To be able to understand me you first need to understand my family. My name is Anyanna Atwood and I'm 15 years old. I bet that nine out of ten of you can't pronounce my first name, so here it is AN-YA-NA. I'm quite happy with my name as it is unique but it drives me crazy when people try to say it but fail miserably. You see when I was born my mother Marissa wanted to call me Anya whilst my father Ryan wanted to call me Anna. They couldn't decide so my Aunt Summer and Uncle Seth suggested that they put the names together thus my name was created. However many people still do get it wrong so I make them call me Annie for short.
I'm the oldest child of three. My brother Anthony is ten and my sister May is five. My parents Marissa and Ryan got married soon after I was born when they were 20. They met when they were 16 and had a rather rocky relationship in their teen years to put it lightly! It all surrounded love and they have been together since. They both attended Berkley where my father studied architecture whilst my mother studied business management. Dad is now the most popular architect in the OC and has his own company 'Atwood Architecture Ltd.'. Mum however used her passion for fashion and knowledge of business management to open a fashion business line with Aunt Summer called 'Roberts Cooper Fashions'. Whilst she attended Providence College Aunt Summer studied fashion design when she wasn't on the 20 minute drive to Brown to see Uncle Seth that is! Their fashion line is extremely popular and they sell out of tickets for fashion shows within minutes of the tickets going on sale each time a show is on. Both businesses are so popular that they constantly work thus I work hard in my free time to look after Anthony and May. We do however spend the weekends together so we can have some real family time. It can be hard at times but there are three people I can depend on for help, Uncle Seth, Grandma Kirsten and Grandpa Sandy.
Uncle Seth Cohen may also be a success with his own business but he is always around. You see he writes a worldwide popular comic book series called Atomic County and his comic book company is called 'Oats & Sparkle Co.'. The only thing is that he hates working in the offices of his work or any office at that so he works from home mainly. He does go to the office from time to time for meetings and checking work but that is only once or twice a week for about an hour! Whilst working from home he looks after the kids, my three cousins Peter who is 13, Hannah who is 10, and Isabelle who is 7. Uncle Seth is one of my favorite relatives as with mum and dad not being around much I talk to him about everything. My father and Seth are very similar but at the same time are poles apart! But there is one thing in particular I love about Seth and that is his Chrismukkah parties. My birthday is at Christmas so Seth tends to mix my birthday celebrations in with the already mixed up Chrismukkah celebrations. I fear this year will be no exception!
Even though my Uncle Seth and my father are brothers as you have probably figured out they have different surnames. That is because my father was fostered by Grandma Kirsten and Grandpa Sandy when he was 16 and was adopted by them when he was 18. I have always enjoyed visiting my grandparents as being the eldest they treat me like the adult I wish to be treated as. Grandma Kirsten helps Grandpa Sandy with the Newport Group that she inherited from he fathers' will. When she is not doing that, she hosts parties and charity events with Grandma Julie (my mothers' mother). She helps mum and Aunt Summer with a lot of their fashion shows and charity events as well. As for Grandpa Sandy, he is the CEO of the Newport Group but still helps out with public defending when his old work colleagues call for his help. He still surfs every morning and has his addiction to bagels. I swear his addictions to bagels and surfing will make him out live us all!
I don't see my Grandma Julie except for the occasions when I bump into her when I visit Grandma Kirsten and Grandpa Sandy at their house. Julie has been on off married so many times I've lost track! My biological grandfather is Jimmy Cooper who I never get to see but adore so. He lives in Miami with his wife Katie but they have no children together. I write to him all the time and I receive numerous presents and letters from him. He says that I am the only grandchild that communicates with him often. My siblings are too young and only communicate with him at holidays and birthdays. I think him living away is the reason why he gives me things. Jimmy now owns his own seafood restaurant with Katie which is very popular. I'm happy he has been able to find happiness given his past here. He lives on a boat which I love and have spent a whole summer on when I was ten. I like the prospect of living on a boat as you can go anywhere and I know that Grandpa Jimmy can visit us anytime he can. I miss him so but have great delight when he writes to me.
There aren't any other relatives I know. My Great Grandma Cohen died when I was three and my Great Grandpa Caleb Nickle died a few years before my parents got married. As for my Aunt Katlin (my mothers' little sister), she left Newport as quickly as she returned after boarding school. We never talk about her and as far as I know mother never communicates with her. The same goes for dad with his brother Trey and his parents.
I never –
"Hey Annie! Honey what are you doing out here this early on a Saturday morning?" A familiar voice asked. Anyanna looked up from her notepad to see her Grandpa Sandy approaching her all wet and carrying his surfboard under one arm.
"It's not that early Grandpa"
"It's 6:45am on a Saturday morning so I'd say that is pretty early for a teen like you" he replied planting his board in the sand before sitting down next to her. She was on her favorite part of the beach, the old white life guard hut which was never used anymore. Since no one really goes there she liked to call it her place.
"A teen like me? I prey you illuminate me at once on such a subject!" he laughed running a hand through his hair
"I have to say you are a unique one Annie. But you have the excuse of not needing your beauty sleep to have the ability to be here right now" she closed her notepad and shook her had with a smile
"You may have clear vision when it comes to life and surfing but you are truly blind when it comes to me. Still it was very sweet of you to say. So how are the waves this morning?"
"It has been a good turnout. I'm off back home, do you fancy a lift with your old grandpa?" he asked
"Do you mind if I decline? Tonight's charity ball is driving mum mad as well as the rest of us! I swear mum has been hosting these events for so long I would have thought she wouldn't get stressed by them by now! You are coming tonight aren't you?" they stood up and he picked up his board
"Of course we will. Isn't your dad's new associate coming tonight?"
"Yeah I think that is why mum and dad are so stressed. You know how Great Grandpa Caleb was like the Donald Trump of the OC?" Sandy nodded as they began to walk towards his car. "Well according to dad Gregory Collins is the new Caleb Nickle and more so. He's made quite a reputation in the architect world apparently, and with this being the event that brings his family into Newport society the tension is higher then ever"
"I guess it is understandable why your mum and dad are so stressed out then. Just think that everything will be back to normal after tonight. Tell you what, I'll swing by later to rescue you for a while" he placed his board in the car
"Thanks, I'd give anything for an extra minute away from hair rollers, designer dresses and balloons! You swear you will come later, promise me!"
"I'll bring bagels to seal the deal, how about that?" she instantly kissed his cheek
"My knight in shining armour! See you then Grandpa" he gave her a hug before driving away. She retuned to her place and reopened her notepad retuning to where she let off.
I never quite understand my place here. I'm popular but love to be unique. I keep my real self distant from everyone else as I've never really wanted anyone to know my private life, an asset I've inherited from my father. I'm so different from my family though. I've inherited my mothers' beauty as everyone keeps pointing out to me constantly as well as her natural brown hair and emerald eyes. My personality however is completely my own. I love poetry, art, literature, and I long to travel through Europe. I've always wanted to go to India and New Zealand as well. Anthony and May however are both copies of my dad with their blonde hair and blue eyes. If you remove their childish behavior and charms you'd find two hard working kids who are rather quiet and shy when it comes to them.
Either way I have a voice and a place unique in my family which I'd never give up for the world. Welcome to the world of the Cohen's, Atwood's, and Cooper's. Certain aspects may not be pretty or perfect or even happy, but who can anybody say otherwise about their families? My name is Anyanna Atwood and I'm 15 years old. If you've managed to make it through the complicated past generations of my family, wait until you hear more about mine!