Chapter One - Jennifer

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Jennifer was late. Teetering on the edge of the curb, her three inch heels threatened to slip out onto the busy New York street and leave Jennifer to the mercy of the relentlessly pulling tides accompanying the sea of yellow taxis. Who knew catching a cab would be this hard? Jennifer sure didn’t. Native to Long Island, she had moved to the city after graduating from college, Hofstra University.

No matter what she did, after six months in New York Jennifer still couldn’t get used to the cacophony of noise she was subjected to each night. Ambulance and police sirens, car alarms, loud music from passing cars after 2 AM; it didn’t take long for Jennifer to realize why New York was so often referred to as the city that never sleeps. Jennifer tried everything from earplugs to soundproofing her 3rd story apartment. Nothing worked. The noise penetrated every barrier Jennifer threw at it. It was like trying to stop a stream of water from soaking through a paper towel.

Usually Jennifer could get some semblance of sleep through the chaos, but last night she was particularly uneasy. This was becoming absolutely ludicrous. Jennifer just couldn’t shake him from her head. Daniel. No matter what she tried to distract herself with, calming music or even the hectic sounds of the city, his face would float to the top of her mind with unfettered buoyancy. So after a dragging night, and what seemed like endless hours of tossing and turning, Jennifer had finally made a decision. And as soon as she could manage to hail a cab she would execute her plan.

Finally, after what must have been at least 20 minutes, a taxi pulled over in front of her apartment. It wasn’t like the usual yellow taxis that were still zooming by, it was white and on the side door it said “Taxi Service”. Jennifer thought that she should be wary of this, but she was late as it was, and this car had actually stopped for her.
She got into the back seat. The driver looked as tired as Jennifer felt, but he perked up when he saw the 50 dollar bill Jennifer held in her fist.
“I’ll pay you 50 dollars if you can get me to 526 Mancorp Avenue in less than 10 minutes”, Jennifer said.
Motivated, the cabbie came to life. Jennifer figured that all the time she spent waiting must have really paid off because this driver navigated through the street with as much skill as a maestro conducting his 9th symphony.

When they finally arrived 7 minutes later, Jennifer gladly handed over the fifty, and the driver handed Jennifer his card.

“Anytime you need a ride just give me a call”. He smiled and Jennifer noticed two rows of even, white teeth. The driver had brown eyes, a deep rich color and his beard and mustache reminded Jennifer of the fuzzy growth on peaches. She wondered if it felt as soft as peach fuzz would.

Wow, Jennifer thought. She had never felt such a strong connection with someone she barely even knew. It was worrisome, but at the same time elating. It was something to get her mind off of Daniel, anyways. She looked down at the business card. It was simple, white with raised black lettering. “Bill Waterston – Taxi Service”. Underneath the name was a number, and Jennifer wondered if he would pick up if she called right now. He is in a taxi, she reasoned, so this must be a cell phone number.

Jennifer found herself smiling as she walked into the building, comforted with the idea that there might be someone out there rooting for her, that in this dog-eat-dog city, there might be a single person on her side.





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