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.
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.
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.
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.
After several moments of undignified struggling, the doors slid open again and I fell face first onto the tiled floor.
How embarrassing! I struggled quickly to my feet, praying there had been no one around to witness that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Hi, I’m Nicole. I just moved here…” Despite his reassuring appearance, I was still quite shy by nature at introducing myself to strangers.
“Nice to meet you, Nicole! I’m Paul,” the man replied with a friendly smile.
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.
Turns out, he was a middle-aged widower who had moved to Bridgeport years ago with his wife to become a famous writer.
Since his wife’s death, he had joined the business career and now only wrote stories in his spare time.
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.
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.
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.
“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?”
“Yeah sure I do, but it’s getting a bit late…” he responded uncertainly.
“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.”
“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.
Without giving him time to respond, I pulled him into a quick hug and jogged off towards the nearest subway station.
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.
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.
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.
This is it… I told myself. This is the place where my dreams finally start coming to life!