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The Night of a Lifetime

For teenagers every problem (no matter how big or small) is a big deal. If they have too much homework, and can?t make it to the basketball game to hang out with their friends, it?s just not fair. When the boy or girl they?ve been infatuated with says they?re going to call, and never does, it?s heartbreaking. When all these small problems seem like such a big deal, it only makes sense for the even bigger problems to be devastating. All teenagers deal with these problems in different ways. For Amber, a teenage girl growing up in a small town, it seemed the only way she could get through her problems was by hurting herself, and in the end, everyone else around her too.

Growing up in a small town can be tougher than a big city, because it?s harder to get away from your problems when everyone knows about them and keeps reminding you of them. Amber found that she could at least forget her problems, along with everything else, by going out to parties on the weekends and getting "wasted". She hung out with a good group of girls, and her boyfriend was the captain of the football team, so no one suspected a thing.

One night though, Amber went too far, and when she came home drunk and passed out on her bed, she scared her parents half to death. It was a rough patch in her life, and hurting her family like that made it even rougher.

Autumn never told anyone, but one of her greatest fears was losing all of her friends by getting too wrapped up in a boy. It seemed like it all just happened so fast, and in just one day Autumn?s friends decided that they were sick of being put second to Autumn?s relationship with her boyfriend. She was so upset and confused that her boyfriend decided he didn?t want to be dragged down by her unhappy life. Autumn suddenly found herself more alone then ever.

It definitely didn?t seem to help that Autumn?s parents were out of town while all of this was happening. Instead of letting that add to her stress though, Autumn decided to take advantage of the situation. She called up all of her old "drinking buddies" and let them all know that she would be hosting that nights drinking binge. Autumn didn?t even think twice about having a party at her house, her parents were out of town, her sister would be staying the night at her boyfriends house, and with all that had happened that week getting "trashed" seemed like her only way out.

When everyone got to her house, the party started and Autumn didn?t waste a minute opening up the beer. She designated all the rooms and areas so there would be no conflict in interests that night, and the drama would be kept at a minimum. The living room and kitchen were the drinking rooms, the back porch was the smoking area, and she even lit some candles in her sister?s room to set the mood for the make-out area.

The party was pretty laid back; everyone just kept to their areas and mingled. At around 3:00 am Autumn had had way more than she should?ve to drink. She was drunk, but coherent enough to kick everyone who wasn?t staying the night out, and make sure everything was done before she went to bed. She made sure everyone in the make-out room had somewhere to sleep, and that they would blowout the candles before they went to bed. She made sure everyone was inside from the smoking area and all the doors were locked, and she made sure to take the dogs out and put them in her parents room. She brushed her teeth and made her way into her bedroom, and found her friend Chris totally passed out in her bed. She slapped him around a little bit until he barely opened his eyes a little bit and mumbled, "Wow, you sure do like turtles don?t you." Autumn?s room was full of turtle stuffed animals, figurines, pictures, and even two real water turtles and a desert tortoise which she referred to as her "babies." She laughed and helped Chris make his way out to the living room couch. Autumn made it back to her room and fell asleep in no time at all.

Around 4:30 am, the most unexpected thing happened which changed Autumn?s life forever. Her big problem suddenly popped up, and it was the most devastating of all of her problems. Autumn was sound asleep when one of the girls who had been in the make-out room all night came stumbling in her door shouting incoherently. Autumn opened her eyes and saw her shaking and screaming at the top of her lungs. It took Autumn a second but she finally woke up enough to realize what the girl was yelling. Autumn shot out of bed and started sweating so hard that it was dripping into her eyes making it hard to see. It didn?t stop her though it just made her cry, and blurred her vision even more. Autumn ran back to towards the back of the house and saw smoking pouring out of her sister?s room. She ran a little further and in the corner of her eye she saw little orange flames creeping out of the room getting bigger and bigger.

Autumn had imagined something like this happening before, because no one knew, but it was also another one of her biggest fears. When Autumn imagined it happening in her mind though, she imagined at least having enough time to get everything she wanted out of the house, and she imagined having her family there to help her know what to do next.

Autumn knew that she at least had to get everyone out of the house first. She ran to the living room and woke up everyone who had passed out on the couches. She ran to her parent?s room next because she knew she had to get the animals out too. She grabbed the dogs and started running as fast as she could back to her room to get her "babies." She was too late though, and she couldn?t make it through all the smoke to even get one foot past her bedroom door. She ran back to the living room to make sure no one was left, and the flames followed quickly behind her. She had time to grab her purse that happened to be sitting right next to the door and run outside, just in time to see the back and right side of her house crumble right before her eyes.

The fire woke the neighbors and they had called the fire department. When the firemen came and started to put out the fire, Autumn just stood there in her bare feet shaking. She was terrified of what would happen next. When the fire was all pretty much all put out Autumn spotted her turtle tank towards the back of their property where her room was nothing but a pile of black ruble. She started to cry even harder, and then she felt a hand on her shoulder. Chris was standing behind her and he whispered to her I?m sorry about your babies. Autumn looked around her and saw that she had saved only three things. She had saved her too dogs, who were wrapped up in a blanket, and her purse filled with nothing but gum, Chap Stick, and her wallet.

Autumn thought about what had happened. Instead of the normal thoughts of what she could do to get away from it all though, something different crossed her mind. She thought of all the memories that she had just lost, for not only herself but her family also, and her poor babies. She realized that she is not the only thing in her life and that everyone around her that loves her is part of it also. Most of all she realized though, that if she can?t deal with the small problems without hurting herself, the big problems are going to come and hurt everyone else because of it.

What inspired me to write this story was not only our deep thought topics on what we would take if our house was burning and the one about loneliness, but also my fears. A lot of this story is fictional but the plot is based on my own personal fears. What happened to Autumn is what I am most afraid of happening to me in real life.

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