Your folks moved you to America to get away from the monsters, but they didn't know. Of course they didn't know, of course they couldn't know, that there's monsters in every corner of God's green earth and your dad's friend the Doctor only likes to focus on the ones in Britain. No one told them about dark things in dark places, about witches and demons and devils worse than the Cybermen.
You were six when your dad pushed you on the swing and said, "All hail Stormageddon!", and it was a funny joke and you laughed. When you were ten, the joke wasn't funny anymore, just one of your father's embarrassing traits. You pushed him off, you laughed with your friends. You watched telly- "It's TV, Mom," you said exasperatedly- with your mother and rushed through dinner. When you were twelve your father took you fishing and fell off the boat, and you laughed.
You grew up on good tea and bad jokes and stories about a mad man in a blue box, and although you never met him he was the only old fairytale you hung onto after hitting double digits. School wasn't fun for you at first, until you hit seventh grade and met the right science teacher, and then it was experiments and theories and stargazing and running off at museums too fast for Mum and Dad to catch up. It wasn't just space, it was all science. You sketched plants you saw and timed bike races with your friends and scrawled out calculations in a battered old notebook. Your DVR box filled up with specials on the Science channel and your bedroom grew a layer of books, and yet every now and then you'd glance out the window and sigh, just for a moment, just thinking of the stories about the man in the box. You'd think, "I'll never see the stars like that." And your telescope was enough, really. You told yourself it was enough.
You were sixteen when your Dad got you a car. It was blue, and small, and much more sensible than the one Mum wanted you to have- "He'll be killed his first time out, Sophie!"- but still, it was four wheels and an engine and that meant you could go. You could go to any movie you wanted, any museum, visit your friends. It was freedom.
Of course, all freedom carries a price. In this case it was gasoline, and eventually you realized you'd need a job. You bugged your friends, hoarded the newspapers, trying to find the perfect job, some kind of internship at a hospital, or a docent at a museum. Though you tried, the perfect job wasn't out there for an inexperienced teen. And you really did need the cash, so you listened to your buddy's suggestion and took that job at the Wiener Hut.
It paid enough for the amount of driving you were doing, but it really was a crappy job, dealing with annoying people all day and tripping over yourself trying to squeeze a mustard bottle. When you were bored, you'd make up stories and think about how the stars would look that night.
And then one day, could be any old day but it was this day, you heard the phone ringing. It was an old phone box that you didn't even think was still in use, just there for show, but the phone was ringing. And then you remembered all those stories about the magic phone box and the man in the sky.
You were sixteen. You stepped away from the hotdog stand and into that cramped phone box, and you answered that phone, and when the voice on the other end asked you a question, you said yes.
You were sixteen, and life rushed around you like streaked watercolors and you felt like you were falling, falling forever but never stopping. You thought maybe this was what it felt like to be on drugs, but it never stopped. Flying and falling and being tugged along like a dog on a leash, and it never stopped, never. A man who wasn't really human dug nails into you, made your mouth scream with a voice that wasn't yours, tied you down and clawed into you like you were a frog on a freshman dissecting table, and it never stopped.
And then it did.
You were sixteen. A man in a dirty trench coat held you like you were his brother, and for a second everything stopped rushing. You were still, and safe, and solid, and then the night lit up like a meteor and you became one of the stars that your father's friend used to fly to in his magic box.