Growing up in Las Vegas is probably the most difficult thing a teenager can endure. I mean, it is the crime capitol of Americacrime and kids don't exactly mix. The easiest way I can describe it to you is like a glass containing oil and water: the two substances don't go together without mixing them; and I don't intend to become a criminal.
For some reason, you never get used to the blinding glare of the neon signs outside of almost every single building, or the prostitutes walking the streets, not the constant honking of vehicle horns and angry screams of tourists and citizens, or the never ending, earsplitting shrieks of police sirens.
You don't even get used to the gunshots outside your window at night.
You're uneasy when you go out in the day, terrified when you go out at night, andif you're like me, anywayyou often sneak into bars and casinos with your fake I.D.'s and nobody takes a second glance at you. You can do anything you want in Sin City, believe it or notwhich is exactly why it can be so scary.
Why my parents chose to raise me and my nine-year-old sister in possibly the most dangerous city in America is beyond me. Well, actually, it isn't beyond me; it's right in front of me, so close that I can reach out and grab it.
Dear old mom and dad are first class criminals themselves.
Now, a jury has just convicted them of first-degree murder for killing our crazy cat-lady of a neighbor, Mrs. Berry, and they've been sentenced to twenty-five to life. In a single day, I've gone from a normal, good-looking (if I do say so myself), football-playing, seventeen-year-old guy, to a single parent to my nine-year-old sister, Jess.
A judge ordered my sister and me to move to Montana to live with our aunt and uncle for three monthsuntil I turn eighteen and am a legal adult.
So we're moving to Montana.
Yeah. My thoughts exactly. No offense to the good people of Montana, but I'm a city boy, born and raised in Vegas. I'd never survive in the countryside. Seriously, could you think of two places that were more different?
Call me when you find an answer to that question.
My name is Jake Ryder.
Welcome to my hell.