Annalisa’s Story – Josh at Oxford Union: April 28, 2004
a Josh-Jackson.net – Exclusive
Wednesday morning: the alarm clock goes off at 7 throwing me into despair, because today is one of those days when you wish the world could stop and let you sleep. But the world hasn’t stopped, in fact I can feel it spinning around, and the alarm clock keeps making this obnoxious noise so that – in the end – I jump out of bed, get ready and run for the bus which – as usual – I almost miss. So here I am on the bus, thinking this is not going to be a good day: the weather is as British as you can picture it, the thought of two hours of Macroeconomics bores me to death, the driver is making me sick… it can’t get worse than this. And what’s with this dreadful music they’re playing on the radio? God, something’s wrong with the world! And I hate radio speakers… they talk so much crap! Oh, but wait a minute. What is it they just said?! Stop. Rewind. “It’s Britney Spears you just heard here on Fox FM…” No. No. No. Not that! A bit forward! “By the way, Joshua Jackson a.k.a. Pacey Witter from Dawson’s Creek will be attending the Oxford Union tonight so…..” Joshua Jackson? Here? Tonight? All of a sudden, I’m not feeling very well! And yes I’m smiling, the widest smile you could imagine. So what? Why is the guy next to me looking as if I’m a nut case? Has anybody heard the news??? Hellooo?! I’m unable to think rationally right now, so I turn to the person who owns the second half of my brain: my best friend Cristina who lives in Rome. I grab my phone and start texting her, before I realize that chances are she’s still sleeping. I try and call her mobile phone: off. Typical, isn’t it? The chance we’ve always thought could never in a million years happen to us has fallen upon me like manna from heaven, and SHE’S SLEEPING!
I get off the bus and call her house: pick it up Cristina come on, pick it up! I try over and over again but God she’s sleeping tight! I run to the lecture room to tell my friends I’m not going in, but – surprise, surprise! – the lecture room is locked! Oh man, I don’t believe this! I’m an hour early! It *must* be faith then! Anyway I decide that lectures are not my priority today, my priority is sharing this moment with my best friend and, given that she’s still unaware this could be the best day of her life, I need to think for both of us! Not looking good. I hurry to a computer and check the flights: it’s going to cost her a hell lot of money but she can make it here well on time. I say it’s worth it and I’m sure she would agree;besides, it wouldn’t be the first time we do something completely crazy!
This is us, this is our life motive, we are not afraid. Think. Think. Think. How can I wake her up? Ok, I’m going to try her house one more time and if don’t manage to break the sound wall of her bunker (i.e. her room) then I’m calling her mom, her neighbours, the police. I’ll try anything! It’s ringing…. come on, come on Cristina, something in the back of your mind must be telling you what’s going on…. Oh! Somebody’s answered! It’s her brother. “Hi, it’s Annalisa! I know Cristina is sleeping, but you got to do me a favour and wake her up! She’s not going to kick your ass, trust me, will you?” Thank God I convinced him, nobody would usually dare to wake her up! It takes her a while but when she finally gets it, the fun begins! She jumps in the shower, packs, let her parents know that they’re not going to find her home, finds a friend who can drive her to the airport, everything is ready. Now she needs a ticket and while I leave her to decide whether or not it’s worth spending a fortune to fly to Oxford, something brings me back to reality.
I ring the Oxford Union and check with them: tonight is members only. I have a membership but how is Cristina going to get in? I ring everyone I could possibly think of, but there seems to be no solution to this. And when I ring her back to let her know, she tells me that the Italian airway is on strike (for a change), and the dream falls apart. This is not how it’s meant to be, I repeat over and over again to myself and to Cristina. Nothing has so far stood in our way, we are each other’s shadow (like Frank Sinatra would put it), there’s no way I’m supposed to go on my own knowing she can’t be with me. We talk over this a million times and in the end we realize that we have to give in. We’ve always been helped, and if this time I’ve been helped (I didn’t really mean to be so early for lectures!) and she hasn’t there must be a reason and time will tell us what it is. She wishes me luck, she promises she’ll think of me so much I’ll feel her next to me; I promise I will do everything I can to make her share the night with me.
The speech is not scheduled to start before 8.30pm but I’m at the Union at 5.30 – just to be on the safe side! Nobody has arrived yet so I buy the newspaper, get a drink and… wait. An hour later people start to arrive so I get in the queue. The weather is awful, it’s raining, it’s windy and I have to give up on reading. So I make conversation with 2 girls next to me, who I must thank for being so nice to me! They let us in at 8ish and the girls and I manage to get seats in the second row (the first was reserved): this is too good! I don’t believe it! I spend the whole time before he arrives checking the camera (I hate taking pictures of celebrities, but hey a promise is a promise!) and calling Cristina to tell her what’s going on. But before I can even build myself up they tell us that use of mobile phones and flash cameras is strictly forbidden. I’m left with nothing but breaking the sad news to Cristina and 2 minutes later along comes Josh!
Now, do I really need to say more? Do I need to tell you how drop dead gorgeous,breathtakingly sexy and gobsmackedly charming he is? His sister Aisleigh is with him (she’s studying in London, which is why he’s in England) and helps him start things of. However, after a few minutes people (girls rather) starts jumping in with questions which he answers with jokes, sarcasm and loads of diplomacy. He makes everyone laugh for a good hour and a half, after which he leaves followed by girls who wants to get an autograph, anything off him. I try to follow as well, but the crowd is too big so the girls and I decide to stay around for a bit, just to see what happens. We know that the guests usually stay around to have a chat with the Union’s representatives so we have no choice but stand by the stairs waiting for him to come down. At this point, however, I feel sick and decide to go to the bar next door to get an orange juice. The barman is the slowest I’ve ever seen in my whole life and I know, while I wait, I should forget about the juice and go back. I manage to be served and go back to the hall, when the girls tell me I’ve just missed him. Yeah, yeah, right, nice one! And you think I’m going to fall for it? Still, I put my drink down and turn to the toilet where, according to the girls, he just went in. And the moment I turn around he comes out!
I’m about to panic (obviously) but I don’t. Instead, I put myself together and say hi to him. “Hi” he replies. “Do you think I can ask you a favour?” “Sure” “Would you call my best friend and wish her happy birthday?” “Sure” So I dial the number and hand him my phone! Well, I would guess you know the rest if you’ve read Cristina’s story so I won’t go into details!
He was really nice and friendly and my guess is he would have stayed a bit longer if it wasn’t for a girl (the girl in the black top and pink skirt in the pictures) who kept nagging him to go back to the party. She was extremely rude to us and blatantly trying to make some kind of impression on Josh. However, I manage to drop one more question while he is going upstairs “By the way, are you enjoying Italy?” “Yeah, yeah…. well actually, I haven’t been there yet! I’ll be in Rome tomorrow” “Seriously? Well, say hi to Rome from me then” “Why? Is that home for you?” “Yup!” “I will then!”.
We stay a bit longer just to find out which club he will be going afterwards, and then we run to the club hoping we would find our way in. We do get in, but Josh is not to be seen anywhere so, we think, we must have been fooled. We are heading to the way out, when we notice something we had never noticed before: a VIP room! There he is! For a moment, we contemplate the idea of faking a pass but then realize all the girls are coming out, which must mean he’s gone. So we call it a night and go back home, where the first thing I do is calling Cristina and tell her to cheer up because all we said earlier about us not meant to be apart is true! Once again “someone up there” showed us the way, the way being I had to meet him in Oxford, she is going to have to see him in Rome – WHATEVER IT TAKES!.