Purple orchids and white lilies are my favorite

A few weeks before I packed my car and drove out to New York, I had a dream of picking flowers as I walked home. The walk was very similar to my walk home from middle school, up Farmington Avenue to South Marshall Street.

In the dream I started outside a house very similar to my friend Martina’s house. From her front yard, I picked a flower, and kept walking. Then I picked another, and another. All different types of flowers, a rose, a sunflower, a lily, from window sills and porches, until I got home.

When I got home, what once was my home on South Marshall Street, it was empty and I was confused. The dream ended there, and when I woke, what struck me was how happy I was in that dream, how the sky was purple and dreamlike, and since then I have been considering flowers a good omen. This fortune I got the January before I drove out, not so much.

Fuck you. Seriously, fuck you. 

I packed everything I thought I would need in the trunk of my car and drove. However, since I was the only person in the car, putting everything in the trunk was a bad idea. The car started to fishtail on me, so I stopped at a gas station by I-91 and VIP and moved a few things to the back seat to redistribute the weight. Then I grabbed a few snacks and drove again.

My snacks were a soda and two Kind bars. I took a bite out of the first one as I drove, and immediately began to have an allergic reaction. I coughed and tried to clear my throat. I held on to the wheel tight. There was no way I was going to turn around. The reaction passed eventually, my throat didn’t close up, thankfully, and I was determined to make it to New York. I was afraid that any delays would encourage me to chicken out, so I drove. 
The drive was relatively quick. I took the wrong exit and my phone was about to die, but I manage to arrive in the Bronx in one piece. I texted my cousin, and she met me downstairs. I had arrived.

The view from my bedroom window

For a few minutes I was worried she would back out on me. 

My cousin and I had already had a falling out before I arrived in the Bronx. She owed me money from a cell phone bill that was the equivalent of a rent payment, and pretty much made excuses and disappeared from the face of the earth. I saw this as an opportunity to patch things up and conquer the world together. Even though I am something of an introvert and prefer to hang in the basement of my mother’s home while there are people upstairs, I have very few life experiences that I’ve had to go through by myself. There has always been family around, or friends, or a boyfriend. I am seldom really alone, and have worked hard to keep it that way.
My mother warned me, repeatedly, not to depend on Tati and be wary. Tati had always separated herself from our family with cheap reasons, and, from lack of a better way of putting it, she’s super shady. But she’s still my family. My first cousin in every sense of the word, and I was happy with the opportunity of building a new relationship as adults. 
She met me downstairs after two attempts. She complained that she came outside to meet me, but went right back upstairs because it was so windy and she didn’t see me. I asked her why didn’t she just bring a jacket. 
The apartment and building were exactly what I had expected. It was gray and dirty, and the apartments were boxes inside another big box. The elevators smelled like pee. 
The lady who owned the apartment wasn’t home, which shocked me. Did she know I was there? But my cousin assured me that she was aware I would be living there and was okay with it. Her children were kind of another story. Madeline, the head of the household, had five children, four of which lived in the home, and the two youngest immediately started watching me and following me into the kitchen every time I went to grab a snack, reminding me it was their mother who had bought that. 
I dropped my things off at the apartment, and that night, my cousin took me out with friends to celebrate my arrival. “Took me out” meant me driving around in the rain, in this place I didn’t know to go pick up her friends after I had already been driving for four hours, to then drive back to New Rochelle to hang out at the mall. 
We were lost for over two hours. They were horrible at giving directions. One of her friends swore that if we were on foot, she would know exactly where we were, so I suggested she get out and walk and I’d follow her. After what seemed like a miracle, we finally found the mall and played a few rounds of pool. 
And took a few selfies for evidence
It was a long day. I was tired, I had already been sitting in my car for over six hours, and I needed sleep. I had to start my new job the next morning. Everyone piled in my car and tried to get me to drive them somewhere else. I put my foot down. I needed sleep. I had just arrived, and I was not their chauffeur. So we turned back around, and I went back to that room we shared in the Bronx and went to bed, knowing I had to drive to White Plains the next day.