March 17, 2008
By Alison Weisbach, Cincinnati, OH

"Adja! I think your ride just pulled into our driveway. Hurry up!" Adja rolled her eyes at her mother, who was busying herself in the kitchen baking brownies, cupcakes, and cookies of all sorts for Tawny, Ajda's older sister's, cheerleading bakesale the next morning. This youngest child, overshadowed by the achievements of her Miss America sister, crossed her deep purple, poster-clad bedroom to her slightly ajar door and glimpsed her reflection in a tall full-sized mirror. BArely aware, Adja disregarded the mirrored image which she had grown used to: short brown hair with messy bangs, not long and cascading like Tawny's silky golden locks; and black baggy pants, with a low-cut "Je t'aime" T-shirt and shimmering, silver stud earrings. Within seconds, Adja had escaped the confines of her sister's domain. She climbed into the passenger seat, closed the door, and smiled wistfully at the male driver, reaching voer to ruffle his already unrully brunette waves. After a movie and appearances at several parties, the pair pulled into a gas station. At the counter, paying fro the gas, the middle-aged female cashier gave Adja the once over and commented, "I swear, you kids today are nocturnal." Accepting her change, Adja grinned inwardly adn contemplated the heavy-eyed woman's sarcastic comment. Making her way back to the car, crossing her arms tightly across her chest in reaction a sudden drop in temperature, Adja silently agreed: "We are noctural. And why not? Everything exciting and riveting happens when the sun's rays are banished from the sky and darkness engulfs homes, streets, and neighborhoods. Most people use these short, few hours to party, drink, and hook-up. Sure, I do those things," Adja thought, "but that is not why I adore the nightlife. These are times of my life when I am free from my sister's domain and my parents' disappointment. I am not judged, good or bad." Climbing into the car, allowing the heat to surround her, the oppressed youngest daughter looked over at her stormy, seagreen eyed companion. "However," she thought, "during these hours I am free to love and be loved." And with that, they pulled out of the gas station, and sped off to the next, unknown midnight adventure.

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