The cold couldn’t keep us away

Nicole Aikens

There’s a beauty to music. Not just in the vocals and lyrics, but the feelings they give off is truly magical.

The way a song, an artist, a verse or a line can completely change a person’s mood or get someone through the worst of days – that’s the best part of music for me. That’s the magic.

For me, it’s an artist that never fails to make me feel better – Colbie Caillat. And last Tuesday I got to meet her.

It’s not very often someone gets to meet an idol. The only other time it happened to me, I was 10 years old, and Nick Carter paraded me around the stage at the Gund Arena to “The Perfect Fan.”

At the time, my Backstreet Boys obsession was at its peak, and Nick Carter holding my hand meant the world to me. But this recent idol encounter meant so much more.

Here’s how it happened:

I left school with my best friend, and we headed down to Ohio State University.

Yep, that’s right. I traveled two hours each way on a Tuesday in order to see Colbie Caillat. I guess you could say she’s a pretty big deal to me.

I don’t have the words to describe the show itself.

At no point did I ever feel like she sounded less than perfect. And out of the three shows of hers I’ve been to, this one was by far the best. I felt that way even before I met her.

After the show, we made the collective decision to meet Colbie Caillat.

Now, my mom always told me to stay away from dark alleys, but this was no time to listen. Like our personal yellow brick road, this particular dark alley led us straight to the tour buses.

And then came the stalemate.

Security wasn’t going to let us near the buses, and we weren’t going to leave. We were one of the first sets of people to conjure back behind the building, and we were three of the 10 people to be the very last to leave.

“You’re waiting in vain,” Colbie’s stage manager told us.

“She already left,” the security guard told us.

But we knew we were being lied to, and we weren’t going to take it.

I wish I could say we stormed the buses, or tackled a security guard or something that involved a well-planned coup. In reality, we just outlasted everyone else.

Our will to meet Colbie Caillat was far greater than that of anyone else to keep us away from her.

After longer than an hour of waiting in the 35-degree weather without jackets – it was standing room only, and we didn’t want to have to hold them all night – we got our shining beacon of hope.

She was an angel sent from above who went by the name of Nancy.

I have no idea what Nancy’s position is, and I really don’t know why she was willing to help us. But she was willing to help us.

I shouted from across the one-way-street-turned-invisible-barrier.

“Do you want to help us out?”

She did. After I had asked half a dozen people, someone wanted to help.

Ten minutes later I was hugging Colbie Caillat, who got out of bed to meet her freezing fans.

Contact features correspondent Nicole Aikens at [email protected].