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“I can’t stay anymore” And she couldn’t. •A fan-idol interaction led to something more than Sofia would have imagined. When she finally attends a fan meet with her favorite idol, William, there was a lot more she was in for than a simple “Nice to meet you”.

Romance / Drama
Age Rating:

Too Scared

There the opportunity was, staring straight at her in all its glory at 3 in the afternoon on her laptop, screaming at her to click her mouse on the ‘buy’ button that continued to mock her. This was her chance to meet the man of her dreams, not because of his blue eyes, 6 feet 7 height, or fit body – even though that was a plus – but it was because her idol had saved her in her worst moments. Without him, she didn’t know where she’d be, but she didn’t care to think of that any longer, all she cared about was the obnoxious voice in her head telling her that this fan meet would be the best chance she will ever receive in her life. She was ready to buy the ticket, knowing months before that a fan meeting was scheduled later in the year and the price range would be something she could save up for, yet this exact moment she could not do it. Her debit card was laid flat on her chipped, white coffee table where her laptop was and it was begging to be used.

What was she supposed to do now?

She didn’t think twice before biting her lips and shutting her laptop, there was no point because she knew once she was in front of him she would freeze, and she was in no mood to embarrass herself.

Sofia Jones, a timid 19-year-old lived in upstate New York in the small town of Ithaca. Currently, she lived alone and visited her family in lower Manhattan when she had a break. Her university was a little less than an hour away so it kept her from having to drive hours from home to her University each and every day. Despite the overwhelming prices of upstate studios, Sofia found herself lucky when an old family friend offered her to live there and at first she denied not wanting to be a burden, especially since she barely knew them, but they insisted and clarified that the place was bought for when they wanted to visit New York. Seeing as no one lived there and only having to leave when there was a break she ended up agreeing and now she avoided having to pay any type of housing fees at Ithaca University.

The place was tiny but it fit for one person and that was all she cared about. It was a one-room studio, the kitchen and living room molding together as one accompanied by a small island kitchen that Sofia would like to argue was her dining area. Luckily for her, the studio consisted of a balcony that she had happily spent time on. The bathroom was fairly small with only the necessities and instead of a bathtub it had a glass door surrounding a 7’ by 5’ feet square space for a standing room with a showerhead, did she mention the bathroom was tiny?

Other than the occasional loneliness she felt once in a while the place and experience of living alone were comforting and eye-opening. She took up cooking and baking more knowing that she wouldn’t have her older sister cooking for her anymore. Sofia had to also find a pocket money job at her university so she would have some extra cash to buy her wants since her needs were being met by monthly checks from her mother. All in all, the experience wasn’t so bad but she knew she wasn’t living the independent life fully seeing as though she was still relying on her mother’s checks every month. However, she could never deny that she was grateful for what she had received and it only pushed her to work harder. Sofia went to Ithaca college after receiving a full academic scholarship and while other schools offered her the same type of scholarship she had a free studio to herself and she was not ready to leave New York yet.

As difficult as it may seem, and maybe even impossible, her dream school was Harvard. Sofia had studied all throughout her high school and currently – the last year and a half of her college – career just so she could end up in Harvard’s law school. Her bedroom had a desk that was fit just for her and she was able to spend hours sitting at it studying for the LSAT, she was determined to get into Harvard and not only would it give her the chance for endless opportunities in the law industry but it would also make her mother proud.

You’d think being the youngest of three would leave you with no stress in achieving high goals but for Sofia the case was different. Everyone in her family looked to Sofia when wanting to accomplish dreams they couldn’t accomplish themselves. For example, her oldest sister wanted to dance for years but because of her disability she was unable to do so and so Sofia took it upon herself to join a club in her first year of College to start dancing. And when Sofia would go back home for the holidays she would show her sister new dances she had to learn and it made it all worth it.

Another example – Sofia was the only child to get into a SUNY school while her older sister and brother went to CUNY schools and so that was a big accomplishment within the family. Or the time in her Junior year when she had achieved a 100 average during her last semester, that was an accomplishment. And another time when she had become captain of her volleyball team during her senior year, that was an accomplishment. Even when she was top in her class and became Valedictorian, that was a celebration for two days. The general idea was that her family would always look to her to see what else she had accomplished. So, you get the idea. Sofia loved it, she worked hard not only for herself but for her family yet she was still bummed out. After four years of consistently putting her schoolwork before her mental and physical health it took a toll and when she had received a scholarship from Ithaca University regarding her enrollment and standards when accepting Ithaca, she couldn’t have described how she felt. It was a mix of absolute bliss and absolute shit, her scholarship required her to keep her average and if she had gone below a 3.8 GPA she was going to be kicked out or she’d have to pay her tuition fee. The stress was only adding up but she still went because her family looked so darn proud and she couldn’t let them down like that.

But thinking everything over, she knew in the long term her hard work would bring her great opportunities. However, here one was and she couldn’t even take it. After she had shut her laptop closed Sofia was devastated that she wouldn’t be able to see the man that has helped through everything and kept her alive. All she wanted to do was thank him for all his help, all his concerts, all his lyrics and words of encouragement, and just thank him for becoming an artist and saving millions of lives.

Her phone rang disrupting her thoughts and she knew who it would be, her high school friend, Olivia.

Now, Olivia wasn’t her best friend or anything like that, they didn’t get to talk much but Olivia was the first friend she made in high school and despite everything they went through they still loved each other. So, not wasting any more time she grabs her phone and presses the accept button only to hear a screech, “AHHHHHHHH Did you get it?!” Olivia says, excitement spilling out of her as she looks over to her laptop to see the text ‘Congratulations’ confirming her ticket.

“You mean the fan meet ticket?” Sofia asks, guilt laced within her tone. She pauses before she lets out a defeated sigh, “No, I didn’t” and Olivia gasps; she was always the overly dramatic one.

Before Olivia can go on a rant Sofia stopped her in hopes of sharing her side of the story because knowing Olivia she would understand why Sofia couldn’t push herself to go.

“I’m way too nervous. I know once I’m in the venue I will not talk and probably panic. I’ve liked this man for almost 7 years now, he’s someone I adore and look up to in so many ways. If I were to go, I’d embarrass myself.” Sofia admits, running a hand through her dirty blonde hair in discontent and sighing in disbelief of her actions. If only she could just gain the confidence to go, it was another human being either way what was the big deal?

She hears Olivia sigh, knowing Sofia would panic and just want to leave, despite wanting to meet their idol together they couldn’t, Sofia would not enjoy the experience. Unlike Sofia, Olivia fell in love with Williams music just two years ago but it deepened their bond and this fan meet was something they were waiting for, for over a year.

“I understand,” Olivia says but she snaps her fingers when a lightbulb lights up in her head. “I have an idea though”.

Even though Sofia wasn’t able to go, Olivia would be able to and if she could relay any message to William from Sofia it would be better than nothing. Olivia knew and had been through Sofia’s worst when she broke down and fell apart her sophomore year Olivia was there but most of all William and his music were there. When Sofia had been on the verge of wanting to end her own life Olivia bought them tickets to Williams concert despite the 4-hour drive. Olivia would always show Sofia that despite the rough time there were people out there that cared and one of them was William.

It may seem like an obsession or fake, but Sofia adored William because of his music and not everyone may see it but if you were to witness first-hand what Sofia was like back in high school, you’d see the fascination and motivation William had given her.

“I will go but I want you to write a message to him and a gift – seeing as they allow those at the venue”, Sofia froze, was Olivia really going to do this for her? Was she going to waste some of her time talking to one of her idols just so she can tell William a simple thank you?

And thus the guilt had started. “I don’t want to burden you with something that I have control over, I really do appreciate it so much Olivia but I don’t want you-”, “Just let me. He is someone you love and he deserves to know about you” Olivia pleads, biting her lip as she felt tears brim at her eyes thinking over everything that has happened to Sofia these last few years. Sofia deserves to be known by her idol because she has been through so much that someone as sweet as Sofia never deserves.

And so, Sofia agrees and they made a plan: Sofia would give Olivia her album with a message on the front, and Olivia would ask William to sign not only her album but also Sofia’s.

“Since you’re doing this for me I’ll go with you and drive you there. You can even spend the night with me?”

Sofia was hesitant in asking and offering to bring Olivia because she didn’t know if she’d feel like crap or get jealous of being too scared to buy a simple ticket to have a few minutes talking to her idol. The call ended after Olivia accepted and Sofia was left by herself just like every other day and this time she felt a wave of sadness engulf her, her guess leaned towards not buying the ticket.

She sighed and knew exactly what she needed; some hot chocolate.

Grabbing her keys, she hurries to put on a more appropriate shirt and some sandals before leaving her studio and heading into her grey mini cooper. She didn’t know if this could be a pro or con but because she lived in Ithaca and a little farther out of town near the woods, it was required to have a car since everything was at least 20-30 minutes out or more. But, she loved driving, despite the occasional events of road rage, since it gave her time to think and play music and be secluded from everyone. Because of her constant nightly road trips, she found many places that she cherished and relied on to keep her calm.

All Sofia needed to do was to drive to town to go to her favorite café, order her favorite hot chocolate drink, sit in her favorite spot and look out the large window that gave a perfect view of the café's garden because all she needed some time to do was think, and she was going to do exactly that.

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