Chapter One

"Hold your horses," Natera Neil heard her mom, Dolly, yell.

"I don't have any," she muttered to herself as she sat down on the living room couch. Might as will get comfortable, she thought, it is going to be a while. She sighed again for like the millionth time this morning. Will we ever make it to my graduation ceremony today?

"Mom!" she yelled. "Hurry up!"

"I'm coming," Dolly said as she entered the living room. "Do you have everything?"

"Mom," Natera sighed. "I've only been ready for like the last past hour. We don't want to be late for my graduation."

Her mom looked at her proudly, with tears filling her green eyes. "My baby is all grown up," she said sadly.

Natera got off the couch and gave her mom a big hug. She pulled away, "Can we go now?"

"Go get your father."

"Sure," she said. She ran up the stairs, skipping two at a time.

"Dad!" she called as she entered her parent's bedroom. She looked around the room, but found that it was empty. Maybe he is in his office, she thought. She walked out of the room and back in the hallway. She turned right and walked towards his office. When she came to the door, it was closed. She silently opened the door and entered through it.

She found that her dad was absorbed with some paperwork on his desk. Somehow, sitting there, he seemed much older and…sadness was on his face.

"Daddy," Natera called softly. Her father, Tom, quickly looked up from his desk and right at his daughter. "Lets go. We don't want to be late."

Tom just stared at her with his brown eyes that looked sad and deep in thought. Soon realization finally hit him and his eyes widened when he looked down at his watch. "Lets hurry the hell up," he said while getting out of his desk chair.

Somewhere, deep down inside, Natera could somehow feel that something was not right with him. "Dad," she worriedly said. "Is everything all right?"

"Of course everything is," Tom said a little too happily. He pulled Natera into a hug. He pulled back and looked at her. Some kind of an emotion was still in eyes his, but Natera could place it. Natera tried to gave her father a reassuring smile.

He looked down at his watch again. It was 9:45. There was only 15 minutes left till the graduation ceremony begun. "Lets get going," he said. He looked at Natera, with a mischievous glint in his eyes. "I'll race you."

He ran out of the office. "Its about time," Natera muttered before racing after her father.