“Well, I’m on my way. I don’t know where I’m going. I’m on my way. I’m taking my time but I don’t know where. Goodbye Rosieeeee! The Queen of Corona. See you, me, and Julio down by the schoolyard. See you, me, and Julio down by the schoolyard.”
“See you, me, and Julio down by the schoolyard.”
For a lovely tenor, he wasn’t a young man like she imagined. Well, not around her age sort of young. More like, ten years older than her. “You have such a nice singing voice, sir.”
“As do you, although; for someone who hasn’t heard the real song you sound as would be expected.”
“Excuse me?” she said as she squinted her eyes up at the Middle Eastern man with an expensive trench coat and large umbrella.
“Ah, no wonder it doesn’t sound like the one most people know. Your inflection and elocution needs some work. Then it would sound amazing.”
The street performer was used to people not always liking how she sang her covers. However, this guy’s words are nice, but his tone is mocking. Her hands ball up into fists as she stands up to put her guitar in its case. Before the case closes, she glances at the measly amount of money made today and couldn’t help but frown.
Her eyes widened at the two fifty dollar bills the man was handing to her. “You tried your best, but trust me, you can do better than that. Miss…?”
“Elijah Forester, but most people just call me Eli. And your name is…?” She wanted to throw the money in his face, but fought the urge to do so. As much as she hated it she needed the money. Not just for dinner, but because her poor pitiful father was still crashing at her place. He’s been doing so for one year.
“Just call me Hennessy.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Of course your name is Hennessy. You look like a hen.” Elijah knew that was a weak comeback at best, but it made him angry which was the goal.
“There’s no need to be upset. I’m just pointing out that with a few lessons, you could become a great singer.”
“Elijah just smiled at him before walking away with her guitar case. “Unless, singing on the street is just a hobby of yours!” She stopped walking to look at him as he gave her a victorious grin. He then handed her his business card. She only bothered to look at his name, Hennessy Nabil. “Come on, don’t you want to try? I’ll take you on as my pro bono case. But I know you can be one of my many success stories. How about it?”
She tucked Hennessy’s business card in her sweater as she said, “As interesting as it sounds to be your guinea pig, I will have to say no.” With those words, she walks away not sparing a glance at the subject of her inner age.
Meanwhile, Hennessy shook his head before almost bumping into a fellow colleague of his. Professor Maria Hershey who married a quiet yet reserved gentleman from Pennsylvania two years ago. How did Hennessy know this? Facebook, of course. “Maria!”
“Hennessy!” she exclaimed as they openly hugged in the middle of the busy street.
“What brings you here! I thought you were already playing marital bliss in Pennsylvania?”
“Only you would call marital bliss a game,” she replied with a roll of her eyes. “Besides, I wanted to see a Broadway performance. Did you want to as well?”
“No. I was just walking around. The buzz of people helps me think.”
Maria shrugs and hands Hennessy her own business card and starts to walk away after that. Then she said over her shoulder, “Always the social pariah, never the social butterfly.”
“Ha-ha. Very funny, Hershey.” Hennessy slowly walks away from busy Times Square and heads back to his office; which is also his home. He takes a subway or two until he finally arrives in Greenwich Village. His feet don’t stop walking until he stops at a brick made house with a bright red door.
“Home sweet home,” he says to no one but himself. Hennessy Nabil always felt like one of the fortunate ones.
Despite his hardships from moving to the United States from Pakistan, he made a home in New York. Plus, Maria never quite understood why Hennessy was a social pariah. Only because looking at Maria someone might only suspect she’s an illegal alien, which in the United States, is a dime a dozen.
Hennessy on the other hand, still gets looked at wherever he goes like a terrorist. He knows he can’t speak for everyone from the Middle East, but he certainly thought 9-11 was one of the contributing factors that screwed them over.