None of the people walking past paid a bit of attention to me as I grinned at the ridiculous notion that the raven haired hooker from thirty years past might appear at this same spot at this particular time. The grin faded as the sad fact occurred to me that given her career path at the time that her life would have likely involved alcohol, drugs, and sexually transmitted diseases. Depending on if or when she left the occupation, there was a good chance she was long ago dead and buried.
I shook my head and kicked myself for that “happy thought.” She was still alive, had turned her life around and was enjoying her family as far as I was concerned.
The kids were still stuck in their seminars for another hour but I had checked everything off the “Free Time” checklist so I walked back to the Marriott Marquis. There I spotted a small store full of Broadway show memorabilia. The first thing that caught my eye was a pair of Lion King shirts. One shirt was yellow and similar to the one Maggie had bought at the show while the other one was black. Abby wanted a shirt too but didn’t feel right spending her money on the extravagance.
I called Mary to ask her what size shirt Abby would need and if she liked wearing black. She told me I was a good godfather. I told her I already knew that. I caught her up on the events of the week and that I didn’t see my hooker friend before ending the call.
I purchased the black shirt for Abby then walked across the avenues to scout the Disney Store for the girls as I knew that would be a place they would want to go during their free time. The store had a wide selection of merchandise bearing the likenesses of the girls’ favorite Disney princesses, Belle and Jasmine. I even managed to find, and purchase, a few Mickey Mouse items that I liked.
I went back to the Marriott and bought a cup of overpriced coffee at a Seattle-based coffee shop. Grabbing a seat with a good view of Broadway and Times Square I waited on the kids while nursing my coffee and watching the world pass by.
The girls found me shortly after they and their choir mates were released on their own recognizance. They all looked like their butts were dragging.
“Did you have fun?” I asked them. “Did you learn anything?”
“No,” Maggie moped. “It sucked.”
“Yeah, well, that’s too bad,” I responded with a grin.
They noticed the bags I was carrying. I showed them the Mickey Mouse stuff I bought for myself and gave them my scouting report of the Disney Store. They determined that the store was definitely a must-see destination.
“What’s in the other bag?” Maggie asked.
“Huh. What DID I buy? I forget,” I said while reaching into the bag. I pulled out the black shirt and handed it to Abby. She had a confused look on her face as she took the shirt from me. She unfolded the shirt and held it up for examination.
“What th-? Thaddeus!”Abby exclaimed. “You didn’t need to do this!”
“Yeah, well, you need something from the show so be quiet,” I told her.
She threw her arms around my neck and gave a squeeze that threatened to pop my head off. “I love you,” she squealed with delight. You’re the best godfather ever!”
“I know,” I answered, giving Maggie a wink and a grin.