OK, the problem with this one. I haven't been to either NYC or Seattle, so I went with the cliched version of them. If it's completely incorrect, or I offend anyone with my view of the cities, it's entirely accidental. I'm just a simple country folkperson, with no knowledge of the big wide world!
Bree walked down the dark alleys of Seattle, hugging her oversized coat closer around her small body. Her bright green eyes, while dimmed by false promises, still glinted slightly against the starlight. Her dark hair fell in waves about her shoulders, keeping the chill of her small, pale neck.
She sighed, fumbling for her keys as she reached her grimy, small destination. She shoved her shoulder into the door as it jammed, and she tumbled into the tiny, messy apartment, cursing as she went. She shrugged out of her coat, sending it tumbling to the floor, and immediately changed for bed. It was late, and she hated dwelling over the day she was leaving behind, rather dreaming of her childhood, back in Cheshire.
She closed her eyes, remembering herself and school friends running down the country lanes together, racing with the sheepdogs set loose among the sheep and cows. Hand in hand, shy children, boy and girl; share a small kiss under the brick bridge in the neighbouring fields around the house.
Bree played the memories back in her head, right up until the age of sixteen, where she would sing for everyone in the high school, in fact, the whole town. She relished in the memory of her first love, Daniel, who took particular interest and amazement in her voice. Grudgingly, Bree brought her thoughts up to date. Running away to America was not the best decision she could have made. Things were not going well at home, wanting to do nothing more than sing to earn her keep.
Coming to America could give the girl her dream. So she saved up her money, packed her bags, left a note and flew to New York, leaving her life, her friends, even her own name behind.
What was her name? Isabel Jane Norris. Very English. Too English. She wanted nothing to do with her old life, and her name was too much of a reminder of her childhood. So she changed to something a bit more American, and so far she seemed to be fitting in nicely. The girls at the bar, Hope, Carrie, Bryony and the others really made Bree feel welcome, even if they did speculate a little over her faked accent.
So when she arrived in New York, wide-eyed and thoughtful, and so small compared to the huge skyscrapers and busy people striding down the streets. She'd get lost time and time again, but within a few months, the wind had blown her to Seattle.
She found herself becoming increasingly unsafe in the big Apple, sleeping rough and earning a few dollars a week singing until her voice was hoarse on the cold winter streets. Now, in Seattle, she had found a steady job, singing and waitressing at this small darkened bar, and had earned enough money to buy a decent apartment. She was fairly content, but at those moments, when she was all alone, it was all she could do not to cry for loneliness.
If only she could just call her mum, to hear she was OK and not worrying about her. But she knew she couldn't, it would be too much for herself and her family to bear. So she suffered in silence, hoping the cramps of anxiety and she shivering would pass with time. Bree was seventeen, she needed to be alone, or she never would be able to.
So she ripped back the covers, and climbed uneasily into bed, humming unintelligibly and reaching for her book. She tutted, as she realised she had left the windows and door unlocked. She clicked them all shut; sighing as the slight breeze making her shiver even more than usual was forced out.
Whispers of the massacres and serial gang killings in the city hadn't been unnoticed by Bree, and she had reason to worry. She received more than her fair share of hungry stares and attempted gropes as she walked past in the bar.
As she settled into bed, and opening the folded page in her book, she thought about her years back in England. Especially that one memory she had of her and Daniel. She was on stage, singing 'Fields of Gold' by Eva Cassidy, with Daniel on guitar, and singing quietly in harmony with her. He had managed to record it, and he had listened to her sing it over and over. Bree remembered glowing with pride, as he had turned to her after the fourth time of listening.
"Ah, Izzy," He sighed, smiling at her, "I don't think I'll ever hear anything better than those notes. How do you do it?" Bree had grinned widely, and shrugged as a blush crept up to her cheeks. Daniel had then laughed, and continued to tweak with the record. Bree smiled as the warmth spread through her toes up to her chin through the thick duvet.
She wondered what Daniel was doing right now, wondering if he still thought of her, still listened to her songs whenever he could. Bree had loved him so much, knowing she'd never have his love in return, but accepting his obvious respect for her talent made her heart light up, even though she was thousands of miles away.
After reading a chapter of her book, barely paying attention to any of the words printed on the battered pages, she slipped into a blurred and confusing dream.
She dreamed that she was in a side alley, by a large dumpster. Her vision faded in and out of focus, her first sight from a standing position, the second, on the floor. She could not understand why, at first, but then, as the third vision blurred into sharpness, all she could feel was agony. Just writhing, and uncontrollable agony.