After she graduates from Samwell, Alicia moves to New York.
She’s got a modelling contract, she’s going to be in Vogue, she’s going to be
on Broadway – she’s going to be all these huge things according to her agent.
It’s not that she doesn’t want them, necessarily, it’s that…it’s that she’s
twenty-three and she’s from Chatham, Massachusetts and she somehow thought she
was going to be married well before she had a career. But, it’s fine. She’s got
an apartment in Manhattan and
everything is exciting and gorgeous and all the people she meets are dull and
gorgeous and after only a month, she’s tired of it.
She’s theoretically dating a Broadway producer at that
point. He has a higher opinion of himself and his tastes than anyone she’s ever
in her life met, but she doesn’t really want to turn him down because this is
how people get parts in things. But when he shows up with some tickets for a
new experimental performance of Swan Lake set to the Beatles, she draws the
“What if we did something a little more…fun,” she suggests.
“Like what?” the producer asks, clearly bewildered.
“Well I think the Pens are going to be in town playing the
Rangers on Saturday,” she says. “Can you get tickets to that?”
He clearly doesn’t know what the Pens or the Rangers are, but
he goes away and comes back with tickets. Alicia’s just so damn relieved to be
going to a perfectly normal hockey game that she can’t contain her excitement.
The seats the producer got them are good. They’re just
behind the boards, liable to get sprayed with ice if anyone makes a serious
turn too close by.
“Does – does the guy in jersey 11 have the same name as
you?” the producer asks, glowering at the ice while the players skate by.
Alicia doesn’t have to look to know who he’s talking about.
“That’s Bad Bob Zimmermann,” she says. She’s having fun
explaining hockey to him in a condescending tone, since it was how all of their
previous dates had been, just in reverse. “His name’s got two Ns at the end of
She doesn’t mention that part of the reason she’s laughing
is because back in Samwell, she and her roommates had gotten silly drunk one
night and started evaluating the prospects of each of the hockey players Alicia
had taped to her walls, and they’d decided that it was Bad Bob who she ought to
marry because then she wouldn’t have to change her last name.
“No, but I would,” she insisted at the time. “I’d have to
add an N.”
“And forever make copy editors cry,” her friend had replied.
The producer shakes his head in confusion at this whole
sport, when suddenly three hockey players slam into the boards right in front
of them. Alicia finds herself face to face with Bob Zimmermann himself and for
some reason he’s looking at her, his brow furrowed just slightly in confusion.
“I’m telling you, it was Alicia Zimmerman,” Bob says,
smacking away the towel someone’s trying to snap him with.
“I don’t know, man, that’s the most starry eyed I’ve ever
seen you over a girl,” the goalie says.
“Of course I was starry eyed, she’s the new face of
Valentino,” Bob says. This is going to be a problem. That’s not something he’s
supposed to know off the top of his head. He has to cover. His team can’t know
he’s been more or less fanboying over this girl for the better part of three
months. “And she was in that play we saw the last time we were in New York.”
The goalie considers. “Who was she?”
“She was the girl,” Bob says. “You know, the really good one
who could act.”
“Blonde?” the goalie asks. Bob nods. “Those blue eyes you
could see even across the theatre?”
“Yeah,” Bob agrees.
“Why are you still in here then?” the goalie demands. “She’s
probably still out there. Go ask her on a date.”
Bob shakes his head, but the goalie, Johnson, grabs him by
“Bob,” he says. “This is crucial. Go ask Alicia Zimmerman
out on a date.”
“Merde, okay,” Bob
says, recoiling from Johnson’s intensity. It’s not actually that bad an idea,
he thinks, as he walks back towards the stands. Alicia hadn’t looked overly
enthusiastic about the man she was sitting next to, so maybe he’s got a chance.
He happens to catch her and the guy in the suit just before
they leave the rink.
“Sorry, you’re Alicia Zimmerman right?” Bob asks.
Her smile could power all of New York it’s so bright.
“You’re Bad Bob,” she says, completely ignoring the man next
to her. He looks miffed, Bob thinks, but he’s also about half the size Bob is
so he’s not worried. “I mean, you’re Bob Zimmermann. With two Ns.”
Bob laughs and Alicia keeps smiling, and the Broadway
producer disappears in a snit.
Alicia never does get around to changing her last name.