the feeling she was feeling tonight was not unfamiliar, she thought.

one Spring night in 1994, she slept wakefully on her stiff twin size bed, lined with a too large Beauty and the Beast sheet... her heart was racing that evening, mind eager, she tossed and turned, and fell in-and-out of a shallow slumber, until finally the sun began to rise. that year, she was just eight-years-old, and that morning, she was going to Disneyland.

fast forward.

tonight is a balmy summer night. the year is 2009, and tomorrow, I am going to Las Vegas.

this wasn't the standard weekend trip that many Southern Californians, especially those from the city of Los Angeles, seemed to always take - like a necessary weekend getaway for the tired puppets in life's rat race to momentarily forget the miserable life they lead back at home, or the kind of spontaneous weekend getaway where the puppet masters display ostentatiously their wealth and success to impress, with hopes to ultimately bed, artificially beautiful young women.

no, it meant much more to her than that. for her, this little trip to the brightest city in the world would give her a glimpse of the meaning of independence, it would remind her that once upon a time, she was confident, strong, free. but at 11:43p.m this evening, as she lay flat on her back staring blankly into the dark space before her, with her best friend of twelve years breathing steadily and restfully next to her, she could only muse on, and a bit anxiously, what the next two days might hold.

even after an entire evening's full of musings, she was by no means prepared for what was to take place that fateful weekend in late July. life as she had known it, lived it, would come to an end, and she was going to embrace it.

chapter 4

on truths, lies and opinions