My name is Chloe Smith. The day I turned sixteen my life changed forever. As a child I couldn’t wait until the day I turned sixteen. I imagined myself cruising down the highway with my best friends, top down, music blasting. My dad promised that the day I turned sixteen he’d give me my first driving lesson. Boy do I wish he hadn’t.
My birthday came and went in a blur. When I woke up, excitement was all I could feel. I felt like I was going to burst. The day I was waiting to come for so long was finally here. I got out of bed and went downstairs where my mom and older sister Chelsea were downstairs making breakfast.
“Happy birthday Chloe!” my mom and Chelsea said in unison.
“Thanks,” I said, already smiling ear to ear.
“We made you your favorite, chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream,” mom said.
“Yeah, we worked our asses off, so you better eat before it gets cold.” Chelsea announced.
“No, not yet, Dad went out to get you a coffee. Wait until he gets back.” mom says.
My mom never let me drink coffee. She claims that no good can come of someone addicted to caffeine. On the other hand, I loved coffee. Since the day I turned 13, practically every time we passed the local coffee shop, Crazy 4 Coffee. I would ask. After awhile she declared I could have coffee as a treat, only on birthdays and holidays. Although, that doesn’t mean that every time I’m with Mandy, my best friend since I was five, we don’t stop at Crazy 4 Coffee, for our regulars. Me, I always got an iced medium French vanilla, extra extra. Mandy always got a small mocha.
“Okay that’s cool,” I said, trying to hide my excitement. Apparently I failed though , because Chelsea then said. “You’re grinning like that just for a coffee? Wait until you see your present. Then at least you have a reason to get excited.”
“Shut up. Who cares if I’m happy? I’m finally sixteen!”
“Yes, you are, and honestly do you feel any different then you did yesterday, when you were still fifteen?”
Truthfully, I didn’t, but I knew I would soon, when I was out on the road with my dad, finally. So I just said “Yes, actually I do.”
“Whatever.” Chelsea is 18, and just graduated from high school. She thinks she knows everything. Of course it doesn’t help that she has been a straight A student since kindergarten. Or that she got a full scholarship to Harvard Law, where she is planning on eventually becoming a DA. Whatever. School was never really my strongest point. I’m not saying I’m stupid or anything, I pulled a solid B average in all my classes. Not that I don’t think school’s important. Of course it is, if you’re planning to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a scientist, or something else to that effect. Seriously though, who needs to know the square root of pi, or Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion, to be what I want to be… a dancer.
I started dancing when I was three years old, and from the very first day I loved it. I loved the feeling of being free, not having a care in the world. All you need to worry about is keeping beat with the music and not missing a step. Even from a young age my parents and instructors saw the potential I had, so I started competing. I loved the sense of accomplishment I felt when I won, or made it to nationals. I felt like I finally found my purpose, something I was good at that my sister couldn’t take from me. She had her grades, I had dance.
When my dad got home we all ate down and had breakfast. I was too anxious wondering what Chelsea meant by “when you see your present at least you’ll have a reason to freak out,” to even enjoy it though.
“Can I please be excused?” I asked.
“Not until you finish those pancakes,” mom said.
“Come on pal, finish the breakfast, then we can get to the fun part of day,” he said grinning at me.
“Fine,” I complained. I finished every bite. Well at least Chelsea will be happy.
“Ready for presents?” my dad asked. You could hear the enthusiasm in his voice.
“Well it’s about time!” I said, laughing.
“Well first I got you this,” my dad said. He was holding a small white jewelry box. I took it out of his hand, and opened it. Inside was a silver necklace. On it was a small delicate ballet slipper. I didn’t hesitate to put it on right away.
“It’s beautiful. Thank you”
“You’re welcome. Come on your other presents from your mom and I is outside.”
“Outside?” what could it be? Surely it wouldn’t be car. I dismissed that thought quickly. No way, I couldn’t get my license for another six months. Sure enough, in the driveway way a brand new red Honda Civic.
“No way!!” I squealed. Words couldn’t even describe how I felt. Since I was turning sixteen, I kind of expected my parents to go overboard. When my sister turned sixteen, they sent her and her best friend Melissa to New York City for a weekend. But a car… and none the less my dream car, that was just crazy.
“Oh my god!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!” I all but shrieked as I ran over to hug my parents.
“Ready to take it out pal?” my dad asked.
“Now Jim, can’t you wait a little later, we have the whole day for that,” my mom said in her stern voice.
“Nonsense Kathy, Chloe’s been waiting sixteen years for this,” dad replied.
“Fine, but I want you guys back within the hour,” mom said.
“Kayy… thank you so much!!!” I answered.
“No problem sweetie,” mom said.
I got in the car and everything felt surreal. The new car smell, the leather interior, it all felt like a dream. Dad taught me the basics a few weeks ago; all that was left was to get moving. So when my dad got in the passenger seat I adjusted the mirrors, put on my seatbelt, put the key in the ignition, put the car in drive, and off we were. I was finally doing what I’ve been waiting for all these years.
“Good job Chloe, you’re doing great,” my dad would say every now and then. Everything was just as I imagined. I would even say it was perfect. This was the best birthday ever and it was only going to get better from here. That was until the accident. The accident that changed my life.
Duh duh duh.... LOL.
Isn't it amazing how much we can grow as writers in such a short period of time?