"City of Angels"

May 7, 2012
By Chancely Courson BRONZE, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Chancely Courson BRONZE, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“These are the people with the ticket problems.”
“Who?” I heard her whisper, or at least attempt to.
“The family with the ticket problems.
“Oh, these are them?”
What are we doing here? Everything was fine in the tent just a few moments ago…did she just say the people with the ticket problems? What problems?
“Yes ma’am we are.”
Sympathy was clearly featured all over the stranger’s face. Before she could even get the words out of her mouth, I knew exactly what she was getting to next. Sheer panic hit me like a bowling ball hits its pins. My legs suddenly felt shaky, my head reeling. “We’ve come all this way,” I thought. I didn’t know this woman. And I certainly didn’t want to after what she was going to tell me. Little did she know she would crush my dreams forever.
“Do you think we could move some where else? I wouldn’t want to make it awkward for these other people when I’m forced to deliver such bad news.”
Nailed it.

Her name was Laura. Tall girl, brown hair and no personality makes for a complete downer and a single women no doubt. So there I was, in Los Angeles, California. Sitting with my mother and my best friend in the middle of an alcove in the street sobbing like a child, with thousands and thousands of busy people heading to the highly anticipated L.A. Film Festival- a weekend of nothing but back to back movie premieres. This made for more people walking these busy streets than usual. Here I was in the city of angels with a story of a journey coming to an abrupt halt and would have to end in a crashing burn. Little did I know that on these very streets, I was about to find an angel of my very own.

Robert Pattinson. Twilight. These are the three words that sum up everything in my life. For the past three and a half years I’ve dedicated everything to this man. I’ve risked both my social life and mental health. But all of my hard work was going to pay off; it had to. Ever since I developed my unhealthy obsession with Rob, I started saving money immediately so maybe one day I could be lucky enough to see him in person. One day I was in the middle of checking my Rob fan sites when a new update popped up on the screen. The Los Angeles Film Festival announced they would include a ticket to the Los Angeles California red carpet Eclipse premiere as a bonus with a VIP pass to the festival. I could feel my heart slowly dropping to my stomach.

Could this be what I had been waiting for? I immediately picked up the phone to call my best friend Hannah, who is also a Twilight fan and ends up coming with me everywhere anyway. Once she answered, I was talking so fast that I had to repeat myself at least twice. I told her that a pass for the film festival was one thousand dollars and it was good for two people. We could split it for five hundred dollars apiece. Hannah was on board. I ran to tell my mother, and when it was all said and done, I had just the right amount of money for a flight to L.A., to pay for my share of a hotel room and a ticket to the Eclipse premiere.

Next thing I know I’m at the New Orleans airport with my mother and my best friend about to go on a trip that I would never forget.
(First kiss, prom, marriage, kids. This would also definitely be a milestone in the life of Chancely.) As soon as we landed, I’m pretty sure the whole airport knew we were just visiting. Country come to town is an under statement.

We immediately headed over to the Nokia theatre, where the premiere was being held. Campers covered the location and the only way you were allowed in the area was if you had a wristband. We ended up being lucky number 5,783 in line and we spent the entire day down there. We were making posters, talking to other fans, and still taking in and marveling at the fact that we were finally here.

Later that day some of the stars of the movie came down to surprise everyone! Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Hale), Peter Facinelli (Carlisle Cullen), Billy Burke (Charlie Swan) and Julia Jones (Leah Clearwater). I had officially died and gone to heaven. That experience in itself was definitely an adventure. The first star approached us, Jackson Rathbone. If there was ever a god in skinny jeans, a black leather jacket and aviators this was the guy. His hair was slicked back and he was fashioning some stubble on his cheeks and chin. I couldn’t feel a thing. My legs began to shake; I was so worried that my heart was going to pound out of my chest I had to clutch it just in case. Butterflies in my stomach was an understatement, maybe something a little more like a swarm of bees. He’s getting closer. Oh, my gosh he’s only ten feet away from me. I knew I was going to ruin everything by throwing up everywhere, but I had to hold it together. I had been waiting for this for what seemed like forever and now they were right in front of me! I started screaming so loud my ears started ringing. When I finally got his attention he flashed a huge smile at me.

“Hey Sweetheart! How are you doing?!”
My calm and collected response was
“Well thank you very much!” he laughed. To my surprise he didn’t seem to be frightened in the slightest; more like amused. I wonder why?
“That’s funny! My parents are from there.” At the time I didn’t care if his parents were from the North Pole. All I could think about was that he was too far away to get my hands on him. I grabbed his jacket and asked for a picture.
“Hannah! Take a picture of us!” I yelled. After throwing my best friend the camera, I shoved my face up against Jackson Rathbone’s. Not only did he smell like Abercrombie cologne, but also to my surprise I could actually feel a bit of his stubble.
As the stars came one by one I had a few out-of-body-experiences. I had attempted to jump over the barricades, which separated me and the stars, so many times that I was told by the hefty security guard that if I attempted this one more time, I would be moved. I also had to be forceful with some girls who thought they could take our spots in the crowd. I’m even told I yelled at Hannah to stay in the back and hold my things. Like I said, total out-of-body-experience.
My best friend and I were able to get autographs and pictures. Peter Fachinelli even took the time to sign my Burger King Eclipse crown that I had received earlier that day. This was all too good to be true; I just knew it. But I didn’t REALLY think it would literally become too good to be true.
When all the stars left in their awaiting cars, I caught a glimpse of my mother’s face. She was on the phone and her features were nothing but worry. She came up and told Hannah and I to stay and wait for her there, she just had to handle a few things. If my tickets were the things she had to “handle”, she should’ve known I wasn’t just going to “stay and wait”. She didn’t notice us until we were all at the Customer Service booth inside the Coca Cola L.A. Film Festival tent. Why was she here? Everything’s been taken care of.
“I thought y’all were going to stay.” She said. Right then a small blonde girl came and interrupted our conversation.
“I’m going to have to take you to Laura, she’ll explain everything.”
This stranger blonde girl had an odd look on her face. Embarrassment? Distress? Sympathy? I passed it off; I didn’t even know this girl. She could have lived her whole life with those features on her face. Who was I to judge?
I hadn’t even had time to think whom this Laura person was or what she needed to explain, but I was about to find out. The blonde girl took us downstairs into the crowded street where another premiere was going on. She stopped when we reached a tall brunette girl wearing a pass different from everyone else. She certainly did look important.
“These are the people with the ticket problems.” The blonde girl said.
“Who?”, I heard her whisper, or at least attempt to
“The people with the ticket problem”
“Oh, these are them?”
What are we doing here? Everything was fine in the tent just a few moments ago…did she just say the people with the ticket problems? What problems?
“Yes ma’am we are.”
Sympathy was clearly featured all over this stranger’s face. Before she could even get the words out of her mouth, I knew exactly what she was getting to next. Sheer panic hit me like a bowling ball hits its pins. My legs suddenly felt shaky, my head reeling. “But we’ve come all this way.” I thought. I didn’t know this woman, and I certainly didn’t want to since after what she was going to tell me- she know would crush my dreams forever.
“Do you think we could move somewhere else? I wouldn’t want to make it awkward for these other people when I’m forced to deliver such bad news.” Ummm, what?
She guided us to a small alcove in the street where the four of us barely fit. The noise seemed to overpower her and she had to talk even louder. She introduced herself and told us her position was the Ticket Coordinator at the Festival.
“Let me just start out by saying how sorry I am for all of this confusion, and honestly, I’m very angry that I’ve been put in the position to tell you this.”
Well, this can’t be good.
“There were never any tickets,” she said bluntly. I don’t know why you were promised tickets or even told there were enough. We’ve been sold out for months. It’s so cruel and I’m so sorry, but this is all just a huge mistake.”
All three of our “deer in the headlights” expressions could’ve made millions on a Hallmark card…with something along the lines of “Oh, I thought it was a ghost but it’s just you, Happy 80th Birthday Mom.” No one spoke. Finally, my mother broke the silence.
“We were given these passes for the Festival. We were told this was all we needed to get into the premiere.”
“There’s been a mistake,” the woman said again, looking frustrated now.
“I’m so sorry, there are no more seats. It’s impossible to get you in.”
“We’ve come all this way,” my mother said in a small voice.
To be honest I don’t remember much of what happened after that. All I do remember was sobbing and screaming into my mother in the small alcove on the Los Angeles street. I had never gotten so many stares in my life.
Thousands and thousands of people must have passed us, but no one dared to say a word. We had been there for about ten minutes, waiting for something, but none of us knew what.
And then, out of nowhere three people, a man and two women, stopped and looked at us. The older looking women put her left hand over her mouth and just gawked. I felt like the main piece of art at some horrific museum. I didn’t even think about the three of them until they walked away.
My mom’s phone started vibrating; it was my dad. As she quickly explained everything to him I could hear tears thick in her throat.
What now, I thought. Do we just go home?
About five minutes later the three people passed us again. Except this time the older women bent down next to me. She laid a hand over mine and said she was so worried about me and was there anything she could do. Not knowing these people from Adam, I guess my mom felt she needed to get this out to someone, so she started from the beginning and told them everything. Then we noticed the passes hanging from the three stranger’s necks. They all read “Film Festival Producer.”
The man quickly stepped forward. He was blonde, skinny, tall and wore a empathetic look on his face. It was like he really did care; all of them did.
“My name is Shawn.” He said
“This is Carley,” as he pointed to the older women, “and this is Jane.” Jane was the youngest looking one of them all. He couldn’t believe this had happened to us. Even though we had VIP passes, it was impossible for us to get into the premiere.
“I hate to even tell you this,” he said removing his sunglasses,
“but I will TRY to get you into the premiere. I don’t think there is any possible way I can and I hate to even tell you I’ll try but that’s all I can promise.”
So basically there was no hope. Great.
He exchanged numbers with my mother and told her he’d call as soon as he heard anything.
My mother must have asked me fifty times if I was ok, but somehow, I could not remember how to speak or form words.
When we got to the car, tears started streaming down my face again. It looked like my dream trip was over. I guess bad things do really happen to good people.
If this whole situation wasn’t bad enough, now we couldn’t find our hotel. We chose this hotel specifically because it was only ten minutes away from the premiere site. It definitely was not taking us ten minutes to get there. We were lost. We had been driving for over an hour, yet the girl named Nikki who was guiding us to our hotel kept telling us we were on the right track.
I could see lights; finally we were there. I wanted nothing more than to take a hot shower, climb into bed and forget everything that happened the last four hours. But the light wasn’t what I thought it was. We turned on to a street and saw the interstate sign that read East L.A. As we went further down the street, we saw at least twenty men all crowded around a car and all turning to watch us pass. How were we going to get out of here?
It was 10:30 at night; we were in the hood of East L.A. and after the worst day of my life it was all going to end with the three of us being shot. I hoped my father would at least one day get my story to Rob. Tell him how hard I had worked for it all to come to a screeching halt due to gang members in East L.A.
When we finally made it out (alive) we somehow found our way to the hotel. We did this with a record time of 2 hours and 45 minutes.
When got our bearings and got to the room. As I opening the door, I looked at the key, which read, “Tomorrow’s a big day.” Wow. Way to rub it in, I thought.
Once we got inside I immediately started scrolling through pictures. It had been a fun trip while it lasted. When I walked over to the mirror to start taking off make up, I found myself amused by the fact that throughout all of the tragic events of the day, I had managed to keep my Eclipse Burger King crown on the whole time.
When I finally fell on top of the bed I stretched to look at the clock, 1:23am. Great. Hannah was in the shower and my mom was at the desk when all of a sudden a ring came from her phone. I didn’t think anything of it except when she answered her voice and face lit up. This immediately caught my attention. There were lots of yeses, okays, and an overwhelming number of thank yous and then screaming! What is going on?!?!?! I was going crazy.
As soon as my mother hung up the phone she started jumping like Tigger himself.
“What is it?!?” I yelled!
“SHAWN GOT US TICKETS!!!!!” She screamed hysterically.
I moved like a tornado through the room. I’m surprised we weren’t reported for violating noise laws from our room, but none of us cared. This was a miracle, something that happens in movies and rarely in real life. This was what I had been waiting for and, now, it was here. I was going to the Red Carpet Eclipse Premiere in Los Angeles California. Could this be real?
As we all settled into bed I fell asleep to my mom’s repeat of the conversation for the fiftieth time. But this time she remembered something Shawn had said.
“Tell the girls to get some rest because tomorrow’s a big day.”
The next day was more magical than I had ever dreamed it would be. We spent the entire day at the Nokia Theatre and ended it by being the first people to see Eclipse the Movie! But most of all, I got what I had come there for. I saw Mr. Robert Thomas Pattinson in the flesh. When you have a moment like that it’s very hard to explain. Time had stopped, no one else existed in the world but me and Robert. Somehow I couldn’t form words or even get a scream to escape my mouth when I saw him coming down the aisle to sit in his seat for the premiere. As hard as it may seem to believe, this trip changed me. Miracles do happen in real life and not just in the movies. Dreams do come true. And most importantly, Los Angeles California truly is the city of angels.

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