I walked down the streets of New York, all I felt was relief. I had finally gotten away from the place that had caused me so much pain and suffering, away from all the anger and hate that lay behind.

I had come from a rough background. My father died in a car crash when I was seven, and my mum married a guy that liked to beat her and me when I got old enough. I started staying at friends places, and partying hard. I lost my virginity at 15, to the football jock. I had almost crashed a car when I was drunk, and my mother shouted at me for causing her so much grief.

I had run away after that. I changed my name when I turned 18, from my original name, Annalis. A stupid name, I know. It supposedly means full of grace, but i have room for doubt. I changed it to Catherine, so that my mother wouldn't be able to find me. My last name was so common, so I didn't need to change it. My new name: Catherine Stevens.

It was through this identity that I enrolled in a university, paying off the bills I had earned when I had taken a summer job. My marks at school were good enough to get me a good course in business, so I took the course when it was offered.

I was hoping to get to New York, and now here I am. After working for 8 years, I had finally reached some sort of standard. I now was about to find my job, after applying for an office job in the Financial District.

It was a good job, something for me to start with. I would get money, and work myself up until I had gotten a niche for myself to be happy with. For once.

I never was good with guys. The guys that I had been with were jerks, and all they wanted me for was a quickie. After a while, I thought I had found the guy of my dreams. His name was Cole, and he at first treated me well, but after he just wanted my as his sex toy, to do whatever he wanted. And if I didn't, he would beat me.

I don't know how long I stayed in that relationship. I was always arriving to school with either hickeys or bruises: I just didn't know which.

But he eventually left me. And I moved on. I focused on my school work more, already formulating a plan to escape. I graduated my high school fifth in my grade, and as soon as I got the piece of paper, I left.

Hopefully forever.

I walked down the streets, admiring the architecture, and how the buildings just seemed to reach up into the sky. When I was younger, I wanted to be an architect. Now I realised that it was an impossible dream. I could never get that far.

I was about to cross the road when I noticed a feather on the ground in front of me. It was pure white, and it was very large. No one else around me seemed to notice that it was there, and so I picked it up and tucked it into my bag, saving it for later.

Little did I know that that feather would change my life completely.