The clamor of a thousand people headed in a thousand directions engulfed me as I stepped out of the taxi cab and onto the pavement. Sirens wailed in the distance; car horns blared at each corner, near and far. The sun had long ago set, but the city seemed no less alive at night than it did during the day. It seemed to me as though I was at the crossroads of humanity, as though every person alive was at this very moment passing through the same city as I was.
And it was this city that would now be my home, I realized as I walked toward the building where I’d purchased an apartment a few weeks back. I moved slowly, gazing in wonder at the flashing neon in the window of every business on the street, at the blur of the headlights of cars racing past, at the glow of the street lamps casting pools of light and shadow along the road.
It was all completely foreign to me, something that I’d seen maybe once or twice before. I’d lived most of my life far from the city – not quite a rural area, but definitely somewhere on the fringes of the suburbs. I’d always enjoyed that particular setting growing up, always assumed that that’s where I’d live when I was on my own. Sometimes, though, life doesn’t work out the way you expected. Sometimes the only work you can find is in deep in the heart of a massive city on the opposite side of the country. And so you take it, especially if you can find an affordable place to live in a decent area of town.
It suddenly dawned on me that, without knowing it, I’d ascended two flights of stairs and had been standing at the door to my apartment for several minutes. I dug the key out of my pocket and slipped it into the lock, twisting it open without too much effort. The door swung open, revealing an empty room, completely devoid of contents save for a window on the far wall and a door into another small room on the wall to my right. My furniture had been shipped by land and was supposed to get here tomorrow, but for now all I had was what I’d brought in my luggage. Which was fine with me. I set my suitcase against the wall and dug out my sleeping bag.
As I threw it on the floor, a faint glimmer in the corner of the room caught my eye. A few strides led me to its source: a single penny, glowing dully in the dim light of the window. I picked it up and looked it over. Some said pennies brought luck to those who found them. I’d never put much stock in that sort of thing, but this did not change the fact that, as I looked at the coin, a feeling of hope began to swell within my chest.
Edited by Baltarc, Mar 11 2013 - 05:29 PM.