“Wake up, baby girl... wakey wakey.” I heard someone say, gingerly nudging my arm.
“Urgh, go away,″ I mumbled sleepily, mindlessly throwing a pillow at the idiot.
Unfortunately, the said idiot didn’t back down and still persisted.
“Come on, baby girl. You’ll be late for work.″
I opened my eyes and squinted them at Roy, my roommate who was standing next to my bed and I raised my upper body towards him, balancing myself up on my elbows and squinted my eyes further and gritted out, "Shoo.”
Then I plopped back and turned around to sleep on my stomach and faked a highly exaggerated and very unladylike snore.
I heard him let out an exasperated sigh in response.
“I should seriously charge you for doing this shit every day.” He grumbled under his breath.
“Hey!” I cried out loud and grunted out, “Rude!”
I peeked at him from the corner of my eyes to see him standing next to my bed with his hands on his lean hips, trying to look stern. Keyword: trying.
No way, buddy. I’m not falling for that!
“Mmh.″ I sighed, drifting off to sleep.
Hearing him exhale in frustration, I smiled to myself. After a few seconds, I heard my bedroom door slam shut and I grinned in relief and victory.
All hail Lady Nova!
Here I come again, my precious, precious, me-making-out-with-a-shirtless-Henry-Cavill dream.
“Get up, Mini.″
If Roy wasn’t enough to blow every tiny piece of my apparently just-about-to-be-exquisitely-R-Rated dream into smithereens; here came Aye, my other roommate.
Awesome, just awesome!
“Rise and shine, princess.” I heard another voice.
Correction. Here came Aye and Sid.
Okay, by now you have to know who Sid is.
That’s right, my other-other roommate.
“Oo aw hey, huys... Leme sweep.″
Okay, no, I don’t have any kind of speech disorder. Apparently, if you have your face pressed against a pillow, you can make your own new language. By the way, I meant to say, “Go away, guys... Lemme sleep.“.
I knew they understood my morning language because we had gotten used to this routine every day for the past two years. I don’t know how they can put up with me. Trust me guys, you never wanna be around the morning me.
It’s not like I’m a grumpy person. I’m actually a very sweet, modest person.
It’s just that people usually tend to stay away from me in the morning.
Far, far away.
I felt someone forcefully snatch the covers off my body and dump it on the mattress beside me.
I growled under my breath and turned around to lie on my back and opened my eyes to see six pairs of eyes staring back at me patiently and unwaveringly.
A roommate conference. Awesome!
Note the sarcasm.
I got up unwillingly, knowing that it was time for me and my sleep (and shirtless Henry Cavill) to part ways (unfortunately).
Then I immediately proceeded to stretch my body after which I turned and informed the crowd.
“Hey, dudes. I’m up. Now if you can kindly get out of my stupid room and engage yourself in some kind of a stupid activity that does not include stupidly annoying the hell out of me, that would be just great!”
They blinked at me simultaneously as if on cue and then immediately ushered out of the room almost like I was going to pounce on them any second.
Which I would have.
Smart guys, I tell ya.
Anyway, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
My name is Novella Stark aka Nova.
I know, right? Novella?
Let’s just say that Mum’s a very creative person. And no, there’s no sarcasm involved in the above sentence; she actually is a very creative person.
I know it may be hard to believe, considering how the fruit of her loins (me) had grown up to be.
I get that a lot, apparently.
My mum, Valentina Acker-Stark is originally from Anaheim, California. She went to British Academy of Fashion Design in Edinburgh to study fashion, only to find my father, the love of her life; Richard Stark while working as a part-time barista at a coffee shop that he frequented.
And it was like - Bam! Instant Cupid.
Mum is now a well-known fashionista with her own fashion line Constantinova and is a role model and inspiration to many others who are interested in the field of fashion.
Like I said, she’s actually very creative.
And as for my dad, he’s the CEO of the Stark Enterprises. I’m not going to lie to you; I don’t exactly know what he actually does for a living, other than the fact that it includes spending hours and hours on a computer looking at numbers, charts and excel sheets.
I know that makes me a rich selfish brat who couldn’t care more about others, but let’s just say I’m more of a Mamma’s girl than my Dad’s.
Trust me, I loved them both, but I have forever leaned a little more towards Mum than my Dad.
Anyway, I was living in the States with them until two years ago; before it happened.
Now, I can’t stand the sight of it without feeling suffocated and choking down on my own emotions and feelings that keeps bubbling up whenever I think about going back home.
Let us name whatever that happened there as ‘Mr. Jerkface Incident’ or Jerkident as called by my best friend Arianna.
And no, it’s not what you think it is.
Okay, maybe it is.
Whatever. Moving on.
Anyway, after coming to the city of Manchester, far away from New York where my parents lived; I found this amazing apartment. At first, the only problem was I had to share this apartment with seven guys.
Probably because nobody would be able to afford the apartment on a single person’s salary.
Hence, eight people in one modest apartment.
Not that my Dad knew about it, he’d blow a fit and try to buy me a whole city if he thinks would make me happy.
But I knew it wouldn’t.
Because the only thing I was the most when I came to Manchester was a fresh start.
And the freedom to do things my way.
And Dad gave it to me, trusting me to let him be there for me if I ever encountered a problem.
So far there had been none.
But then, it happened.
And I never even saw him coming.
I quickly got up from my bed and headed towards the bathroom to brush my teeth and shower.
After doing the deed, I got dressed in my black, full sleeved t-shirt with a royal blue skirt that ended a few inches above my knees. I applied my lip gloss and little bit mascara and put on my black ballet shoes.
I pulled my long black hair into a high ponytail and brushed my bangs to cover my forehead and down the sides, effectively framing my face.
I wandered out of my room, to find everyone doing their normal morning routine. Roy was reading the newspaper, drinking coffee. Sid was eating his omelets, Joey was typing away something in his computer and Jace, Dane, and Aye were engaged in playing XBox.
I shrugged and made my way to the kitchen.
“Morning, boys,” I said out loud enough for everyone to hear.
“Morning, baby girl.”
“Good morning, dum-dum.″
I rolled my eyes. Everyone had their own nickname for me. Sometimes, I did wonder whether they even knew my actual name.
Searching for the coffee, I found the coffee pot already empty. Opening the refrigerator to find milk to make my own coffee, I noticed the milk cartons were nowhere to be seen.
Strike two, guys, strike two!
I reached for the cabinet to find cereal or bread, anything to make my stomach stop growling.
Finding nothing, I quickly downed the bottle of water on the counter in front of me.
So much for having a decent breakfast!
At the corner of the living room, I saw the laundry basket full of dirty clothes.
Wait, no, not full of but overfull of so that you couldn’t even see the hamper beneath it. Frustrated with them, I decided to get to work as quickly as possible so that I don’t burst into flames with all the anger building inside me.
Believe me, if you would’ve seen me right now, I’m pretty sure that I’d probably be red with smokes coming out of my ears.
Walking towards the door, I kept on thinking, I swear to God, if anyone tries to stop or even talk to me right now, they were literally dead!
Just as I was about to close the door, I heard a “Bye, princess”, a “See ya later” and a “What time will you be home?”
Already frustrated as it is, I slammed the door in their faces.
Take that, jerks!
I took a deep breath and headed to make coffee for more people.
Wish I could tell you that it was sarcastic.
But no, that was actually my job.
I worked as a waitress at a small, cozy place called Belle’s Diner.
Reaching there, I put on my black apron and started to work.
The diner was owned by a woman named Kara Bellerose. Hence, the name - Belle’s. Kara was a sweet and bubbly girl and a great boss. She was 5′3" with really good looks and a happy face.
The diner was small and sweet, with not more than ten tables. The walls were painted different shades of blue. People that came here was mostly regulars, so we didn’t take much time to get their orders and serve 'em.
A few seconds later, I saw my best friend Arianna enter the kitchen.
Arianna and I met when she came to the States to study music.
Arianna Davenport was a really awesome girl and a really good friend. We both came from a really rich family, you see Aria’s brother Ryan was a member of an international pop boy-band ‘Rock Me’.
I know what you’re thinking.
Why are two rich girls working at a diner?
Well, mostly because it’s fun!
And if we try to make our way to the entertainment business, our parents with their influence would make our dreams come true in a jiffy. We could do that whenever we wanted to. But first; we decided to live our lives a little. So we work at this diner, to appreciate the money we earn. And to never take anything for granted.
I looked at her, seeing her wearing a tight sleeveless white tee with black skirt with a white belt around her waist; her long wavy brown hair was left open. She looked hot. Well, she always looks hot.
But today, she looked different. She was kinda... glowing.
“Hey, ReeRee, looking hawt!″ I exclaimed, letting out a low whistle.
“Thank you, Nova,″ she replied, blushing prettily.
I waited for her to say something more, but instead she busied herself in taking orders. When she returned to the kitchen, I trapped her in a corner and said, “Spill it, ReeRee.”
Looking anywhere but me, she whispered, “What? Can’t a girl dress nicely for herself?”
I narrowed my eyes and gave her my ‘Girl, you ain’t fooling me’ look.
Exhaling loudly, she said, “Ryan is coming back from his tour today, ’kay? He’s taking me to lunch.”
“Hmm,” I said, suspiciously, turning around.
I thought it over for a minute and before it snapped to me and I yelled out, “Wait, what?” I turned to look at her.
“You are dressed like this,” I clarified, my hand gesturing her body, “-to go out with your brother! Dude, that Eww... with a capital E!” I yelled, pointing my finger at her.
She picked up a nearby tray and smacked my head with it.
“Oww!” I screeched, rubbing my hand over the place where she hit me.
“Oh... sorry. It’s... um... well,” she started.
I looked at her confused. “Umm... Drew’s coming with him,” she said, looking down at her shoes.
Andrew Jacobs was a band-mate and best friend of Ryan. Aria had always had a crush on him. Like - from the beginning of time.
Apparently, Drew, Ryan, and Aria had been friends since they were three. But she always thought Drew looked at her as nothing more than his best friend’s baby sister.
“Okay, that makes more sense, thanks for smacking me, I needed that,” I said to her with a wink. “So where are you guys going for lunch?” I asked her.
“At Sizzlers.” She thought it over for a minute. “Hey, do you wanna come?”
“Are you kidding? Yes, of course! I haven’t seen Ryan in like... forever!” I said, which was true, ever since his band became hit, he was always going on tours every now and then.
His band - Rock Me, had three members; Ryan, Drew and another one named Scott.
I saw his photos on the Internet and believe me; Scott was the finest specimen of man I’ve ever seen. With his black hair and piercing blue eyes, 6′2" and those six packs, there’s only one word to describe him:
Aria waved her hand back and forth in front of my face, distracting me for thoughts. “What are you thinking about?” She asked.
“Um... nothing!” I said, looking away. I knew she wouldn’t let this go, so I quickly blurted out, “I’m thinking of moving out of my apartment.”
“Why? The boys troubling you lately?” She asked, looking concerned.
“Yup... It’s like I’m only 24 and I already have seven kids to take care of. Their appetite is like an elephant. No wait, even an elephant wouldn’t eat that much. I don’t care how much they love me or I love them but seriously I’m sick of it!” I said all in one breath and Aria looked at me as if I would explode right now - or maybe turn into Hulk.
That’ll be so frickin’ cool.
Taking a deep breath to calm myself, I looked at her. She opened her mouth to say something, when Kara comes to the kitchen and said, “Girls, the customers are waiting for their orders.”
With that - we quickly resumed our work.
While taking orders and serving, I didn’t even realize, it was lunchtime and end of our shift when Drew and Ryan entered the diner.
All the women, as if on cue, started drooling over them.
They looked gorgeous as ever, Ryan in a black shirt and blue jeans with converse, his brown hair seems to be flowing in all direction and his green eyes filled with humor and mischief.
Ryan was always the mischievous one.
While on the other hand, Drew was in a white tee with black jeans and converse. His brown eyes that nearly looked golden was scanning the diner as if searching for someone.
So he does have feelings for her... Interesting!
I took off my apron and placed it on the counter and made my way towards them.
“Hey Rye, it’s been so long!” I said, hugging him.
“Novey Dovey, I missed you a lot, beautiful!” He purred, smiling, removing his hand around me and placing it on my shoulders.
I wrapped my arms around his waist.
He was the kind of guy who would flirt with every girl that could walk and talk.
We always used to flirt back and forth; it was always fun with him and nothing serious.
He also knew about Jerkident and was always concerned about me. I really liked him a lot.
In a friendly way, of course.
“Right back at ya, handsome,” I said, winking at him, making him chuckle.
“Hey Drew, nice to see you again.” I murmured, turning towards him and shook his hand.
“Yeah, you too,” he replied, smiling softly.
He was always the quiet and sensible kind of guy. With the kind of guy like Ryan, you always need someone like Drew around him to keep him straight.
We looked away when we saw Aria walk out of the kitchen, taking off her apron and making her way towards us.
I noticed that not once from her way from the counter to us did Drew and Aria took their eyes off each other.
Huh! He thought of me as his best friend’s baby sister.
Ryan and Drew both hugged her quickly, exchanging pleasantries and we made our way to the restaurant. After sitting at the table and giving our orders, Ryan and Drew started talking animatedly about their tour.
Suddenly Ryan turned towards me “So, what’s new with you?”
“Nothing.” I said, at the same time Aria squeaked, “She’s thinking of changing the apartment.” I glare at her to which she just shrugs.
“Really?” Ryan asked, confirming.
I sighed and nodded.
“I was just about to say there’s an extra room at our apartment. She can live with us right?” Aria asked Ryan and Drew.
Drew nodded while Ryan mumbled, “Yeah, sure. Why not? Anything for my Novey.”
“Really? I have to ask - is it really okay? I mean I don’t wanna burden you guys.” I spoke, concern flowing out of my face.
“Hey, don’t worry. It’ll be fun to live together. All six of us would be like a family.” Ryan said, getting excited.
“Wait, what? Six?” I asked.
“Yeah, well. It’s me, Aria, Drew, our manager Jenna, who’s really hot and cute, by the way, you’ll definitely like her,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes.
Aww! He has a crush on her.
“And Taylor and now you. That makes six of us.” He said, nodding.
“Oo-kay, who’s Taylor?” I asked him, frowning in confusion.
“Taylor dude, Scott Taylor, our bandmate.” He said with a ‘duh’ expression.
Holy shit! Scott.
I’ll get to live with Scott Taylor. Just hearing his name made my belly flip and my subconscious started dancing happily.
What’s that all about?
I took a deep breath and composed myself as if I hadn’t just heard his name and murmured, “It’s good, but I’ll have to think about it, and also tell the boys. I’m not sure how they’ll handle the news.”
He nodded understandingly.
After lunch, I returned home and took a nap, dreaming about how it’ll be like to live with Scott.
Oh! Shut up, you idiot. Why would he like me?
Wait, why do you even care that he likes you?
That’s right - you don’t care. To hell with him.
Waking up, I headed to the living room to break the news to the boys.
At first, the way they looked at me, reminded me of the scene from the Walt Disney’s movie Frozen, the part where Kristoff takes Anna to see his family and when Anna says, “Trolls, they’re trolls,” everyone turns to her and keep staring at her and all blink twice at the same time and then start yelling, “A girl! Kristoff’s brought a girl.”
But in the movie, they were all happy. But in my situation, it was the total opposite.
Well, the boys didn’t handle the news and kept staring at me before starting to yell at me all together. I told them moving out the house would make me happy. That seemed to convince them a little.
Later, I called Jay, my seventh roommate who was LA for the conference and put him on the speakerphone and explained to him about everything.
He obviously sided with me and helped me convince the rest of the guys.
I was really happy. Like really happy. Like high on drugs happy.
I called Aria and said I’ll be moving in tomorrow. Later, I called Kara, to tell her I won’t be at work the next day, she agreed, understanding my situation.
I sighed in relief.
I’m moving out tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s the day!
We were all watching the television when Arianna, my band-mate Ryan’s sister got a call. After ending the call, she walked towards us; smiling widely and yelled, “She agreed! Nova’s moving in with us tomorrow.”
I immediately felt my heartbeat quicken.
Ever since Aria showed me a photo of her and her best friend Novella, I haven’t been able to stop dreaming about her.
In the photo, she was smiling widely with her arms around Aria’s shoulder. She was wearing a baby blue sundress that hugged her figure perfectly with black boots. Her long black hair that fell over her chest and those big brown eyes were surely going to be the death of me.
I hadn’t even talked to her and I was attracted to her.
I was hoping to see her soon.
And now, she was gonna be living with us.
Tomorrow’s the day!