece of Southern pie,” Andrew said.

“And you want to sound like you’re from Boston?” I asked.

“Why not?” Andrew asked.

“A teacher told Virginia her accent hurt her ears and she only embraced it more. Own who you are!” Natalie shouted.

“Andrew! Stop harassing my friends!” Virginia shouted. “Well my friend.”

“Sorry, Ginny,” Andrew said.

Tears mounted in Virginia’s eyes.

“Just let them in,” Virginia shouted at Andrew. She marched down the hall.

“She was dumped earlier,” Andrew whispered as we rolled in the house. “And she’s pretty sour about it. Frankly, I don’t know what Leo saw in her in the first place.

Natalie rammed him with her wheelchair and left him silently screaming his pain.

“I haven’t seen you in a while,” Jessie-Maria pouted as Natalie rolled into the family room.

“I haven’t seen my brother in a while,” Natalie said. Jessie-Maria blushed.

“So how’s that going away?” Emily pried.

“None of your beeswax!” Jessie-Maria shouted throwing her pillow at Emily. “How’s your relationship with Nelson?”

“It’s officially and that’s all that I’m saying,” Emily smiled. She started to pet a chicken that had just snuggled up under her arm. “How ya doing Aggie?”

“You know the chickens by name?” I asked.

“Yup,” Emily said. “This is Aggie and the one leaving droppings by your wheelchair is Ellen.”

“You don’t have these chickens potty trained?” I asked.

“All but Ellen,” Virginia giggled. “She refuses to poop anywhere but that spot you are sitting in.”

I immediately rolled away from that spot.

“Hey, girls,” Aunt Jane said walking into the family room. She had a chicken on a leash.

“Hi, Aunt Jane. Hi, Alice,” Natalie said.

“Bock!” Alice shouted. She started to run towards Natalie.

“Stop!” Aunt Jane shouted. “I have a flight risk here. She ran out in the middle of the street. Timmy almost ran over her. He was racing Jaci to the clinic. The poor girl had resorted to puking in her purse.”

“Oh no,” Emily said. “My big brother is gonna be a daddy!”

“What’s so horrible about that?” Aunt Jane asked.

“Think about it,” Emily said. “My big brother Timothy-Caleb Stewart raising a child…with his genes.”

“God help us all,” Aunt Jane said.

Everyone laughed.

“Well, we all know he’ll be a better father than Lou,” Virginia said.

Nobody said anything. Natalie and Aunt Jane stared at Virginia in shock that she had just said that.

“Virginia, that wasn’t a very nice thing to say,” Aunt Jane said. “Apologize.”

Virginia looked at me and smirked.

“I’m sorry, Aunt Jane, but I can’t do that,” Virginia said.

“And why can’t you?” Aunt Jane asked folding her arms.

“Because from this moment on, I am never speaking to Charlotte Lily King ever again!” Virginia shouted.

Natalie and I stared at each other. We were both thinking the same thing.

Oh, snap.

Posted in My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life: Episode I- The Summer Everything Changed Installment III

Chapter IV

An Outburst & A Laptop Murder

As we pulled up into the Sunshine B&B driveway, I groaned as I hit the save button. Why had I started writing when I knew our destination wasn’t that far away? I shook my head. I guess I wasn’t thinking right after the accident.

After Mom and Laz explained to Matt what was going on, the adults tried to figure out a plan. After a lot of discussing they decided that we would drop off our stuff at the B&B and go from there.

“Just the way I remember it,” I heard Laz say as he walked up the steps.

I rolled out of the van and groaned as I looked at the steps. I heard someone snickering behind me.

“Attempt that if you want, but I’m going up the ramp,” Natalie said as she rolled around to the side of the house.

I nearly hit myself in the head. The ramp was RIGHT in front of me and I didn’t NOTICE it. What was up with me?

“Car accidents make you delusional,” Natalie said trying to comfort me. “I was sure delusional after mine.”

Apparently, everyone at the accident was delusional because they forgot one very important fact.

The Sunshine Bed & Breakfast wasn’t exactly wheelchair friendly.

I stared up at the thirty mocking steps while Laz and Mom tried to figure out what to do. Unless someone wanted to carry me up and down for the next six to eight months, we were going to have to find somewhere else to live.

“Natalie!”

“In the family room!”

“Natalie! You won’t believe what Leo did today!” A girl with red hair shouted as she walked up to me. I turned my wheelchair completely around and the look of shock that appeared on the girl’s face was worth a thousand words.

“You’re not Natalie,” The girl said like I was some Natalie imposter. “You look like her from behind, but your hair is a lighter shade of blonde. I’m Virginia Powers by the way.”

“I had a feeling,” I said. “Natalie summed you up perfectly when she called you bossy bubbly.”

“Are you a friend of Natalie’s?” Virginia asked.

“Not exactly. I’m more of follower. I crashed into her today though,” I said just to see a look of confusion on Virginia’s face.

And she did not disappoint.

“Wha…?” Virginia asked. Her shoulders slumped to a place shoulders have never been. She squinted her eyes so much that it looked as if they were closed. Her hands were swinging around until they found a place on her hips.

“Who are you?” Virginia asked. Her look turned accusing.

“I’m Charlotte Lily,” I said, “but everyone calls me Charlly.”

“Charlotte Lily… Why does that name sound familiar?” Virginia asked. Her confusion face returned.

“Virginia…,” Natalie said as she rolled into the hallway that was between the arch that took you to the restaurant and the rest of the house. “I see you’ve met Charlly.”

“This is just too confusing!” Virginia shouted. Her face turned into a weird mix between anger and confusion. “You said you didn’t know her!”

That retort was aimed at me. I tried not to smirk.

“But I also said I crashed into her today,” I said. Natalie laughed.

“Yup,” Natalie giggled. “It wasn’t a bad car crash, but it jolted me in my wheelchair.”

“My head is so congested and my heart is so angry that I can’t even make sense of this right now,” Virginia sighed.

“Why are you angry?” Natalie asked.

“Leo is the most self-center jerk in all of Berkshire County!” Virginia screamed.

“Whoa!” Natalie shouted with laughter. “What did Leo do this time?”

“So you’ve heard how Nelson asked Emily to be his girlfriend right?” Virginia said in sort of a whiney voice.

“Yeah, what of it?” Natalie asked.

“Well, today I kind of playfully asked Leo when he was going to make our relationship official,” Virginia said. She had to stop so she could catch her breath.

“And what happened next?” Natalie sighed. The look on her face told me that she already knew the answer. I kinda had a feeling what the answer was too.

“And looked at me and smirked! Smirked I say!” Virginia screamed.

“And?” Natalie and I asked at the same time.

“What do you mean and? He smirked at me when I asked him a serious question!” Virginia screamed at the top of her lungs.

“That’s it?” Natalie and I shouted.

“What is going on in here?” Darcy asked walking down the steps. “It sounds like bombs are going off.”

“You,” Virginia said as she hoped around me to get onto the steps. “You, Mr. Darcy Chadwick Edwards, will go down to Leo’s house and have a little talk with him.”

Darcy stood perfectly still on the tenth step.

“Um,” He stuttered.

“You will tell him that the next time his…potential girlfriend ask him a make or break relationship question he will answer with words and not smirks!” Virginia shouted.

“Huh?” Darcy asked.

“Long story,” Natalie said rolling her eyes.

“Look, Virginia, I can’t tell Leo what to do. If you’re so mad at him why don’t you just go tell him yourself,” Darcy said regaining his voice.

“Tell him myself? I’ve just about ruined any hopes of us ever living happily ever after…unlike some people!” Virginia shouted. She took a quick look at Natalie.

“You can’t be blaming me for your relationship woes!” Natalie snorted.

“Girls,” Darcy muttered as he tried to walk past Virginia, but Virginia grabbed his shirt.

“I don’t want to have to hurt you,” Darcy said with playfulness in his eyes.

“Neither do I,” Virginia said in a very dangerous voice.

“What do you want me to do? Yell at Leo just because he didn’t answer your question the way you wanted him to?” Darcy asked.

“Yes, as simple as that,” Virginia said.

“Um, no, not as simple as that,” Darcy said. “Maybe Leo doesn’t want whatever you wanted him to answer.”

“Are you saying I’m not good enough for him?” Virginia shouted. She let go of Darcy’s shirt and threw her hands up.

Darcy made a run for it. He ran down the steps and grabbed the handle bars of Natalie’s wheelchair.

“What are you doing?” Natalie laughed as Darcy pulled her towards the door.

“She won’t hurt me if I have you hostage!” Darcy shouted as he opened the door. He closed the door with a slam and I could hear Natalie giggling and screaming as he pushed her down the driveway.

“There goes the perfect couple!” Virginia screamed. If we were in a cartoon smoke would have been blowing out her ears and nose. “All happy and giggly. Well newsflash to world! All romances aren’t like that!”

Is she just figuring that out?

“What is going on in here?” Mr. Steve asked. “Has World War III erupted in here?”

Virginia gave him a look that made Mr. Steve grin.

“Where’d Natalie go?” Mr. Steve asked. The anger returned to Virginia’s face.

“She rolled off into the sunset with her knight in shinning armor while I’m drowning in the sea and my knight is riding away with a smirk on his face!” Virginia screamed. She stormed out the house and slammed the door harder than Darcy.

“I have no words,” Mr. Steve laughed. I smiled. I had a feeling my life was about to get more crazy with Virginia as an acquaintance.

“We’ve worked out a solution,” Mr. Steve said walking towards the restaurant. “Welcome to the Matthews family.”

“What?” I asked.

**

“We can either put the blowup bed in the N room or you can sleep in one of the other many other rooms,” Mr. Steve said as he brought my bags into Drury Hall.

“The N room?” I asked.

“That’s what Steve calls Natalie and Noel’s room because its shorter than saying Noel and Natalie’s room,” Mrs. Matthews said with a teasing voice.

“Love you too,” Mr. Steve said kissing Mrs. Matthews.

I made a mental note to ask Natalie if her parents kissed often, but since I was now living here I would be finding out sooner or later. My parents decided that I and I alone would be moving into the Matthews house during the six to eight months it would take to build our house. That might as well translate into a year with the threat of a long weather ahead.

I still can’t believe my mom would go along with this. This plan had to be one of Laz’s genius ideas and he must have sweat talked my mom into it because that’s the only logical answer I can think of.

“Do you think the girls would mine?” I asked.

“I can’t speak for Noel, but Natalie won’t mind,” Mrs. Matthews said. “Fourth door on the left.”

I rolled down the hall and was in for a total shock when I opened the door. The purple walls shined from the walls. Inspirational posters and ridiculous photos were hung on the walls. The picture right above Natalie and Noel’s bed was a picture of Natalie holding a cat. Megan holding a poor puppy. Yule and Bella were smiling and Noel was standing off in the corner looking like she wanted to freak out. If I had to be in that photo, I would have freaked out…and I don’t even have autism!

Yule came into the room a minute later with the blowup bed.

“I love that photo,” Yule snickered as he set the bed up.

“You do?” I asked. “It’s…it’s…it’s…”

“Hilarious,” Yule snorted.

“I was going to say creepy,” I blurted.

“That too,” Yule said. “The triplets would have been in that photo but they were still crying from the last one.”

“That would have been a disaster!” I laughed.

“Then you’ve got to see the picture the Kids picture in Mom and Dad’s room. Abby and Jaci are in that one too,” Yule said.

“Good Lord,” I said shaking my head.

“Yule,” I asked as he started to walk out the room, “do you like it here?”

“All I can is this ain’t New York City for sure,” Yule said. “It also ain’t Chicago.”

“How did you know…,” I said but he was gone.

I took one look at the picture and shook my head. Inspiration hit me. Where was the laptop?

“Natalia! No!”

That was an adult voice. This can’t be good.

I rolled out the room and found the remains of my laptop on the kitchen floor.

Posted in My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life: Episode I-The Summer Everything Changed Installment II

Chapter III
Surprises & Space

For a moment nobody did anything. Mom stared at the red van in shock. Laz scratched his head and surveyed the damage from the safety of the car. Becca Lou didn’t seem to notice and kept singing along with the song. Matt looked like he wanted to laugh but he was clearly annoyed.

A man cautiously opened his door. His head turned to survey the damage before I saw his face. Laz decided that now was a good time to get out of the car.

“Hello,” Laz said with his thick drawl. even to this day I don’t know how Laz got his thick Southern accent. I know his mother was from Mississippi, but come on! The guy sounds like a true Texasan!

The man turned around. He had hazel eyes and dirty blonde hair with a hint of grey. He was wearing a faded pair of jeans and a tee-shirt about making places wheelchair friendly. For I second my brain scrapped to figure out who he was, but then it all came to me like a flood. He was Steve Matthews. The stepfather of Natalie Matthews.

“Oh my gosh!” I screamed.

“What!” Mom shouted startled.

I quickly rolled to the van door and opened it.

“Stay in the car!” Mom shouted.

At the same time I heard a woman shout, “Natalie, stay in the car!”

“Oh my gosh!” I shouted as I pointed to the girl who had just rolled out of the red van. She had long dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. She had on a pair of jean shorts and the same shirt as Mr. Steve had on. If I hadn’t known better I would have thought they were biological father and daughter.

“Do I know you?” Natalie asked perplexed at my sudden outburst.

“Yes…well no…you don’t know me but I know you,” I said really really fast.

A woman walked out of the van. She was wearing sweats and a Fourth of July Tee-shirt. Her hair was pulled back into a pony-tail and her amber eyes screamed that she was very tired. She started to get into the back seat and only then did I hear the whimpers of babies.

“You’re Riley Matthews,” I blurted.

“Yup,” Mrs. Matthews said not even looking at me.

A tall young man walked out of the van with Down Syndrome girl on his tall and a little blonde girl was on her tail.

“You’re Yule!” I squealed. “And that’s Bella and Megan. Where’s Noel?”

“At the B&B with Bennet,” Yule said. “Wait who are you?”

“I’m Charolette Lily King,” I said.

“You’re Charlly?” Natalie asked.

“Yup,” I nodded. “I love your blog.”

“Thanks,” Natalie blushed.

Matt finally walked out the van. His eyes landed on Natalie and he smiled.

“Hi,” Matt said offering his hand.

“Hi,” Natalie said shaking it. “I’m assuming your the stepbrother that wasn’t mentioned. You know Charlly I could have helped you out with annoying brothers. Yule’s not my stepbrother but he’s pretty annoying.”

“Hey!” Yule shouted in a playful voice.

A strange looking Mustang pulled up and a man with a cane got out.

“Noel changed her mind,” The man said as he opened the back seat door. “She wants to go to the triplets doctor’s appointment now.”

“We’re not going anywhere, Bennet,” Mr. Steve said. Bennet looked at the damage and whistled.

“How did that happen?” Bennet asked. “Darcy, you’ve got to see this!”

A tall black haired guy walked out the car. His blue eyes filled with shock when he saw the side.

“What happened here?” Darcy asked.

“You’re Darcy Edwards!” I squealed. “You’re cuter in person!”

“Thank you…I think,” Darcy said. His voice trailed off at the last.

“Can someone please tell me what’s going on?” Matt asked.

*

“Watch out!” I screamed as our space shuttle nearly coliaded with another space shuttle.

Laz stopped the rocket just in time. The nose of our shuttle was just inches away from the nose of the other shuttle.

Laz put on the headphones and started to chat with the people in the other shuttle. The next thing I know we’re following the shuttle and we’re at the Space Shuttle Station.

“Sorry about that,” Laz said as he shook hands with the flyer of the other rocket. “I haven’t flown in years.”

“Its all right, Larry,” The man smiled. “Its just good to have you back.”

“I’m happy to be back, Levi,” Larry smiled. “Is the Asteroid Inn still open?”

“Yup,” Mr. Levi said. “My wife, daughters, and sons are there helping out Dana. Her husband died right after you left.”

“I heard,” Laz said with a sad face. “I tried to come but-“

“We all understood,” Mr. Levi said. “We all knew you had joined the army and couldn’t make it.”

“Well, I’m out of the army now so let the space adventures begin!” Laz shouted.

He could say that again.

Posted in My Crazy Life

My Crazy Life-Episode I: The Summer Everything Changed Installment I

Chapter I

Fictitious Flashbacks & Flowers

It all started with flowers. My epiclly insane adventure didn’t start with the rebellion or the paralyzing shot in the back that my mother’s ex-boyfriend inflicted. My adventure started with a delivery of a bouquet of flowers.

It had only been two days since I had been shot in the back; two weeks since a martial rebellion started on my home country of Earth. The hospital was flooded with people wounded from the war. The nurses neglected me and flirted with the wounded vets. My mother was too shook up to yell at the nurses, and my baby sister Bec was only four at the time.

“Special delivery for a Miss Char,” The delivery man said. In his hand was the biggest and most beautiful bouquet of flowers I had ever seen. There was only one problem. My mother, sister, and I were now connectionless and homeless. If my mom’s jerk-for-a-boyfriend was sending me flowers from jail, it was far too late.

But the flowers weren’t from him. The flowers were from a whole congregation of people. The flowers had been sent from a church somewhere in Chicago. I’d never serious thought about God and religion before my adventure. Why would God care about me? It seemed pretty clear that He didn’t. My parents had been off and on up until my Daddy went to jail. Bec had just been born and my mother wanted to spare Bec the pain of being let down by our father. The only problem with running away from Colorado was that my mother was moneyless, family less, and clueless about raising children. We hopped from state to state. Eventually my mother decided that putting and pulling me in and out of school was too much of a hassle and she started to homeschool me in our car. My mother went through boyfriends faster than Bec went through diapers. It wasn’t until my mom met Mr. Sometime-In-The-Future-I-Will-Paralyze-Your-Daughter did we really settle down. We’d been in Chicago for about a year now and I was convinced of never moving ever again.

Now back to the flowers. The card that came with the flowers only said three words. Praying for You. It was signed by a couple of people that were probably the church’s regulars.

To my mother, the card was an invaluable piece of paper and my mother only read one word on it. Hope.

Fast forward six months later. It was a rainy Wednesday and I had just been released from rehab. My mother was determined to go to the church and thank the people for the deed that felt like it had been done over a thousand years ago. My mother forced Bec and I to get out into the rain. She carried me, wheelchair and all, up the steps of the church and walked in without knocking or asking God for permission or whatever you’re supposed to do before you enter a church.

The church was small, a little bit more like a chapel. There was a bunch of old people and some little kids were sitting on the floor watching the choir sing with intense attention.

The song they were singing freaked me out a little. I heard the worlds “feeling pretty blue”, “I’d be mopping too if I was going to be digested’. They lost me at the last part. Digested? Did God digest the bad, undeserving people of the world? If He did I was about to become his dinner.

The song went on to say, “You ran from God this morning and you’re whale chow tonight!” That was the last straw. Whale chow? Did these people worship and trust their lives to a whale?! Everyone always said that Christians were weird, but I didn’t know they thought a whale created them and ran the universe.

Mom was pretty freaked out by the song. She turned to leave, but just as we turned our back the choir sang, “But! Hold on! Hang on! Not so fast you’re life ain’t over yet. See we’re hear to tell you all about a forgiveness that, You. Can. Get.”

I’m listening.

“See God’s a God of mercy. God’s a God of love Right now He’s gonna lend a helping hand from up above!” was the next line.

All of a sudden the little kids started to dance like crazy as they sang the chorus. “Praise the Lord! He’s the God of second chances!”

What happened next happened all too fast.

A man ran into the church. He was wearing camouflage and was dripping wet. A young looking man was standing next to him. My mom and his eye’s met and soon the both of them were dancing with the little children.

The boy looked at the guy with confusion. I have to say that I was just as confused at this whole thing too. Second Chances? It was nice that God gave people second chances, but I was pretty sure I was on like my tenth chance or something.

When the song was finished, the pastor explained how this song was from a movie about talking veggies and how to movie was based on the prophet Jonah. Jonah didn’t want to go to the city of Nineveh because it was so wicked. Even though he was a prophet and should have known better, he ran away from God. Long story short, he was thrown into the ocean, swallowed by a whale who was NOT God, was in there for three days praying and preventing, after three days he was vomited up by the whale, then he did as he was told and saved a bunch of people’s lives. Now one would think that Jonah would be happy that thousands of lives were saved, but no. He didn’t even believe that the people had really repented and went to see what would happen to the city. God gave him a plant even though Jonah had basically just willfully and happily bought a ticket to see murder by plopping his bottom down under the shade. But in the morning, God had a worm ate the plant and had the sun scorch Jonah to faintness. Then Jonah asked God to take his life, and God gave him the best scolding ever.

“Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” God asked.

“Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die,” Jonah said.

 “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?” God asked.

That verse really hit me. God cared about the people of Nineveh! God even cared about the cattle! Surely, the people of Nineveh had to have been on their millionth chance for Jonah to want to run away from his God given duty. If God pitied Nineveh surely he pitted me.

The pastor then went into another story about how God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to die for US! And all I had to do was believe and trust in Him.  I didn’t have to do a bunch of stuff before He decided to love me. He knew before I was even born. He loves me the way I am, zits and all. On that very spot, I asked Jesus to come into my heart. My mother broke down weeping and accepted Christ. Bec not wanting to be left behind screamed that she believed everything the preacher man had said and wanted Christ. And then the strange man also accepted Christ. The boy with him just stood by the door waiting to leave.

We all pilled out of the church at the same time. The man walked us to our chair and just before taking off Mom asked the man a question.

“Do you really believe in second chances?” Mom asked.

“All I know is that I’ve gotten more second chances than a man deserves,” The man said in with a thick drawl, “and I just received another one in that church.”

The man turned to go but he stopped halfway through and turned back around.

“By the way my name is Larry Stewart, but everyone calls me Laz,” The man said. “And this young man is my son, Matt.”

“I’m Jennifer,” Mom said holding her hand out. “And the two girls are my daughters, Char and Bec.”

They shook hands and the rest is history.

Two years later they were standing at the same alter they both accepted Christ at. Laz was now a working fireman and my mother now owned a boutique in Chicago. There lives had changed significantly in the past two years, and on that day their lives-and their children’s-were about to change even more. They were promising to be together forever, they were vowing to love each other through whatever, they were getting married.

The two of them had tried hard to include us in their ceremony. We were all holding hands at the alter. Bec and I were on Mom’s side, and Matt was on his father’s side. We were vowing to be a family, and that was a vow I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep. You can learn a whole lot about someone in two years and I knew all I wanted to know about Matt Stewart. He’d been born in space which was where his father had also come from. He was also the most annoying, self absorbed stepbrother in the entire galaxy. And not to mention that fact that he walked like a chicken.

Our family vows were to be tested on the first day of summer. Laz received a call from space. He is uncle had just died and he was needed back in space. Mom and Laz had been talking about moving to space for a while. The rebellion on Earth was getting more destructive and bloodier by the minute. I had hinted that a move would not be in our best interest considering I’ve done more moving than any normal thirteen year old girl should have done. I think I could get used to bombs every night and bullets every morning.

But I guess Laz could not because a week later we were in a space shuttle, flying into the unknown. Why God-

“Earth to Charlly!”

Chapter II

Silly Songs, Squirrels, and a Snowman Sign 

I looked up from my laptop. Laz was looking at me. Instead of being in a cramped space shuttle, I was in a spacious wheelchair van. Sadly, we weren’t flying into the unknown, but instead we were driving into the unknown. It had been a little over a week since that phone call that tested our vows had been made. Laz was being given some land back in his hometown. Mom and Laz decided to make a ‘road trip’ out of it. So far we’ve been to the Creation Museum, visited Philadelphia, and spent a weekend in New York City.

“Earth to Charlly! Earth to Charlotte Lily!” Laz repeated,

“Huh?” I asked. “What is it?”

“We’re changing CDs,” Mom said in a weary voice. “We’ve just finished my choice of Mandisa. What shall we play next?”

“Veggie tales!” My little sister Becca Lou shouted.

“Not again!” I shouted. “We’ve only played one Francesca Battistelli CD the entire trip!”

“Newsboys!” Matt shouted.

“Can we pwlese listen to Veggie tales?” Becca Lou asked in her baby voice. She held up her 25 Favorite Silly Songs CD.

Laz reached back and got the CD from Becca Lou. I quickly put my headphones on before the Water Buffalo Song drained my brain of all its creativity. As I over read the first chapter on my new book, I realize that Char’s life is much like mine, only more futuristic. About ninety-nine percent of that chapter is true. I hadn’t meant to do that on purpose. The words just came to me. I click the SAVE AS button and rename it:  My Crazy Life- A Fictitious Diary: Episode I.

<sidenote> Sorry! I haven’t properly introduced myself. My name is Charlotte Lily ‘Charlly’ Ruth King. Some of you might remember the email I sent to Natalie. Well now it’s my turn to tell a story. As you might remember, I am a T12 paraplegic; I’m thirteen years old, and a wannabe nurse who occasionally writes science fiction<sidenote>

Matt pulled one of the ear buds out of my ear. I would normally yell at him for doing something so annoying, but the dreaded track number ten of the silly songs CD is playing and I must put an end to the tragedy to human that was about to be committed.

“Please don’t!” I shouted. “Just this once! Please don’t-”

“Barbra Manatee. You are the one for me one for me one for me. Sent from up above. You are the one I love,” Laz sang in his Larry the Cucumber voice.

Matt then started to sing the part of the jerk manatee Bill who won’t take Barbra Manatee to the dance. I put my hands over my ears and shouted trying not to let my brain get filled with silliness.

But when my part comes, I give up and say it.

“Larry…what are you doing?” I said in my Bob the tomato voice.

“Just watchin’ a little TV…..Bob,” Larry said.

“Well….maybe you should read a book,” I groan. Becca Lou burst out laughing. That line gets her every time even though she’s six years old now.

“Look kids!” Laz shouted as he points to a sign.

The sign only says three words. Welcome to Florida.

“We HAVE to stop here!” I screamed. Laz took his eyes off the road and looked at me.

“We are stopping here,” Laz said. “This is our new home!”

“What!” I screamed.  What happened next happened all too fast.

“Watch out!” Mom screamed. Laz swerves the miss a squirrel, but somehow he didn’t see the huge red van coming out way. Laz slammed right into the side of the van.

Great.