2007-05-22: The Ties That Tightly Bind

Starring:

Nadia_icon.gif Ryan_icon.gif

Summary: Nadia and Ryan meet in Common Grounds, discuss college, and kvetch about their fathers.

Date It Happened: May 22, 2007

The Ties That Tightly Bind


Common Grounds

Afternoon has crept up on the city, not that the time of day really matters. Does anyone ever sleep in NYC?? Anyway. This afternoon finds one Nadia Selvaggi kicking back and killing some time at the trendy coffeeshop close to NYU's campus. Her laptop bag is at her feet, propped against the chair. In front of her? Catalogues for her school, and a mostly ignored latte (non-fat!) nearby. Head in her hands, she is looking over the paperwork with an intense focus.

Ryan walks into the shop, a 'Halo 3' messenger back slung over one shoulder. He heads up to the counter and orders an iced coffee, adding a lot of half&half and sugar to it once he is served. He takes an experimental sip to make sure he's got it right before going to one of the tables. He gives a smile and a nod to Nadia before sitting down nearby and taking out his own set of paperwork for NYU.

Nadia looks up from her papers, brow furrowed in mild frustration. Just in time to see Ryan nodding at her. She gives the prospective student a half-smile in return. "Hope you got a major set, they start harassing you in second year to declare," says the young woman with her heavy New York accent. Yes, it's that accent one hears in their head when they think of Italian heritage New Yorkers.

Ryan looks up from his paperwork when Nadia speaks. He gives a bit of a sheepish grin and replies, "Well, that's kind of my problem. I'm trying to transfer as a pre-med, but I'm not all that jazzed about it." His voice is a strong barratone with no real regional accent. "What are you declaring as?"

"Got'cha. Pre-med looks rough, I think you'd have to really want it to go through with it." Nadia drums her fingers against the tabletop briefly before closing her pamphlets and reaches for the coffee. After a sip, she shrugs, "That's my problem. I haven't declared yet. I keep looking at legal studies, but I think my dad would kill me. He doesn't really like lawyers."

Ryan chuckles. "Well, he'd hate my dad then." He takes a drink of his coffee before going on. "Corporate Lawyer. And yeah, if you don't want it, pre-med's rough. But I guess that's like anything in life." He looks thoughtful. "I could probably get behind pre-med to go into genetics, but I'd have the same problem as you: my old man wouldn't really approve. And since he's footing the bills…."

"Oh, I think corporate lawyer might get a pass. But I'm not sure." Nadia grins before taking another drink of her latte. "Genetics huh? That's /waaaay/ over my head. I did good to pass my core science classes. If I have to look at the periodic table of elements again, I think I'd have to take my dad's power drill to my skull." Of which he has many. *shudder* "I get where you're coming from. If your family's paying the bill, you kinda have that pressure to do what they want. Although in my case, I can always threaten to work as a stripper to pay my way through school. That'll bring dad around quick."

Ryan snorts in laughter as he's drinking, sending some coffe through his nose. "Oww…." he laughs as he wipes up the mess. "See, daughters have much better threats. I'd have to threaten to become a gay porn star to get that kind of reaction. And my dad would see through that bluff pretty quick." He wads up the napkin to throw away later. "I'm Ryan, by the way."

Nadia giggles at Ryan. Sorry, it's funny to watching people snort their drinks. (Especially if it's soda.) "Ooh, ouch. You have to really bluff your way through those kind of threats. Fortunately for me, dad's kinda touchy where I'm concerned." Which is good, and bad. "Hi Ryan, I'm Nadia.. So what school are you wanting to transfer from?"

Ryan scoots his chair closer to Nadia's table. "Trying to transfer out from Stanford. I think my grades should be okay. If not, there's always a donation from dad to get things done." He sighs a bit and bites his lower lip. "Anyways, I'm sure thins will go through."

Nadia's brows raise, "Leaving Stanford.. for New York? Are you high? I'd transfer to Stanford, but again, back to my dad. I'm pretty sure he'd lock me in a closet for my own good." She's still looking at Ryan like he's lost a few screws. Wow. Stanford. "Things will work out, one way or another. Hopefully you get in on your own merit. So many schools are just eager to take the money 'donated' to them and the students don't really benefit from it."

Ryan shrugs. "Yeah. That's kinda why I'm trying to transfer out here." One reason, at least. "You'd transfer out to Stanford not just to go to a good school, but to get away from under your family, yeah? Pretty much the same with me." He drinks a bit more of the coffee as he pauses. "I'd like to come out here just so I can find out who I am without having my dad on my case 24/7. That's what college is for, right?" He drinks again while he collects some thoughts. "I mean, I've had a good life, better than a lot of people. But I just don't know if that's the life I want for the next 60 years or so, you know?"

"That's understandable then," Nadia says then muses, "I wouldn't really be getting away from my family. Mom yes, dad no. I love my family, they're just.. a little crazy. I'd like the experience for a semester or two, getting away, seeing other places." Her shoulders raise and lower in a light shrug accompanied by a smile. "If it works out that way, it will, if it doesn't, I'm fine where I'm at."

Ryan Chuckles. "All families are miserable in their own way. At least, I think that's what that Russian writer said. Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, probably. But you look like you come from a family with a lot of money. Or at least you dress that way. So I think we both know what the other's gone through. You want crazy? My baby sister actually convinced my dad to let her do that 'Super Sweet 16' show on MTV. The one that has those insane and expensive parties. She managed to get my dad to pay for the biggest party ever thrown on the show up to then. And now she's upset because 2 years later, she's down to #3 all time." He shakes his head in amusement. "I think it's growing up with money. Either you don't think about the money and respect it, or you want to run away from it screaming."

Nadia blinks, looks at herself, then across at Ryan, eyes slightly narrowed. Perhaps he made a faux pas there, or she just is a little touchy herself. "I suppose. I never thought of us as rich, just comfortable. We had enough to get by with some left over." Just more funds than an accountant for a pizza place should earn. *cough* "Really? Well that's just silly. I got a party for my 16th, but it was mainly family and friends, potluck deal. It was a lot of fun, and I really didn't want more than that." There was a few uh, arguments that broke out, which is only natural.

Ryan notices the look and purses his lips. "Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you. It just you seem to know what I'm going through and you don't seem like the kind of person to save up alot to buy the latest fashions." He shakes his head as he realizes he babbling. "Anyways, like I said, sorry." He finishes the rest of his coffee. "So, any suggestions for a West Coast guy to go see and do while he's out here for a few more days?" He smiles warmly, trying to get things back to friendlier ground.

Ah," is the simple response. "It's alright," Nadia insists as she buttons up her jacket. She's not about to explain that she gets high quality products that have uh, essentially fallen off of a truck. "Uhm, let's see.. the World Trade Center site is a given, so is Times Square, Broadway, Central Park, Statue of Liberty.. y'know, the things I've probably taken for granted as part of my scenery while growing up."

Ryan smiles. "Hey, I'm sure it's the same for anyone that grows up in a big city with lots of tourists. I mean, I've never been out to see Alcatraz, and I've lived in the Bay Area my whole life. I'm planning doing my obligatory baseball pilgrimage and see Yankee Stadium tomorrow and catch the game." He thinks for a bit before adding, "Any of the non-tourist, local stuff you can recommend? Bars, clubs, hangouts?"

Nadia grins a little, "Yeah, do that. I'm not big into sports, so I never bothered with Yankee stadium. Well.. it depends on what you like. This neighborhood has some good clubs. I like Club DNA's, this is a nice coffeeshop. Not a big chain like Starbucks. Ryan, this city is /huge/. I could sit and rattle off places all day. It just depends on what you're into. This district has all kinds of ethnic restaurants, music joints, theater, off-Broadway and on, even off off. All kinds of tourist trap shops too."

Ryan chuckles, "Hey, San Francisco ain't exactly Pigfart, Kentucky, you know. But yeah, I get your meaning. If you're…not busy later…you wouldn't happen to be interested in helping me find my way around, would you? My treat on the expenses."

Nadia laughs, "Oh I know that! But us New Yorkers, we think the world stops and starts with us." As she starts to put her papers back into her laptop bag, her cellphone goes off. 'Ain't that A Kick in the Head'. Love that Dean Martin, anyway.. Checking the screen, she grins, then pockets her phone. "Sorry, gotta run. It was nice meeting you. Uhm.. that could be do-able." She may wind up with someone tagging along of course, but no need to point that out now! "I'll be around NYU's campus tomorrow morning. Oh wait.. shoot.. I have exams and cram sessions. Sorry.. But maybe I'll see you around, 'kay?" Giving the guy another grin, she shoulders her bag and heads for the door.

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