Short Story:Right Place, Right Time

I stood outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, waiting for Amelia to arrive from Pennsylvania. She texted me the other evening that the ride is about two hours, but being from South Africa, I am not as familiar with United States geography.

Even though I had been in New York City for a little over a day, the bright lights and the loud sounds were still overwhelming to me. I heard my phone go off, blaring Queen’s “Under Pressure,” and saw that Amelia had texted me about being stuck in traffic and that she would be there in about a half hour.

I had to use the restroom in the meantime since I had been waiting for about fifteen minutes and inhaled a large soda from McDonald’s during the wait. I immediately regretted that decision. I found the nearest security officer. “Excuse me,” I said. “Where’s the nearest restroom?”

“Go inside the Port Authority terminal and make a left,” he said. “You’ll see the restrooms right away.”

“Thanks a bunch!”

Suddenly, a tall, older woman came up behind me. “Hello,” she said. “I’m terribly sorry to interrupt, but I couldn’t help to notice that you have such a beautiful accent. Where are you from?”

“I’m from South Africa.”

“That’s so cool! I’ve always wanted to go there. What brings you to the Big Apple?”

“I have an internship at the New Yorker magazine. I’ll be writing primarily for the entertainment and arts section.  How about you?”

“Excellent! That’ll be an amazing experience for you! Best of luck to you. My name is Stacy and I live and work here year-round. I am a writer for the Rolling Stone magazine. I was just out of town to work on a story on Glenn Campbell.”

“Oh wow. I hope that’ll be me someday. That’s incredible. I loved Glenn Campbell. I look forward to reading that story! Rolling Stone is my ultimate goal.”

“Well, here’s my card. Shoot me an email and I’ll get you hooked up with a job once you graduate, or an internship once you’re done with the New Yorker. We’re also looking for freelancers as well if you’re interested in that route.”

I thanked her profusely and I turned around to continue on my journey to the restroom. I never realized how powerful just having an internship at a widely recognized publication could be. I hadn’t even done any work with them yet and I was already standing out.

I did my thing and went back out to meet Amelia. We finally met and I showed her to our apartment. I told her all about my experience and how I was offered my dream position just by saying that I’m an intern at the New Yorker. She said I should at least stay in touch with her if nothing else. After some discussion, I decided that I did want to

As soon as I helped Amelia get settled in, I pulled out the business card I had been given and sent her an email with a few of my best articles and my resume. It was a Friday afternoon, so I did not anticipate a response until Monday at the earliest. I sat down with Amelia to watch some TV before dinner and my phone let off a loud “ding,” alerting me to a new email. It was from Stacy.

The email read: “Dear Brandon, Thank you for your timely email. Your work is most excellent and your skills are worthy of being featured in Rolling Stone. I would love for you to freelance for us when you have time. I know how expensive the city is, so I am more than willing to help you get some extra money coming in to help with living expenses for your internship. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Stacy.”

I told Amelia right away and she was ecstatic, especially since we were both crunching numbers and making a tight budget to be able to afford to live in NYC for the three-month internship. She was thinking of picking up some freelance work as well, so having the extra income helped relieve some of the stress we were both feeling.

Ashley Paskill

Ashley Paskill

Ashley Paskill is a journalism major at Temple University. She has written for a number of publications such as the Odyssey, Her Campus, and the Temple News. She is currently finishing up a semester internship at the Metro Philadelphia as an editorial internship. In her free time, she serves on the leadership at her church.