The first row of people stood up.
No! I’m not ready yet! I panicked.
There were still eight rows between us and the stage, but my mind continued to remain totally void of anything to say to one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People of 2008. Ashley, Sara, and Spencer decided to spend their wait reading, but I couldn’t. I needed something – anything – to say. I was past hoping for brilliant wit. I’d settle for coherency at this point.
Brain, work, dammit!
Perhaps I wouldn’t say anything at all and just let my outfit speak for me. I tried to picture what she would say...
“Oh, you don’t look like a stalker. We should be friends. You also look like your birthday is in four days. Would you like to take a picture with me?” mental Stephanie said in my head.
No, that wouldn’t work. I was wearing short-sleeves. That never quite said what I wanted it to say.
I took a deep breath and examined everything around me, vaguely aware of the stack of books bouncing on my knee. The girls next to me chattered on about whatever high school gossip they had to dish. People waved from the stage, posing illegally for pictures their friends were snapping. As the rows began to empty, they were filled again with overflow attendees who had been waiting in the cafeteria. Close to 1,000 people in all, someone had said earlier.
Our row stood up to join the line. I continued to try to wrack my brain but knew that it was pointless. Instead, I focused on getting a good picture of Meyer at the autograph table. After all, this was as close as I was going to be able to get with a camera. The lens wouldn’t focus, though. Slightly shaking hands and amateur photography don’t mix.
I became aware that someone was talking to me.
“Amanda! Give this woman your camera. She’s going to take our picture when we get up there,” Sara was saying. Slightly confused but only too happy to oblige, I handed it to her without thinking too much.
“Are you sure you don’t mind?” Sara was asking a woman in a green polo.
“Oh no, not at all,” the woman twanged. “My daughter is right in front of you girls and I’m going to be here taking her picture anyway. I’m happy to wait for you, too. Y’all probably want to remember this.”
“We do. Thank you!” Sara placed my camera in the angel’s hand.