This is the only A/N I'm going to make in this fic, so please read:
I was listening to the song Somewhere in Brooklyn by Bruno Mars last summer (2011) when I got the idea for this story. I started writing, but then my muse, flighty bitch that she is, decided to take off for parts unknown. Thankfully she has come back (though she's living out of her suitcase as we speak so I don't expect her to stick around for long) and I was able to finish this.
I have also branched out to the wide world of Twifics. I recently posted a companion chapter to a fic by an author I beta for by the name of Sxkitn on my profile page. I have also started a Twific of my own as well as another SVM story; however, due to the inability of my muse to stick around for any amount of time, I will not post any of my new works until they are complete. This way I won't leave anyone hanging, or cause undue frustration for myself or my beta(s).
To answer a few questions you may have: Yes I have been to NYC, but it has been more than 15 years for me. Yes I have ridden the subway once or twice, and yes, I do realize that the stations are underground. In order to make this story fun I have taken a few liberties, used a few popular stereotypes, and bent a few politically correct views. I realize that not everyone will agree with everything I have these characters do or say, but please take into account that this is a fictional story based on another fictional story. I live in the South and I can promise you that CH used plenty of her own artistic liberties when writing her novels concerning Southern living as well.
Also, I will not beg for reviews or ask you not to leave criticisms publically. I will however ask that if you feel that you need to criticize this or any other story I post, that you have the decency to leave me a way to reply to you. I only ask for the same respect that I have shown when leaving my own reviews.
My beta for this story is the multi-talented and much-loved kjwrit. She's got several stories of her own going at the moment (one of which she has graciously agreed to let me use in this story for my own purposes) as well as more than a few completed SVM fics that will knock your lemon-loving socks off. So big thanks and tons of beta love go out to her for taking my projects on; you rock girl!
Disclaimer: SVM and all its characters and original plotlines belong to Ms. Harris. I barely own this story but I do own the computer I typed it on. ;)
New York City, March 2003
I ran down the stairs, damn near skipping like a ten year old girl in my excitement, still riding my high from acing my audition. Sure, it was just for some stand-in part, but I would actually have a few spoken lines, and it was for a syndicated prime-time network show. The words 'I didn't see nuttin',' and 'Don't I get a lawyer, Piggy?' had never sounded so good, in my own humble opinion. I had called Pam, my manager and my big sister, from a corner payphone as soon as I had walked out of the audition, knowing that she'd have my ass on a platter if I didn't and really, I just wanted to share my elation with someone. She was sure this was going to be my big break. She had instantly started listing off all of the actors who had gotten their start with less on this particular syndicated crime show.
Just as I hit the platform I heard the hissing hydraulics of the train doors sliding shut and the electric hum of it moving from the station. I had just missed my train but I couldn't be bothered to be too angry. As I stood next to one of the concrete columns remembering our conversation, I started watching the crowd of people surrounding me. I saw several harried looking businessmen in designer suits that were busy yelling into their cell phones, and it was a sight that always made me laugh. I imagined they did it just to look important when in reality there was no one on the other end. Then again, maybe the fate of the world really did rest solely on whether a certain business transaction took place or not. Either way, it was always interesting to watch their facial expressions and wildly emphatic gestures.
Then you had the inevitable mother and child, or even better I thought sarcastically, children. You know, the ones who can't keep their kid under control and so they end up running around screaming and the mother either tries to pretend it's not bothering everyone in a nine block radius or is yelling at the top of her lungs for Jimmy or Katie to just sit the hell down, uttering the infamous words 'Just you wait until your father hears about this…'
Add to these two requisite characters the homeless, the panhandlers, the college students, the gang-bangers, the every-day Joe Schmoes, and of course the tourists who were either too excited or too scared to be there and you had the best kind of acting class any actor worth their weight in scripts could ever take part in; the New York City subway station. There was no better place to people watch than here.
I continued to lean up against my column, changing the direction of my glances every few seconds, when the crowd seemed to part and my breath literally caught in my chest. My heart stuttered, missed a full cadence, and then took off at a wild gallop. She was a gorgeous conundrum. She was obviously listening to some sort of dance music, as witnessed by the movements her feet were making while she was seated on the bench. Her ear buds were planted snugly in her ears and attached to a worn looking Sony Discman, but her clothing was what made her stand out.
She was wearing a red leather jacket, reminiscent of Michael Jackson's in his Thriller video, gold chains and hoop earrings, tight (so tight they looked painted on) stone washed jeans, and slouch socks pushed down around the top of her red Nike high-tops complete with the Velcro strap at the top. Her silky –looking blond hair was pulled into a tight ponytail, gathered high on the side of her head, and was held in place with a red leather scrunchy. (Yes, I do know what a scrunchy is. Pam may be my manager, but she is also my older sister, and we lived together in the 80's and early 90's.) Her make-up was theatrically done, instantly placing her as a performer of some sort in my mind, even if her outdated clothing hadn't.
I couldn't take my eyes off of her; even in her crazy costume and overdone makeup she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Before I even realized what was happening, my feet were moving and my body was being pulled to hers, almost as if I was magnetically drawn to her. In mere seconds, two breaths really, I was standing in front of her. I watched as her body reacted to my sudden nearness, instantly stiffening.
Her eyes slowly took in my body starting from the ground up, hesitating only briefly before stopping on my face, but never making contact with my own. I actually felt relieved that our eyes didn't meet right away; already they held a power over my body and I was afraid that once we made eye contact she would own me, body and soul. I held my breath as I watched her hands come up, wondering if she felt the pull too, only to exhale as she reached for her ears instead. Over the din of the crowded station I could hear the muted strains of some hip-hop or rap song coming from the ear buds she now held firmly in her fingers.
My eyes moved from her fingers to her jaw line and made their way to her crimson stained lips. I watched them move, mesmerized, when her voice drifted to my ears. In a sultry Southern drawl-induced haze I heard the words I'd waited all my life to hear.
"Is there something I can help you with, or are you planning on standing there all day lookin' like a retard?"
So of course I replied with all of the charm, wit and polish I had accumulated in my twenty five years on this planet.
"Were you listening to some kind of music just now?" I cringed as the words literally squeaked out of me. So much for the charm and polish.
"Nope, I was training my invisible circus elephant to sit and you just broke his concentration. Now I'll have to start all over again, thanks a lot." I couldn't help it, I honestly tried, but the snark and sass coming from her elicited a burst of laughter I simply couldn't contain no matter how hard I tried.
"Invisible elephant… sitting… concentration…" I continued laughing, causing her to start giggling as well. When my laughter was finally contained I chanced a look back at her face and felt my breath catch once more. Her own laughter had caused her cheeks to redden, the blush making her golden skin appear to glow and her already bright eyes to sparkle in their dim and dirty surroundings, making her out to be some sort of other-worldly creature. I drew in a deep breath, trying to hide my nervousness and failing miserably, and decided to try to talk to her once again. I could only hope that the wall between us had been broken. Here goes everything, I thought as I began to speak once again.
"Of course you're listening to music, I can hear that much, but what I meant to ask was what are you listening to?"
"In Da Club by 50 Cent," she said, though it sounded more like 'fiddy cent' than fifty, "It's one of my favorites right now. It's got such a great beat I just can't help moving to it anytime I hear it."
"I can't say that I've ever heard it. I'm not much into rap and Fiddy Cent," I emphasized her pronunciation, "is way too hard core for me to even try to listen. I usually just stick to whatever is playing on Z-100 when I turn on the radio."
"Then I bet you've heard it anyways. You know, like this." Suddenly her body started bouncing in her seat, her chest and shoulders moving to a beat that only she could hear, and then she started rapping the familiar lyrics that even I knew, "'Go, go, go, go, go shorty, it's your birfday, we gonna party, like it's your birfday, we gonna sip Bacardi like it's your birfday…"
I couldn't take it anymore, I had to stop her before I started laughing uncontrollably again, thereby killing any chance I might have of happily ever after with this girl, possibly even the girl, the girl of my dreams.
"Okay, okay, I do know the song, just please, stop rapping," I pleaded, all the while trying my damnedest not to laugh out loud at the sweet Southern girl spewing rap lyrics out, Ebonics and all. Her face once more took on the wondrous blush it had shed only moments ago and her eyes cast shyly downwards.
"Yeah, I guess it does sound kinda ridiculous when I do it. But it really is one of my favorite dance songs; you just can't not dance to the beat, or at least I can't." I decided right then and there that 50 Cent was my new favorite rapper.
"So, is this seat taken?" I asked, gesturing to the empty seat on the bench next to her.
"Oh, um… No. I can schooch over a bit more if you need me to," she said, though I could see that she'd rather not get any closer to the man on her other side.
"That's alright, I should have enough room here," I slid in beside her, trying not to make her uncomfortable by getting too close, and asked, "So, you're from somewhere in the South, huh? I can tell by your accent. What're you doing here in NYC?"
"I'm here for school. Some of the best theatrical schools are here, and though I love Louisiana, it doesn't offer much in the way of decent drama education. Besides, I've always wanted to live in a big city and my Gran thought it would be good for me to see how you crazy Yanks live through one of your winters."
"Yeah, I suppose our winters are pretty intense, especially if you're used to what must be near tropical heat year round… and I'm sure your 'gators are much bigger than ours." I said jokingly.
"You know, that's one thing I really hate about you Yanks, you always assume that it's always so hot down south, but really, it's gets cold there too. We're just not stupid enough to live somewhere that's so cold that our blood freezes the second we walk out our doors. For that reason alone I love my home state; no freezing. We do still get some snow every winter though, just nothing like you do here."
"Well then, let me apologize for offending your Southern temperatures. I read somewhere that Louisiana was one of the hottest and most humid areas in the U.S. during the summers and I guess I just assumed it was always warm there."
"You know what they say about assuming, right? It makes an ass outta you…"
"And me, I've heard…" I started to say, but was interrupted by the laughter bubbling forth from her beautiful mouth.
"You do realize that you just took the blame for both parts of that phrase, don't you?" she sputtered out.
"Huh? What are you taking about?" But then what I said hit me and I immediately started laughing too. "Yeah, I did, didn't I? Oh wow, maybe I should just stop talking, I really am making an ass outta myself today."
By this time our joint laughter had brought our bodies closer together and our shoulders were touching. Though I could barely feel the physical pressure of her body against mine, the electrical current zinging throughout my arm was hard to ignore. I wanted to reach out and wrap my arms around this girl. I ached to hold her to me just to feel this amazing current along every plane of my body. I longed to throw her over my shoulder and whisk us away to my bedroom where I would gladly spend hours, days, even years claiming her as mine. I could only hope that she felt the same pull towards me.
Just as I opened my mouth to speak, to try to say anything other than 'Me Eric, you my woman; me fuck you long time," another train pulled into the station. My thoughts were lost amidst the chaos of the debarking passengers and those who were clamoring to enter the train at the same time. It was then that I noticed that the girl beside me had vanished. I looked around me and saw her board the train just as the doors swooshed shut. She turned as the train started out of the station and our eyes finally met as she gave me a timid wave goodbye. Her blue eyes, a blue as dark and deep as the Atlantic Ocean, held mine captive for a few seconds before they were lost into the darkness of the subway tunnel.
I knew, without a doubt, that the only girl I could ever fully love had just entered and exited my life in the space of less than ten minutes. I knew very few things about her; she was from Louisiana, she was in New York attending some art or drama school, she had a wicked sense of humor (one that I desperately didn't want to live without), and she was beyond beautiful. I also knew that she had just boarded a train headed to Brooklyn, though I didn't know why.
The worst part was; I didn't even know her name.
But I did know that I had to find her.