And You Thought Your Family was Weird (2015 NaNoWriMo)

(Being written for NaNoWriMo 2015; contains the first chapter of the story) Kristin Fernando is a girl who's addicted to social media. But when her parents divorce and she's shipped off to stay with her cousins, she learns the meaning of family as well as why using social media isn't a good idea.


2. Friday, January 3, 2014


OK, since I'm going to be stuck with you for while, I might as well get everything out of the way.

I'm Kristin Marie Fernando (or Cristina Maria Fernando since I'm part Hispanic on my father's side of the family) and I left my hometown of Shawneetown, Florida to live in a city called McDermott, Arizona. The reason I'm living there is because my parents are getting divorced after 19 years of marriage.

You're asking me why they're getting divorced? Here's the deal: dad was found with another woman several weeks before Halloween; mom found out about it on Facebook and she immediately demanded a divorce. I had no idea of the divorce until mom told me about it on Christmas day.

Yeah, way to go, mom. Now Christmas is ruined forever. Not only that, but it seems like I won't see dad again for a while.

But that alone isn't why I'm moving to McDermott.

Mom says she's taking care of one of my aunts, who's about 60 years old and has a problem getting around for whatever reason. Also, mom's selling the house I grew up in and getting ready to move back to our old address in Savannah, Georgia. To lessen its impact on me, mom's sending me to stay with one of her cousins for a while.

Well, I don't know what to say, but I can't argue with fate.

You want to know about me? OK then. As I've said before, I'm Kristin, and I love to blog. I have several social accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LiveJournal. (Holy crap; I forgot to email my friends and tell them that I was leaving! what kind of friend am I?

Note to self: email Alison, Mercedes, Stefanie, and Deanna as soon as the plane lands.)

Anyway, I'm bored with traveling by plane; there's nothing much for me to do. The in-flight movie is so lame, half the people on board are snoring. (Plus, there's nothing funny about the movie "Song of My Friends," as that movie is a crime against popular people. Come on, Hollywood; are you that desperate for ideas that you're making movies that portray loners as heroes and popular people as villains?)

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm so done with that movie. Why couldn't they play the movie "Brave"? That's a Disney movie and I can make fun of Disney-made movies until the cows come home. I must admit I'm not keen on Disney-made movies, (as they're not my kind of movie) but I need something more entertaining than what I'm currently watching. Plus, the average movie geared towards teens is lame.

But let's not start.

As I'm forcing myself to watch this lame movie, I chanced to hear that Moviemagic Films is remaking the Eragon movie into a trilogy. Deirdre Lightfoot intends to eliminate all unnecessary scenes, or reduce them into a 10-15 minute slot. As she says, "The first movie was lame and some of the actors in the movie were criminally underused." ("Eragon" received 4 Bronze Muffins at the 2008 Dummy Awards and Christopher Paolini (the author of Eragon) received the J.K. Rowling Award for the Dumbest Book-to-Film Adaptation. Nobody likes a dumb movie. Nobody.)

Anyway, while learning about Moviemagic Films' plans to remake several other movies including "The Spirit Keeper," "The Golden Compass," and "Bones of Beauty," I overheard people discussing some post on the Onion News. The post was about some reality TV actress trolled to death because she appeared in a movie called "The End of the Ocean."

OK, I don't like reality TV actors and actresses, as reality TV is pointless, however, we must give them some respect. It wasn't like Katrina Barton planned to be in a bad movie, but that didn't mean the trolls had the right to troll her to death. (Not to worry, the actress is NOT dead; in fact, she returned to her day job on the show "The Great American Celebrities," so that part of the story is over.)

I know you're probably tired of hearing me rant about TV shows and movies, but what else can I rant about? My parents are getting divorced, my mom's selling the house I lived in, my dad's with another woman, and I was forced to leave my friends.

Yeah, that sucks.

Also, I had to live with my cousins in Arizona, the cousins I haven't seen in almost 10 years. Sometimes, I wondered what happened to them during those 10 years. How did they end up in Arizona? Why did they move there? Did Tybalt get a job there or something like that?

Who knows what's going on here?

Anyway, the plane is landing in Phoenix, Arizona, so I should stop writing in this diary and do my obligatory social media postings.

See you later!





MissEnergeticRants: I can't believe I had to spend almost four hours on a flying metal can with no Wi-Fi! How could an airplane not have any Wi-Fi?

7:41 AM - 03 Jan 14

MissEnergeticRants: Within a few minutes, I will leave Florida to live in Arizona.

7:45 AM - 03 Jan 14

MissEnergeticRants: Well, this is it. Good luck, Kristin.

8:05 AM - 03 Jan 14





(Or what Kristin will add to her LiveJournal blog later)

Well, you're not going to believe this. As I was preparing to go on a Twitter rant, the flight attendant came to me, saying, "Miss, you must put away your phone."

So, so why did she tell me to put away my phone? The plane recently touched down in Arizona and I needed to change the clocks in my phone and computer to Mountain Time. "Why don't you want me to use my phone?" I cried out.

"It's rude for you to use your phone during the taxi," said the stewardess.

"I'm just going to update my status on Twitter," I said. Did I really have to spell it out to her, like she's some clueless middle schooler? "What is your problem? Why are you like this?"

"It doesn't matter. I think it's rude for teenagers to use their cell phones while they're on the plane," said the stewardess.

"And what do you have against teenagers using their cell phones," I said.

"Look, young lady, if you don't put your phone away, I'll have to confiscate it," she snapped in anger.

"Fine, whatever," I said as I put my phone back into my bag. Did she not understand that I endured a four-hour flight from Tampa International Airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport without posting a single text, Facebook post, blog post, or tweet? I never got a text from my friends, which was my fault because I never told them that I was leaving a few days ago.

Why can't I use the airport's Wi-Fi to update my Facebook status, I thought as I stared out the window. Airplanes were taking off and landing. The world was going, as if teenagers having to deal with phones without Wi-Fi access didn't matter. Well, this is unfair, I thought as the plane stopped at the gate and the passengers got off. I wonder what's going to happen next.

OK, so now that I'm off the plane, I can't believe my eyes. I always knew the skies in Florida were blue, but this was ridiculous. The skies hovering above Phoenix, Arizona were blue; there wasn't a single cloud in the sky. Phoenix was hot, like the summers in Florida where my friends and I would go to Walt Disney World or Universal Studios. This place was so hot that people could fry eggs on top of their cars.

Nope. The city of Phoenix, Arizona was so hot that someone decided to bake cookies in their car. Several people went to the hospital for heatstroke. It was so hot; a plastic table that was set outside for a lemonade stand melted. This can't be my new home. This is not my life. Yet, this is how I must live, as I can't go back to Florida, and I can't stay with dad.

Well, to cheer myself up, I take out my phone and continue my Twitter rant:

MissEnergeticRants: Finally! I can now update my status! Here I am, stuck in the hottest place in the USA. I can't deal with the fact that I'm in Arizona.

9:23 AM - 03 Jan 14

MissEnergeticRants: This place is so fricking hot, I can't stand it! Why did I even agree to go to Arizona in the first place?

9:36 AM - 03 Jan 14

MissEnergeticRants: I can't believe I did that. I hate my life.

9:41 AM - 03 Jan 14


Well, before I got too far, I saw a woman walking towards me. Cassandra MacPherson wore a blue shirt and some khaki pants, which didn't fit with the environment. Cassandra had blond hair and pale skin, which tanned under the intense heat, but her blue eyes were like water on the beaches.

She said, "I was wondering when you were going to get here, Kris."

"I'm here now," I said.

Cassandra continued, "I don't know why your mother didn't send you to the nearby airport, making me drive to Phoenix, but who knows what Tilly's thinking. Anyway, let's get you home; I'm sure the others are happy to see you."

"I hope so," I said as Cassandra led me to her car. Only the car looked more like a hearse, with its black-and-silver trim. "I hesitate to ask, but is that a...hearse?"

"Only one of the finest," said Cassandra as she loaded my luggage into the spot where the coffin usually sat. "While everyone insists on driving a Lamborghini, your cousin Velvet prefers to drive this. Not to school, though, as vehicles like these often attract a lot of unnecessary attention."

"And why would Velvet want to drive a hearse?" I said.

"She says it's the last car you'll ride in on the road of life," said Cassandra. "While you may come home from the hospital in a Toyota, a Ford, or a Chevrolet, you'll go to your final resting place in a hearse."

"OK then," I said while climbing into my seat and putting my seat belt on. I'm already uncomfortable with riding in a hearse while I was still alive, but this was my cousin's car. I'd better get used to it immediately, as there was no turning back.

"I hope you're tucked in," said Cassandra, "as they say you're ten times more likely to die on the road than in an airplane crash."

I felt sick as the hearse took off towards the city of McDermitt. I was already unhappy with the move and having to stay with my cousins, but to ride in a hearse made me uncomfortable. There was no way I could get used to this new life.

I'm staring out the window, watching as the city of Phoenix got smaller and further behind. Soon, it would be a blip on the horizon, just as my hometown was a spot on the map. It's just temporary, Kristin, I told myself. It's not going to last forever. You'll be back home before you know it.

Then again, not so fast.

Cassandra said, "You remember your Aunt Faye?"

"Faye who?" I said while remembering Lafayette Turner, the old woman who lived on the coast of Savannah, Georgia. She always had a huge bowl of peaches ready to be eaten and a jar full of peanuts. "Why?"

"Well, your aunt's unwell and your mother's going to take care of her for a while," said Cassandra.

"And that's why my mom decided to send me here?" I said. "Because she had to take care of Aunt Faye?"

"Well that, and your father's messing around with a mentally disabled child who can't take care of herself and must have her mom and dad see to her daily needs," Cassandra spat. "I don't know what Scott was thinking when he met that girl, but I won't let him near you, nor will your mother. So you might as well forget about him and pretend he doesn't exist."

After seeing my shocked face, Cassandra softened her voice. "I know you don't like to hear these things because he's your father, but he made his choice. He picked a disabled girl over his own child, his own flesh and blood. Now he doesn't get you back. He doesn't deserve you. But let's put all that away and prepare for your new life here."

I was about to respond when I saw a sign that read "Welcome to McDermott, Arizona" on the side of the road. I stared out the window and saw that the city was spread out over a seemingly small area. McDermott was a moderate-sized town with a population of 45,612 people. It is located in the desert and has a rustic atmosphere. It is best-known for the nearby military base, which was used during World War II. (The base is still in use, by the way.) Many artifacts from that era are still lying around the base.

"What you're looking at is downtown McDermott, where most people live," said Cassandra. "I would love to live down there, but it's too crowded. Also, the rest of the family isn't too fond of living in a space with so many people in it."

"So, where do you live?" said Kristin.

"We live in Copperhill Haven, which is near downtown," said Cassandra as the hearse turned off the highway and down Sun Avenue. "It's a fairly new place with mostly apartments and small houses, nothing too over the top. We're several miles from the local high school and the stores are at the local shopping center, but that's how our town is. Nothing like the tiny town you once lived in, am I right?"

I frowned, knowing she had left a town that had a population of 3,453 people to live in the big city. Not that you could call McDermott a big city, as Phoenix is bigger, but knowing I left the only place I knew and was pushed into an unfamiliar place shocked me.

"Don't get all sad now, Kristin," said Cassandra. "We'll be there soon."

But I'm not sad actually; in fact, I didn't have the dreaded homesickness that affected other teenagers who left home and moved to a new place. I decided to update my Twitter status:

MissEnergeticRants: Well, I'm in McDermott now. I'm no longer in Shawneetown. It appears my banishment from that town is permanent, as in I'm never going back.

11:15 AM - 03 Jan 14


Before I could think about my banishment, Cassandra said, "We're here."

"Here" was a moderately-sized house with a retro look to it and in good condition. The interior is painted in colors reminding you of the night sky while the exterior was the normal red brick, as the other houses were. The yard is small and neatly-trimmed.

At once, a man and three children came out of the house. They were all dressed in black, from black clothes, dyed black hair, and black shoes. I was about to scream when the man said to me, "Is that you, Cristina?"

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