Chapter 1: 13th Birthdays
Chirp! Chirp Chirp! Claire yawned. "Guess it's morning!" She put on a T-shirt and a pair of jeans and went to the restroom to wash. Then she jogged down the stairs and met her mother at the table.
"What's for breakfast?"
"Oh, you're awake! It's your 13th birthday today remember? I baked a cake for you."
"My birthday? Oh yeah! I almost forgot!" Claire grinned, then stopped. She noticed a sad, worried look on her mother's face. "Mom?"
"You don't look happy. Why is that? It's my birthday."
"Oh! Uh, happy? Why, dear! I am happy!" She quickly covered the look with a grin, but Claire could still tell her mother's unhappiness. "Well, even though today is your birthday, you still have to go to school. Come on! Eat up! Don't want to be late!"
Claire gobbled a piece of her cake down and hurried off to school, still wondering about her mom's odd behavior.
Arianna woke up as soon as the sunlight poured in from her window. She yawned and got dressed, then raced across the house to meet her mother at the table. "Morning Mom!"
"Morning? Don't you remember it's your 13th birthday?"
"Birthday!? Almost forgot! Thanks for reminding me Mom!" She took the tray of cupcakes that her mom always baked for her to share with her friends and classmates. "Mm! They sure smell good Mom!"
"Mm-hm! Yeah, eat one a hurry off to school."
Eat one and hurry off to school? Why is mom being so rude and mean to me on my birthday?
Deep in thought, Arianna closed the door and walked her way to school.
Nymphos lazily opened her eyes. "Hmm?"
"We've been calling you for ages!" Her mom said.
"I will not approve of this behavior on your 13th birthday." Her dad told her.
"Can't you let me sleep in on my birthday?"
"You'll be late for school!" Her parents said together in unison.
She hurriedly grabbed a piece of bread and raced out the door. Sheesh! What was that? Nymphos thought as she rode her bike to school.
"Arty! Arty! Artemis!"
"Wh-Whaa?" Artemis climbed out of bed and got dressed, then ran down the stairs and met her dad at the table. She looked around the table. "Umm, dad? It's my birthday, so…"
"Today's your birthday? Oh… Just eat and go off to school."
Artemis sighed. The cookies, cakes, and cupcake thing was something that Mom did, but her mom was off to work early, so no treats. But her dad usually cared more, didn't he? Oh, well… She grabbed a nutrient bar and a pack of trail mix and was off on her way to school. On the way, she gave some nuts to a squirrel and some sunflower seeds to a sparrow.