As Sandy and I headed out toward the subway, it was hard not to get caught up in the glitz of New York City. It was so beautiful to see Manhattan at night. I could pinch myself from all the amazing view of Times Square.
“Come on, Mia,” Sandy said as she tugged on my arm.
“I am going, Sandy, I just needed to take it all in,” I said, breathing in the cold New York City air.
It was nice and crispy.
I am so going to love it here. Oh, Leo, I wish you were here. We could
so go ice skating and eat a hot dog at a hot dog stand.
Sandy’s apologetic voice intruded in on my thoughts.
“I am sorry, Mia, I had not even thought how this is your first time here, and how exciting this is for you.”
“That’s okay, Sandy,” I said, giving her a smile.
I had to say, getting on that subway for the first time was a bit scary. It seemed like so much happening at one time. On the one hand, there were crowds of people getting on and off the train. Musicians were singing at each street corner, trying to catch their big break and be discovered. It was so magical.
“Mia, you okay?”
I nodded. “Oh, I am okay. Just taking it all in.” She laughed “Oh, I understand.”
The subway was like nothing I have ever seen before. My heart thumped hard inside my chest, and I suddenly remember I haven’t called my parents in a while.
Oh, goodness, I’ll need to call them as soon as I get off the next subway. Okay, no time for worries. It is time to see New York City and enjoy it. I will call them as soon as I get a chance.
Sandy’s voice broke through my thoughts. “Mia, this is where we get off.”
I could not believe the view as we leave the subway station. Times Square was gorgeous!
“Mia, you’ll love the café I am taking you to.”
I smiled and rubbed my hands together. “I’m so excited!” The bright lights of NYC surround us as we walk towards the ’café.
Times Square is just now lighting up, and the electric glow warms my heart. The crowds helped me stay focused, and I soon stopped thinking about Leo.
Sandy was so happy. She could not help but continue to jump.
I can’t help it. New York really comes alive at night, with its lights and huge billboards advertising the latest Broadway shows. This is where I’ve always wanted to be. A place like no other. I tried to keep my composure, but I just couldn’t contain how happy I am.
“So, Mia, how are you liking New York?” “Are you kidding? I am loving it, Sandy!”
She chuckled. “I know. I can see it on your face.” Wow, is it that obvious?
“Come on, Mia, there is still more to see.”
I followed her excitedly towards the café. Well, to my surprise, it is more of a café/Broadway theater.
I felt like a kid in a candy store. This place was all that I have ever loved about New York. Dreams was both a ’café and it offered a singing Broadway show.
Sandy opened her arms wide. “Mia, welcome to Dreams Café.”
This place was nothing like I had ever seen. It was packed with people.
I bite my lip. “Sandy, do you think we will find a place to sit?”
She waved a dismissive hand in the air. “Don’t worry about that.
Our table is all ready for us. Or, rather, our booth.” I blinked “It is?”
She smiled and nodded. “Yes.”
How does Sandy know we have a booth ready for us already?
She laughed when she saw the look on my face. “What’s the matter?”
I couldn’t help but be dumbfounded by it all.
“Just, with all the people here, I was wondering how we could even get a booth.”
“Easy. We are students from the New York Dance Academy. Here at Dreams they treated us like family.”
“Yes, so come on.”
I felt like I was dreaming. None of this could be real. First, I come to New York and arrived at the school I have always wanted to be a part of, meeting Sandy, and now I am being treated like royalty. My life should not get any better than this. I was really liking Sandy. She’s super friendly and down to earth. The kind of girl that I enjoyed hanging out with. Happy tears filled my eyes. Oh, this is just
what I needed.
“Mia, are you okay?” she asked.
I swiped at the tears with my fingertips. “I am fine. Just got caught up in the excitement again.”
“That’s okay.” She laughed.
A waiter danced up to us and sang, “Welcome to Dreams ’Café Broadway show. Come with me, ladies.”
Sandy tugged on my sleeve. “Come on, Mia.”
I indicated with a response, “Okay I am going.”
Once we were seated at our booth, I decided it was a good time to call my parents.
“Sandy, if you don’t mind, I am going to make one quick phone call.”
“Oh sure, no worries. In the meantime, I am going to freshen up.
“Thank you.” I dialed my parents’ number.
My mom answered it on the first ring. “Well hello, Mia.” “Hey, Mom.”
“So, how are you, honey?”
I was trying to cover my ears since the loudness of the place overshadows my mother’s voice.
“Well, I checked in, and Mom, I am loving New York.” She heaved a sigh of relief. “Oh, honey, I am so glad.” “Where is Daddy?”
“He stepped out to the store, but I know he will be glad to hear all is well.”
“Oh, Mom, it is better than well!” I said in an excited tone. “Honey, that is wonderful, but it sounds loud. Where are you?”
“I am at a café/Broadway show with my new friend and roommate, Sandy.”
“Well, I’m glad you found a friend already.”
“Yes, she has been wonderful. She invited me out.”
For a moment, she’s quiet, but then she says, “Well, I am so happy for you, honey. I know the past year has been rough.”
“Yes, but I am okay, Mom.”
“Well, I know you’re busy now, honey. Just give us a call during the week, okay?”
“I will, Mom.” “Love you, Mia.”
“I love you too, Mom. Give my love to Dad.” “I will, honey.”
When I hung up, a wave of nostalgia hit me and immediately I began to shake it off.
Sandy comes back from the bathroom and catches me crying. “Hey, Mia, are you okay?”
“Yes, just talking with my mom.”
“I got the same way. Mine are in North Carolina.” “Oh? What part of North Carolina?”
“My mother’s brother, my Uncle Ted, and his wife, Aunt Rose, live in Raleigh.”
“Oh, I am familiar with Raleigh. My dad did work there all the time and would take us to visit.”
I smiled. “Oh, I got to visit there, too.” She laughed. “Small world.”
I knew it is only my first day in New York, but I am already sensing I am right where I am supposed to be, based on the present company. My first night out has started on the right foot.
“Okay, well, we should order now,” said Sandy. “That sounds great.”
While we waited for our order, Sandy told me more about how she got started in dance and how she knew dancing was everything to her. I knew it is early, but I thought this is the beginning of a great friendship. After all her passion for dance was just like mine.
Mom is right. With all that had happened with Leo, this is just what I need. Still, I’m not ready to share that part of my life with Sandy just yet.
Maybe, with time.
For now, I am just grateful to be here.