This is the last part of Runaway Girl (for now!). I had a lot of fun revisiting this story, so maybe next NaNoWriMo I’ll write another four or five parts.
Read the previous parts here.
The following weeks consisted of Priya and I searching for a job.
“How about modelling?” she’d suggested. “Maybe hand modelling for jewelry and stuff? I bet there are tons of online merchants looking for—”
“Umm, the last thing I need right now is to have my parents find my face plastered all over the internet while shopping online.”
“This isn’t about them anymore,” she reminded me. “It’s about you. If you want to do it then you should.”
So she took a couple of photos of me wearing a few of the decorative bindis I’d brought with me from Bangladesh. Priya also loaned me a few bracelets and rings to complete the looks.
We also came up with a very short resume. Since I’d only completed secondary school, I couldn’t apply to any jobs that required college degrees. I also couldn’t apply for any jobs that required visa sponsorship.
Yesterday, Priya found an ad on Craigslist from someone looking for a babysitter. She did all the emailing back and forth since I was too nervous.
“I got you a prepaid phone,” Priya said. “He said he’s going to meet you in the lobby of the apartment for a quick interview. If he looks like a creeper, pull out your phone, act like someone sent you a text about an emergency, and tell him you have to go.”
“Okay?” I said, before taking the phone from her.
“What should I wear?” I asked.
“Hmm. Wear one of your tunic tops,” she said. “You can borrow my khaki pants.”
I didn’t really start getting nervous until I got off the G train at 4th Avenue. I felt better when I realized I was following the GPS on my phone properly.
I pushed the door to the apartment building open to find a woman waiting for the elevator with a small dog. A man in a black shirt and blue jeans holding a Starbucks cup in hand sat on the black sofa in the back of the lobby.
“Hello,” I said as I walked up to him. “Are you James?”
“Hi, yes,” he said, standing to shake my hand. “Please, sit.”
I sat down next to him and crossed my ankles.
“So from your resume it seems like you have some experience with small children?”
“Yes. I’ve been taking care of a friend’s daughter. I take her to playdates and to the park and such.”
As I spoke I started to notice his brown hair and ice blue eyes. It’s as if I’d seen him before.
“Annabelle is four so she goes to preschool during the day,” James was saying. I had zoned out for the first part of what he said. And then it clicked.
“Her school isn’t far from here,” he continued. “So on weekdays your day would start by picking her up from there and then staying with her until I get home from work. Her homework is usually some sort of arts and crafts activity, so don’t be too worried about having to help her out with anything too difficult. On Saturdays you’d babysit her from nine to around six in the evening.”
James took a sip of his coffee. I could not believe that this was happening.
“I’m sorry, but have we met before?” he asked. “You look familiar.”
“The airport,” I said before I could stop myself. “You gave me an extra quarter for the payphone. I think your driver was holding a sign that said Broomfield.”
“Ah, yes, yes,” he said, smiling. “That would be me. I’m James Broomfield.”