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I think about half the people I tell this story to think I’m making it up, probably because I live in Indiana and have quite the imagination. But I swear it’s true. It happened last summer on a Friday afternoon. Like most Fridays, I had been unable to locate my will-to-live since about Wednesday, so I hadn’t showered that day and (likely) got dressed in the dark.
Instead of straightening my hair (or even brushing it), as one should for a professional job in an office, I put it in a fun bun on top of my head (duh). But unlike most Fridays, I got to leave work early so I stopped at a mall near my apartment to stock up on cardigans and wide-brimmed hats at Banana Republic. I think I even found some dress pants that day, but I digress.
As I walked up the escalator and past Victoria’s Secret, something pulled my eyes away from the splendid sight of Adriana Lima’s bare ass. No, not something. Someone. It was him. Jimmy Brooks. I thought to myself “How is he walking? He got shot years ago!”
Then I realized it wasn’t Jimmy Brooks. It was his real life alter-ego Drake.
Drake, shopping at an Indiana mall that was virtually abandoned because apparently Fridays aren’t big shopping days. I knew it was him because he had a concert that evening with the one-and-only Justin Bieber. He had three people with him. They may have been friends, they may have been bodyguards. There were no fans hounding him for photos or autographs. His entourage was walking and talking with him just like MY friends do at the mall. Drake was a pseudo-gangster angel descended from the halls of Degrassi High, and in that moment, he and I were living the same life.
I suddenly became aware of my own appearance. I didn’t comb my hair that day. I forgot to put on my hot girl disguise, so my natural face was painfully visible. Fridays at my office are jeans days and–since there was no need to try and pass off leggings as pants that day–I couldn’t even count on tight clothes to distract him. At that moment, I didn’t even qualify as a butter-face. So I watched him walk by. I didn’t say anything. I waited for him to pass, and once he did, I turned around and watched the greatest opportunity of my life walk away.
I know what you guys are thinking: This girl is seriously stupid. …No swarming fans to compete with and she still blew it!
If you’re a fan of his, or even if you just have ears, I know what else you’re thinking: Doesn’t he specifically say in a song that he likes to hit on girls in the mall and then never call them again? Yes, yes he does. I could have been that girl. He could have never called ME again. But the worst part is that I actually am a really big fan of is. I love his voice, that he can sing and rap, and that he’s been described as one of the hardest-working people in hip-hop. I love the entire Young Money family. And how many chances do you get to meet one of your favorite performers in real-life? That was my first and only.
I had so many things I wanted to ask him: Do you think you’ll ever date Nicki Minaj? Would you like to hear me rap “Ice Ice Baby”? Can I tell my mom we’re in love? Do you want to see a picture of my cat? And, most importantly, how did you regain your ability to walk after the shooting?
But I’ll never get another chance to ask, or tell him I’m a big fan and that it’s an honor to meet him. I guess if I get to the end of my life and this is still my biggest regret, I’m doing OK. But right now, I can’t help but know that I let a great chance pass me by, and I’ll take that shit to the grave.