Saturday, August 16, 2008


The New York air was full of excitement and lights, buzzing with activity. It was impossible to not be caught up in the amazing atmosphere. But there was one person who was the complete opposite of the confident and enthusiastic scene. A girl sat slumped against the wall of a large, flashy building. Her head was down, and her black hair hung in her eyes. A thundercloud hovered over her head, pulsing with the message of despair.

Desiree knew she had run out of luck. Ever since coming to this city, she knew she had made a mistake. Everything had been great for awhile. There was plenty of money in her pockets and plenty of opportunities to get the “big break” she’d always dreamed of. But soon the endless standing in line to audition and the constant stress had taken its toll. She had nothing now, not even a dollar for a pay phone.

I will not cry
, she thought, angrily rubbing her eyes. I can do this.

But there was nothing left to do. She had nothing and nowhere to go. She couldn’t make herself go into the building she was leaning against. She couldn’t handle another failure. Desiree leaned her head back and looked up at the tall buildings that towered over her head, never ending as they touched the sky.

“Hey, kid!”

A man looked over the railing of a window below her. Desiree twisted to peer up at him. He motioned to her.

“Come in here, I want to talk to you.”

She shook her head, immediately suspicious. Her gaze returned to her knees, her thoughts back on how to get out of this mess.

The door beside her opened. The man who had called to her stuck his head out the door. She glanced at him, sniffed, and looked away. He sighed loudly and slid down to sit next to her. He said nothing, but a silent understanding emanated from him. Desiree had a strange feeling that he wanted to say something.

“Talk,” she said shortly.

“About?” he asked.

Desiree shrugged, “Whatever it is you want to talk about.”

The man laughed softly.

“My name’s Stan.”

He paused, giving her a chance to reply. When she remained quiet, he continued.
“You’ve been sitting here for three hours.”

Again, Desiree said nothing.

Stan reached a hand into his coat pocket and pulled out a photograph. He handed it to her, and she looked at him, startled.

“Hey, what are you doing with this?” she cried, “This is my picture!”

He nodded.

“You’ve got potential, kid. I saw your audition the other day. You’ve got the looks, the voice, the style. With a little help, I think you could get on your way,” Stan said.

Desiree eyed him cautiously.

“Why do you want to help me?” she asked.

Stan sighed again.

“I was a lot like you when I was a kid. Ambitious, energetic, and a little bit too arrogant, or in some cases, afraid, to ask for help. I ended up all right, but not everybody is so lucky,” he explained.

Desiree raised an eyebrow, “What has that got to do with me?”

“Well, you could at least use a hand, right?”

Desiree shook her head, “I’m fine on my own. I don’t need you.”

It was quiet again for a minute. Stan reached into his pocket and pulled out a wallet.

“No. I don’t take anything from anybody,” Desiree started to say, but he forced a bill into her hand, along with a business card.

“When you feel like you’re ready, call that number. Your dreams can still come true, kid. Just don’t feel like you’ve got to do it alone.”

He stood up and went back into the building. Desiree stared at the card and the bill he had given her. She sat for a long time, just looking at the items in her hand.

Finally, she stood up. It was time to try again. She braced herself and pushed open the door. Stan sat at a desk, bent over a stack of papers. Desiree forced herself to walk to the desk. She stopped, but he didn’t look up.

“Ahem,” she said softly.

Stan looked up at her.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

Desiree took a deep breath.

“Yes, you can, actually.”

She handed him the card and the picture he had given her, along with the bill. He took them from her, glanced over them, then looked at her. He smiled a bright and genuine smile.

"Come on kid, let’s make you a star.”

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