It was about a week since classes began. I never realized how busy I would be, and now even more so since I have to put extra time into my schedule to stay back at the studio and practice. I felt guilty about not being able to call my parents, so I scheduled a time to for them later in the evening. Besides, I needed to look into a work study position, since my scholarship only covers my dorm, books, and tuition. I need my own money to get by, and I even consider getting another job to make ends meet. For now, I am determined to find some work.
“Mia, check the student center. They always place jobs there,” Sandy said.
“Thanks Sandy I will do that.”
“Okay, I have to go now. Classes are starting for me in about an hour.”
I waved. “Later.”
She turned back in the doorway and looked at me. “I promise we can do something fun this Saturday.”
“Oh, don’t worry Sandy, Sounds good.”
I really admired her. She is so on top of everything—her school, her side work, and even her job at a dance studio, which she recommended that I check out.
“I will talk to Gail, the owner, and let you know if there is anything available. Okay, Mia?”
The thought of working there was so exciting. After all, I did the same thing back in Ann Arbor and loved it.
Okay, now to go over to the student center and check out the jobs they had.
After about a half hour, I arrived at the student center, which is surrounded by so many students gathered around the different tables, who are also looking through the different positions being offered. The large crowds at the tables are all engaged in conversation, and some people are even laughing.
I’m so impressed by the long list of jobs, I thought it’s best to mark off the ones I’m really interested in.
Hmm, okay. A waitress at Dreams Café, a library assistant, a dance assistant for Alona Neal. So many to choose from.
I’m sure I’ve been sitting here for a couple of hours. The crowd was thinning out, and I haven’t even noticed until now. I stood and stretched out and grabbed a coffee from the corner café. I studied the menu to try and decide between the many types of coffee they offer.
“Excuse me, Miss,” said a man’s voice behind me. His accent is foreign—either British or Australian.
I turned slowly. “Ah, yes?”
“Hi, I couldn’t help but notice you dropped this.”
It’s my job listing. The young man who held it out to me has dark brown hair and light brown eyes. He’s about 6 feet tall.
I felt really tiny next to him. “Thank you.”
“Oh, no worries, Miss. My name was Henry Watson.”
I took the paper from his hand and smile. “I’m Mia. Mia Gerard.”
“Pleased to meet you, Mia.”
Henry Watson? Why does that sound so familiar? “I’ve heard your name before.”
. “Oh, I am glad,” he said while grabbing his long hair.
“I know I have.” But where?
He lowers his head slightly. “Well, I am a painter, so maybe you have seen my work?”
That’s it! “Oh, I know! At the dean’s office. I saw one of your paintings.”
“Oh, you mean Dean Array?”
He laughed. “Yes, he wanted one of my dancer paintings.”
“I have to say I was quite impressed with it, Henry.”
“Oh, I am glad. Mia, right?”
I nodded. “Yes Mia, and I thought your painting was actually a Degas.”
He paused for a moment. “Wow, really?”
He runs a hand through his hair. “Well, I have aspired in some ways to be like him.”
“I thought you had more than aspired, Henry.”
Wait! What am I doing? I don’t even know this guy, and here I am exchanging pleasantries with him.
“So Mia, are you from here?”
“No, I am from Ann Arbor.”
He looked confused. Like a deer in headlights. “Ann Arbor?”
“Oh, I know where Michigan is,” He replied.
“Oh, you do?”
“Yes, well I have never been there; I did have a mate who was from Michigan. I believe he lived in Detroit.”
I smiled. “Yes I am familiar with Detroit, so how about you, Henry? Where are you from?”
“I am from England. From Yorkshire.”
“That’s so far away. Is your family still there?”
“Yes, my mum and dad are back in England.”
“Do you visit, or do they travel here?”
“I visit them when I can.”
At some point during our conversation, I looked at the time on my phone and notice Henry and I have been talking for about an hour. This was indeed strange, but he seemed like a nice person. There can’t be any harm in talking with him as a friend.
“So, what brings you to New York, Mia?”
“Well, I’m a dancer. I’m pursuing a career in Contemporary Dance and Ballet at this school.”
“Sounds like a great plan.”
“Thanks. I hope so, Henry. How about you?”
“I moved here about 3 years ago. I’m finally working on my big exhibit, and I’ve even hired an agent.”
“Oh, Henry. That sounds amazing!”
“Believe me, it is.”
As much as I enjoyed talking with Henry, I couldn’t help feeling that time was slipping away from me. There was so much I still had to do today. “Listen, Henry. I’ve loved our talk today, but I’ve got to run.”
“No worries. I’m sure we’ll see more of each other.” He looked into my eyes.
Then I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, and butterflies started fluttering away in there.
“Later, Mia.” He waved as I walked away.
“Ah, yes. Later.”
Wow, that was different. I’m not sure what to make of this encounter with a stranger.