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Personal Narrative

Personal Narrative

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Published by Ethan Thomason

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Published by: Ethan Thomason on Jun 16, 2012
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06/16/2012

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Ethan ThomasonENG 105-0201-18-10Out on the Town“Remind me again why I have to be the one to ask her?” I asked as I turned to face thesmall group of people behind me.“Because you're the senior, duh. She's more likely to you than she is to any of us.” Megangave the response that I had already foreseen.“But I suck at asking for permission!”“Oh, stop being a baby and go ask. If you don't, we don't have any chance of goinganywhere!” Audrey was getting impatient.Knowing that I had no hope of winning this argument, I sighed and turned to walk towardthe seating area of the hotel lobby. It was rather empty, with the exception of the few of uschoosing not to participate the night's activity. Most of the other band members had gone out tosee a Broadway play. Sitting in a cushioned seat by the entrance was my target; the woman I hadto convince to let us out of here.“Hey, Strib...I mean, Ms Stribling,” I corrected myself, thinking that this situation mightcall for more formal conversation, “We have a request that we would like to run by you.”Ms. Stribling looked up from the brochure she had been looking at. She didn't look veryhappy. But then again, she never did. “What would that be?” she inquired, looking over the top of her glasses at me.“Well a few of us were wondering if maybe we could...go out?” I put on an expression of hopefulness.
 
“Go out?”“Yeah. You know, like, to go buy souvenirs and stuff.” I was making this sound as innocentas possible.“To buy souvenirs and stuff...” She said thoughtfully as she sat down the brochure, shiftingher full attention to me. “With whom do you plan on 'going out'?” she asked.“Megan, Audrey, Hannah, Austin...”“You know that's not what I mean,” she interrupted, “I'm asking what chaperone you planon taking with you.”“Well it doesn't look like there are any here.” I stated, looking around the lobby. “So wewere hoping that if we were extra careful, you might let us go out on our own.”Strib looked appalled. “Are you honestly asking me if you students can go out on your own? In New York City? At
night 
?”I knew this called for a lot of fast talking, “Well, we don't plan on going very far. Just acouple of close stores. All the streets are numbered, so it's going to be impossible to get lost. Notto mention we're in a group, so nothing bad can happen.”I wrung my hands together and looked down at the ground as I let her think this through. Iwas fairly sure I wasn't going to like whatever response she uttered.“Okay.”“Excuse me?” I looked up in astonishment.“You're just lucky that I'm in a good mood tonight,” she laughed at first, but then becameserious, “But you all had better be back in an hour and a half, and stay within a couple of blocks of the hotel!”I didn't even give a response. I just turned and ran back to where my little group was
 
waiting, giving them a thumbs up. They didn't need to be told twice. We had already been prepared in case she had said yes, so all that was left to do was run straight out the waiting door.Chatting excitedly, we emerged from the door of our hotel out into the cool, smoggy,slightly foul-smelling air of New York City. Alone. It was at that moment that I began to feel trulyindependent on this trip. No more walking around on guided tours with adults. We were on our own self-guided tour now. And we were going to make the most of it.“Well where are we going first?” Austin spoke up above the noise and bustle of the busy New York streets.After a little discussing, we all agreed to find a store that had the classic 'I Love NY' shirtsfor a cheap price. The only problem was, there were countless little shops and stands that soldthese. We could have just walked in the souvenir store that was about twenty feet from our hotel, but that would have been way too easy. Aside from that, their shirts were 8 bucks. Audrey, beingthe bargain shopper that she always was, was determined to find them for at least half that.So we began our trek through the crowded streets of the city, a group of little high schoolkids feeling on top of the world to be out on our own. Occasionally one of us would jump out of our little cluster to look into a store and see what they had to offer. But nothing was good enoughfor Audrey the cheapskate.Finally, after walking for nearly 15 minutes we found a little hole-in-the-wall store that wasselling our shirts for three dollars. Surely it couldn't get any better than that? Audrey must haveagreed with me, because she shrieked and ran into the store like a little kid. I followed close behind. The whole building smelled like the rest of the city, but with a more stagnant intensity.There was scarcely more than a foot of space between the aisles of merchandise. Audrey grabbedseveral shirts, saying she had to take them all to her friends back home, and walked up to the

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