Part One

Chapter One

December was a decent time to move to Texas, I decided, as I shot one more glance at the numbers on the brick-and-concrete apartment building and wrestled my Chevy Tahoe into one of the parking spaces out front. As someone accustomed to Midwestern winters, I couldn’t complain about the sunny skies and 50-degree air that embraced me as I opened the driver’s door.

Relocating to Fort Worth definitely hadn’t been high on the list of things I thought I would do when I graduated from college, but here I was, a freshly-minted English major with a degree from a college no one outside of the Midwest, and even most people in Indiana, had never heard of. The only reason I was here at all is that my aunt had recently moved, but was still paying rent on the apartment I was about to move into. My parents had hastily put the kibosh on any thought of having me move back home to look for a job, but I’m not sure I could blame them. Naturally they wanted me out of the house and gone, so that I would stop eating all their food and clogging up their driveway. I also think, though, that deep down they were ashamed at what they had become: dead-end employees in dead-end jobs, unhappy with life, just killing time until the next weekend when they would scratch out a couple days’ worth of happiness before going back to the job they hated. I knew they wanted better for me than that.

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