Madden Grey is an odd one. One of a kind, she likes to say. When she gets hired to write a column at the Vogue offices, she gets her suitcase and leaves the Virginia memories behind. She soon realizes that making friends and finding love isn't easy in the city where everything happens. But then, she meets Noah Taylor, and he just happens to be amused by Madden's.... unusual qualities.


1. When opportunity knocks...

After she read the letter for the third time running, she was desperately searching for a reason not to go. Incomprehensible, the idea of it. Madden had been dreaming of moving to the city for her whole life, but she never dreamed that it might happen. She completely buried the idea of getting the job the second after she mailed her application in for the Teen Vogue offices of New York. But here she stands, reading the letter of her employment. 

This must be a mistake, she thought. 

What if I blow it? Her subconscious chimes in.

You can't just move to New York. You're not cool enough for that, says the little mean voice in her head that takes the sound of the bullies from her past.

"Honey, what'd your letter say?" Madden's mother, Kristina, says, walking into her room meekly, expecting bad news.

"I-I... I got the job," Madden breathed out, on the verge of tears.

"That's..... amazing! Aren't you excited?" Her mother grins broadly in an astonished way. Madden knew that her mother knew she wouldn't get the job either.

"I am excited," Madden said nervously.

"You're just nervous," Kristina reads Madden like a book.

"I don't know why. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember," Madden shrugs weakly, looking over her mother's shoulder to see the poster of Times Square that she's had since she was a little one with her New York books stacked neatly in a pile on her bookcase.

"You have the right to be nervous. It's a new job, anyone gets nervous for a new job where it's a whole new territory. You'll need to make friends and it's a lot harder than it seems. But I know you can do it. Your father said the very same thing when he was standing next to you as you were sealing that envelope of your dreams."

"I think I'll just sleep on it," Madden crossed her sweat pant-clad legs.

"Good idea. Second star to the right, and straight on till morning," her mother smiles and kisses her on the forehead, just like when she'd tuck her in as a vulnerable little child.

But she didn't sleep.

She thought back to the taunts of the children in school, telling her she'd never go anywhere, to stay up in the world where her mind always tended to wander. 

She thought back to the times when her dad was healthy and would take her out for drives, and put his arm around her shoulder. When they didn't need to talk much because he understood her. She didn't know how he knew. And the thing is, she didn't know what he knew about her that felt so intimate and deep, but he just knew. That's the thing about parents, they just know. When you're lying, when you're sad, when you've done something wrong, they just know how you feel and what to say, even if our naive feelings aren't equivalent to theirs, we know too that they're right. 

She thought about the school trip she took to California, though she never knew why that trip always crept up in her mind. 

Basically, she thought of everything besides the letter sitting on her old dresser, daring her to read it again, burning a hole in her peripheral vision.

She thought and she thought and she thought as she always did until the beams of sun began to shine through the slightly dusty windows.

And then it came to her.

What the crap am I doing? This is my dream. Of course I'm going, she found herself declaring.

Madden always had a habit of overreacting on something that can be so plain and simple.

Madden was just a normal girl, but if you got close enough, she had the most colorful mind around.

But, since she'd just wasted half a day reminiscing and worrying, she knew what she was going to do that day

Throwing the covers off of her like a tsunami, she runs over to her closet and pulls out her suitcase, grabbing a leather jacket, grey beanie, concert tee shirt, leather leggings, and her coveted Dr. Martins, she decided on her character for the day: rebel biker. After all, she was breaking all the boundaries her mind had set for herself many a months ago. Might as well dress for the occasion.

After getting ready for the day, she walked through the hall connecting her room to the kitchen, deciding that it would be a great day. She knew that it was just a choice made by the individual, whether or not the challenges of the day would affect them.

"I'm going out, Mom!" she told her mom. Something unusual for her mom to hear, since she never went out in high school, due to the lack of friends.

"Come grab breakfast first! You always forget to eat!" her mom called back. Suddenly, Madden could distinguish the sizzle of bacon and the scent of french toast dancing it's way through the garage, causing her mouth to water.

"What am I going to do without you to remind me where my own head is?" Madden laughed and walked back into the kitchen.

"You did it in college, remember?" her mom chuckles.

"And I don't know how I survived," she smiled as her mother placed a warm white plate of Kristina's gourmet french toast, elegantly drenched in warm syrup, with bacon on the side.

"Are you coming with me today?" Madden asked her mother while taking small bites of her bacon. Madden is a notoriously fast eater, and her mother finds it incredibly bothersome when she finishes her food ages before she does.

"I'm going to meet you there. I have to pick up the dry cleaning and run to the shops real quick. Do you need me to bring anything over?" Kristina inquired.

"Lunch. Cafeteria food is overrated. Kneaders would be fantastic," Madden smiled. They consumed the rest of their breakfast in silence, neither really itching to say anything. But Madden didn't. She loved silence. Madden disliked the people who were incapable of silence. Silence speaks when words can't. It didn't bother her at all anytime or anywhere because Madden was good at it.

"I'll see you in a bit," Madden smiled and grabbed the keys to the beat up Prius that she bought herself in her teenage years. 

Even though Madden knew almost every song that played anywhere on the radio, she decided not to turn on the radio as she nestled into the comfortable seat that was now molded into her exact shape. 

It's not far from here, she told herself as she backed out of her driveway.

She parked in her usual spot and walked through the usual hallways and said hello to the usual people until she got there. She pushed the door open, grateful she even had the strength to, and walked into the familiar, usual, room.

"Hi dad. You'll never believe this, but I got the job," she smiled and sat down next to his hospital bed.

"I knew you would," he said with a raspy voice after a great release of energy, the corners of his breathing mask lifting up as he smiled weakly.

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