I wiped a stray tear from my tear duct as I kissed her cheek. I stood from kneeling and walked to the door. I took one last glance behind me at the home I grew up in with my mother and father. My parents had a rough divorce but it was worth it for the first few months on my part. Every day and night I heard bickering and the occasional breaking of a glass bottle hitting the solid brick wall.
That last step from the front porch was all it took for me to finally feel like there was more to life than nothing. I ran as fast as I could to my car sitting on the curb of our three homed neighborhood in crummy ole' North Carolina. Not much excitement was ever here for me and I had huge plans for myself in the big city. The Big Apple was going to be my new home. Sure I'm only twenty two, maybe I'm not wealthy and don't have lots to offer anyone but all I know is I need out of that hell hole.
As soon as the ignition was started and the tires screeched from the curb, my emotions hit me full throttle. Every memory I ever had ran through my mind, from Daddy yelling at mother, from him blaming me for everything that went wrong, to the locking me in my room and hitting me, the constant criticizing and yet my mother acted like she never heard or saw any of it. Yes it hurt like hell, but she tried to be strong for herself and that was all that mattered. I was finally getting out and it felt great.
About ten hours and a hundred cups of Starbucks coffee later I hit New York's border line. It of course was pitch black on the outskirts but I could still see the city lights shining so bright from in the distance. After driving several more minutes I entered the metropolitan area for the first time in my life. Everything was covered in Christmas lights, wreaths and bows. Ice skaters huddled over the ponds and shoppers surrounded the streets. It was my dream come true to see Christmas in New York and hopefully to get my dream job. Most average people would think what I consider a dream to be trashy and absurd. Yes, burlesque dancer.
I could already feel the thrill building inside me as I approached my one bedroom apartment. I parked, unloaded and grabbed my key from the front desk. As quick as possible I was in the elevator to the twelfth floor of my new home. At least I would hope it would be until I ran out of money if I don't find a job soon. As I unpacked my final box and settled my black and red satin sheets on my double mattress, there was a knock on the door. I wasn't expecting anyone considering no one knew I left and I was a new resident here. I peeped thru the peep hole and noticed a couple. They looked so adorable and young, maybe in their late twenties or early thirties.
"Hello, you must be our new neighbor." The kind woman stuck out her hand and I gladly yet nervously shook it.
"I'm Jamia by the way." She smiled as her hand fell back down to her side.
"Chrysanthemum." She glanced at whoever the man was beside her and he smiled.
"I'm Frank." I grasped his hand as well and noticed they weren't so bad.
"May we come in?" He asked. She elbowed him in his side and he flinched. I blushed just from feeling sorry for him.
"Frankie, she is probably trying to get settled in, just let he get back to her business." She reprimanded.
"Oh, no its no problem really. I just finished getting settled in, so please do come in." I smiled and held the door open as they thanked me.
"I haven't been able to go to a store or anywhere, otherwise I would offer you both something." I flushed and looked away while wrapping my arms around my petite body.
"No, that is totally fine. We just wanted to welcome you in and introduce ourselves." Frank smiled. I giggled and motioned toward the small set of furniture in the den.
"Ya'll can sit if you like." I stated. They both sat down and got comfortably close to each other. I could tell how madly in love they were, not that it will ever happen for me.
"That is precious. You are from the south aren't you?" Jamia asked politely. I blushed and nodded.
"Yeah. I'm from North Carolina."I smiled looking across at them both.
"Are your parents here with you, you look so young?" Frank asked, again Jamia shoved him and he huffed. I giggled but continued to look down at my feet.
"Actually, I am young but I no, my mother stayed back home." I glanced towards the window to see it was already beginning to get darker out but the lights still left it blinding out.
"Oh. How old are you?" Jamia was shocked but tried to be not so blunt on the question.
"Holy shit you look like your sixteen." Frank just completely let it out. I couldn't help but laugh as Jamia started laughing.
"I get that a lot. Thank you I think." I looked back down at my feet and thought about what mama was doing right about now. I love her so much but she even understood I had to get away. I heard my sidekick ringing from the kitchen counter not too far away. I excused myself and ran for it while the two lovebirds nodded.
"Hello?" I spoke into the phone out of breath.
"Sweetheart I am so glad your okay. I woke up and you were gone." It was momma.
"I know, I didn't want to wake you. You looked peaceful, but I made it to the big city." I tried to put a smile on my face but hearing her breath quicken made me lose faith.
"I am so proud of you." She said barely above a whisper. I felt tears quickly fill my eyes but I held them back because of my company in the other room.
"Thanks mama. Look let me call you back, I have guests." I hung up before she could say anything and straightened myself up before walking back in the den.
"I'm sorry, that was my momma. Just checking in." I smiled slightly.
"That's okay, we really should be leaving but it was nice to meet you. Maybe we could go out sometime or something." Jamia suggested. I smiled and nodded.
"I would really like that." That was such a kind offer, I never had friends really but one and when she went to college while I couldn't afford it, we broke apart. I escorted them out the door and leaned back on it. I knew this is where I wanted to be so why couldn't I get her out of my head.
That night I lay in bed staring at the four hundred page book I haven't had time to finish reading yet. The only thought going through my mind was if I was good enough to pass the audition tomorrow at the bar. If not I was royally fucked.