I thought I would wake up. One day I kept thinking I would wake-up in my parents’ house in this silly southern town and my parents would still be inside the home, sitting drinking coffee. But it’s not even my parents’ home anymore, it’s just my home. I don’t even want it to be mine. The walls just are a reminder of all the time I have passed with them, of memories from my childhood, of my teenage years, of good times, and bad times both. I hate these walls. Sometimes when I walk these halls I punch the walls for fun. I even put a hole in the living room wall one night. I want to believe that I never received that phone call. That dreaded phone call three months ago, but I did. There was a phone call. My parents. Were hurt. Maybe dead. Come quickly. With no other way to get there than to call my dead-beat alcoholic ex-boyfriend. I called his number. He was hungover probably. I was crying, just saying I need help. My parents. There was an accident. He drove me to the scene of the accident hungover. The whole time he was not saying anything helpful. “You know they could be ok. We could be ok too, if you just gave us another chance.” “Charles, just shut-up and drive please,” I said. Then I heard the sirens. For my Mom and Dad. The ambulance came a few minutes later, I think. But there is no way I can really remember now. Piercing screams. The sound of the poor 17-year old kid who just got his license had hit my parents’ car. And blood. My parents’ blood. Their mangled bodies. Someone said “is this their daughter?” My father was driving, his head smashed into the steering wheel because the air-bag failed launch. That’s what they said. They did everything they could. That’s what the doctors said. That’s always what the doctors always say when someone dies. They are very sorry. And your mother, she was already gone before we made it to the hospital. Something about having lost too much blood. I vaguely remember my Mom’s closed eyes. I held her cold hand in the hospital room. Is there someone you can call? I shook my head. My dumb-ass hungover ex-boyfriend went home after he dropped me off at the scene, not even able to think about anyone except himself. Like usual. There I was, that cold March morning. A crisp, freezing wind cut into my face, as I walked out of the hospital. I should have called my Uncle and his son, my last living relatives, but what could they do anyway? They lived in South Africa, because my Uncle and his deceased wife believed in “saving-the-world,” or some shit like that. My Mom was an only child, like me. And then. There was me. Anna Moore. A royal fuck-up. And now, an orphan, with a drunken an ex-boyfriend and a tumble-down house. The walls crumbling, the led-filled bright blue paint peeling of the walls. My Dad always promising to repaint, but never having the money. The stilts under the house crumbling slowly. The kitchen sink still dripping, my Dad always promising to fix it. I can almost still see his hands covered in oil, from all the greasy cars he worked on. He is a mechanic. I mean... he was a mechanic. He always loved cars. My Mom. She was just my Mom. She stayed home to raise me until I was eight, and tried to go back to work for a years ago, but got sick with pneumonia, and she never really got better. And now, she’s gone. They are both gone. She used to be the best speech therapist in the area. She also used to be alive. That was then. Now is now. Now, I’m sitting in the train station with a train ticket for New York in my hand. I always wanted to go to New York, so what’s stopping me now? I locked up the house. Shut off the water and electric. Paid all the bills, put a hold on the mail, and packed a small suitcase, and a backpack. Did I forget anything? I don’t really care if I forgot anything. I’m on my way to New York. Fuck everything. I always wanted to be on stage. My dream changed a little over time. In high school I wanted to become a screenwriter, but I ended up finishing college with a Bachelor’s degree in education. My Mom thought I would be a good teacher. But I hated teaching. Actually, since graduation I have quit two jobs, and have been fired from one. Our parents always have their best intentions for us, but sometimes we have to make our own paths. In the end, we always have to make our own paths. We alone are in control of our own destiny. I’m holding a train ticket in my hand when I hear the announcement Train 62A4 to New York City now boarding at platform three. Thank God. I head down the concrete steps to one of only five train platforms this pathetic train station has. So much for a major transit center. It cost me a lousy $178 after taxes for this train ticket. Now with only $67dollars in my pocket, and my parents’ bank card with all $440 on it, I’m on way. Their life savings of $440 was supposed to be for “fixing the house” one day. Now, I’m boarding the train. I need to focus on myself now. I have to find my way. I have to forget the “rainy day house fund”, my parents’ death, the car crash, and even Charles. The buildings change, the scenery changes, the corn fields disappear behind me as the train rolls along. The fields and cows of South Carolina disappear behind me, as do the brightly-painted houses of the south in pinks, blues, and greens. I pass through cities with bigger and taller buildings than we have in Columbia. Modern-looking structures, black and gray skyscrapers. I like the greenery of the Appalachians, as we pass through the mountains. The tall green trees impress me, as do the rolling mountains. Their leaves offer shade to the passengers on the road. I imagine that everyone on this train is on a journey to find their destiny, like me. Maybe some are on a journey like mine. In front of me is a middle-aged lady with a 6-year-old girl, probably her daughter, who is in the seat next to her. They are making faces at each other, and talking about the trees and the buildings, just as I am pondering them. The Mom says to the girl, “are you ready to go see Grandma?” The girl looks happy, but she probably doesn’t see Grandma too much. When they both fall silent, my train car is silent. I think about Charles, and his drunken ass still asking for me back. Well if he wanted to be with me so much, he should have thought of that before he fucked my best friend. That is life. This is my life. But how can it be?