Part II

Blink headed away from the distrabution center, feeling very triumphant. We beat ol' man Pulitzer, he thought. But then another thought invaded his mind and made him feel not as happy. Angelica.

Not a day had gone by that he hadn't thought of her. Angelica was constantly on his mind. Angelica left that one cold afternoon, and took part of Blink with her. For a week, Blink moped around the orphanage, getting in more trouble than he had in his lifetime. Finally, he decided to leave the orphanage, go to New York, and become a newsie. Specs followed, planning to stay for just a little while, and ended up staying for good.

During Blink's first week in New York, he hardly went anywhere without hearing about the mayor's daughter. It was everywhere! Blink finally got to see a picture, and was shocked to see his Angel.

But Blink never got to see Angel. One day he got all dressed up and went up to the mayor's house.

"Um, can I please tawk ta Angelica?" he asked nervously.

"She's gone off to boarding school," answered a snooty maid, slamming the door in his face.

And so she was gone. Blink was beginning to lose hope of Angelica ever returning. All the newsies knew of his infatuation with the mayor's daughter, but they all figured it was just hormones. No one knew about Angelica, except Specs, of course.

Blink sat down on a bench to watch the people go by. He was in no mood to sell papes that day. He had enough money saved up for that night's dinner and lodging.

"Blink! Blink!" Specs came running over, waving a pape madly. "Blink, lookit dis! Look!" Specs pointed at a picture in the paper. The headline loudly proclaimed "Mayor's Daughter Returns Home from Boarding School."

A young woman in a fancy dress cautiously strolled over to the two young men sitting on the bench. "Hello, Blink," she said.

Blink looked up. A pretty young woman stood in front of him. Her coffee brown curls were pulled up in the latest fashion, and she wore quite a bit of makeup, but the timid smile and sparkling gray eyes were a dead giveaway.

"Angelica!" he cried, pulling her into a tight hug. "Yer back!"

"Yep," she replied cheerfully. "Hey, Specs, how are you? You look exactly the same!"

"Can't say the same about you," he replied. "Well, I gots papes ta sell. I guess I bettah get goin'. Nice seein' ya, Angel."

"You too," she said with a smile. She noticed Blink staring at her.

"So, uh, ya wanna go get sumpin ta eat, er sumpin?" he asked quickly.

"Certainly," replied Angel. Blink offered his arm, and Angel gladly took it.

"I feel awful. I haven't spoken to you for such a long time-"

"Five yeahs," said Blink quietly.

"But I knew that you were most likely staying at the newsboys' lodging house, and I didn't know the address. I couldn't ask my mother or father. They'd kill me. They don't want me associating with anyone besides upper-class young men and women. And you didn't know my address, and I haven't been home in five years. Are you mad at me?"

"No, of course not," replied Blink. "It ain't yer fault. So, what was boardin' school like?"

"It was terribly boring," replied Angel, with a smile, and Blink knew that even though she looked like a young lady on the outside, she was still the same tomboyish Angel inside. "I didn't like it one bit. It was stupid. I mean, sure, I know how to manage servants and throw parties and keep a household, and I can speak all the French in the world, and I can dance better than I could at the orphanage, but I would've rather stayed here. I wanted to come here and be a newsie, you know."

"Seems like ya woulda been good at it. When yous was youngah, I mean."

"What, you think that now I'm all different just because I've been through finishing school?" asked Angel. "I'm not that different! I'm still the same Angelica." She took a bite of her food. "So what have you been doing for the last five years?"

"Jist bein' a newsie." Blink found himself staring at the very attractive young lady sitting across from him. "Wouldja like ta go ta Irving Hall tanight?"

"If you wouldn't mind, I'd rather just go walking in the park. I just would like to talk to you more than anything."

"Awright. I really outta sell some papes dis aftahnoon. What time d'ya want me ta pick ya up tanight?"

"I'll come by the boarding house. I would like to talk to Specs, also. How does eight o'clock sound to you?"

"Awright," agreed Blink as he stood up. "See ya tanight, Angel."

"Bye," she replied.

"So who's this fellow you're going out with tonight?" asked Elizabeth, one of Angelica's three older sister. Lillian, the oldest, was twenty-eight and married, with two children. Sarah, who was twenty-four, was engaged, and Elizabeth was twenty. Elizabeth was rather shy and quiet, usually, and rarely dated any boys.

"Blink. You know, that guy from the orphanage. We were-"

"I know, I know! You've told me this a thousand times," laughed Elizabeth.

"Oh. Sorry," replied Angelica. She finished braiding her hair, quickly twisted the braid up into a knot, and pinned it in place. When that was done, she got dressed in a simple blue skirt and loose white blouse.

"You look beautiful!" said Elizabeth. "I hope you have a wonderful time. Where are you going?"

"Just for a walk in the park," replied Angelica as she began pulling on her shoes.

"That's all?"

"He's a newsie, remember, Beth? He can't afford much more than that."

"Do Mother and Father know you're going on a date with a newsie?" asked Beth. She herself wasn't narrow-minded and stuck-up, but she knew their parents could be.

"No. Tell them if they ask, though. They can't keep me from him. They've kept me away for five years, and I won't stay away any longer," said Angelica defiantly. "Bye, Beth."

"Bye," replied Beth as Angelica swept out of the room.

Meanwhile, Blink was playing cards calmly, and smoking a cigarette, when Specs said, "Hey Blink, ain't ya goin' out wit Angel at eight a clock?"

"Yeah. Why?"

"Cause it's ten minutes ta eight."

Blink leapt up, letting his cards fly in every direction. He swore. "Oh, great. 'Ey, Specs, lemme borrow yer pocket watch?"

"Why d'ya always wanna borrow dis ol' t'ing?"

"Cause I ain't got one, cheesehead!" replied Blink.

Specs muttered something under his breath. "Heah. Ya bettah take good care a it."

"I will," said Blink, flashing a charming smile.

"Dat smile don't woik on guys, genius!" said Racetrack.

"Yeah, but it might woik on Specs." And Blink ran into the washroom, narrowly avoiding being soaked. He quickly began to shave, which, he found, is pretty difficult if a fellow newsie is threatening you and you're laughing.

"Dis 's jist like da good ol' days at da orphanage, ain't it, Specs?" laughed Blink, washing his face quickly.

"Yeah, shoah is."

After quickly combing his hair, Blink left the washroom, pulling off his shirt as he went. On his way out, he crashed into someone, and stopped.

"Sahry," said Blink, pulling the shirt up off his head. He realized it was Angelica. "Oh, hey, Angelica!"

Snipeshooter and several other newsies snickered. Blink shot a quick glare at them.

"Jist lemme finish gettin' dressed, an' den we can leave, awright?"

"All right. Hello, Specs!" Angel started up a conversation with Specs while Blink pulled on a clean shirt, vest, and jacket. He shoved the pocketwatch into his pocket, pulled on his hat, and stuffed his day's earnings into his other pocket.

"Ya ready ta go?" he asked Angelica.

"Yes. Goodbye Specs. Perhaps I'll come back and see all of you fellows tomarrow after tea," she said to Specs, Racetrack, and Dutchy. She didn't really have any friends in New York, and the newsies seemed like a bunch of very nice young men to her.

"Yeah! Ya outta come eat lunch wit us at Tibby's if yer fadda don't mind ya hangin' out wit us," suggested Racetrack.

"He doesn't. And if he does, well, then, too bad, cause I miss you, and I would like to get to know the rest of you better," said Angelica. "Well, good evening, fellows."

"Bye, Angelica," they all replied, and the pair headed out the door.

The whole date was very casual and spontaneous. Angel and Blink walked all around Central Park, talking and laughing. They stopped at an ice cream parlor and got some delicious ice cream before heading back to the lodging house.

"Can we go up on the roof? At least that way, we can still talk," suggested Angelica.

"Yeah. I don't t'ink any a da udda guys had dates tanight, so we should be da only ones up dere. It's kinda tradition ta take yer goyl up on da roof aftah yer date, just ta tawk an' look at da stahs an' stuff," explained Blink as he began climbing up the fire escape. He and Angel quickly reached the roof, only to find Snoddy and a very pretty, petite blonde girl behaving very friendly towards each other.

"Aww..." Blink muttered, avoiding what he really wanted to say.

"Come here." Angel pulled him halfway down the fire escape. "There. They can't hear us, we can't hear them-"

"Dat's cause dey ain't tawkin'," replied Blink with a grin.

Angelica laughed out loud, and Blink sat down beside her.

"I'll bet there have been a few times when you and some girl came up here and didn't do much talking," teased Angelica.

Blink blushed. "Yeah, maybe a couple times... maybe."

"Out with it. Come, now, you've always been one of my best friends. You can still tell me these things!" Blink gave her a look. "Look, if this is about what happened before I left, that doesn't mean we aren't still best friends."

Blink realized she was right. "Jist a couple a goyls. No big deal. Y'know, I'd have fun wit da goyl, but..."

"But what?"

"I'll bet I woulda had a bettah time wit you."

Angelica felt her pulse rise slightly. "So you're not seeing any one?"

"Nope. You?"


"Aww, quit yer jokin'!" said Blink, batting at her playfully.

"I'm not joking! I was at a girls' school for the last five years, and we never saw any boys, except for dancing classes, and we didn't get much of a chance to, well, pursue anything with them."

"What, ya wanted to?"

"Not really. Not a single one of them was handsome. Besides, I kept thinking about you," she said softly.

"Me too. Dat's why I nevah, uh, pursued anyt'ing wit any a dose goyls I went out wit," Blink admitted quietly. "I still want ya ta be my goyl."

"I still want to be your girl," whispered Angelica. Then their lips met in a sweet, tender kiss that neither of them would ever forget. Afterwards, Angelica stayed in Blink's arms for a few minutes, watching the sky. Then she remembered that she had a home and a family to get back to. "Hey Blink, I hate to interrupt this, because I'm having a wonderful time and all, but what time is it? I don't want my father to be displeased with me."

Blink pulled the watch out of his pocket. "Eleven thoity. Ya want me ta walk ya home?"

"Yes, that would be nice, thank you," she said.

"I don't mind. 'Sides, dere's all kinds a people on da streets, dis time a night. An' I wouldn't want ya ta get hoit er nuttin'."

Blink finally returned around midnight, and he was positively floating. "Heya fellahs! How ya doin', huh? 'Ey, Specs, heah's yer pocketwatch. T'anks fer lettin' me borrah it."

Specs looked at him suspiciously. "Why're yous in sucha good mood?"

"Cause I just spend da last four hours wit Angel, an' she's still 'xactly da same," he said with a grin.

"Dat Angelica goyl seems nice. Awful... uh... tomboyish fer da mayah's dautta," Racetrack said carefully, not wanting to come off the wrong way.

"Yeah, but she's a angel on da inside. An' dat's all dat mattahs," replied Blink.

An Angel on the Inside
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by Emily H., 2000