Books & Stories
Languishing on the luxurious airbed in the swimming pool of her up-market Los Angeles hotel, Beth hummed along to ‘Angels’ playing through her earphones. An avid fan of Robbie Williams, she had all of his albums and thought nothing of travelling hundreds of miles to see him perform in concert.
Beth still couldn’t believe she had won this all-inclusive trip for two to Los Angeles. It was a gloomy, bitterly cold Saturday afternoon in December when she hadn’t wanted to prise herself out of her pyjamas, and had drooled at the pictures in a magazine of this very pool, before deciding to enter the competition.
And here she was, with her best friend Faye floating alongside her, no doubt listening to her idol, Michael Bublé.
Later in the afternoon, when she and Faye collected their room key from reception in the lobby, she was handed an envelope with her name written on the front.
‘What’s that?’ Faye asked.
‘I don’t know,’ she said, ripping open the envelope. Her mouth fell open as she read the note inside and she handed it to Faye, who read it aloud.
I heard you were here, and wondered if you would like to hook up for tea tomorrow. Could we meet in the lobby of your hotel at 4pm? I’ll be bringing my mother along too. Look forward to seeing you.
‘It’s got to be a wind-up,’ Beth said.
‘It might not be.’ Maybe your mum wrote to his fan club or something, you never know.’
‘Yes, but I’m just an ordinary fan. Stars like Robbie Williams don’t arrange to see people like me for tea.’
The following morning the girls went shopping.
‘Are you planning to buy a new outfit for your meeting with Robbie?’ Faye teased, as they trawled around the shopping mall.
‘Yeah, pigs might fly,’ Beth laughed, but secretly she hoped she would be seeing Robbie later.
At 4pm, the girls were sitting in the lobby anxiously awaiting Robbie, when a well turned out silver-haired lady approached them, who seemed vaguely familiar to Beth.
‘Hi,’ she said, ‘I’m sorry Robbie is running a bit late - you know how it is. Oh, talk of the devil, here he comes now.’
Beth and Faye both turned to look in the direction of her gaze, as a dark-haired man with mint green eyes and a wicked grin approached them.
‘Hey Beth, great to see you,’ he said, bending to kiss her on the cheek.
‘R-Robbie,’ she replied, unsteadily.
A traditional tea was served, with delicious cakes and pastries, but Beth was too nervous to eat a thing.
‘I’m filming a show for TV later,’ Robbie said after tea. ‘And I’ve reserved front row seats for both of you to come along to the studio - that’s if you are free this evening of course.’
As soon as the girls accepted Robbie’s invitation, excitement began to bubble up inside them in anticipation of the evening ahead.
Whilst watching the show, Beth’s eyes were firmly fixed on Robbie. He somehow seemed to feel her gaze and treated her to a cheeky wink, causing her to blush.
‘I’ll drive you back to your hotel,’ Robbie told the girls after the show.
Arriving at the hotel, Faye feigned a headache and drifted off to their room.
‘Drink in the bar?’ Robbie said hopefully. Beth nodded.
‘So tell me,’ she asked him at last. ‘How did you know I was staying here?’
‘Your mum telephoned my mum - they’ve kept in touch over the years. Your mum also said that you had a massive crush on me when you were a teenager.’
Beth blushed, deciding to change the subject.
‘How long have you been a cameraman?’
‘About twelve years, but I only moved to LA five years ago.’
‘Has anybody ever told you, you really look like the Robbie Williams?’
‘Yeah, I get it a lot. Are you a fan of his?’
‘Yes, you could say that - I was listening to his music in the pool this morning.’
‘Hey, I’ve just had a thought - you didn’t think it was the Robbie Williams, who sent you the note yesterday, did you?’
‘No, of course not,’ she answered, trying to sound convincing.
Tipping his head to one side, he looked deeply into her eyes.
‘So, how about we talk about that massive crush you had on me.’