Jamison has had dreams about this on nights where he’s barely seven and rubbing his hands together and pressing it to his lips, watching his breath crystalize in the air. He’s wishing he’s on the beach somewhere with the sun hitting his face instead of the chilly night breeze brushing over his shoulders in the middle of November as he attempts to shelter and tend for the stray dog he’s come across and began to care for behind his mother’s back. She doesn’t know about the straggly furred creature and a part of him feels his stomach drop, knowing full well that he probably won’t ever be allowed to show it to her anyway. There are a lot of things that Jamison knows he cannot ever show or ever tell his mother, and it breaks his heart little by little. A connection once so strong is barely holding on by a thread and the abuse has become so bad that Jamison questions his own motives at times, despite how pure they truly are. Sheila, on the other hand, is selfish with Jamison and where he places his attention in the first place – she wants him to do things, mostly everything, on her terms. She wants him to be happy when she’s happy and sad when she’s sad; cheer her up when she’s down and go away when she’s annoyed. He’s disposable and replaceable, and on some days, he considers doing them both a favor and running far, far away and never coming back. For one reason or another though, he never does leave. Sheila knows how to butter him up. She gives him so much love for days and weeks on end that he forgets all about the bad stuff that she does in between. Of course, Jamison has never outwardly called his mother a bad one, though a part of him knows that she is. He also knows better than to tell her that to her face, though he feels guilty about even thinking about it years later when they’ve already taken him away and placed him in the foster care system, far away from her and the dilapidated house that she continues to reside in.

So now, when he’s almost thirty and he wakes up to a scenery oh so different than the Boston he’s gotten accustomed to, he can’t conjure up any reasons to complain. Sure, having snow in the winter is nice but he won’t miss the cold nipping at his ears and the way it feels when he’s shivering in his boots (a constant reminder of how terrible the winters used to be in his younger days when his mother would lock him out of the house as punishment and leave him there to endure the harsh, cool air for supposed crimes he did not even dare commit). San Francisco isn’t entirely the sort of change he’s been expecting … Let’s be honest, he didn’t expect to go to bed and wake up in an entirely different state miles and miles away the next day. San Francisco isn’t even the sort of change that he’s been wanting because he would rather settle for somewhere a little less crowded and a little bit more ‘homey,’ but he’s content with the way his troubles all seem to slip out of him almost like they’re escaping through the tips of his fingers and shedding off of his body altogether. It’s a new, fresh start that he starts to find himself looking forward to. As a person who dislikes change, Jamison feels hopeful that he will adapt in the city. Stretching out his arms, he lets out a quiet sigh and quickly smiles to himself – enjoying the view of the beach from his bedroom window.