The Fan
By Veronica Hendriksma
The first time, ever I saw your face…
Roberta Flack’s song takes me back to my youth. I was about fourteen years old when I saw your first movie.
You enthralled me, intrigued and mesmerized me, cast a spell on me and became a role model to me. I vowed to read every single
thing that was published about you.
I also started a scrap book, in which I pasted all the photographs I could find of you.
You were twenty-four years old at the time and you had the world at your feet. You didn’t care about fashion, or the written and
unwritten rules and regulations of society. You were Donna and no one was going to tell you how to live your life.
My life was totally different. My mother left shortly after I had been born, never to be seen or heard of, again. My father…well, it is
almost impossible to describe my father. He had bouts of good behaviour. Then we would go to the beach together, or have picnics in
the park. Then without warning, his mood would change. In these phases he drank and became violently angry at the smallest
provocation. He also suffered bouts of deep depression. I often feared he would commit suicide and I would find his body in some
grotesque setting.
Oh, I’m sorry, I still haven’t introduced myself. My name is Vicky Black. Unlike my surname, I am blonde and have blue eyes.
“Vicky, Vicky!” my fiend Marin screams at me through the phone.
“Hey, cool it” I say in a soothing tone. “What’s going on?”
“You won’t believe what happened” she roars.
I decide that it is totally pointless to attempt calming her, so I let her bellow on.
“Donna is coming to town and I just won tickets to a meet and greet!”
“What?” I almost faint with excitement. “Where did you get the tickets?” I finally manage to squeak.
“Oh, I still can’t believe it. I took part in a contest on LFP Radio and I won!”
Marin’s torrent of words is not easy to interrupt, but eventually I can squeeze a question in.
“When can we meet Donna?”
This really fires Marin up.
“Oh that’s the best part. The meet and greet is…”
“Oh for heaven’s sake Marin, don’t torture me” I plead.
“All right,” she laughs, “it’s tomorrow.”
Now I have to tell you about Marin. I am a fan of Donna, in the sense that I follow her in the media. But I don’t look like Donna in
any shape or form.
Marin, on the other hand, is like an identical twin of Donna. Marin copies her clothes, her hairstyle, the way Donna speaks, her
makeup and even her footwear.
I just can’t decide what to wear and I’m almost brought to tears by my frustration. I’m surrounded by heaps of discarded clothing.
What would Donna consider as cool clothing? I imagine she would find the cloning of her clothing style flattering, but not highly
original. In my opinion that’s what really counts for Donna. How innovative are you?
So at long last I decide to wear a little black dress, with a denim waistcoat, denim boots and a funky black beret.
As usual Marin is fashionably late. At the last moment she breezes in, obviously wearing one of Donna’s favourite outfits.
We take the bus to the city, and arrive at the theatre, just in time to see Donna’s entrance. She looks positively radiant, with her glowing
red hair and trim little figure.
At long last, after waiting for ages, we are allowed to meet her.
I mumble a soft greeting, and feel too shy to even look at Donna.
In contrast to myself, Marin is positively bubbling with energy and cries out, “Hi Donna, great to meet you!”
Donna smiles at Marin and says, “Nice meeting you too. I love your outfit…”
And then she is gone. At first I’m ecstatic, but slowly and surely the feelings of humiliation and scorn start seeping in. How could she?
How could Donna just ignore me, and devote all her attention to Marin? After all the trouble it took, trying to create an original look?
After the hours I spent, trying to achieve a Vicky, worthy of meeting Donna? I’m utterly disappointed; my heroine has turned out to be
flawed.
This is what youth is like, I suppose. Never again in one’s life will the highs and lows be of such monumental, roller coaster like quality.
You know how it is though; you get on with your life.
As time passes, the grinding pain of being so utterly slighted by Donna subsides.
I finished high school, had a couple of boyfriends, went to college and even bought a nifty second hand car. Then the economy went
down the drain and employment opportunities were scarce.
At some stage, I decide to do the adult thing, and therefore, I forgive Donna. To fill my empty days, I start watching her movies over
and over again. I fantasize about what it would be like to have Donna as a friend. Hence, I write her a letter reminding her of our
meeting. I wait in anticipation, until after a while when her long awaited letter arrives. Once more, her reaction sears through my soul.
All that was sent is a signed photograph. You know the kind which is sent to millions of fans.
After the incident with Donna, my contact with Marin is minimal. We send each other the occasional birthday card and that’s about it.
But, one day, the phone rings.
“Hello?” I ask in a daze. In the meantime I have started drinking more and more heavily to overcome the boredom of non-
employment, no meaningful relationship and to be honest, having no future.
“Hi Vicky, this is Marin. How are you?”
It takes a little while to sink in, but then she has my complete attention.
“Hi Marin” I reply tentatively. “I’m fine, and you?”
Marin starts rattling away, as if nothing has happened.
“I have great news,” she yells.
A feeling of deja vous creeps upon me. Even so, I can’t help myself, I have to ask, “What’s up?”
“After years of silence, Donna has finally released a new movie. I thought that maybe you would like to join me…”
Marin’s voice fades in my head. All I can think about is once and for all having a chance to get closer to Donna. I tune back into Marin.
“You will not believe it, but after the meet and greet, Donna and I have always stayed in touch,” Marin explains.
This is the absolute stabbing of my heart, the utter betrayal of my feelings. I want to befriend Donna, but of all people she had to
choose Marin as her confidant.  
Marin continues full of enthusiasm, “I’ll give you Donna’s address and then we can all hang out together.”
I jot down the address and subsequently fall back into my chair, staring into space. My mind is filled with feelings of envy,
disappointment, failure and even searing hatred. Suddenly my mind becomes crystal clear and I know exactly what I have to do.
I walk to my father’s desk and break into the top drawer. I know this is where he keeps his gun.
The tiny clicks of the bullets as they glide into the chamber of the gun produce a tingling sensation down my spine. No, I’m not going
to kill Donna. I feel slighted that you can even contemplate such a thing. The gun is just for my own protection. I feel fearful. Maybe
Donna has bodyguards who will physically harm me! In addition, I feel anticipation. It will be wonderful to meet Donna again. This
time I won’t botch it. This time I’ll wear her favourite clothes and greet her cheerfully.
Simultaneously I feel uncertainty spreading like a forest fire across my whole being. What if Donna gives me what I desire most? What
if she gives me her friendship and affection? I have gotten so accustomed to my resentment and bitterness; I can’t even imagine a
different life.
While contemplating all of this, I’ve reached Donna’s house, without even realising it. I sit in the car for a long time, just staring at the
gun.
Finally I pluck up the courage to ring the doorbell. This is where things start going wrong. I certainly had not expected that Donna
would open the door herself.
“Yes?” she asks, with a puzzled look on her face.
My mouth goes dry, my hands become clammy and the pounding of my heart sounds like an annoying distant drum. Despite my
intentions, I can’t think of a single thing that I can say to her. Involuntary I point the gun at Donna. Maybe it gives me a sense of false
security.
“Get inside” I hiss at her.
I experience a frenzy of thoughts. How can I end this, without anyone getting hurt? Totally unexpectedly, Donna tries to grab the gun.
You have to believe me, it is a reflex motion. I don’t even realize that I’ve squeezed the trigger. I hear the shot and at first, I can’t even
work out where the sound came from. Then I see Donna’s body crumple and in conclusion, lay totally still on the ground. I fall down
on my knees, howling, and rocking her disfigured corpse in my arms. This is how her bodyguards find us.
I don’t resist police arrest and plead guilty as charged at my trial. They say it was premeditated because I had brought the gun to her
house. I will probably spend the rest of my life in jail.
The reporters keep phoning me, asking questions.
“Why did you kill her?” they want to know.
My answer never seems to satisfy anyone, but it is the truth.
“I don’t know, I didn’t mean for it to happen, it just did. All I ever wanted was to be her friend.”