The butler bell above the door rang as the delivery driver walked in. Daisy was used to the UPS man delivering packages, but it was a rare day for the FedEx man to come around. Frank greeted her and offered the electronic device to capture her signature and then handed her a flat envelope. Okay, that was even more odd. Most deliveries to her store were boxes, not envelopes and nothing came to her via priority delivery before 10 am.
Her little shop on Main Street didn’t open for customers until 10 am but she was always at work by 7 am each day. She would unlock the front door not because she anticipated customers, or even wanted them that early, but because she would often step out and have coffee with other business owners or workers as they started their day. When you live in a small town and you know everyone, there is no sense in hiding in your store away from everyone, that is just rude. And besides, when you are a retail location that might get early package deliveries, you need to be around for them. She just couldn’t get past Frank delivering something to her, this was just out of the ordinary. Early morning priority delivery was not associated with anything in her store.
She inspected the package, curiosity was getting to her but she wasn’t quite ready to open it yet. No shipper was identified on the label but the address was in Los Angeles, California. Daisy didn’t know anyone in California so that made it all the more curious. Finally, she couldn’t take it any longer and ripped open the tab, inside she found a letter along with a sealed #10 envelope paper clipped to the back.
I would like to congratulate you on winning the online contest for you and a guest to attend the Los Angeles premiere of Captain America: Civil War on April 12th. Inside this package, you will find not only the tickets to the premiere but your hotel confirmation as well as contact information for our corporate travel agent. Please reach out to the office and they will help set up your flight arrangements.
Upon your arrival in Los Angeles, you will be provided with transportation to the premiere and reception that will immediately follow. You will also have an opportunity to meet the stars of the movies and have a photo opportunity and autograph session.
We look forward to having you as our guest. Thank you for participating in the contest.
Daisy could barely stand, her knees were knocking and she needed to reach for the counter to hold herself up. She had to be dreaming, there was no way this was real. She read the letter two more times to process it. Nope, still didn’t make sense. This didn’t happen to her, she didn’t win contests. Frankly, she didn’t even remember entering this one. She would click on links for the hell of it, knowing that she would never win and she would never give it a second thought. Winning a contest to send her to LA? This is not something that she ever considered a real possibility.
The premiere was three weeks away and she needed to finalize her arrangements. The time off from work would not be a problem; she owned her own little shop and could make arrangements to close down. She didn’t have any events upcoming that would cause a conflict. She was still having a hard time believing she could be so lucky!
~ * ~
Daisy made her way to the airport, she had a late afternoon flight. She was fortunate that Marvel had allowed for her to fly out the evening before the premiere. Actually, it was really due to scheduling. She was unable to get a flight that would put her into LA early on the day of the premiere. Most fights actually had her arriving after the premiere would have already started. So, instead, she was going to get a 3 night and 4 day trip to LA and would have an opportunity to sightsee and visit Disneyland in addition to going to the premiere and reception.
Daisy had decided to take this journey alone, even though it was a trip for two. She had recently broken up with her boyfriend, Michael. It was too bad for him, he was a massive Marvel fan and he would be so jealous to learn she had won this trip. She could have taken one of her good friends, but inevitably someone would have had their feelings hurt and she didn’t need that drama. No, she decided that she could do this on her own.
The flight was uneventful, just the way she liked them. Daisy hated to fly and the idea of the airport, security, and getting to the hotel was overwhelming. However, she handled it like a pro. Marvel had pulled out the stops and provided a ride from the airport to the hotel. They had also put her up in a very nice hotel just down the street from the theater where the premiere would be held. Her room was on the 22nd floor and she had a magnificent view of the city. She had to pinch herself to make sure she was not dreaming.
~ * ~
Daisy was content living in small town, rural America and the idea of Los Angeles was overwhelming. The big city, bustling traffic, palm trees, and the sunshine – so much different from her day to day life. She was staying in a nice hotel that would not be anything she would be able to afford if she were traveling on her own. She would enjoy this while she could.
Daisy was shy, and the notion of going to this premiere was turning her stomach inside out. She had wanted to sightsee a little and get out of her hotel room before getting ready for the big event. But she feared she would wander too far and not get back in time to get made presentable. So instead, she stayed in the room and overanalyzed her plan for the day and how she wanted to look for the night.
Then the fear hit her, the last thirty minutes of the movie were being described as an ‘emotional horror story,’ To her this meant that she would most likely cry; she was an overly sensitive person and could cry when watching commercials. Note to self, she thought, do not wear mascara, she did not want to end up looking like a trash panda on the night she was going to meet the stars of the movie.
~ * ~
Daisy had finally finished getting ready and was now pacing her hotel room waiting for the time to go down to meet the driver. She had been told to dress nicely for the premiere but that it was not a black tie event. Luckily she had a dress in her closet that she hoped would be appropriate. A sleeveless black dress that stopped right above the knee with a pattern of white butterflies that appeared to be flying across the dress. The spring air allowed for her to pair the dress with a short white sweater and she wore black and white pumps. Her hair was in a partial updo, and her makeup was soft and natural – giving the appearance of no makeup even though she had it slathered on. She walked to the elevator bank and her heart was racing. She was so nervous and had already checked her purse three or four times to make sure the tickets were there.
Her timing was impeccable, as she reached the lobby her car was pulling up out front. The driver, George, introduced himself and helped her into the backseat. He explained that he would be driving her to the side entrance of the theater, and she would not be walking the red carpet. With this news, she began to breathe again. He let her know that there would be special seating for her in the theater, and the actors would come in once the red carpet arrivals were complete.
George opened the door and helped her out, letting her know that he would be waiting for her at this exit when the movie was over so he could drive her to the reception. He handed her a card and let her know that if she were to leave with anyone else or if she needed anything at all, she should just call him. He tipped his hat, and she thanked him. Daisy walked into the theater and tried to maintain her composure.
The room was grand as it was an old Hollywood theater; there was a large elegant staircase to the balcony seating. The old-time concession stands in the lobby and velvet ropes to block off the forbidden areas. She immediately found a place against the wall to people watch. None of the stars of the movie had arrived yet, but there were plenty of celebrities in attendance. She must have already stood out because a young woman began walking her way.
“Hello, would you be Ms. Daisy Proctor?” The woman asked as she approached.
Daisy stood up a little straighter, “Um, yes. Yes, I am, “ She held out her hand.
The woman took her hand and gave a firm handshake, “It is a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Proctor. My name is Amanda Whitehouse, I am Mr. Feige’s assistant, he asked that I look for you this evening and help get you situated.”
“Oh, thank you, I appreciate that. George gave me some information about what to expect for the evening. Something about assigned seats for the movie and then I would meet him out that side door to go to the reception.”
“Yes, that is correct. I understand you made this trip on your own. I have to admit, I am not sure if you are brave or crazy for doing that.”
“Probably a little bit of both,” she said laughing nervously.
The buzz at the front of the theater was getting louder; the stars were starting to arrive. Amanda motioned for Daisy to follow her as she began walking toward the theater doors.
“I am going to go ahead and take you in and seat you. If you need to use the ladies room, now is the time. Your seat will be in the middle of a row, and it will be a little harder to get out once everyone else has taken their seats.”
Daisy began walking into the theater and noticed that quite a few people had already taken their seats. She had anticipated that she would be sitting in the balcony or near the back; but instead, Amanda was walking her toward prime seats that were roped off in the middle of the theater. The seats had numbers on them but no names.
Amanda went to the second row of seats that were reserved and moved the rope, “Daisy, you are being seated here in the VIP area. You may have a seat in either number twelve or thirteen as those were the seats assigned through the online contest. Once all of the stars of the film have walked the red carpet they will come in and take their seats in this area. The Russo Brothers, you know who they are, correct?” Daisy nodded at Amanda’s question. “They will introduce the movie and present the main stars of the film to say a few words and then the movie will play. Once it is over, the ushers will release the VIP section first and you can walk out with them or stay behind and walk out separately, whichever makes you feel more comfortable.”
Daisy nodded as Amanda spoke to her. She could not believe what she was hearing. There was no way she was going to be sitting in the VIP section for the premiere of this movie. She took a few deep breaths and then walked toward the seats; she settled on number twelve. She tried to remain calm but it was increasingly difficult; she had taken out her cell phone to text a few friends and they were sending her photos from the red carpet that was happening just behind the doors at the top of the aisle from where she was seated. Her heart was racing and she was not sure she was going to survive this; in theory, this trip was a good idea but in execution, it was scaring the hell out of her. Of course, her friends were jealous because she was about to see the movie and would have encounters with these people that they could only stare at on their computer screens.
Slowly she saw and heard he actors making their way into the theater. She did not want to look around and appear to fangirl over anyone. The murmurs of the crowd became louder and she realized that the moment had arrived, the Russo Brothers, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, and Chris Evans were standing in front of the screen ready to talk to the crowd. At that exact moment she noticed that the chairs on either side of her were empty, she knew one of them would be because it was allocated for her guest that she didn’t bring. But the other? Crap, that meant that one of those guys in front of the crowd could end up sitting next to her. She was not ready for that….no, this would not work….her heart would not survive if that was the case and she was pretty sure her ovaries wouldn’t either!