I bounced down the stairs to my thirteenth birthday dinner with optimisim radiating from the depths of my soul. Or at least what I thought was my soul. It was going to be a good year, I was certain of it. This was the year I would be a brace-face no more, and I was sure it would be the year my unruly hair would decide to cooperate. (I was praying the flat-iron I requested for my birthday would be sitting on the dining room table.)
"Happy Birthday!" Mom said.
"Thanks," I smiled.
Lingering at the dining room table, I studied my presents, looking for a long rectangular box that would be sure to hold my greatest desire. Winter crashed into the chair on the other side of the table rolling her eyes at me. I looked my younger sister over and decided I would be nice to her tonight.