The train was slowing down and soon my destiny came into view.
All the fantasies I'd had about being here were shattered. The compound was huge, with razor wire atop chain-link fencing, and what appeared to be guard towers with darkened windows. The few people I could see were being marched to an unknown destination.
I wasn't alone on the train, but I might as well have been. No one spoke, all our faces were pressed to the windows. The fear in the train car was so thick it dripped from the ceiling. Over and over, like a prayer, I repeated the number they had given me upon entering the train. The man handing out these numbers cautioned us to memorize these numbers before we got here, or we could expect dire consequences.
I had spoken to a few of the guys on the train during our overnight trip, and in some ways they shared my history. None of them had jobs, or if they did they were minimum wage jobs, and it seems we all flirted with crimes. A few of the men tried to shine some light on our destiny, claiming we would get regular meals, and exercise. Yeah, like that was something to look forward too.
I wish I hadn't done it. Now ,my life and many others lives would be changed because of what I'd done. I was too late now. I watched as the massive iron gates swung open and the train began chugging under the arch. We all craned our necks to read the words on the arch. "Great Lakes Naval Training Station" Or, as we called it, boot camp.