Mathew Sanders stuck his head out of the cab's window and took a deep breath, smiling when the light fog tickled his nose and the damp wind filled his lungs. He had spent years dreaming of getting out of the small town he grew up in. Years looking forward to leave behind the mockery and disdain he had been a subject of from the moment the town folks noticed he was different... Years fearing he would get bullied or beat up to death before he managed to save enough money to buy a train ticket to Freedom and rent a cheap motel room until he was able to find a job.
It took him three years longer than what he had planned on and countless hours of arduous work at the local mart, but he finally had enough to pack his bags and leave. He had done so in the middle of the night; not because he was afraid his family would try to stop him, but because he'd much rather not see the relief on their faces once they realize he was getting out of their way. His family had never been able to accept, or even understand, that his sexuality wasn't a reason for them to be ashamed of him.
It was also midnight when he made it to his destination, but people were all over the place and the lights of the marquees and billboards all over Times Square made it as bright as the afternoon would be. Taking a cab was something he probably should not have splurged on but, not being familiar with the subway system, he had decided it would be safer if he had someone drive him to that cheap place he had booked online using the public library's computer back home. Besides, he wanted to experience this. He wanted to be able to see his Dream City in all its glory before the cab left it behind and took him to a part of town he was sure would be a far cry from the magic that was Manhattan.
He knew it would take a while. That he would have to work his ass off before he could afford to even have dinner in the City, but some day he would.
Step One: Get settled and find a job...