The papers fell to the floor, one by one, and dropped precariously. I didn't care that I had written nothing in the past forty-eight hours that was of any substance, but the deadline, which I had written in thick black marker on a post-it note loomed over my already cluttered desk. March 28, 2018, the note read. Today, the 20th, marked the second consecutive day I had come up with nothing, and my head ached. Where was the imagination I needed?! I felt so hopeless I could hardly think. Think Syndey think, I screamed at myself. There has to be something I can write about that has nothing to do with the half empty coffee cup sitting in front of me, mocking me, making me question everything I had worked so hard for.
Let me start from the beginning. My name is Sydney Lillian Combs, and I live in New York City. A freelance writer, I for the past five years have written the most inquisitive short stories New York Times has ever published. Living in this bustling city, I have inspiration flying out at me from a woman pushing a pug in a stroller to a snappy toll collector on the Brooklyn Bridge. This city is where I have settled, and as they say, "If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere."
I can confidently say that phrase is true. I came here fresh out of college with a few pencils in my back pocket and a dream, a dream to be a published author. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I came from a small town in South Georgia, Cordelle to be exact, and my southern draw was as thick as molasses. Stepping off my plane, my first interaction with a New Yorker happened to be with a man I would later address as sir, otherwise known as my boss, Mr. Watley. Now I can tell you, I am a pretty sexy girl. With red hair and a slim body, men normally take a second look at me walking down the street, but I never mind their stares. What sets me apart from my generation is I have standards. My momma raised me to believe a man can only have the milk after he buys the cow, and I have lived according to that philosophy my whole life, with fantastic results.
The day of my meeting with Mr. Watley happened to be at JFK Airport. I wasn't watching where I was going, and I bumped into the most handsome man I had seen in a long time. Mr. Watley is six foot two, strapping, brown-haired and hazel eyed. His eyes were almost like caramel, and immediately I knew I was in over my head. I was holding a stack of papers, at that time my latest writing project, and they flew in a million directions all over the terminal floor. I exclaimed, "Oh no, my work!" and immediately I started scrambling for all my hard work that I had spent months writing.
The man exclaimed, "I am so sorry, Miss, please forgive my clumsiness."
I responded, "It's okay. I am just thankful we didn't cause a scene."
At that point, the airport was almost vacant. Also, no one was there, which was odd, considering it was New Years Day. We started talking and I told him I was coming to the city to find a job as a writer. He then smiled quietly and started blushing.
"You won't believe me when I tell you that I am looking for a writer for the newspaper I work for. Honestly, even though we just met, I can already tell that you are an honest worker, and I would like to offer you the job."
Without even knowing who this man worked for, my mouth opened up super wide and my eyes almost popped out of my skull! I could not believe what I was hearing! Without making a complete fool out of myself, I calmed down and responded,
"You are a generous man, and yet, I still do not know your name," I said with a hint of sarcasm in my tone. One thing my momma always told me was to never let a man get the wrong idea about your intentions. She would tell me on more than one occasion "Some men are pigs, and some men are princes." In retrospect, I can now see my interactions with this man were ones that would change my life completely, but I am getting ahead of myself.
He responded, "My name is Joseph Ivan Watley and I am the Editor in Chief of the New York Times Newspaper. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance Miss...?" As his voice inflected I realized I had not introduced myself.
"Oh, pardon me! My name is Sydney Lillian Combs and I am from Cordelle, Georgia. The pleasure is all mine, Mr. Watley." As we shook each other's hands, a warm sensation filled my body that I had never known before. As I looked into his deep hazel eyes, I knew this would not be the last time I would see this man. As butterflies filled my stomach, I knew this man might be the one who would call me his forever, but you will just have to keep reading to find out what came of me and Mr. Watley.