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“Maci” I told the doorman, “my name is Maci”.
“Oh, ah, yes, they have been waiting for you Miss Maci”, the man said as he pushed the elevator button. The lobby of the building was decorated with big elegantly carved wooden chairs; the ceiling was lined with a gold trim that twinkled as I shifted my weight from one foot to the next. The elevator dinged and the door opened, the elevator man took my bags and hit the twelfth floor button as I got in.
“Miss Maci, so good to see you again.” Teddy had been the elevator man in my grandparents building since my mother was a child. Teddy was a short, dark, man who always welcomed everyone in the building with a warm smile every morning and evening. “I hear your grandparents are throwing another one of their parties”, Teddy said. “I haven’t seen you mother go up yet-“
“She said she’s taking the car up in a few hours,” I said.
“You sure do got a lot of bags”
“Yea, I think I might be staying here for a few days, we’ll see how it goes.”
“Well this is your stop.” The elevator dinged, and the doors opened.
“Thank you, Teddy.” I said. As I stepped out he handed me my bags, and he waved goodbye as the doors closed.
Before I could even ring the doorbell James opened the door. “Good evening Miss”.
“Maci,” I said. “You can call me Maci.”
“Miss Maci your Grandfather has been waiting for you.”
“So I hear.”
“I advise you to go in the back room and pick out one of the wardrobe choices your grandmother has laid out for you, to wear to dinner.” Great, I had been here four minutes and I have already been told I need to change; I guess my white tank top and cutoffs were, as my mother said “not appropriate for the occasion”.
James took my bags and led me down the corridor. The walls were filled with modern art, and smelled of fresh paint, all of the chairs in the halls looked like they had never been sat in.
My new room was around the corner and four doors down. Freshly painted teal walls, walking in, the room looked quite small with only a small couch and funky looking desk. “Miss, if you would mind stepping out of your front hall I would like to show you the rest of your room.” I walked down what seemed a small hall, which opened up into a huge room. “This is where you will be sleeping for the net three weeks.”
“Wait three weeks!” I said. “I thought I was just here for the weekend.”
“Miss, I do not make the decisions around here. Here is your bed, and the remote should be in one of the night table drawers. The TV screen can also be adjusted by the same remote used for the bed. I do advise you close the curtains at night because the entire east side will be able to see into your bedroom.” James laid down my bags, and started walking towards a corner of the room, and then he opened a door. “This is your closet, shoes are on the bottom racks, accessories are on the shelves in the middle, gowns for events are behind the door, everything else should be hanging in and around the closet”.
“I brought my own clothes you know, I don’t think I will need all of these.” I said.
“According to your grandmother you will” James started to head towards the door. “Oh! And before I forget your dress to wear to dinner is laying over the chair next to the window. And if you need anything to be sent out please tell me the night before.”
“Thanks,” I said. My tone was irritated and confused. My mom said I was spending the weekend, not three weeks! And who the hell needs this much stuff and this big of a room, its insane! I looked out at the city lights, thinking to myself if New York is the city that never sleeps or if that was Vegas. The sky glowed; it had a green tint to it. It would make sense if New York were the city that never sleeps. If I didn’t have those big curtains I don’t know how I would get to sleep tonight.
Someone knocked on my door “Maci, are you in there?” I could hear my grandma; she opened the door. “Maci! Darling how are you?”
“I’m fine,” I said.
“We have to get you into your party dress, James said he left it on the chair next to some window.”
“Yea, its over there,” I said. The dress was green with a tint of blue. My grandma said she picked it because it matched my eyes . . . how tacky. The dress was beautiful but why she picked it made my teeth cringe as she told me her reasoning.
“Jordan and Amber will be up soon, the party started twenty minutes ago, dinner starts at eight, and your grandfather is very anxious to see you.”
Thirty-five minutes later my hair was up and done, my face was covered in every type of makeup imaginable and my dress was tighter than ever. I started walking down the hall, and around the corner where I bumped into someone and fell on my face; it wasn’t the best start.
“Are you okay? I didn’t see you there.” A voice said.
“I’m fine,” I said.
“I didn’t mean to bump into you, I hope you’re alright.” He held out a hand to help me get up.
“That’s okay, I was bound to fall at least once while wearing these damn shoes.” I sat down in one of the wooden chairs that lined the hallway to take my four-inch heels off. They had only been on for ten minutes but my feet were killing me. I don’t know how I will survive the next three weeks if this is how I’m suppose to dress. “I’m glad it was in front of you instead of all of those people out there, my grandmother would have killed me.” I said.
“Oh, you must be Maci,” he said.
“Yea, that’s me.”
“Your grandparents have been talking about you none stop. And, my names Tony by the way.”
“Good to know, I’ll see you around.” I said. “I have a party to attend.” I said with a very sarcastic tone. Tony smiled; he looked less thrilled than I was.
I started heading down the hall once more, getting closer, and closer, I could hear the laughter, the meaningless chatter, and clanking of wine classes, walking by the kitchen I could smell the dinner that was going to be served, but within an instant it was immediately covered up by the over powering aroma of good wine.
Five and a half hours later, hovering over a chocolate fondue pot in the kitchen, wanting to die from the millions of pins and needles that were raddling around inside my head. I wanted to know why my grandparents had to throw all of these huge parties; I wanted to know where my mother was, and I wanted to know what language the lady next to me polishing silver was speaking. Most of all, I wanted to know why they let a seventeen year old have more than three glasses of wine at a so called “formal” event.
“I can take it from hear, you can go home, don’t worry about the rest of the dishes.” I heard a husky warm voice say. The lady polishing silver stood up from her chair. Still hovering over the fondue bowl, I could see out of the corner of my eye, her leaving the room and a young man taking her place. “Your first hangover, is it?” He said too me.
“Far from it actually. They hit me pretty hard every time though.” I said. “My grandparents have never really enforced me not to drink, so what happens, happens.” The words rolled off my lips, I felt numb. Couldn’t smile, couldn’t laugh, couldn’t even come up with one of my sarcastic lines. I moved my head out of curiosity to see whom I was talking too. It was Tony. He sat their very calm and collected, which I found completely weird considering he looked like he was in a complete panic when I bumped into him in the hall a million hours ago.
“Are you here for the summer?”
“Not so sure at the moment, according to James I am spending a few weeks, and my mom said that I am spending the weekend. But she also said that she would be joining us for dinner; I have no idea.” I tried standing up, but ended up banging my head on the lamp that hung overhead, and swiftly fell back into my chair. I leaned back in my chair and rubbed my eyes, I began to feel anxious. I looked up, and met Tony’s gaze. His eyes were a soft warm blue, his hair was darker than brown, and his (now morning) afternoon shadow was coming in. He looked exhausted and over worked. Going off topic I asked “Why are you here so late? It’s like almost 2am and your still cleaning and polishing and stuff . . . shouldn’t you be home?”
“Actually, this is my home for the next four months. My parents used to be really good friends with your grandparents and after I got out of college I had no job and nowhere to stay for the summer. Your grandmother offered me a place to stay, and whenever they throw one of there parties they pay me twenty bucks an hour too help out and I join the catering staff.” Tony said.
“Why come here though? Why didn’t you go back home and stay there?” I asked.
“My parents are all the way out in Colorado, and after going to college here, in New York I never wanted to leave.”
“You actually like it here?”
“Of course! The city lights, the energy, all the people; it’s the city that never sleeps!”
“Ugh, I can’t stand it here. The loud people, the honking of horns, and the terrible smells . . . I don’t understand how you would want to stay here.” I said. “You make no sense too me.”
“Stay here a while, and I think you will start to like it,” he said.
“I don’t think that will ever happen.” I said. My head was pounding harder than ever. I stood up out of the chair and took off my shoes. “I think I’m going to go to bed, it’s getting pretty late.” I said.
“That sounds like a good idea, I think the dishes can wait ‘til morning; your grandparents won’t mind.” Tony said. I left the kitchen, shoes in hand and headed down what I hoped was the right hallway. And then I stopped, Tony was right behind me.
“What are you doing?” I said.
“I live here, remember?” We kept walking, down the hallway with the half dozen never sat in wooden chairs. I noticed that the modern art paintings on the walls became larger as we got closer and closer to my room. As it so happens to be, Tony’s room is right across from mine; just my luck. “Goodnight Maci,” Tony said.
“Bye Tony.” I said in the least enthusiastic voice I possibly could.
“Sleep well,” he said. I closed my door . . . and that was that.
I woke up at 7am. It had been a pretty rough night. James put a tray at the end of my bed forty minutes ago, I was too tired to see what was on it until now. I sat up and pulled the tray towards me. The tray had French toast with raspberries and powdered sugar, and a glass of orange juice on the side. Its like he read my mind or something. I looked up because I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and of course it was Tony. “The door was open,” he said, “I hope its okay that I’m in here.” Tony said.
“I guess it don’t matter now” I said. “What do you want?”
“Your not a morning person are you?” Tony said.
“Hell yeah, I am. I just couldn’t sleep with the horns, and all of the deliverymen, and the barking dogs, and what is up with that glow? It’s all purple and green outside.”
“City lights you mean?”
“Yeah I am not a fan.”
“Well anyway, I came here to see if you would let me take you around the city today.” Tony said.
“As great as that sounds, I think I’m just going to hang around the house today. Maybe another time.” I said. “Thanks for the offer though.”
“Oh okay, well I guess I will see you later then.” Tony sounded disappointed. I felt bad. But seriously, it’s the city; what is there to see? Cement?