If you ever thought that your life was hard, you were highly mistaken. My life is so bad, that I can't even describe it in words. You just have to feel it. But, it's not all bad. I mean, sometimes, life is so perfect. It has to be, for all the hard stuff it throws your way. You can't choose when to succeed, or when to fail, or when to fall in love. And we just have to learn how to deal. No matter how much we wish we didn't.

And my life is so complicated, I can't even figure out how I got here.

Well, no, that's a lie; I know exactly how everyone around me got here, but not myself.

Everything began at my parents wedding. My real parents. And everything fell apart five years ago, when Veronica showed up. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the very beginning.

I believe that it all started the day my parents got married. My mom was already pregnant with me, the only child they ever had.

I mean, I don't blame them. But, how can we promise that we're going to feel the same way for forever? That only death will part us. Even when divorce rates are rising at alarming rates.

But, divorce? No, that's not my problem. That isn't even in the equation.

When I was young, I thought my family was the picture perfect example of the All-American family. We were normal. And that's all I ever wanted us to be. Just my dad, my mom, and me. We were perfect together.

And I thought we always would be.

Until the news came that my mom had cancer that couldn't be treated. Nothing could save her. I thought that that was the end of the world. But I was wrong.

It was July 5th, three years later, when she died. She was in critical the entire night before. I lay with her, holding her hand, urging her to stay strong. I was the one who prayed by her bed while her body gave up the need to fight. While she died before my eyes. During all this, Dad had somehow disappeared. And I saw when her heartbeat slowed, and then stopped. I cried all morning, lying against her cold body, when they took her away. I went back home, walking. I slipped through the whole in the fence, ran through the sprinklers in the neighbor's yard, went through yet another hole, and into the house.

And that's when I saw her.

I hadn't seen the red sports car, or the inconceivably high heels lying by the door. I hadn't seen the designer coat hanging in the door, though it was almost a hundred degrees out. Until now.

She smiled at me, and I glanced over to see Dad smiling too. They were both sipping away at drinks. Long Island iced tea for the lady, martini for Dad. I couldn't smile, not after what had happened. So, I just looked over at Dad with a puzzled look on my face, then to her, and then back again.

She must have been half his age, then. Dad was smiling at her now, like a lovesick puppy. Of course, I had misinterpreted that as drunken happiness. I smiled halfheartedly, the smile not reaching my face.

And then Dad said, "Oh, Isa, I'm so glad you're here. Veronica, meet my daughter, Isa. Isa, meet Veronica, my fiancée."

I saw the ring on her finger. But, that was the least of it. I noticed that her stomach was round. I quirked my head to the side, studying her movements.

"Oh," was all she said with delighted surprise, as she brought a hand to her stomach.

She rubbed it tenderly, and looked up at my father, my father with a look of pure affection.

And then I realized.

She was pregnant. With my half-sister, who was due in three weeks.

They both turned to smile at me. He was holding her hand, like nothing had ever been so great.

And it all pieced together.

And then the world stopped. Or at least, it should have.