Dozens of eager, hysteric fans were crowded around him; phones out, recording every single one of his movements. None actually went up to him, and he was looking pretty frustrated.
She was there too, but her phone remained in her pocket, her screams silent.
Instead, she was staring curiously at him; at the furrow of his eyebrows, the clenching and unclenching of his fingers, his unsteady knee.
"I love you so much!"
"Can I please have a picture?"
"Can you sign my hand?"
Many screams littered the air, and he winced with each word. A phone rested in his hands and by the way he kept glancing down at it, Anabella could tell he was waiting for either a call or a text.
The sun was dipping down behind the tall trees and it was starting to get cold. She wrapped her jacket tighter around herself, debating whether or not she should approach him.
She wasn't a particularly shy person, so she didn't see why not.
Anabella pushed past multiple girls before plopping down heavily on the bench next to him.
The following nine minutes would be interesting.
He was startled at first. He gave her that look that she often received - he thought she was deranged, obsessive. The fact that he scooted slightly away from her was not lost on Anabella.
"You know," she said, picking at her chipped nail polish, "it's funny how the world works."
He raised an eyebrow but didn't respond.
"I mean, you have millions of fans who love you simply because you're a person. Granted, you're a talented person, but just a mere person nonetheless. And then you have about a million people who hate you just because people love you, or because they think your skills doesn't deserve the recognition that it's getting."
His leg stopped shaking.
"I mean, when you make it to the top like you are now, it's almost as if you aren't human. People think it's okay to say absolutely atrocious things to you. People think that you're at the point where no mistakes on your part can be made. You're not human. No - you're an emotionless being who's immune to the world."
His knuckles regained color as he stopped clenching his fingers.
"I think it's crazy," she continued, looking up at the sky where the last rays of the setting sun peeked through the pink clouds. "It all moves so fast. One minute - you're just a kid with unrealistic dreams. The next - you're living the dream. People are starting to notice you. They're remembering your name."
He nodded, almost entranced. Slowly, the crowd of girls began to collectively fall silent - for they too, were listening.
"It probably feels like a dream, too. You're waiting for the day it all comes crashing down. The day that people start realizing that you're just like them, just a luckier version.
"It all comes down to luck, doesn't it? You just need one person to actually pay attention to you and suddenly - just like that - you're famous; signing autographs, taking pictures. Who would've thought that the shy boy in the back of the classroom would one day become a name found in nearly every headline around the world?"
Anabella tucked a strand of hair behind her ear before leaning back, a ghost of a smile gracing her chapped lips.