At midnight, a child is born, and she is everything her parents always wanted.
At 1 AM, she skips off to kindergarten in her new blue dress, grasping her Barbie lunchbox, blonde pigtails flying behind her as she races the boy across the street to the bus stop.
At 2 AM, she puts away her toys.
At 3 AM, she is the only girl in all of sixth grade who still has a Barbie lunchbox, and she has no friends.
At 4 AM, she accepts her place as an outsider looking in.
At 5 AM, her hair is greasy and her room is messy and her grades are dropping, and she is everything her parents never wanted.
At 6 AM, she fights herself for the right to go on living.
At 7 AM, she meets a boy, and he is everything she always dreamed he would be, and they fall in love and nothing else matters.
At 8 AM, they forget to use condoms just one time.
At 9 AM, her child is born, and the boy of her dreams left her long ago, and her father is dying, and there is nobody who can help her, and her life is everything she never wanted.
At 10 AM, she begins working for a better future.
At 11 AM, she graduates night school and her daughter graduates from third grade, and her father dies.
At noon, she wonders where her life has gone so fast.
At 1 PM, her mother dies of heartbreak, and her daughter graduates high school, and she is alone again.
At 2 PM, she meets a man.
At 3 PM, she is in love for the second time, and she cries at her wedding because there is nobody to walk her down the aisle.
At 4 PM, she walks her daughter down the aisle.
At 5 PM, her daughter is financially stable and happily married and pregnant, and she couldn’t be prouder.
At 6 PM, her daughter has a miscarriage.
At 7 PM, she grieves with her daughter, and watches as she blames her husband and her husband blames her right back, and is not surprised when her daughter announces that she is filing for divorce.
At 8 PM, her husband dies.
At 9 PM, she is alone again, and her daughter lives far away and always promises that she will come to visit as soon as she can, and she never gets any visitors.
At 10 PM, she wonders if her life had any meaning at all.
At 11 PM, she watches the leaves change from orange to brown and dreams of her parents and of her husband and of the grandchild she never got to meet, and she closes her eyes for the last time.
At midnight, a child is born, and he is everything his parents always wanted.