I woke up to a pain in my neck and an aching in the lower half of my back. My mouth was dry and my eyes stung from the hours of tossing and turning trying to get comfortable, I was still tired and wondered how long I had been trying to sleep with little to no success. The plane ride was said to only be eight hours long, but it felt like it was taking an eternity. Everyone around me was asleep and it was dark with the slightest bit of light coming through one of the windows that had the drapes pulled half way down, which made me miss having a cellphone to tell time or to even just help pass time. I threw it away at the airport right before boarding, I was afraid someone would use my number and track me somehow. I’m not even sure that that’s how it works but one can only be so careful.
The ride to Los Angeles was quiet for the most part. I was seated next to a little old lady who strangly smelled like moth balls and cheap perfume, which was a standard old lady smell. She wore the sweetest little pink dress covered in little white flowers, while her puffy coat and scarf were stuffed behind her. Her short white hair sat in the littlest curls which fit her face and she wore the lightest bit of blue eyeshadow and pink lip stick, it wasn’t caked on but you could tell it had been there a while. She constantly had to call the flight attendants for help to the bathroom. I know it’s wrong but I acted as if I were asleep the whole time, afraid she’d ask me for help to the bathroom. In any other circumstance I would of been generous enough to help but I was too emotionally drained to help her, also my brain was going crazy regarding the last 48 hours, but that’s a story for another time.
Once the plane finally landed I found myself overwhelmed and nervous to leave the airport. Outside of these doors was new territory, one I have never been before, but I guess that’s the point. The night before my plane ride I looked up apartments and places to stay so I wouldn’t come and have to be homeless, some new life that would have been. I found a nice little studio apartment just cheap enough for one of minimum wage to afford so I wasn’t stressing myself for at least the first month. I had a meeting with the building owner at 2:30 pm, looking up at the airport clock it was only just noon. Which meant I had plenty of time to get lost and still find my way in time hopefully, knowing me I’d get lost and not make it at all, but this was something I couldn’t mess up. Especially since I paid the deposit online, stupid I know. I had to make sure I had a place before committing fully to coming here. I was given an address so either my little studio appartment awaits or my death, I don’t really care either way.
I got in a taxi giving the man the paper with the address on it hoping he knew where exactly to go and also hoping it wouldn’t cost too much. I brought money with me but I was hoping to use it on necessary things like a new phone and maybe furniture. I didn’t want to sleep on the floor the whole time, that would be worse then the plane ride, but I can’t really complain. Soon enough the man pulled up to a nice-ish building. It was red bricked and covered in vines and had a little side yard which looked like it hadn’t been touched since Jesus walked the earth. I walked up to the door and rung the doorbell hoping I wasn’t in the right place, but sure enough a man opened the door knowing exactly who I was.
“Ah you must be Ms. McClaire? John Machlin.” He held out his hand and practically yelled for the whole neighborhood to hear.
Ignoring his hand, “Um Lucy is fine.”
He reminded me of a dad who wants to be hip to current style or language instead of the things he grew up knowing. You could just tell he was a try hard.
“Yes well Ms. Mc... I mean Ms. Lucy. Shall I give you the tour or would you like to look around yourself?”
“No no it’s fine. I can look myself, thank you”
“Yes well here are the keys and my information is on the counter. I’ll come by again next month for rent. Please contact me regarding anything needing fixing and I’ll try to come by and fix whatever as soon as I can.” He left with a big smile on his face and left this weird vibe with it. I could already tell he was strange but he was nice in a way. It was a good start.
As I entered the little apartment it was bigger than I expected it to be. The walls were white with white trim, the flooring looked to be new and was a pale wood. The kitchen was small and also had looked to be newly touched up, but the fridge was old, you could tell it had been there a while. It wasn’t dirty or anything and it had a charming look to it, with its bright blue doors and silver handles. It was cute. The bathroom was little and cramped as if you could just tell they threw in a toilet and shower and said “boom a bathroom”. There was a medicine cabinet above the toilet but there was no sink, the only sink in the whole place was in the kitchen which grossed me out thinking that I’ll have to brush my teeth in the kitchen, but again not complaining.
As I set my bags down and slid down the wall blowing out a breath doing so, I was content. More content than I have been in a while. This was it, this was the start of my new life. A new beginning. A new me.