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  • March 22, 2000 (I think)

    I was in High school, probably my junior year when one of my friends told me she heard on the radio on her walkman that Aaliyah was going to be in Brooklyn signing autographs today. I freaked out. I was so nervous and excited. I was so happy she told me, because if it weren't for her, I'd never have that opportunity again...She told me it was going to be at some Electronic store. Now this is long before google and mobile phones. I decided I had to cut class to make it there on time. My best friend at the time decided to go with me. We got on a subway and found our way to a neighborhood we've never been before. It took a little time to find the right electronic store but when we walked inside sure enough we saw a long line of people on the lower level. I was then realized I didn't have anything for her to sign, nor did I bring my camera. It was the day the Romeo Must Die soundtrack was released, so everyone was buying her album and then having her sign it. Unfortunately I had already pre-ordered it on Amazon and it still didn't arrive and I decided not to buy it again. Looking back now I wish I bought it there to have her sign it, and just return the one I ordered on Amazon. But I wasn't thinking straight. My friend and I were all the way in the back, I think there was only 1 person behind us. I was wearing my winter Bear jacket and sweating like crazy. But I could see Aaliyah from afar. She wore a beige bandana and a beige bra top, and a white sweatshirt. It was hot in that basement. We stood in line for hours. When the line was about half way done, they made an announcement. That Aaliyah had to go to Manhattan and sign autographs at Virgin Records or HMV and that she would be leaving soon. The entire crowd got really loud and starting booing. I was devastated. Very shortly, that same man made another announcement that Aaliyah decided to finish giving autographs to everyone in line first. What an Angel. How many people do that? She risked showing up late for the next several hundred people who are probably already in line waiting for her.

    Finally we began to approach the end of the line. She only had a few people left. I watched her sign posters and CD's with a gold and silver marker. Her hand must have been so tired. She too must have been super hot although she wasn't bundled up like me. I pulled out my wallet and found a black and white printout I kept in my wallet of her famous armor ring. I've been trying to find this ring and made a collage on my computer of it including 1 photo of her face and I would show it to jewelry stores asking if they had it. To this day I have never found that same exact ring.

    Finally it was my turn. I was so nervous. The man standing next to her told me she had run out of posters to sign - which she was giving out for free. So I had no choice but to have her sign this piece of paper with pictures of her ring on it. When I handed it to her I instantly felt the need to explain why I was giving her this junky piece of paper to sign and mumbled "I was looking for your ring" she kindly smiled but didn't say anything. I don't think she understood what I said. But she signed it anyway. And then I gave her a hug. Her hair was so silky. My friend was up next. She said I don't want an autograph, I just want a hug. So she hugged her. And then we walked out of there on cloud 9.

    I was so excited and in shock that I met her. She wasn't like any other celebrity. I don't know how to explain her energy. She had this unbelievable warm energy about her. She was so humble. I've come across many celebrities since then, some are nice just like regular people, others were extremely stuck up refusing to even let me take a photo of them. But Aaliyah was something else.

    A little short time later her music video with DMX came out called Back in One Piece with DMX. And in the video she's wearing the exact outfit she wore when I met her. That's when I realized she must have filmed that video on the same day I met her, before going to the electronic store. She had a busy day!
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