My shift ended at seven o’clock, and I needed to find something to keep me busy until my idol arrived.
I ate dinner in the employee cafeteria then sat at the bar for a drink.
Around eight-thirty, Bill stopped by with an update. “There’s no sign of them yet. You could be waiting here all night. It’s okay to head home. The band will be here for a few days. I’m sure you’ll meet Kevin before they leave.”
My stomach flip-flopped. I squeezed back tears and slurped the last flat dribble of my soda. “Why did everyone keep it a secret from me, Bill?” The words streamed out in a whine.
“It’s just the managers, and they don’t know you like I do. They were afraid you wouldn’t be able to do your job with REO staying here, or—maybe rip Kevin’s clothes off or something.”
“Do they really see me as that pathetic? Honestly, I’m petrified to meet him. If the man walked in here right now, I’d probably chicken out and run.”
“Naww, you wouldn’t. You’ll do fine.” Bill’s reassuring tone made me want to give him a bear hug. I loved his gentle, caring nature.
I slipped off the stool, hiding my watery eyes. It seemed everyone except Bill saw the true ugliness inside of me. Surely, Kevin Cronin would think I was a freak.
I arrived home at nine, threw on more comfortable clothes, then called my best friend and neighbor, Nancy. I barely finished sharing the exciting news before she shot over faster than a bullet.
“You have to call the hotel and find out if they got in yet.” Her hazel eyes radiated excitement.
“I don’t know. It’s probably best to leave such a famous rock star alone. He’ll think I’m some giddy school kid without any brains.”
“Dammit, girl, you call the hotel, right now.”
With my shoulders slumped, I called the bellmen’s station. “Hi Mark. Is Bill there?”
“Hey, Lori. Bill left. The band members finally checked in. We took their bags, and they left to go to Woodfield Theater. Bill told the lead singer that there was a girl in reservations who wanted to meet him. He asked Kevin to come down and meet you tomorrow for an autograph.”
I screamed into poor Mark’s ear, and then remembered … I wasn’t scheduled to work tomorrow!