A young, sensitive young man, Willoughby has spent all his young childhood practicing to be a cellist. He is 28 years old and innocent to the ways of the world. He meets quite casually, a young woman waiting in line for tickets to hear the renowned Janos Starker, world famous cellist. Their acquaintanceship leads them to a friendship based on their both being students of the cello.
Willoughby is scheduled to give a debut recital and they both plan on her attending. Meeting quite by accident in a musical instrument store their friendship deepens quite to the joy of Willoughby's mother who fears his deep involvement with music will prevent him from having a "normal" life.
During one practice session, he confesses to his mother that his eyes have been bothering him and his vision is becoming blurry. Instead of seeking medical advice, he decides to wait until after his debut.
His condition worsens and he is informed that he will eventually lose sight in both eyes.
Willoughby takes the measures he feels necessary rather than giving up his music.
November can be very cold in New York City. On this particular Thursday, in addition to the cold there was a very slight drizzle which added to the misery. The only thing that warmed the people waiting on line was the realization that they would soon be able to purchase tickets to listen to the great Janos Starker, the famous cellist who was taking some time off from his teaching at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. As happens on many lines of waiting people, comments and small talk took place, people just being friendly.
It was getting on to 3:00 PM when Willoughby Breem, said to the person standing in front of him. “I just discovered that I left my cell phone in my room after charging it. I really need to get in touch with someone who is waiting for me. Would you keep my place in the line for me, I’ve got to find a public phone.”
“Sure, of course There’s one right across the street. But wait, here, use mine as long as you’re not calling Europe”.
“Thanks, I don’t want to put you through any trouble. I’ll just be a minute or two.”
The voice of the kindly stranger was that of a young, woman in her mid twenties. The woman Aleeza Hegedure, a Hungarian, born in Hungary but living in the United States for the past 20 years when she was brought from her impoverished small village in Hungary to live with an aunt who had emigrated during the second World War.
As Willoughby crossed the street, Aleeza gazed after him, more from habit of noticing a young man. It was only a glance but in that glance, she noted his height, what he was wearing, the color of his hair and his long, gangly walk. Women could do that. Without seeming obvious, they could pack in enough information to get an overall impression. It’s something that men can never do. In that casual glance, she noticed someone who was casual in dress; more sporty than formal; his sweater was uncoordinated in color and his shoes appeared to have never been shined. But, it was an informality that seemed to indicate that the man was more occupied by other things. Her reaction was positive but of course, that was just an impression. At least he wasn’t another creep.
Returning to his place on the line he said, “I’m meeting my mother at a restaurant and I just wanted her to know that I would probably a little late. I’ve waited a long time to hear Starker play Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello. I’m especially interested because I will be performing one of the Suites for my performance next year.”