"Oh Maria, Maria! Hand Amethyst her hairbrush!"

It started in the third little miss sunshine competition my sister had entered into, she had won each time and she was going for a third win. That's why my mother was asking me to hand her the hairbrush, I was always getting pushed into the dressing room to help her get ready. I hated this, I hated this place, the girls here are always the same plastic looking bitches! Doing the same act, year in year out!

As the clock struck ten past three me, my father and my mother excused our selves from the changing room, to go take our seats at the front. As I leaned back in my chair, I looked around waiting for it to begin and end as soon as possible.

I think I fell asleep for most of the show, I was only woken up when my mother jabbed me in the ribs to tell me that Amethyst was just about to do her performance. My sister flounced and smiled, fluttering her eyelids and skipping around the stage singing puff the magic dragon in a small pink bikini. It made my blood run cold, as my sister's act ended and everyone clapped and showed off their pearly white teeth, I wished for the ground to open up and swallow me whole, after a couple minutes a new girl came on, I'd never see her before, long long brown hair, sparkling eyes, with a fantastic top hat and suite on.

My brain immediately switched back on as she made a speech about her grandfather and then she began to dance. It was hilarious, as Olive did her dirty dance I couldn't help smiling, yes it was funny, but it was obvious that this girl loved being here and not just about winning the gold like all the plastic's did!

But just as I was really getting into it some of the barbies began to boo, I just couldn't deal with that, so I stood up and began to clap. Looking back it was one of the best things I ever did, not just because my mother hated me doing it, but because I got to stand up to what I had hated my whole life. Everyone was staring at me, until a man in a white shirt and bandages around his wrists stood up, looked over at me and began clapping, soon after this the whole family followed on, they all had given me a small smile before turning to Olive.

It was only then that I noticed the main judge had disappeared and the host was chasing the little girl around the stage.

I felt my father tug at my shirt sleeve, he tugged harder and harder, until he eventually pulled me back onto my seat with a crash, but even that didn't take my attention away from the dance, it appeared that the girl's father had started to dirty dance next to her and soon the man in white and a tall dark haired teenager jumped on after.

It was such a sight to see them all dancing around her, it was like looking into an alternate universe. I wasn't use to seeing family's act like this, my mother and father sit at opposite ends of the table, they could have been living on different planets, they never spoke! But all of Olive's family where up there dancing, when the music stopped to my dismay they were carted off by a policeman and I thought I would never see them again.

"I can't believe you, Maria! How dare you cheer on those freaks!"

"There not freaks mum, their people, not mindless robots like all those other stick bitches back there!"

"language!" my mother shrieked, I crossed my arms and raised my eye brows at her.

"english and I speak a little spanish"

Before my Mother could have a go at me, my sister distracted her by saying, "Mother isn't that the freaks?"

As we all turned to stare at the sunflower yellow van and the people getting inside, I knew this is was my chance, so I ran, I ran over to them, no matter how many times my mother screamed my name.

"Hi sorry to interrupt, but you were fantastic!" They all turned to look at me while I regained my breathe, Olive's face lit up as she replied "thanks."

"Hey you were the first one to start clapping Olive on, that was really nice of you." I turned my head to look at the man in white, I was later informed that his name was Frank.

"Yeah that was me, I was happy to see some actual talent up on the stage, my names Maria by the way, Maria Anderson."

"Hi Maria, this is my mom and dad, this is uncle Frank and this is my brother Dwayne." Olive said, grinning from ear to ear.

"You were all fantastic!" They were all smiling now and Olive's mum hugged her daughter tight.

"Maria Anderson come her now!"

"I'll be over soon mother!"

"So that's your mom over there and oh, is that your sister?" Olive asked "yeah that's them, I better go before they drag me back there, here, I'd love to meet you again Olive, all of you. Look here's my number, call me please, bye!"

With that I ran away from the best people I would ever meet for the rest of my life, hoping it wouldn't be the last.

I never forgot about the Hoovers, they were all I thought about for a month, I never had anything else to think about. I liked everything about them, they were real, not covered in lies and plastic surgery. Of course I got told off when I got home, but what could they take away from me, I didn't go to school, I had no friends to see. It was a depressing child hood, now I look back, me and my sister were brought up to be respectable ladies of the world, best at everything, beautiful and clever, sometimes I thought the only reason my mum and dad got together was because they were both good looking and loaded with cash.

Only I turned out wrong, I was clever and I got told I was good looking, but I couldn't think of anything worse then being a Miss America or a supermodel. My brother Andy was marrying a duchess and would soon have a title, little Amethyst was the owner of three Little Miss Sunshine trophies and a scholarship for a modelling agency. What did I have, good grades and cuts on my both my wrists.

Maybe that was why I was so thrilled when I got a call from Olive's mum asking me if I wanted to come and visit or not, when I told them where I lived, she sounded shocked and told me not to bother, it would cost to much. It was then that I explained that after my Nan had died, leaving me half of her fortune and hardly a penny to my parents, she calmed down and we agreed that I would come down this weekend, it was a holiday and so Olive would be off school.

Those three days went slower then three years, my mother was happy to get me out of the house, though she didn't dare to admit it, Amethyst laughed at me and said she'd always known I was a freak "Better to be a freak then a Barbie doll." I said sourly and with that I picked up my bags and got in the car to the airport.

As we drove up to the front of the house, I let out a sigh of relief, it was so, so, so NORMAL!

The driver helped me with my bags to the front door, I thanked him and as he drove away I picked up the knocker and let it fall on the orange door, from inside I could hear them talking "Olive can you go get that, it will probably be Maria, you go help her Dwayne, she'll have bags." Just like that Olive opened the door, in little pink shorts, red cow boy boots and a smile stretching across her sweet young happy face "Hi Maria!"

"Hi Olive!" as I lugged in my bags, Dwayne walked over, picked up the heaviest one and carried it like it was thin air. "Thanks Dwayne." He just turned around and smiled.