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[Chapter 1]

Life is not easy. Itís a popular quote often used time and time again. What does it mean to not have an easy life? Look at Madison Larsonís life. She only wanted a stable and normal lifestyle. Instead she endures what the typical girl doesnít, but does it necessarily mean an unhappy ending?

Madison Larson was born in Redlands, California, where she lived for nine years. Redlands was the only place where she lived the longest. After the summer of 1992, Madison and her family began their atypical lifestyle. Madison was born into a military family. Moving around the world was common and frequent. Madison often found herself not staying anywhere long enough to maintain a lasting friendship. Her family never stayed in a place for longer than seven months. Sometimes she would be living in Madrid, other times, she would be in Germany or back in the states. Being an only child made things tougher, she doesnít have a companion her age to share her experiences with. Occasionally, Madison would visit Redlands for Christmas and spend time with family and childhood friends.

Dear Diary,

Who would have thought?!? Iím eighteen, well next month is my birthday, what am I going to do? Iíve seen all there is to see in the world. But I still donít know what to do with my life. Iíve been so lonely all these years, moving from place to place. I barely have any close friends except the ones who I know since my childhood. I do know that I do not want to enlist in the military, ever. I want to build a life and find someone who will do the same with me. Iím ready to settle down and the military is no place to spend the rest of your life. Iíve always kept diaries, this is actually the first page and a lot has happened the past year. Iím actually back in the states and attending college. Itís a switch of scenery because the people here are actually my age and none of them have shaved their heads. I spent this past year away from my parents. Iím attending the University of Massachusetts, majoring in sports management. Itís the one thing Iíve held onto since living in Redlands fifteen years ago. I love sports, the thrill of victory and the excitement that surrounds the team. Groups of people sharing a common goal to work hard and make it to the big leagues. Except, I never made it big. A few of my friends are doing very well, especially Landon Donovan. That kid is great and kicking some butt in soccer. We use to play with the Spanish kids down the street. We learned a thing or two from them, soccer and Spanish. Then thereís Mikey Brennan, a top prospect for the major leagues. Boy that guy has an arm that can throw. It was always me, Mikey and Landon. We were the three musketeers. We use to be neighbors. Gosh, all of this is making me teary eyed. I miss them. Iíve kept in touch with Landon over the years. I lost touch with Mikey when he moved to North Carolina. Iíd better stop talking about my childhood, a diary is for me writing what I have done today. And all I have done is think. Massachusetts is great, but it was hard to make friends. I have a few, but Iíve only known them for a few months. Anyways, thatís not the reason for me writing today. Landon and I have talked a lot for the past few months. Iíve visited him when he came to Foxboro to play against the New England Revolution. Iíve talked to him on the phone a few times, but mainly we email each other. Landon wants me to fly to Redlands to hang with him for the summer. I think Iím going to goÖ


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