Prologue

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April 3rd, 2008

Dad yelled from downstairs; "Damian Eric Silva! You will not be the reason why we are late to your sister's award ceremony! So get your butt down here and we have to go!"

I shrugged on the nearest hoodie, a faded grey 'Washington Wizards', which was now a size too small, but still my favourite and half walked/ half ran down the stairs, two at a time. Quickly sprinting to my seat, behind the drivers in the car. I was able to beat everyone, by a mere few seconds. "See Dad I'm not the reason we're going to be late. You are the slow coach!" I said proudly as he took his place in front of me.

He laughed mischievously, "Is that so? Am I the slow coach? Well, let's see about that shall we?" He said, with his already grey eyes sparkling in the light, turning around to ruffle my hair. I giggled uncontrollably trying to push his large hands away from me but he just progressed to tickling me instead.

"Ian we don't have time for this, we are late as we are! Not to mention the rush into the city will be manic by now!" Mum scolded from the passenger's seat whilst Mia hummed in agreement.

"Mum's right we have to go" she chipped in with her high-pitched, preppy squeal.

"Urgh, we have to go" I mimicked just to irritate her, which made her try to mock me and that's how the journey commenced as we drove into Washington DC- one of the greatest cities in the world.

After the journey, we arrived at a huge auditorium, where tonnes of students and parents of different ages filled the seats. The room was dimly lit, with the main light coming from the large stage at the bottom of the theatre. Most of the events were boring. They would read out competitions, award prizes to the top three, and then have first place read their entry. All of these competitions were to do with English, boring, not to mention my worst subject. The worst part was each competition was awarded by age: 10-12, 13-15, 16-18. Since my sister had turned 16 last month she was in the last round of competitions- which meant we were stuck till the very end.

I don't remember when but I fell asleep during the first hour, only to be jostled awake by my mother. "Our final competition in the 10-12 category is poetry" the presenter bellowed. I groaned - I absolutely hated poetry. Why would people write random things, in weird orders, that don't even make sense? It was beyond me. I ignored the presenter award the prizes and the names. But then a silky, smooth voice came over the speaker.

"My poem is called Breathe and it goes like this...

Trees tower above us, like giants

colossal in their form

powerful because their tops can't be touched

wind will blow through their branches

like their calming heartbeats

bristling their leaves, but unable to keep a hold

for they are their own being

they can control how they work

they inhale the wind when they want

they can breathe a lot

or they can breathe a little"

His voice faltered a little on the last line. But it was perfect all the way through. He took a brave look up at the audience and I swear he caught my eyes. For that moment we were looking at each other everything was alright. For all I could see was the most amazing swirl of green and hazel.

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