Author's Note: A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a writing thing, that I must've joined ages ago and forgotten about, saying that there was a short story competition and the story had to start with the words "My father always said that I should think before I act". I now have no idea what the web address of the writing website that sent me the email but I have written the story anyway and now posted it on FictionPress. I had no idea what to call this story so if anyone has a suggestion for the title I will consider it. I'm also thinking of turning it into a series if I get positive responses – what do you think? Ok, please R&R.

S.A.M

My father always said that I should think before I act.

This is Samantha Alice Miller, writing from my bedroom when I am meant to be doing my homework. But, it's only Science and I got bored so I've decided to write whatever just pops into my head! Example: Hey, don't you think that it's cool that my initials are S.A.M and my name is Sam too? I don't think it was intentional but it's wicked anyway!

Anyway, going back to my opening sentence. For instance, take one of my (many) embarrassing moments:

It was the night of my older sister's school play. She was fourteen years old and in Year Nine. The class were putting on their own production of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet". My sister was playing Ophelia and when she 'drowned' I, only seven years old at the time, ran up to the stage, dark pigtails flying behind me, screaming because I thought that she was really dead. Dad said afterwards that I should have remembered that it was just acting.

Now, I am fourteen and Dad and Victoria still don't let me forget it. Every family reunion they manage, no matter what we are talking about, to casually drop it into the conversation and remind relatives of my (stupid) reckless impulsiveness by saying something along the lines of:

"Remember when Sam thought that Victoria actually drowned when she was Ophelia in "Hamlet"?"

What then follows that lovely reminiscence is some description of old relative, usually a great aunt, reminding others that I never had much common sense in the first place:

"Samantha never was a very sensible child."

At this point, needless to say, I want to curl up and die.

But, then again, I suppose it is true; I never have been one to stop and think. I have just always charged into any situation without any kind of plan at all!

According to some people (old people, teachers etc) I never, apparently, do anything right. On the other hand, my sister Victoria, my perfect sister Victoria (don't get me wrong – I do love her), is now twenty one years old and in the eyes of our father can do nothing wrong. She's at university (Oxford – where else) studying medicine (to be a doctor) and she's engaged (but to an idiot named Austin – think preppy, Lacoste-wearing tennis player!)

I, instead, am still struggling academically at school (I'm good at dance, drama and art – non brainy stuff) and I am (still) pathetically boyfriendless.

Victoria is the clever, intellectual one while I am the fun, creative one. At least, that's how I like to see it!

And, if being so different personality wise wasn't enough, we couldn't look more different from each other if we tried! She has this brilliantly blonde hair and the bluest eyes – I have dark brown hair and brown coffee coloured eyes (people tell me that I have really pretty eyes); Victoria is fairly short and petite whereas I am taller and not fat but not quite as thin as her (she's really skinny though); she has pale skin and blushes easily (which she hates) but I have lightly tanned skin all year round and, luckily, I never blush.

People are always saying to me things like:

"Sam, you're so different from your sister."

I always reply, "Yeah, but we must be sisters because there's no way we'd be able to annoy each other so much if we weren't!"

We may be as different as night and day but we love each other and we love Dad. He's raised us since Mum died when I was a baby. I have this picture of her and I look just like her; practically identical. Sometimes I think that that's a good thing but other times I see Dad, Victoria and other people that knew Mum looking at me and I know that they're thinking of her. It happens when I'm talking too – they kind of zone out and look like they aren't listening to me. I must have the same voice or mannerisms or something as Mum as well.

Dad's amazing; the best father in the world. He loves to have a bit of a joke about stuff and he's great fun! He's always smiling proudly at Victoria's dedication, saying how hardworking she is and he's always laughing at my spontaneity.

Another one of my most embarrassing moments was when I was thirteen and in the 'Festival of Success' at school. It's an annual thing held at the end of the school year which includes all the good things that pupils have achieved. (All the 'cool', 'popular' kids think that it's stupid and lame.) Parents are invited to come and watch, kids read out poems they've written, there are little drama sketches and the orchestra play.

Anyway, that year I was doing a dance with five other girls (Pam, Louise, Laura, Sarah and Kerry.) It was a high energy, complicated routine with plastic bottles as props to clap together and stuff and I kept messing it up. There was ultra violet and strobe lighting that kept putting me off. Thankfully, on the actual night of performance it was fine but in one particularly bad rehearsal I managed to rush onto the stage, bottles in hands, when the act before our dance was still performing. Then, when it was our turn I dropped one of my bottles.

It was only rehearsal but I am still remembered, nearly a year later, as 'Sam the bottle girl'.

Huh.

I suppose it's sort of funny now but at the time I wanted to sink into the ground. Dad and Victoria didn't ever find out about that and they only saw the routine perfectly performed on the actual night. Dad would laugh forever if he knew; he's always telling me to be more logical, less foolish (not in a nasty way or anything though) and that I shouldn't rush into things.

I guess I should at least, maybe, try – even though it is against my character!

My father always said that I should think before I act!