“Mom I have to leave. The plane is about to take off.” I said standing in the airport with my motherclinging to me. “I’m not gonna be alone, dad’s coming too.” “It’s bad enough Eric left years ago, now you and your father are leaving me.” my mom said starting to cry.“Mom you could have come with us, we asked you.”“I can’t leave your Nona and Pap.” My Nona is 85 years old and her and my Pap have been together for their whole lives. He is 87 and they’ve never separated. They had my mom in their late 20’s early 30’s. “Yeah, we’ll be back to visit though. It’s only for a few months!”“I know.” she sniffed. “You’re my baby, Peter.” She never calls me Peter unless it’s a serious moment.“I love you mom.”“I love you too baby.” she kissed me on the cheek, hugged and kissed dad and my father and I got on the plane. We got in our seats and when advised put on our safety belts. Given we’re in Hawaii, the airport is rather small. We took off and 10 and a half hours later we were in Brooklyn, NY. We got off the plane and took a taxi over to the hotel. We walked into The Holiday Inn and was greeted by the most beautiful girl.“Hi can I help you?” she asked with a smile.“Checking in for Hernandez.” my father said. I couldn’t take my eye’s of her. Her name tag said Sydney. She got up walked over to the printed with an enticing walk and handed my dad a paper to sign.“Can I have two keys please? One for myself and the other for my son Peter.”“Please call me Bruno.” I said smiling.“Sure no problem, here you are Mr. Hernandez.” she handed my dad one key, “And Bruno.” she said smiling and handing me my key. I love the way my name rolled off her tongue. We took our keys and took the elevator up to our room. When we got in there were two beds, a large bathroom, a T.V and a dresser. “So where we goin tonight?” I asked my dad.“Just around.” he said and went in the bathroom. “I’m gonna go downstairs for a minute.” I yelled through the door, he yelled back okay and I went downstairs. “Hello again.” she smiled as I approached her.“Hey.” I smiled.“Is there a problem with the room?”“No everything is perfect. I was wondering if you could recommend any places to go in the city.”“Oh well, there’s Blake’s café, the cinema, um, 81 Above, it’s a new night club I’ve never been so I couldn’t say if it’s good or not-”“Bruno what are you doing?” my dad said walking up.“He asked for some things to do around the city.” she said politely.“Bruno you know I lived here before, I know places.” I got embarrassed and my face turned red.“Right.” I nodded. “Well I’ll see you later Sydney.” I smiled“Bye Bruno.” she smiled and we walked away.“Oh I get it.” my dad said when we got outside. “You like her.” he said.“How could I not, she’s beautiful.” I smiled.“You got it bad, you can’t stop smiling.” he laughed. We went out grabbed a bite to eat, and just walked around the city. When we got back to the hotel Sydney was sitting behind her desk, she looked like she was about to cry.“Hey, you okay?” I asked walking up to her.“I’m fine.” she said with a fake smile. I grabbed her hands.“What’s wrong?” I asked looking in her eyes.“I was just fired.” she said in a raspy voice.“What?”“And now I’m probably gonna get evicted because I have no money for rent.”“I’m so sorry.” I said rubbing my thumbs over the tops of her hands. “It’s fine.” she shook her head. “Well it was nice to meet you, maybe I’ll see you around the city.” she smiled weakly.“Yeah. It was great to meet you.” A few weeks later I found my own apartment. My dad decided to live in the house he still technically owned. It had always been his house, but he was never sure of it’s condition. He had to fix little things, but not it’s in great condition. I haven’t been over yet, but today im going. I lock my door and walk down the stairs I take a cab over. When I get out there’s a girl sitting at the train stop. She had on black jeans, red Nike high tops, gold glittery eye shadow, a red and gold shirt and a black leather jacket. I walked by her, her foot was tapping along to her music, it sounded like hip hop. Her hair was slicked back to a side pony tail and everything that hung out was curled. He hand on big gold hoop earrings and was chewing on gum. I sat next to her, she looked over and smiled.“Hi, how you doin?” I asked her.“I’m good.” she said smiling, taking out her left ear bud.“I’m Bruno, what’s your name sweetheart?” she looked up and saw that people were getting on the train.“I’m sorry my trains here. I have to go.” she was still smiling. I shook her hand and she walked away. I let out a sigh and walked the little way to my fathers house. “You’ll never guess who I saw the other day!” My father sai when I walked up the steps.“Who?” I asked.“Sydney.”“Really? Where?”“AT Tito’s bodega.”“Where?”“She remembered you.”“What? Me?”“Yeah, I told her I’d bring you by sometime. Come eat.” he said and we ate while watchin the game.
Was that Bruno? I cant stop thinking about that guy. He looked just like Bruno. I took my seat on the train and took it back to my small apartment. Since I was fired, I was able to keep my apartment by hitting up my old friend Tito on a favor he owed me. He gave me a job at his bodega, which was right next store to the laundry mat he owned. I took a shower and jumped in bed. When I woke up the next morning at seven in the morning I put on my uniform and headed over to the train stop. I got to the bodega and worked the register all day.
I decide to take the train home today, I wanted to see if I could find her again. I sat in the back of the bus. She walked on and sat in her seat putting her feet up on the seat next to her. She had her music in and her feet were thudding to the music and her head was bobbing to the music. I waned to go over and talk to her, but I just sat here watching her. The train stopped and she got up, I got up too because it was where I needed to get off. She walked in my building and up to the third floor, my floor. She went in 7 which was directly across the hall from me. I went inside my apartment 8 and stood with my back against the door. “She lives across the hall!” I smiled. For the next two weeks I watched her, every Sunday she takes a bag of laundry to the laundry mat. Today is Sunday, I’m gonna talk to her.
Ah Sunday! The one day a week I do laundry. I threw on my work clothes, put together a bag of dirty clothes and took the train to the laundry shop. I found a washer and threw my clothes in. It wasn’t busy today which was good, I could change the channel on the T.V and no one would care. The bells on the door chimed and a guy walked in. he was wearing sunglasses even there was no sun out, and a hat. He put some clothes in a washer a few washers away from mine. “Aye you got someone at the bodega!” Tito yelled to me.“Coming!” I yelled back.“Excuse me sir, would you mind watching my clothes?” I asked the man when he sat down.“Sure, no problem.” his voice was sweet, different, familiar. I smiled and walked to the door behind the managers counter, it opens to the bodega. “Hi sorry for the wait.” I said walking up to the register.“Sydney!” a guy said.“Hello again Mr. Hernandez.”“Please, call me Pete.”“Alright Pete.” I smiled ringing up his items. “How’s Bruno?” I asked shyly.“You still remember my Bruno?”“Of course.” I smiled. He paid me.“He’s doin good, got an apartment in the city now.”“Oh really? When are you gonna bring him by?” “Soon.” he smiled. “Have a great day.” I smiled.“Bye sweetheart.” he smiled and left. I closed up the register and walked back into the Laundry mat and saw Pete talkin to the guy watching my clothes.“I’m back, thanks for watching my clothes.” I said.“No problem.”“Hello again Pete.” I said checking on my clothes.“Sydney, what are you doing here?”“Sydney?” The guy asked.“Every Sunday I wash here, Tito owns it too.”“You know Tito?!”“Yeah, he’s like my uncle! What are you doing here?”“I was bringing Bruno a honey bun. He said he was gonna be here, so I popped by.”“Wait, Bruno?” I asked looking at him.“Sydney?” he asked. “Sydney from the hotel?”“Hey.” I smiled. “I saw you at the train stop the other day.”“I knew that was you!”“Why didn’t you say something?”“I wasn’t sure if you would remember me.”“There hasn’t been a day when I haven’t thought of you.” he said sweetly.“Well, im gonna head home, see you kids later.” Pete said.“Bye.” I smiled.“See ya pop.” Bruno said, he left. We sat next to each other.
“So your dad tells me you have an apartment in the city?” I asked him.
“Yeah, I actually live across the hall from you.”
“Really? For how long now?”
“About a month, I’ve seen you come and go every day and on Sunday’s when you take your laundry out.”
“So you stalked me? Figured out where I lived and watched me for weeks?” I asked moving a seat away from him.
“No, I went back to the buss when I saw you and followed you home, only it was my home too.”
“Followed me home?” I asked standing up.
“Well I saw that where you were getting off was where I live.”
“Why didn’t you just say hi?”
“I didn’t wanna get shot down. Oh god you probably think I’m some kind of weirdo!”
“Yeah, I do actually.”
“You have nothing to be afraid of. I’m not a stalker!” I starred at him. “There’s not really a way I can prove this to you is there?” he said with a light chuckle. He rubbed the back of his neck.
“Sydney I’m not a stalker. You know me.”
“No I don’t actually. I’ve only met you once.”
“I’d like to change that. Have dinner with me tomorrow night.” he didn’t ask.
“Why should I believe you?”
“Look at me. Do I look like a stalker?” he stood up and popped his collar. I starred at him. He rubbed his cheeks then his chin. He rubbed his hands together and winked at me.
“I guess I’ll get you a shot.”
“Knew ya couldn’t resist me.” he smiled.
“Oh whatever!” I got up to check my clothes.
“So if you don’t mind me asking, how old are you?” she asked.
“Never ask a lady her age.”
“What about a gorgeous woman, is that allowed?” I asked suave.
“Well when you put it that way…I’m 20 also.” she smiled that flawless smile of hers. She sat next to me again.
“So what’s your favorite color?” I asked.
She licked her lips and said “Lime.” it gave me shivers.
“Macaroni and cheese.”
“That’s not a meal that’s a side dish.” I laughed.
“Not the way I make it.” she smiled.
“The king of pop baby.”
“Good to know.”
“Red, Sushi, and the same.”
We finished doing our laundry and I planned for tomorrow night. The next day around 5 I started getting ready. I ran downstairs and bout her a dozen lime green daisy boxes. I smiled and ran up the steps, I knocked twice.
“Hey.” she answered the door.
“These are for you.” I handed her the flowers.
“Thanks, come in for a minute while I put these in water.” She was wearing jeans that accentuated her natural curves all the right way, black high heels and a red low cut shirt.
“I like your shirt.” I told her.
“The color looks amazing against your skin tone.” she laughed at me. She put her flowers up, smelled them and was ready to go. I took her down to Blake’s café, where she recommended I go. We ordered our dinner and talked the whole night. After we ate we went up to my apartment.
“I thought you might want dessert.” I told her.
“Depends on what the treat is.” she said seductively.
“Ou girl, wait on the balcony for me.” I winked at her and she smiled. I went in the kitchen and got strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and champagne. I joined her on the balcony.
“Look at you, you bought champagne?”
“Aww.” she smiled. I handed her a glass and poured some in it.
“The strawberries bring out the champagne.”
“And the chocolate and whipped cream?”
“Flavor.” she laughed. I dipped a strawberry and fed it to her, she licked her lips when she was done and winked at me.
“You are amazing.”
“Thanks sugar.” she smiled.
I scooted my chair next to her. She put a strawberry in the whipped cream and fed it to me. I chewed when I was done, she leaned over and lightly sucked the extra whipped cream off the side of my mouth. I looked deep in her eyes, she starred back. I put my right hand on he left cheek and kissed her. This kiss was filled with so much emotion. I put my other hand on the small of her back and she put both her hands in my hair. She lightly grazed my scalp with her nails. We pulled away but kept our foreheads touching, we were both out of breath.
“Wow.” she breathed.
“Yeah, wow.” I let out a breath. She smiled, we backed away a little to breathe. We each took a sip from our glasses.
“Can I tell you a secret?” she asked nervous.
“Of course. You can trust me with anything.”
“I’ve never been in a relationship before. And I don’t wanna screw anything up.”
“How would you screw anything up?”
“Well, I don’t know if you were expecting…anything tonight, but I’m not like that. I don’t put out on the first date.”
“I wasn’t expecting that. I like to get to know someone before we get physical.”
“Good answer.” she smiled.
“Just relax baby girl, we wont do anything you’re not ready for.”
“Okay.” she said quietly and smiled. I cleaned up our dessert and we went back inside, it was getting kinda cold. We put in a movie and snuggled on the couch together. She rested on my chest and we fell asleep.
“Good morning beautiful.” I said when I woke up, I kissed her on the forehead.
“Hey, sorry I fell asleep.” she said in a groggy voice, she sat up.
“Don’t be, we slept together. It was easy to fall asleep with you so near me.” I smiled.
“So don’t you have to go to work or something?”
“No got the day off, you?”
“Same. So what do you do?”
“Well I want to be and artist, but I’m a producer.”
“Like movies?” she asked confused.
“No, music.” I laughed.
“Oh that’s cool. Looking for any new talent?” she asked hopeful.
“Good to know.”
“Know anyone?” I smiled.
“I might. She’s a little shy, insecure, big heart, and big dreams.”
“Sing something for me.”
She started singing the way you make me feel by Michael Jackson.
“Wow, you’re great!”
“Really? You’re not just saying that?”
“No Sydney, I could listen to your voice for ever!” she smiled and hugged me. How about we get dressed, grab some grub and head to the studio.”
“Seriously?” she asked excited.
“I’m dead serious, girl.” I smiled.
“Alright.” she jumped up smiling. While she went to her apartment to change I made us breakfast.
When she came back I had the table set with two plates of eggs and toast, and two glasses of orange juice.
“I hope this isn’t too casual.” she said before she sat down. She’s wearing ripped jeans and a graphic tee.
“No you’re fine.” I reassured her. We ate, brushed our teeth and walked downstairs.
“Are we taking the train?” she asked.
“That or taxi?” I asked.
“How far away is it?” she asked, I grabbed her right hand with my left one and we started walking.
“We could always walk.”
“I like that.” she smiled. I swung our hands slowly forwards and backwards.
“It’s a nice day out.” I commented.
“Yeah, the cool breeze inspires me.” she said looking up at the sky, he hair was blowing in the wind and she looked so beautiful.
“Inspires you to what?” I asked curiously.
“To write, sing, draw, anything. I’ve always been a creative person, driven by the subtleness of life.”
“Whoa, you’re deep.” I smiled, she laughed a little.
“But there’s so much life here in the city, you turn the corner, you got kids laughing, playing, enjoying childhood. Walk down the street, an elderly couple sitting on their front steps holding each other reminiscing about their memories. Look in the park or on the sidewalk,” she looked at me, “new couples walking enjoying each others company, thinking about their desires and future with the person they‘re with. It’s hard to not be inspired by this.” I looked at her in amazement.
“I’ve never heard such beautiful words before, you painted a picture for me. The way you described the city was amazing.” she smiled.
“Inspiration comes from anywhere, you just have to open to anything.”
“Again your words. Mind if I quote you on that.”
“Not at all.” we smiled. She took her left hand and grabbed my right arm then rested her head on my shoulder as we walked. I squeezed her hand a little and she smiled. We didn’t walk that much further, maybe about 15 minutes. When we got there Phil’s car was parked outside.
“Someone’s already here?” she asked.
“My partner, Phil. We’ve been friends for years.”
“Oh okay.” I opened the door for her and she walked in, I followed her.
“Phil?” I asked wondering where he was.
“In here!” he yelled, we followed his voice, he was in the editing room.
“Hey.” I said.
“Hey Bru- who’s this?” he smiled.
“Sydney.” he saw we were holding hands, he smiled.
“Hi.” she said sweetly.
“It’s nice to meet you.” Phil told her.
“You too.” she smiled.
“You got to hear her sing.” I told Phil, “I think we should represent her.”
“Really? Lemme hear what you got.”
“What would you like me to sing?” she asked.
“Adele, rolling in the deep.”
“Really Phil, why something so hard, start her off eas-”
“There’s a fire starting in my heart.” she started singing interrupting me. I shut up and we watched her. The looked vanished from Phil’s face, he didn’t think she could do it. He stopped her at the end of the chorus.
“So what did you think?” she asked nervous.
“Hi I’m Philip Lawrence I’d like to represent you.” he held out his hand, she shook it. “You were amazing.”
“Thank you.” she said excited. I hugged her, she hugged me back.
“Have you written any songs?” Phil asked her.
“Nothing good.” she said with a chuckle.