Happy Veterans Day
You wordlessly munched on your sandwich that you ordered from the café as you vaguely paid attention to your friend Fiona, who was rambling about her latest escapade at the bar the previous night. Bars, alcohol, and inappropriate dancing had never appealed to you, but you considered yourself a good friend and still listened to Fiona’s stories… or tried to, anyway.
“You’re not listening to a word I’m saying, are you?” Fiona asked flatly.
You moved your gaze away from the window to look at her. “Huh?”
“That’s what I thought.”
“I’m sorry. I just have a lot on my mind.”
Fiona waggled her eyebrows at you suggestively. “Oh, you mean Mr. Stars and Stripes you’ve watching out the window for?”
Your face instantly burst into a crimson color. You had always been a fan of Steve Rogers ever since you read about his story, and even more so after the events that destroyed nearly all of New York City. While many people could only look at the devastation that the Avengers left New York in, you were able to see past that and realized that they were only doing their best to protect the planet. Many people died, but even more could have if Steve and the rest of the Avengers hadn’t come in to save the day. Unfortunately, those who thought like you did were in the minority, especially in New York City itself.
You had always wanted to meet him, but especially today because it was November 11th – Veterans Day. While many of his fan girls researched him for his good looks and charisma, you delved into his military past. The amount of help that he had been to the United States Army was phenomenal. You wanted to thank him for his tremendous contribution to the country but had no idea how to go about it given that you hadn’t a clue where to find him. You could have written him a letter, but you knew he probably received hundreds of them and wouldn’t find yours until months later. Heck, you weren’t sure if he even read through all of them.
After doing some research on forums, knowing full-well that the information posted could simply be mere gossip, you took a chance and decided to meet Fiona at the café that was next to the boxing gym he frequented. Nearly two hours had passed since you and your friend arrived, and part of you was starting to lose hope.
“I don’t think he’s coming,” you said to Fiona.
“Oh, stop it. Be patient. It’s only the early afternoon; there’s still plenty of time for your hubby to show up,” she replied.
You ignored her jab and continued to stare out the window longingly. It was silly of you to be stalking him, you knew that, but meeting Captain America himself was one of your biggest dreams. Another hour passed, and just as you were packing up your laptop and other belongings, much to Fiona’s chagrin, you caught Steve walking past the window out of the corner of your eye. Without so much as batting an eyelash, you bolted from your seat and out the door. Due to your recklessness, you forgot about the two steps that were just outside of the café entrance and stumbled then fell to your hands and knees.
Right in front of Steve Rogers.
Highly embarrassed at making a fool of yourself, you quickly jumped to your feet and brushed off your hands and knees. You couldn’t talk to Steve now, not after making an ass out of yourself.
“Miss, are you okay? That looked like a hard fall.”
You nervously glanced between him and the sidewalk. “Um, yeah! I’m fine. I just… Uhh… Hi!”
Steve smiled and chuckled. “Hello.”
An awkward silence enveloped the two of you, and you felt your palms begin to sweat profusely. Here he was, Steve Rogers, in all his glory, and you couldn’t even form a single sentence correctly; this was not going as you had planned, at all.
“Are you feeling alright?” he asked you, his voice etched with concern.
“Yeah! It’s just…” You sucked in a deep breath then sighed loudly. “I’ve just always been a huge fan of yours. I’ve read about all of your military experiences and watched you defend New York on TV. You’re such a big inspiration to me, and it’s Veterans Day, so… I just wanted to say Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service to this country.”
When Steve didn’t answer at first, you kept your gaze to the ground. You had just made an ass out of yourself; you knew it. He was probably thinking of ways to try to get out of having to continue this conversation with you, but you were caught off guard when you watched him grab one of your hands. Startled, you jerked your head up to stare at him in awe.
“Thank you, that really means a lot to me,” he replied with a genuine smile on his face. “You’re the first person to acknowledge me for my service in the Army.”
“What?” you said, shocked.
“The majority of people see me as Captain America, not as a soldier in the United States Army. They think of me as a superhero, not as a veteran, so thank you. You’ve made my day.”
Hearing Steve Rogers himself tell you that you made his day put you on cloud nine, and you struggled to keep your excitement to a minimum. You watched as he let go of your hand and took a pen and notepad out of his shirt pocket then scribbled something down. When he ripped off the piece of paper and gave it to you, your heart nearly stopped beating.
“That’s my cell phone number. If you’re not busy in the near future, we should grab coffee sometime… If you want to, that is,” he said.
“I-I would love to!” you replied quickly.
“Great, I look forward to hearing from you.”
You watched as he waved goodbye to you and continued down the sidewalk to his destination. Dumbfounded, you kept glancing between Steve and the piece of paper with his number on it until he was no longer in sight, and then you realized…
You didn’t even tell Steve Rogers what your name was.