I hugged my knees close to my chest in a pathetic attempt to gain
some sort of warmth. Though I was sitting out the front of The
Roxy Theatre I decided not to go inside, despite my body
temperature dropping by the minute. Tonight I needed some down
time; time to think. I ran my fingers through my long black hair
and gently placed my unruly fringe behind my ear. Cupping my
shivering hands together, I rested my face in them and began to
quietly cry. How could this have happened? How is it that the
life one once knew to be so familiar, can be taken away from them
in just a few minutes? It was too much to bear. The flashbacks
were relentless - they wouldn't stop, regardless of the fact I
was now almost 1500 miles away from home, sitting on the sidewalk
of Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. The memory of my sister's face
when my father pulled the trigger would now invade my every
waking thought. Why hadn't I done something? Why hadn't I gotten
us out of that house sooner?
Wearily rising from the sidewalk, I brushed the dirt off my black
jeans and began to walk. Trying to find someplace to sleep had
proven difficult the past three nights - I needed to make
connections, fast. The streets of LA weren't friendly,
particularly to an estranged 17 year old girl. After passing
numerous clubs and music venues, I stumbled across a quaint
little diner equipped with original 50s decor. It was a lovely
place; at least my clothes were still in decent condition. I took
a seat at the counter which was buzzing with the conversation of
the many interesting characters. Rummaging through my
shoulder-bag, I reached for my cherry lipstick and reapplied when
I noticed the guy beside me. He had long blonde hair and was
wearing ripped jeans with a band shirt. What stood out most
however, were his eyes - they were an alluring, deep ocean blue,
but there was something else; a sadness. I thought to myself,
what was his story? Is he as broken as me? I yearned to
talk to him and find out.
'Hey, do you know what the time is?' I suddenly heard a voice
ask, bringing me back to my surroundings. It was the guy. 'Oh…let
me just check my phone' I replied nervously, informing him of the
time. 'I love your shirt by the way. Are you a big music fan?' I
enquired, trying hopelessly to strike up a conversation.
'Yeah, love it. I'm a guitarist and play in a local band; you
should come to a gig some time.'
'You're a guitarist? That's awesome. I'd love to come to a gig,
thanks for the offer.'
'I'm Sam by the way.'
'I'm Bree' I told him.
'That's a nice name.' And so the conversation continued. I told
him about my situation, what had happened and what I was doing in
LA. It was a relief to finally talk about it with someone. Sam
then shared with me his story, telling me about his raging
alcoholic mother and how he had fled his home. I realised then,
we weren't too different. I had finally found another
human being on this planet whom I could relate to, other than
Beverly, my now-dead sister. 'Do you have a place to stay?' he
'No unfortunately,' I shamefully replied. 'I've sort of been
shuffling between park benches and dirty motel rooms for the past
'You can stay with me for a while if you like. I live in a small
apartment with my band. They took me in when I reached LA and
became the closest thing to family I've ever known. They'll treat
you well.' After thanking him repeatedly, we made our way outside
and walked down the seedily-lit Sunset Strip. As sleazy as LA
was, I loved it. I was fully immersed in the grittiness and raw
reality of the scene. To me, this was larger than life. For so
long I had been confined to the four walls of that godforsaken
house; forced to deal with my father's constant verbal abuse and
violent bursts, never experiencing a normal teenage life. So, on
escape to LA, I made a promise to myself - I'm going to enjoy
myself, and I will NOT let anyone tell me what to do. From now
on, I'm the only person in charge of me. Things were going to
'Here we are,' said Sam as he unlocked the door to what looked
like a rather run-down apartment. I hesitantly entered, scanning
every inch of the room. 'Umm, sorry about the mess - we're not
the neatest bunch.' As long as the bed is clean, as long as
the bed is clean I thought to myself. Thankfully it was. 'You
can sleep in my bed, I'll sleep on the couch' offered Sam, like a
true gentleman. 'I'll introduce you to the others in the
The next day I was awakened by the sound of an electric guitar.
Quickly getting ready, I went out to the lounge where the noise
was coming from. 'Who's that?' one lanky looking guy asked,
staring at me. 'Oh, everyone this is Bree. She just came to LA
after a family issue and needed a place to crash.' They
introduced themselves and fixed me some cereal while we chatted.
After a long discussion, it was mutually decided that I should
probably look for a job and begin to settle down seeing as there
was no going home. One of the guys, Jason, told me about this
cool little music store which was currently hiring. Listening to
their advice, I set off job hunting.
However, before I could even reach the music store, I was stopped
in my tracks after noticing the daily newspaper outside a
convenience store. 'Police try to track down missing girl
after sister's murder' the headline read. The article
continued, providing a detailed physical description of myself
along with a phone number should anyone spot me.
Excellent...What's going to happen now?