Such. A. Nice. Guy
Who knew when we headed out tonight for some time together that we would be having the night of our lives?
Okay, so Charlie & Co.’s burger might have been tiny.
And my Tom’s Palette ice-cream had more Oreo cheesecake than I would have liked it to have.
BUT WE MANAGED TO FIND THE HOTEL THAT NICHOLAS HOULT LIVED IN!
And so, okay, it wasn’t purely based on luck. So we actually popped in a whole list of hotels - about six hotels - before coming across the right one. So we were actively looking.
But who the heck would have known that such a crazy hunt would actually come to fruition?
When we actually came across the lobby of the right hotel, I gasped, “Oh my god.”
Kendra echoed, “Oh my god.”
We stumbled into the lobby as if in a dream, and decided to take a seat in two plush armchairs where we would have the best view of the entrance to the hotel and the lift lobbies, so we would be able to see if Nicholas Hoult was entering/leaving the hotel.
And then the waiting began.
I was half-consumed with hope, and half-wilting in dejection, thinking that no, it has been eight days since I last saw him in Marina Barrage, when the cast of Equals had been cheering, seeming to indicate a wrap in filming of Singapore. And F1 had ended on Sunday, and even if he had stayed to watch Hamilton’s win, he had all of yesterday and most of today to fly back to wherever Equals was shooting next.
Kendra and I were feverishly - okay, at least I was - combing the internet for any information on whether Nicholas had left Singapore. I turned up nothing, apart from the fact that he was spotted at F1 (as I had expected), but still that didn’t give us much to go on.
I kept looking up at small intervals to look at the flow of human traffic to see if Nicholas might be there. Every time a whole bunch of Caucasians went by, my heart would kind of stop as I frantically searched for him. And then finally, after a few false alarms, we saw him.
I don’t even remember how it happened. Here’s what I pieced together after some discussion with Kendra.
So apparently I was looking at my phone, and probably Kendra started talking to me. And I looked up, alarmed that I was missing something. And then I saw a Caucasian man, with familiar hair and face, walking towards the concierge and asking him questions. And I was thinking, oh my god, is that him?
And I said that out loud, and half-rose out of my chair, trying very hard to ascertain whether it was indeed the target. And then we walked over, with my eyes fixated on his back as he asked questions, my heart expanding such that it seemed to fill the entire capacity of my chest, and still I couldn’t figure out if it was him, given that I had a shoddy side profile and his head looked small compared to the rest of him. But the person was of the right height and build.
And then he turned around, but I was too busy looking at my phone to fake interest in it to actually get a good look. It was only when he was finished asking questions and walking towards us that I got a good look and took the plunge.
"Nicholas," I said.
"Hey, what’s up," he said, turning around.
"A picture - ?" I began weakly.
He said, “Sorry, I’m in a rush.”
And breezed off to the bar, where we saw Kristen Stewart and a few other people hanging around.
I was majorly, majorly disappointed after that. Not just because it was such a reversal - in the previous two times when I met him, he had always been the obliging one for photo-taking, but his minders and security guards had always been the ones demurring. This time, even though he had come out and asked the concierge on his own (which is sweet, in a way - he’s still independent and stuff even though he can send lackeys out to ask things for him), he denied us a picture. And when we sneaked looks at him in the bar, he was chatting quite leisurely with the people in there. I was really quite disappointed - that he should say that he was in a rush when it seemed that he wasn’t? It didn’t gel with what I had experienced in my previous two encounters.
We sat for a while at seats that faced the direction he was in, partially hidden behind a wall, our hearts palpitating and our hands cold. I was sitting further away first, but I couldn’t take it and swapped seats with Kendra. After a while of sitting down, she couldn’t take it either and stood to my right to spy on them some more. She gave me live updates on his movements, and we were wondering if we should actually go into the bar to order some drinks, but reasoned that we might be chased out. So we waited there, and then Kendra said, “Omg, I think he’s coming out.”
I was like, “How you know?”
She said, “Because his minder’s coming out, so it means he must be coming out.”
And I did see the Caucasian middle-aged-to-elderly man who had stopped me from taking a photo with him, and I saw a middle-aged Caucasian woman who had helped me take the photo that was deleted. And then as I leaned forward, I saw him walking towards us, and I stood up. He saw us, and I said, “Can we have a picture?” and he said, “All right, just a quick one.”
AND I WAS SO BLOODY AMAZED THAT NOT ONE SINGLE MINDER APPROACHED US TO STOP US. Kendra walked over to ask the Asian woman who had been sitting opposite us that whole time, to get her to take a picture of us. I was left staring at him, starstruck. He seemed very distracted, looking over to Kendra and the lady. I was struck with a sudden thought that I should ask him if he did eat the mooncake, and I said something along the lines of this rubbish:
"Do you remember me - do you remember the - did you eat the mooncake?"
But Kendra said all she had heard was the word “mooncake’ when she’d returned, so it was likely that I had said, “Aslkdjfhashfwaehfkahsfksh alskdjfhkajdsfh asdlfkjhaksjfhewkf asdjkfhaksdjf mooncake.”
Turns out the Asian woman had asked what she’d wanted and had been on the phone, so Kendra, all in a kerfuffle, decided that it would be better if we took the photos on our own.
Nicholas suggested taking selfies, but because the front cameras of Samsung leave much to be desired, Kendra said no, and said how about we helped each other take.
And so that’s how I found myself standing next to Nicholas Hoult once again, and I remember my shoulder touching his underarm area. I kept my hands to myself though - as you can see how diligently I was holding my laptop and papers - and my bag was decently wedged between the both of us. IT WAS SUCH A SURREAL EXPERIENCE.
And then Kendra handed me the phone and I remember my hands were shaking quite badly, and I tried to focus first and took two consecutive pictures because I was so afraid that my shakiness would ruin it. Thank goodness one of the two I took turned out okay!
After taking that photo, we both blabbered our thanks and he walked off, I can’t remember his parting words, but we were so. damn. psyched. We squealed and laughed and the staff at the hotel shushed us. We then headed out to the porch, where in clear view of the Kristen Stewart party in the bar, I did a mad jig for joy. We hi-fived continuously until our palms collided in a solid slap and danced and laughed and screeched and squealed.
It’s hard to believe that after all these days of hoping and wishing since 10th of September and a few false alarms, this has finally happened. This has been a crazy multiple of four experience.
So this is it. The story of our encounter with a A-list Hollywood star.
The story of how the Gohonzon helps in the little things.
The story of how you should never stop believing.