Sebastian The Traveler

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Chapter 2 - Avery

I hated this city.

I sighed and plopped down in my seat in the subway car. New York had always been my dream. I told myself, Make it to New York and everything will fall into place! Unfortunately, as with most plans in life, it didnt work out that way. My job was shitty, my apartment was shitty, my bank account was shitty--my life... well, it just fell into line with everything else.

I had worked my ass of for grants and scholarships to attened Maryland Institute College of Art and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Painting was my passion and I had dreamed I would make beautiful and expensive paintings for rich New Yorkers who would pay me handsomely. My life would be a whirlwind of champagne and travel.

Stupid girl.

I ran my fingers through my hair and scanned the passengers in my car. If I had to ride the subway, this was the best time to do it: 2:03pm. This time of day was never busy as there were only a hand full of people riding with me. I requested the shift at work that would allow me to schedule around this time at the subway. Not only was it safer for a defenseless girl but crowds of people made me anxious. Too many people meant too many unknowns. I hated people. They were greedy, selfish, and evil. I avoided busy places as much as I possibly could. I guess you could call me a recluse... my picture might even be beside the definition, who knows?

The old lady infront of me clutched her bag tight to her chest. She gave me a reassuring smile. A man in a fancy business suit to my right was too engrossed in his phone to notice me. Occasionally, he would chuckle to himself at some picture or quote he must have read. Maybe a video he was watching... I never used my phone for such things. I disliked technology. Begrudgingly, I had to take a course on web design. My professors had strongly suggested the use of social media as a way of getting our names out to potential art dealers. I had to create a website for my paintings. But that was as far as I went with that junk.

A couple in the back of the car were too lost in each others lips to be aware of anyone or anything around them. I gave them a disgusted look, "Oh get a room already," I mumbled under my breath and rolled my eyes. The old woman infront of me was the only one who saw my displeasure. She snickered as couple continued to suck face. This was a subway rider's life.

Thankfully, my stop was next. I was excited to get home. Not that I had anything to get home to. A cat, a bunch of open paint bottles and blank canvases. Yeah. My life was less than awesome. But I figured as long as I didnt aquire anymore cats, I could avoid the Spinster label.

I didnt date. Sometimes I wanted to. It would be nice to share a life with someone... not be so lonely. Unfortunately, the vibe I gave men was more of a "fuck off" than "come and get it." I didnt do it intentionally, it was just my face. I wasnt ugly. I was just... emotional, I guess you could say. I got lost in my thoughts and emotions often, which subsequently, over took my face. If I was thinking or feeling it, you saw it on my face first. I hated that about myself.

The car doors opened and I jumped out quickly, keeping my head down as not to make eye contact with anyone. I just wanted to get home--a mere three blocks away. I climbed the steps and breathed in the fresh air of the city streets. Not that New York had refreshing air quality, but it was better than the dank, urine and bodily odor stinch of the underground subway.

The sun was shining warmly on my face and I took a quick second to appreciate it before quickly moving along. If you dare stop on these streets, you're bound to get trampled. So onward was my only choice.

I lived in a studio loft apartment, in an okay neighborhood. It wasnt my first choice but it was all I could afford. As long as my bed and painting supplies would fit, I would take it.

I jumped the stairs two at a time, headed to the last unit on the top floor. It had been difficult to move furniture up so many stairs. The movers were nice but I could tell they were annoyed with having to move a silly girl that chose the worst possible stairs in all of New York.

I heard Milo meowing from the other side of the door as I fumbled for my keys. He had my schedule down pat as most times I could hear him from behind my door as I started climbing the steps from the first floor. I closed and locked the door behind me, his big head rubbing against my black work pants. Be still my bleeding heart. I smiled and crouched down to love on him.

He was a huge black and white tuxedo cat. Big white whiskers fanned the sides of his face and those green eyes was what made him devilishly handsome. I adopted him from an high kill shelter about 6 months after I moved in. He was 7 years old then. We instantly connected as I think he knew I had saved his life. He was my big, handsome love bug.

Milo's head suddenly looked around my crouched body, behind me. He growled. I furrowed my brows. "Milo, what's wrong buddy?" I asked softly. His eyes were focused on the wall over my right shoulder. He hissed, visciously. I turned around to examine the wall, confused as this was not normal behavior for him. He wasnt a typical grumpy cat as I had only heard him hiss one other time in our life together and that was because of the veterinarian.

So when I turned, I expected to see a mouse or a bug--a dancing light on the wall--something that would result in such an annoyed outburst from him. But alas, I stared at the bare wall, perplexed.

There was nothing there.

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