The girls on 42d Street all noticed the car. It’s not that limousines were unheard of on their block, right near the Port Authority. They were pretty common, in fact. Going to and from the theater district, or the big hotels. Long black stretch limos with tinted windows and glossy paint jobs. Sometimes white ones, too. But this car was different. Not as big as the limos they usually saw, and not so flashy-looking. Grey rather than black. Matte rather than shiny. None of the girls but Tawny really knew cars, and Tawny was working the first time it came by, so they hadn’t had her around to tell them more about it. But even without knowing what kind of car it was, they could all tell it looked expensive. And expensive in a different kind of way from what they usually saw. “It smells
like money,” Crystal said, the second time they saw the grey car move slowly along their block.
It could have been that the man in back – they were sure it was a man, although they couldn’t see in, of course – was looking for an address, but the girls all hoped he was checking them out. They waved and posed. The grey car slowed to a crawl, but it didn’t stop. When it came by again, they all started speculating, but nobody had any ideas why the mysterious occupant would be on their block three times in one hour.
The fourth time the car came by, Tawny was back, straightening her thigh high skirt and smoothing the reddish brown hair that had caused Nick to give her her name. “Wow!” she said when she saw the grey limo. “That’s his car. He owns
it,” she said, voice full of awe.
“Who owns it?”
“Whoever’s in there. See, it’s not a T license. It’s not a limo you rent out by the hour. Now, that’s high class.”
“You saying I’m not high class just ‘cause I get rented out by the hour? Them’s fighting words, Sugar.” The girls all laughed at Crystal’s mock indignation. But they stopped laughing and looked curiously at the grey car, as it came to a stop by the curb. They all watched, silently, as the door opened and a tall man wearing dark glasses got out. Tawny squeezed Crystal’s hand, hopefully, as he approached. “I think he’s looking at us,” she whispered.( Collapse )