The club was dark with reddish undertones. Patrons were dressed in cocktail wear. Will had just finished a set. It was a standup comedy show. He sported brown & shiny, shoulder-length pantene hair with a hint of gold highlights, a clean-shaven face, a black & blue plaid shirt, and a pair of blue jeans. He had a pair of tan Timberland boots on that made a clunky noise as he made his strides. He squeezed in between two people to the right of the bar & was trying to get the bartender’s attention. I walked up to his left while he waited for his drink. I smiled from ear to ear.
“Hi Will, you were really good up there. I’m Ava.” I put out my hand to shake his but his eyes averted mine. He looked down on the floor with a silent pause. I casually lowered my empty hand and backed away, sensing his wariness.
“Ok well, just wanted you to know.” I forced a smile, disappointed that our one & only encounter was a failure. I took steps to walk away when he spoke.
“Who are you with? I mean, who do you know?” He looked at me with guarded eyes but he was listening for an answer. Perhaps a validation? I was speechless. I’m not a socialite. I’m certainly not one of those aggressive autograph collectors who go around hounding celebrities for a signature I can sell for a profit online. I searched in my mind to find any celebrity connections I had that could validate myself to let him know I wasn’t some insane fan who could hurt him.
“I’m a moderator for New Kids on the Block’s forum website!” I blurted. Strike two. Why did I say that? What pertinence does this information have? I’m such an idiot. It would have made better sense if I had just told him who I really was; someone who had admired his work since 1993 and was honored to be in his presence. Perhaps he wasn’t even asking for validation, maybe he was just asking which comedian I specifically came to watch. Him, of course, but his cautious interrogation made me regret coming up to him.
At that moment, a black man came up to Will and complimented him on his set, distracting his attention. A way out. I attempted my ninja exit. Before I could escape, Will took notice and grabbed my arm to stop me.
“Wait. What was your name again? Ava?”
“Yes. Ava. I just wanted to meet you. I love that you make me laugh.” He stood close to me, invading my two feet of personal space but it didn’t bother me; it was comfortable. I wanted to hold his hand, to touch his face, to taste his lips. I wondered how he would hold me if he were my boyfriend. I wondered if he was the type of comedian who acknowledges his girlfriend from the stage, making her feel embarrassed & special at the same time.
Words now became an awkward barrier between us. I stared at his gentle hazel eyes, waiting for the end of his assessment. I knew he finally approved when I saw the dimples on his cheeks emerge, a smile that could charm even the most wicked of witches. My heart did a blissful little dance.
Just then, the black man shoved his way past Will, jostling him into me. I swiftly placed my hands to his cheeks & pulled his face towards mine until there was only half an inch between our stares. His arms instinctively wrapped around me, cradling my body with a protective fervour so I wouldn’t fall, but my heart fell anyway. His fingertips rested against the small of my back. His eyes glanced at my lips while the awkwardness faded and I was relieved. I closed my eyes and let his lips touch mine…
When my eyes opened, Will was gone. I shut my alarm off and stayed in bed with a lamented smile, struggling to return to my dream.
I have the cheesiest (sub)concious ever.