276 pages

1st Books Library
(March 1, 2002)




Buy at Amazon
Back to My Books


I dashed the streets of Greenwich Village like my life depended on it trying to make it in time. The subway train Number 6 dropped me off at the Astor Place Station where I immediately hailed a cab while sweat trickled down my forehead. It was another sultry and humid day. It was so humid that the curls in my hair had turned limp.

I hope I'm on time, I thought while I dodged taxicabs and other vehicles that attempted to drive passed me. At least I have on tennis shoes, I thought as I made my way to Washington Square and to New York University's campus out of breath and exhausted. I should have had the cab driver take me here, I thought. But there was just too much traffic and me, thinking that my feet were faster than the cars, decided it would be wise to run the next few blocks rather than sit in the jam. So I had the cab driver drop me off on Broadway. He is still probably trying to get himself out of that mess; I kept thinking to make myself feel better.

It didn't work. The only thing that would be of any consolation to me was getting into that photography class that I was told was full but may have a spot for me if I arrived early.

This wouldn't be happening if my father hadn't decided last minute to move to New York, I thought. I guess he had no choice. It was either that or he would get fired. It's not that I wasn’t thrilled to be in New York. This was the opportunity I was waiting for. NYU is a wonderful school; at least that's what I kept hearing. And it was going to be a perfect place to pursue my photography. I was happy that the university accepted me on such short notice. I knew that it was because of my photography scholarship that I received a year prior. I was still glad that the scholarship was good for the year since I pursued my first year in college in Los Angeles.

Now if I could only get into this summer school class, I would be fine, I thought. I just wish I had more time to say farewell to all my friends in Los Angeles. But they understood that sometimes things just happen.

I was drenched in sweat by the time I finally figured out where my class was. I was so glad that I had come here the day before and taken a personal tour of the campus to become more acquainted with where everything was located. I practically knew where all the buildings were and I definitely knew where the photography department was. That was my main concern.

Breathless, I sauntered into class only to notice that the room was packed with people. Students were even sitting on the floor bunched up into little groups of four or five, each eyeing one another like it was already a competition as to which one would get in. When I entered, all eyes were fixated on me. Some students seemed to smile at me while others were already giving me the evil eye telling me to leave. It was first come, first serve.

The teacher, a man in his mid to late thirties, I guessed, wore a light-green shirt and khaki shorts and was sitting on his chair, his legs crossed. His hair was black and slicked back with so much gel, I thought that he would certainly explode if a match were lit even a few feet near him. He had the kindest green eyes that made my pounding heart slowly attenuate to a soft rhythm. Upon seeing me, he stood up, his lean and gaunt body looking as though he would collapse at any moment. I wasn’t sure how his bony little legs supported him.

“Hello there,” he said in a light, New York accent. “And what is your name?”

“Sonya Mohammed,” I replied softly.

Every part of me wanted to sink into the floor as forty pairs of eyes stared me down.

“Oh my, my, we are filling up rather quickly,” the professor cried putting a hand to his check. “By the way, I am Professor Warlock, Miss. Mohammed, and welcome.”

“Thank you,” I said as I slowly sat down between two people who made no attempt to make any room for me.

“As I was saying,” Professor Warlock continued as though I hadn’t even interrupted him. “This class will be an Internet course. You are all old enough and mature enough now to handle this type of course. Besides, it’s a photography class and I feel that your photographic abilities can be better utilized elsewhere than in a cooped-up old classroom. Hence, I will pass out your course syllabus, which is also available via Internet. It has all the requirements and the due dates of your assignments. Assignments are to be turned in exactly on the due date into my office. I will not accept late work unless it is something extremely serious such as your own death. There is a final that you will also be responsible for at home. We will reconvene class at the end of the 18 weeks and you will turn in your final at that time and we will discuss how you liked or didn’t like the class for that matter. If you should have any questions throughout the course of the summer, please feel free to email me and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience.”

The professor looked around the class before continuing. “This actually will work out quite well because those of you who have not officially registered can now be added because space will not be a problem. Does anybody have any questions?”

I saw a hand shoot up. “How will we know how well we’re doing?” a blonde-haired woman asked in concern.

“I will have your current grades posted after every assignment on the Internet by way of the last four digits of your social security number. You will always know how well you’re doing and how well you need to do to achieve the grade you desire from this class. If you should have any concerns or wish to discuss your grade with me anytime throughout the course, feel free to email me.”

He is so cute, I thought to myself as I drowned out the rest of whatever he was saying. And I didn’t see a wedding ring.

“My boyfriend and I are going to enjoy the summer and I suggest all of you do the same,” Mr. Warlock was saying.

It figures, the cute ones were always taken or gay.

Mr. Warlock handed out the class syllabus before he took any additional questions and dismissed us.

I was so excited. I had in my hand the first syllabus for my first photography class in New York. And the best part was that I didn’t even have to waste my time sitting in a classroom. I couldn’t wait to see what the first assignment was.

I made my way out of the class and to Waverly Place. It was mid-afternoon and the streets were hustling and bustling with activity as New York streets always are. I took a deep breath and prepared myself to go to the underground oven and catch the subway that would take me home to Brooklyn.

Then I realized that I hadn’t even toured the city yet. I was here for a couple of weeks already and I hadn’t even gone to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. I was so busy unpacking and preparing for my summer school class that I kept putting my tour of New York to the side. But as anxious as I was to begin my first assignment, I had plenty of time for that. I wanted to do some exploring. I wanted to tour with my parents, but my father was always at work and my mother was too busy doing the housewife thing and observing her prayers five times a day.

I decided that my first destination was the Twin Towers. I heard many stories about how tall and magnificent they were, towering above New York City at a remarkable 110 stories high. I saw them many times on television, but it was time to see them in person. I would visit the other famous New York landmarks some other time. I had enough time to visit the World Trade Centers and make it home for dinner to tell my mother all about it.

So I rushed to the subway station in excitement that I was finally going to pursue my photography in New York and experience what awaited for me here in this city of opportunity.

- Copyright 2013 Chrissy Yacoub, Chrissy Books All Rights Reserved -