Chapter 1.1 – A Dream Come True

The high-rise apartment block rose menacingly into the sky above me.  After touching down at Bridgeport City Airport, I was able to catch a ride from a passing taxi driver to my new apartment here on the edge of town.  With my limited budget, I hadn’t been able to afford anything closer to the city centre.

I stood a little to the side of the glass double doors as I surveyed the exterior of the building.  This was it – the beginning of my new life in the big city and the road to vocal stardom.

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The lobby of the building was much more comfortable-looking than the outside.  Panelled wooden walls surrounded a sturdy marble elevator and callbox.  I could already feel my excitement building as I strode towards the elevator.

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I tapped the elevator button for the top floor where my apartment was located.  It may not be anything like a penthouse, but at least I could pretend it was!  And the view would surely be fantastic.

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For all the fancy décor, the building didn’t seem to be in the best condition.  The first time I stepped out of the elevator, I found myself jammed painfully between the two doors.

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After several moments of undignified struggling, the doors slid open again and I fell face first onto the tiled floor.

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How embarrassing!  I struggled quickly to my feet, praying there had been no one around to witness that.

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The apartment itself, I had to admit, left much to be desired.  Three small rooms, cheap furniture, and construction work outside meant that I would definitely find sleeping difficult.

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No wonder the apartment was so cheap.  But I knew I couldn’t afford to be picky, and I didn’t plan on being around here much anyway once I got into my career.

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Speaking of which… looking out the window at the gorgeous sea view, I wondered where I would be able to find an audition in such a busy city.

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Looking down, I noticed a man in a llama costume dancing on the doorstep several floors below my window.  Almost certainly crazy… but he might still know his way around, and there was no one else in sight.

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Glad to leave my new, rather disappointing “home”, I jogged back to the elevator and pushed the ‘LOBBY’ button.  Just my luck that the doors would jam again. For the second time that day I found myself lying on my stomach with my face in the dust.

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As I scrambled to my feet, I noticed with humiliation that a man was standing on the other side of the lobby.  He certainly looked a lot safer than the psycho llama dancing outside, and I was all too happy to approach him in spite of my embarrassment.

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“Hi, I’m Nicole.  I just moved here…”  Despite his reassuring appearance, I was still quite shy by nature at introducing myself to strangers.

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“Nice to meet you, Nicole!  I’m Paul,” the man replied with a friendly smile.

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Reassured, I took his hand and smiled back.  Despite all good intentions, I soon forgot about my original goal completely as I found myself chatting freely to Paul.  I was surprised at how easy he was to talk to, compared with how I usually felt interacting with people I didn’t know very well.

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Turns out, he was a middle-aged widower who had moved to Bridgeport years ago with his wife to become a famous writer.

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Since his wife’s death, he had joined the business career and now only wrote stories in his spare time.

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I ended up telling Paul all about my dream to become a singer, my decision to move to Bridgeport and the disappointing experience I had so far encountered.

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By the time Paul had to excuse himself to go to work, we had already become good friends, and my bad mood had all but disappeared thanks to Paul’s friendly conversation.

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As he walked out the door, however, I suddenly remembered the reason I had come downstairs in the first place.  “Hey Paul, wait!” I called after him in a panic.  He paused just outside the door of the building so I could catch up.

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“Sorry, I just forgot I had something to ask you!” I gasped.  It was already sunset.  “Do you maybe know where I can get a singing audition in this town?”

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“Yeah sure I do, but it’s getting a bit late…” he responded uncertainly.

“Please Paul?”

He sighed.

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“See that subway station just there?  Take the train over th’other side of the bridge, there’s a park somewhere thereabouts where all the performers go.”

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“Thank you so much Paul!  I’m going there right now!” I was so excited to get my singing career started right away that I didn’t even care how late it would be by the time I got there.

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Without giving him time to respond, I pulled him into a quick hug and jogged off towards the nearest subway station.

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Just as Paul had promised, there was a train already waiting which took me to the other side of the bridge, hopefully somewhere near the park he had mentioned.

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I called a taxi to take me there, since I wasn’t too confident that I would be able to find my way there on my own.

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From where the taxi dropped me, it was thankfully just a short walk across the road to ‘Performance Park’, where a stage and several solo performers had been set up for the day.  The atmosphere to me felt just electric, I was so pumped to become a part of this scene already.

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This is it… I told myself.  This is the place where my dreams finally start coming to life!

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Chapter 1.2 – City Life >>

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