The Rest of Our Lives

"This one night determines the rest of our lives."

15 year old Hanna gets caught in the middle of her siblings summer plans with their friends when she's supposed to be at her dads for the final summer before starting her junior year in high school. When she overhears her older brother, Marcus, and older sister, Evelyn, talking to their friends about going to California for 2 weeks, she wants in. After tricking her parents into thinking she'll be staying at a friends house for the 2 weeks while her parents are away, she sneaks away with the group. While in California, she tries to make the best of everything. Doing everything she thinks regular tourists do: see the Hollywood sign, scope out celebrities' houses, find some famous actors walking the streets... But sometimes, things go wrong.


3. What is This Thing We Call Love?

What is love? Is it looking at the summer environment and having this feeling of pure happiness and joy build up in your tummy? Is it wishing you were a bird so you could be free? Is love staring at that one boy in your class and daydreaming about all the things you two could do together? Love is different for everyone. For some, love is science, or English. Others, technology, nature, photography, or even the simplest in life: television, music, food.... For me, love is what I feel when I stare at the people I care most about. Marcus, Evelyn, Spark, Hayley, Michael... And most importantly, Austin. You're probably wondering: 'Hanna, what about your mother, father? Grandma or grandpa?' Well that's simple. I don't know who my father is. I haven't seen a picture, heard from him, or seen him in 3, almost 4 years. My mother is never home; either on business trips or out with some guy. And as for my grandparents? Psh, they could care less. For all they're concerned, my sister, brother and I were mistakes. We should've never been born. They believe my father got my mother pregnant just so he could have a place to stay, and tried convincing my mother to get an abortion with all three of us, which eventually led to their divorce. We haven't spoken to them since we were 3 or 4. And I have no intention of ever speaking to them again.

But the others.... Marcus and Evelyn, they're all I have. Well, and Spark. I've never been closer to anyone than I am to my siblings. And of course, we argue and say things we don't mean to each other, like any siblings would, but at the end of the day, we're all the other one has. They're the only ones that actually understand what it's like to live a life like mine, because they've been living the same one for the past 17 and 16 years. They're practically everything to me.

Hayley and Michael are 2 of my absolute best friends. I've known Hayley since before preschool, and in second grade is when we met Michael. He used to be what everyone called a nerd, and was always dressed nice and had clean cut hair, but when we got into middle school he started dressing differently and giving off a vibe like grades don't mean as much to him now... Now, just finishing 9th grade, he's got tattoos, and wears Snapbacks, baggy pants, and his hair is always a mess. Hayley's had a crush on him since 6th grade... I just always thought he was cool, laid-back kinda kid.

Then there's Austin. One of the most important people I've ever had in my life, and he intends of staying there, which I don't have a problem with. We met in 3rd grade, and I instantly had a crush on him. He was the kinda kid that you just knew would grow up to be the jock; the one that every girl wanted to date, the one who's girlfriend was the head cheerleader. Which is exactly what happened.... To an extent. I'm not the head cheerleader. I'm not even a cheerleader at all. I'm on the volleyball team, I've gotten the MVP award 3 times, and coach says I'm her best player. I don't believe her though... We're a team, and I believe that everyone plays off of each other's strengths and weaknesses; we're just as valuable as the other. But Austin did exactly what everyone predicted he would. He went through most of middle school on the wrestling team, then in 8th grade went to football. 9th grade, he was the number one player on the football team, and he's always been that guy that every girl would drop their panties for.

Austin was always that one guy that the girls, cheerleaders especially, always thought that if they wore the tightest clothes and showed the most cleavage that he would just have sex with them right then and there. But they would always end up disappointed when he'd tell them: 'Sorry ladies, but if you haven't noticed, I have a girlfriend, and I'm staying faithful to her.' Which he's not-so-surprisingly had to say many times. Honestly, part of me doesn't mind that he always has to repeat himself of that sentence, because it makes me smile hearing the words 'girlfriend' and 'faithful' leave his mouth. And after dating for 2, almost 3 years, since 7th grade, he still manages to give me butterflies when he looks at me, smiles at me, or even just says 'Hey babe'. But I guess that's a good thing, because it means that the spark is still there, and it's on full force. He gives me a feeling in my stomach that no one else ever has, and I love it. It's a feeling of... Well I can't even describe it. If you've found that one person that you just know you wanna spend the rest of your life with and they never cease to give you butterflies or make you smile or make you feel like a 50 foot deep pool of glitter, unicorns, and rainbows then you know what feeling I'm talking about. We've seen each other in the worst of times, the best of times, and even just on our average day. We've stayed at each other's houses, we've stayed at other friends' houses together. I've seen him shirtless, I've been in the bathroom while he was taking a shower... And yes, if you really must know, we've had sex. A few times, actually, but I'll spare you the details. I bet some of you are saying 'Oh my god, ew. You're in 9th grade and you've already had sex more than once.' Well ya know what? I. Don't. Care. For. Your. Opinion. This is my life, and if you don't like it, then... Shame on you cause I'm not changing.

For me, Austin is the epitome of perfection, and I wouldn't want it any other way. We love each other and he's the only boy I've dated (not that I've dated that many... Only Austin and one other guy) that I can actually see myself spending the rest of my life with. He's perfect in every way, and I love him with all my heart.

That is what love is to me. Love is.... Love is perfect, kind, caring, and any other emotion. Love is arguing with the one you care for because you know that even in the end, you'll still care just the same for each other.

Love is love.

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