". . . and it's packed! Goodbye, little hell hole! I hope never to see you all again!" I packed my bags, ready to sneak out in the dark. I deliberately sneaked through the hallway of my home. 'Do not make a sound, Grace, or you'll end up dead meat.' Halfway through the main door, I heard a door open, and one of my cousins came out. My breath hitched as I stood in front of her with a big bag in my hand. I stood there like an animated character, hoping she couldn't see me. She came out of the room, and I gulped.
Fuck. . . this is not going how I planned it to be. Everyone in this big house will trap me again in a few seconds. My 13-year-old cousin passed by my side, and I sighed in relief as I realized she was sleepwalking. Why don't I know about her sleepwalking? But then again, I don't see a lot of things about this family, nor do I want to know. . .
Grace. . . Focus! Get out of here!
I continued my slow steps toward freedom.
"I'll be free. I'm going to be free, and I'm free!" I sang happily as I closed the house's main door behind me. Let's get out of Houston, Texas, shall we? I jumped happily as I passed the neighborhood.
Don't mind me. I love Texas; it's a great place. Houston, Texas, is also known as "H town," "Bayou City," "Space City," and "The Big Heart." Houston’s stable job market, diverse economy, and ideal neighborhoods make Texas City an outstanding option for me to pursue my career. The city has high marks for its many amenities, low cost of living, affordable real estate, excellent schools, and sunny weather. Why would anyone want to leave that? I'm going because of the people I live with. . . no, used to live with.
The giant Evans family of more than 30 people doesn't let me breathe. Half of Houston, Texas, lives in my house! They wouldn't even notice that I had left the house; by the time they did, I'd be far away from home. I so wanted to smack my head as I was thinking about them. The thought of them frustrates me!
Now I have a choice to make. . . either I can go to my next destination, which is New York City, by flight, bus or train, but the problem is money. I earn a lot of money from online jobs, part-time jobs, and some stealing from the house. New York City is expensive, so I must be careful with my expenses. I don't want to be sitting in an abandoned alley with torn-up clothes, a dirty face, and a bowl in my hand, begging people. Geez, Louise, the thought itself is making me shiver!
My family is not wealthy, as we have 30 people to feed. Whose uncles, aunts, and their children live as a joint family nowadays? That's an old-school man.
Coming back to what's essential. 'Grace make a choice; you don't have that much time!' I should do some calculations to make a choice.
The best way to get from Houston to New York City is to fly, which takes six h 8m and costs $50 - $280. Alternatively, I can take a bus, which costs $110 - $160 and takes 34h 10m. I could also take a train, which costs $180 - $260 and takes 40h 35m.
So, in conclusion, flight one is the most convenient but expensive one. The one train is a big no. It's costly and will take approximately two days to get me there. The bus is the cheapest way, but then again, 34 hours?
Flight one is. . . Let's book the flight to New York City and get out of here! Don't mind me, Texas; I love you and will miss you. I have many friends, but not anyone so close to me that I can share my craziness. I have good connections here too, but I want to stay here for something else. I don't find the purpose; if I find it by any chance, my big family will not let me pursue it with their conservative thoughts. I so wanted to roll my eyes at them. All they think about is themselves—stupid people, including my mum and Dad.
I booked the flight on my phone. It will take off in 5 hours at 9:00 Am. It was 4:00 in the morning. Oh God, the sun will rise! People will wake up! A lot of people in my neighborhood know me. I'm quite popular as a pretty rebel. It would be better to grab a bite from somewhere other than my neighborhood, or my disguise will blow up.
I put the hands-free in my ear and plugged it into my phone. Man, I need to buy those AirPods!
I put "Imagine U- by Omar Apollo" and started singing it loudly, not loud enough to wake up the neighbors. I was singing and dancing at 4:00 am in such chilly weather with a suitcase in my hand that I was dragging along with me. The airport is far away, but I must eat something before leaving.
Imagine you, imagine you.
Say that you love me.
Say that you love me."
Love? I'm afraid I'll get projectile vomit just by thinking about this word. I have a life to live. Why waste my time imagining someone saying that they love me? I don't want them to. I have received a lot of proposals from guys in my school, but I'm just not into this dating and relationship thing.
I need to fulfill my dreams, fantasies, and ambitions, but this song is fun.
"Imagine you, imagine you, Say that you love me, Say that you love me.
My legs were in pain as I realized I'd come far away from my neighborhood. I should have taken a taxi and eaten something at the airport, but no, I wanted an adventure, thrilling, and now I can't feel my legs.
Fuck you, Grace!
It was 6:00 am, and the sun was about to rise in a few minutes. I should take some pictures in memory of my beloved Texas. I turned on my camera and began to do my "professional photography." I could send it to Nathaniel. He gives me good revenue because of my photography skills. I met Nathaniel online. He's a 28-year-old tattoo artist, photographer, and hacker. He can do illegal stuff and fabricate things and has excellent connections. Dudes like him scare me, but Nathaniel is a sweetheart, just like his name.
I wanted to laugh when I saw his image and discovered his name was "Nathaniel." I became friends with him when I was 15, and he was 25. Yeah, I can only do stupid stuff like become an online pal with a 25-year-old that can freak the s**t out of a little girl, but at that time, I found it excellent.
Today, I would suggest everyone not do this. I was lucky that I found Nathaniel; we bonded so well that he did not harm me. He first came to Texas when I was 16 years old. When I saw him in person, I wouldn't lie, but I was about to s**t my pants. He looked like a drug dealer who sold drugs and narcotics.
I still remember I was so scared that I told him to have a conversation at a busy cafe and made him sit in the middle of many people around us. We started chatting, and I learned he does illegal stuff, like hacking and fabricating an identity for fun. Still, his real passion is photography and becoming a tattoo artist. Today he is pursuing his dream, and I'm following mine. The difference is that he's going to help me with my adventure.
I told him about my plans and crazy proposal, and he, to my surprise, found it interesting and decided to help me. I know it's dangerous; I know he's old. I know I shouldn't trust him even though I have known him for more than three years, but. . .
Life is all about stupid decisions, and I have no fear. I know I can tackle any problem. That's my self-confidence. I might take a risk instead of living a boring life in my big household. Nope, I'm not born for a life like that. I'm paid to live my life to the fullest, and I will!
"Yup, Nathaniel will appreciate this in his studio," I said, looking at the beautiful pictures I clicked of the sunrise. I put the DSLR back in its bag and reached the airport. I grabbed a barbecue meat sausage with Dr. Pepper and ate it aggressively as fast as possible.
It was good, but not the best I have had. I'll miss Texas food. f**k I'm late! I dashed to check in for my flight and handed over my luggage that would need to go into the aircraft hold. I passed through the airport security gates to the departure hall, found my boarding gate, and boarded the plane, ready to fly to my destination.
Ah, finally, some peace. I closed my eyes with a smile on my face as I was finally able to fall into a deep slumber as I'd been awake for more than 12 hours. . . only to be awakened by a baby's crying. Oh, Hell No! My eyes opened wide as I saw a baby crying on an older woman's lap. The baby's face was red, and tears were streaming from his eyes.
Why God? Why me?
I glared at the grandma on whose lap the baby was sitting. Why is she not doing anything to stop him from crying? Why is the world trying to torture me today? I glared at grandma once more, and nope. . . this old hag didn't even try to console the baby. I want to punch her wrinkly face so badly!
I internally screamed and decided to put on music at a loud volume so that it could cut off the baby's crying noises. I closed my eyes to relax. Suddenly, I got someone poking at my arm. I groaned and ignored it. The poking continued, and I was ready to kill the person trying to torture me! I opened my eyes and removed my hands-free from my ears. I looked at the culprit and found it to be that. . .
"Hiya girlie! I need to go pee-pee. Can you hold this boy for a while? I'll be back in no time." The old hag chirped in her Texas accent, and I was ready to bang my head onto the next seat. Without even listening to my reply, she put the baby on my lap and went away while laughing evilly.
The baby chirped in my lap and was trying to grab my hair locks. Not so fast, you little thing!
"Now listen here, baby, I've been wide awake for more than 12 hours; I'm tired, frustrated, and exhausted. Your old hag has left you to me, so here I'm telling you to shut your mouth, check your hands and sleep like the good baby you're!" I told the baby, and he looked at me with a confused face. He didn't give much attention to my talk and tried to grab onto my locks again.
The baby was barely two but was so energetic. God, why me?
"Hey. . . Hey! Are you listening to me? Understand what I'm saying. I'm telling you to go to sleep." I told him, and he started giggling. He started clapping his hands and laughing.
"Now, don't you dare do this cute thing with me, alright? This is not going to melt my heart.", I told him, and the next second he kissed me on my cheek. This flirtatious baby!
"Alright, you have won my heart. Now what?" I told the baby, and he started laughing and clapping. Not going to lie, but he's cute. The old hag came back and sat down on her seat.
"I see he liked you! He likes beautiful and charming girls just like you are." She said in her husky voice. I know I'm charming. I gave the old hag a polite smile out of courtesy that I barely showed.
"Since he likes you so much, why don't you take care of him for the whole flight? He's enjoying being in your lap." The old hag said, and my smile faded away. She smiled at me evilly, and I understood her plan.
Older people are evil! I'm telling you all.
The whole flight went by with Martson continuously annoying me, but I bore it because he's cute. The thing that was bugging me was the old hag. Only if she knew how many ways I've thought about killing her. She's one of those Texas women that doesn't listen to anyone and does whatever they want. I tried to give her Martson back, but she started lecturing me on God and how rude it is not to help your elders.
Finally, it was time to depart. I was feeling sad as Martson was going to leave. I'm not going to meet him ever again. I've been his free nanny for the past 6 hours, and now I feel so attached to him. He was sleeping on my chest, and I wanted to protect him.
The old hag wakes him up. I wanted to say goodbye to him but before I could. . . he vomited all over me, which made me remember WHY I DON'T LIKE BABIES!
Why God? Why me?
The old hag didn't bother to thank or apologize to me and went away. I waved Martson goodbye as my clothes were drenched in his vomit. He smiled and waved back at me.
"Aw, I forgive you, little devil," I said as they left. An excellent air hostess came to me and helped me clean up. I put on a lot of body spray to reduce the puke smell. She gave me a loose shirt and denim pants to wear. It looked good on me, not going to lie, and was giving me the New York City vibes. I put on my fur coat as it was almost freezing here. I thanked her, and she left. I picked up my luggage and checked out.
I breathed in the air of New York City, and to my expectations, it was similar to what I had imagined and studied in books. Cold. . . almost freezing at this time of the year. Yep, I learned a bit about this place.
New York City is known as the “Big Apple” and “The City that Never Sleeps.”
Fast-paced and energetic, New York City is home to many of the world’s most iconic neighborhoods, restaurants, museums, and neighborhoods. Though real estate in the city is costly, the plethora of amenities and job opportunities make it one of the best places to live in the world.
Time to start a new adventure and a new life. It's going to be so much fun. I'm already jumping from enthusiasm. I switched on my phone. I dumped my previous sim, got a new one, and inserted all the important contacts. I left the airport and tried to find a taxi. After getting a cab successfully, I gave him the address to Nathaniel's studio. I didn't come here without a plan.
I dialed his number, and he picked it up.
"Hey Evans, where are you at? Did you arrive? Do you want me to pick you up?" He asked.
"Yeah, I landed safely, and I'm already on the way to your studio," I told him.
"Why didn't you tell me? I could have picked you up, leave it. Please don't go to my studio; I'm not there. I'm sending you my shop location. Bring your ass here." He said.
"Ah, fine! Send me the location." He sent me the location, and I gave the new address to the taxi driver. I looked outside the window and saw the enormous buildings, the hustle, and bustle of New York City was just as I expected. It's going to be so much fun here!
The taxi driver dropped me at my destination. I looked at the Gothic shop in front of me. It was not too big but not too small, just a perfect tattoo place. I looked at the neighborhood, and it was pretty nice; not going to lie.
I entered his shop, and my eyes widened as I saw him inking on a girl's butt. What great luck I have! He didn't notice me, and I didn't disturb him because he looked pretty busy. A while later, he was done, and his gaze turned to me.
"Evans, you're here! You have grown so much. The last time I met you was-
"Two months ago, Nathaniel, now cut the crap," I told him. This llama drama. He visited Texas two months ago, where we made all this plan and finally were able to execute it. Even though he looks so intimidating with the tattoos on his hands, chest, and face, deep down, I know how he is.
"Give me a minute. Let me send this customer first." He said, and I nodded. A while later, he came back.
"So, ready for your new beginnings?" He asked with a cheerful smile on his face.
"So ready that you have no idea!" I told him.
Time to start a new life, a new me!