The night air hits me; it's cold and makes my nose tingle. The sky is pitch black and music pulses from houses all around me. The Wanted mixed with Nirvana; One Direction combined with the Foo Fighters. It's crazy and manic.
Sometimes I wish we didn't have to do this. I would rather be wrapped up in a blanket on a sofa in the lounge at home with a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows and Dairy Milk. I could write stories and poems whilst watching Miranda, The Vicar of Dibley and the Hunger Games films. Oh, my perfect New Years Eve!!
However, we are making our way towards the lake at the edge of town. Lake Erdith. It’s huge which is why the annual celebrations take place here.
Around the edge of the lake there are hot dog stands, pizza stands, curry and naan stands and dozens of stalls selling cake and sugary sweets. More stands sell drinks, wines and cans, soft drinks and water. Opposite the stalls where you can buy things to consume are stalls selling memorabilia for the past year like mugs and photo frames. There are also fortune tellers to describe what the next year brings for you and small stands advertising different clubs and activities that would benefit you the following year such as gym membership.
That's all boring though. We don't come for any of that. Well, I know I don't anyway. What we want to see begins at 23:59 and ends at 00:15. It's how we welcome in the New Year around here.
A major fireworks display. The colours are amazing; reds, golds, greens, blues and so many others. There are Catherine wheels, rockets, whizzers, twisters, shooting stars and a magic surprise firework provided by the city council which no one knows until it goes out.
In my family we always guess what it will be and the winner gets to choose a gift from the New Year party. This year I'm betting on a twister.
"Come on Jai, they're gonna start soon."
"Rosie, it's only half eleven. We have time."
"Frey, let’s just move on okay?"
"We need spaces Jai. Do you wanna be at the back again where we can't see a single thing?"
Jaiyni, Rosie and Freya argued over what we were going to do next but I longed to go to the fireworks. They were the only reason I ever agreed to come on the trip to the New Year’s Eve party.
"Pippa, what do you want to do? You've not said very much."
Turning round to face them, I found all three of my sisters looking at me.
"Let's get a hot chocolate and then we'll head over to the lake side so we get a good view of the fireworks." I decided.
Jaiyni, Rosie and Freya headed off towards the drinks stand with me at their side. The four Sutton sisters.
Pippa Sutton - the quiet, shy sister who loves to write.
Jaiyni Sutton - the brash, loud sister who had an amazing singing voice.
Rosie Sutton - the perfect, funny sister who is an awesome dancer.
Freya Sutton - the chatterbox of the family.
I was the odd one out. Always.
But going to see the fireworks would make up for that I hoped.
"Jai, I'm going over to the edge of the lake." I shouted to Jaiyni, my fifteen year old sister. I didn't want them to worry that I had disappeared after I had gotten my hot chocolate.
"Okay!" Jai shouted out.
I went to the lake and stood by it for a long time. It wasn’t long before people began to pile in around me. We all wanted to stand opposite the side if the lake where the fireworks were set off.
I quickly checked my watch Rosie came and stood beside me. It was five to midnight. Soon the fireworks would begin. I felt very excited. I loved them.
After waiting for another couple of minutes they began.
They had begun. Colour filled the skies and my leapt with joy. It was such a glorious sight. Light, colour and freedom filled the sky above me. The fireworks reminded me of nature and creation. They represented a new start and another year. As the fireworks flew and went off I made a wish. Staring at a golden shower of sparks I thought 'This year I want everything to go so much better than last year. I want to be a better sister to Rosie, Jaiyni and Freya. I want to pass all my exams. And I want to be cured.' I closed my eyes for a few seconds before opening them. In the sky above me was a star, shining brightly which I took as a sign that my wish had been heard somewhere by someone.
I watched the rest of the display in awe. It was spectacular! Rosie and I waited in suspense as he final surprise firework was set off. Please be a twisted, I prayed, please. Looking at the sky I was shocked and delighted to find it was a twister. I could choose a prize. I hadn't won since I was seven years old; I was now thirteen years old.
Once the fireworks had finished Rosie and I went in search of Freya and Jaiyni. They let me go and choose something with Jaiyni offering to pay as long as it was under a tenner.
I scanned the stalls carefully, consulting all the products with a critical eye. Eventually I chose a small plush cream teddy bear with a tartan bow and longing eyes. Adorable! Jaiyni was happy to buy it and as soon as the bear sat in my arms I knew I would call it Jason, or Jace for short.
After claiming Jace I wanted to go home. It was one in the morning and I didn't deal well with late nights, or early mornings in this case! Rosie agreed to come home with me so we walked briskly to our house before collapsing in front of the TV where we watched Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief whilst warming up by sipping frothy hot chocolate and hugging hot water bottles.
For me this was the perfect New Years Eve. I didn't like late parties and huge celebrations. This was definitely more me. And nothing would make me change that. I was soon fast asleep on the sofa, dreaming of the great things I was going to do in the new year.