He boarded the plane and looked at me, the slightest hint of recognition registered on his face. He sat in the seat across the aisle. While settling in, I noticed him looking in my direction out of his peripheral vision. I can’t imagine what slight face tick he read on my face. I tried to maintain a neutral facial expression, but inside it took every ounce of control I had muster not to point and scream, “Oh, my god, you’re Troy Aikman.”
We caught each other peeking and it got to a point where it would have been uncomfortable to look away, considering we hadn’t even begun a 5 hour plane ride.
“We have met before.” I said.
“I thought you looked familiar.” He smiled appearing relieved in my confirmation.
“We’ve meet several times, actually.” I said.
“Give me a hint.” I turned in my set to face him, but the coach class passengers were boarding the plane and to begin a conversation would have been awkward, pause every sentence to avoid talking into strangers’ hip as they walked by.
He stood up and motioned to the flight attendant.
“Is anyone sitting next to her?” he said pointing at me.
“Yes, but we can switch his seat, Mr. Aikman.”
He thanked the attendant and retrieved a black computer bag from under the seat.
I moved to the window seat and Troy settled in.
He laughed, “You’re going to have to be more specific.”
I laughed, too, realizing how ridiculous that sounded, but for some strange reason I wasn’t embarrassed.
“Ok, think Dallas Cowboys.”
“You’re not going to make this easy for me?”
“Well, what fun would that be?” I tiled my head and could feel a coy smile spreading across my lips. I reached out and touched his arm lightly. I mean, it was just lying there on the arm rest.
OMG, Am I flirting with Troy Aikman?
He might have flirted back if the flight attendant hadn’t interrupted and told me to fasten my seat belt. We were about to take off.
From where the flight attendant stood giving the safety demonstration, I could study the side of his face. Not only was I closer to him then our three previous meetings, I had all the time I needed to settle into the fact I still had a huge crush on him. His gold hair had darkened a bit and his nose, which was way to big for his face when he was drafted, seem to settle nicely. He had the cutest lines next to his eyes and the curve of his lips made him appear not so serious. It’s true what they say, men get better looking with age.
“The House of Blues opening in the West End.” I said.
“Yeah, it was the Wednesday after the game you busted you’re chin and bit through your tongue.” I pulled my knee into the seat and turned towards him. “See, you were at the buffet table eating shrimp and I stood across the table from you and you said you hadn’t had anything solid to eat since Sunday because of the stitches in your tongue.”
I was rambling.
“I took a shrimp and ate it and I think I said something like, this is so good and you laughed at me.”
“Okay,” he said slowly, I couldn’t tell if he was trying to remember, or if he didn’t believe me. I had my facts straight, I remember that game like it was yesterday.
“I met you again at the Troy & Emmitt golf tournament.” He nodded his head, “My mother asked you to take a photo with me because I was leaving for college the next year.” I didn’t realize at the time, but what a stupid to use in order to score a photo. He must have thought I was a freak.
“And, the last time we meet was at the Ring of Honor party at the Stadium Club.”
“You were wearing black.”
“Yes.” I grabbed his arm, again. “Wait, everyone was wearing black. It was a black party.”
He smiled and maybe I was imagining it or it was wishful thinking on my part, but he was staring at my lips. We sat staring at each other for an uncomfortable amount of time. Thank god this time, the flight attendant appeared.
“Can I get you a drink?” she asked Troy.
“You want something?” Troy asked me.
“Make that two.”
“What are we celebrating?” Troy asked.
The flight attendant handed a glass to me and then to Troy. She shot the hugest grin in Troy’s directions. It made me feel good watching him ignore her and concentrate on me.
“To second chances.”
“Second chances,” He said.
The sound of the crystal glasses echoed between us and I took a sip. He watched me as he took a sip.
Funny, I didn’t feel like the little fat girl on the outside look in, anymore.
For the record, Troy was very nice the few times I meet him, but I don’t know him. My parents were in the industry and the sports world in Dallas is small.
I’ve been thinking about this story idea for awhile. One of my favorite quotes is “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
What if a girl was placed back into the life she ran away from because she never measured up? Even if she was different now, would the result be different. Or will she still be on the sidelines (pun intended) wishing she could get in the game. Or maybe once she got in the game, it wasn’t as fun to play as she imagined it would be. Or maybe not all the people in the game want to play with her. I love brainstorming story ideas.
Have you ever meet your celebrity crush? How did they measure up to the image you had in your head?