Love Thy Roommate

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Chapter 2

(S- Scott, CAS- Cocky Arrogant Scott, GS- Genius Scott. CAS and GS are just part of his imagination that appears when he talks with himself. No, he's not crazy. This is just to clarify any doubts.)

Scott:

S: I literally can't sleep.

CAS: Dude, it's not literally, it's figuratively.

S: Whh-Who are you? Ted Mosby? Why are you here?

CAS: Because I like pointing out your mistakes.

S: But, I'm you.

CAS: Yeah... so?

S: So, we are the same person... You shouldn't like pointing out your own mistakes.

CAS: Well, what's the fun in that?

S: This makes no sense.

CAS: No shit, Sherlock!

S: Tell me why are you here again?

CAS: Because we both can't sleep...

S: I'm you. Why the hell am I talking to myself? I seriously hate you, my cocky arrogant self.

CAS: Aw, I love you too bro...

GS: Hello, children!

S: Anddd... here comes the genius one.

CAS: Hey, there's my favourite bro...

GS: And here's mine...

S: Whh... What? I mean, we all three are the same person and you still have your favourite? H-how?

CAS: Whoa bro, jealous much?

S: No, I'm not jealous of neither you, cocky arrogant nor you, the genius one.

GS: Ha! You wish you were us!

S: And the genius speaks... no, I'm not jealous of you idiots! And seriously get out of my mind.

GS: But I'm you.

S: I know you're me, genius. I'm just asking you to... you know... shoo!

CAS: Shoo! Wow! Real nice bruh!

S: Hey, I thought you were asleep.

CAS: Hey, you just said shoo... and you expect me to keep quiet and make no comments about it! No fair, bro...

S: God! I'm going crazy!

CAS, GS: Happy realization, dude.

Great! Before I couldn't sleep because of my nightmares and now because I can't stop thinking about her.

Real nice! Who am I kidding?

I've been with lots of girls and who's to say that she's gonna be different. That's right; she'll be another one of those gold diggers who'll be with me as long as I'm famous.

I gotta get her out of my mind!

Even if she's different, I'm sure I don't deserve her.

No one would wanna be with me when they learn about my past.

And I can't hurt her emotionally or else Aria wouldn't let me hear the end of it.

She's gonna ask Ryan to kill me or something.

I know he's not gonna do anything. But I'm worried about Drew.

When Aria's friends get hurt, she gets hurt. And Drew hates seeing her hurt. He's already head over heels in love with her and doesn't even know it!

Crap! I gotta do something!

***

I wake up to find it's already 7 am.

I quickly take a shower and dress up in my blue button down shirt with dark blue jeans and my big black watch and quickly head out to the living room to see everybody already at the dining table eating breakfast.

''Hey guys,'' I say, sitting down. I start eating my omelette when Drew asks Jenna, our manager, ''What's the plan for today?''

''Hmm. Nothing. You just got back from your tours and I know you've been literally living in the tour bus for the past 18 months, so for the rest couple of months, its better if you stay home and relax, maybe write a couple of songs here and there if you can, and then when you are finally ready for the shows and tours again, just lemme know. I'll start planning it for you guys. 'Kay?''

''Sure.'' I say at the same time Drew says, ''Kay.'' while Ryan just nods.

Huh! Couple of months to relax.

That would be great...

We continue eating our breakfast. After some time, Aria speaks, ''So, Nova says she's gonna be here around twelve something, so after getting all of her stuff here, I'm thinking maybe going out for lunch. You guys in?''

We all nod in approval. ''Yay! It'll be like our little roommate bonding thing!'' Aria exclaims. I look at the clock. It's still 8.

Is the time turning slow or something?

I get up and put my plate in the sink and go to my room and pace round it thinking...

S: Okay, Scott. You need a plan. Something to help you figure out what to do when Novella's finally here. But the point is I can't stay away from her. What to do? What to do? Think, Scott think.

GS: Okay! So maybe... you can make her stay away from you.

CAS: Genius! But how will you do that?

S: Maybe I could be super mean, bully, arrogant and stuff! Girls tend to stay away from such guys. Right?

CAS: Okay guys, problem solved! I'm going back to sleep.

S: It's so much better when we work for the same team! Right?

GS: True that! Hey Scott, High five!

S: High five!

CAS: Yawn! I hate it when you guys get mushy and stuff.

***

Nova:

I wake up and quickly take a shower, brush my teeth and dress in a black tank top and black jeans with a red belt and a red shirt over the top and leave it unbuttoned making it look like a jacket and pair it with black tennis shoes.

I pull my hair into a high ponytail and brush my bangs forward, to cover my forehead. I apply a black liner and lip gloss and turn towards to door.

Yay! Moving day today!

***

Urgh!

Getting out of the apartment was a disaster. All the guys turned into overprotective brother mode, starting talking about curfew, no drinking rule etcetera .

Idiots! I'm 24 and can make my own decisions.

Another reason why I can't wait to get out of the house.

The moving van takes me to my new apartment.

Above the grand entrance, "Winter Avenue" was written in bold Kunstler script. I've not even entered the apartment and I'm pretty sure my jaw has already dropped to the ground.

Walking toward the entrance, I notice Aria talking with someone in a guard's uniform in the lobby.

She smiles when she notices me, ''Hey, I'm so glad you're finally here!'' She exclaims while hugging me.

''Yeah, me too.'' I say, hugging her back

Aria tells me the guy is Kai, doorman of the building. We end up chatting with him while he tells us about his family and how buildings aren't safe nowadays and to call him whenever we need him.

He sure is a sweet guy!

Soon, Ryan, Drew and another chick with dark brown hair and white top with black pencil skirt and matching stilettos walk out of the elevator.

She looks gorgeous!

Ryan comes and hugs me saying, ''Welcome home, Novey!'' while Drew just stands there, smiles and gives me a curt nod.

I smile back at him.

The brunette says smiling widely, ''You must be Novella. Hi. I'm Jenna, their manager and apparently now, your new roomie! It's nice to finally meet you.''

''It's nice to meet you too.'' I say, winking at Ryan and smiling knowingly at him, who gives me a shy smile in return.

''Okay, guys, let's take her stuff up to the apartment and then we have a reservation for lunch at Harmony. So let's be quick!'' Jenna says to all of us.

At first when I entered the apartment, I was pretty sure I've died and gone to heaven.

Our apartment was at the topmost 35th floor. Entering the apartment, on the right side was the open kitchen and dining area with only a counter dividing them. Kitchen was made up white and black cupboards and marble counter-tops with all the latest equipments and a small window to the north of the kitchen from where the light enters giving the whole kitchen a bright and luscious effect. The dining area consists of dining table with six chairs around it.

Turning towards the living room, the first thing that I noticed was this apartment was a duplex. A huge 72 inches television was hung on the wall in the middle of the room. The wall behind the television was painted gold with some designs of chrome yellow over it. There were two pillars on the each side, painted black, beside those pillars; all the photos of the group were hung.

There was a door beside each pillar. My room was beside the right pillar while, the one on the left side was Scott's.

Hmm... Scott! Sigh!

Focus, Nova! Focus! Yeah right, the living room.

There was a huge black couch opposite the television with two small matching couches on each side of it. At a small distance from the main door was the stairs leading upstairs to the second floor of the apartment where Drew and Ryan's room was on the left and Aria and Jenna's was on the right side of the stairs respectively.

The whole living room was themed gold and black. The curtains were of two layers. A thick gold layer was beneath a netted black layer. I'm pretty sure this was the most beautiful apartment I've ever seen.

When I asked them about the bathrooms, they looked at me with a 'duh' look on their faces, 'Each room has its own bathroom, sweetie.' They said patting my back.

They just 'sweetie'd me!

After nearly forty-five minutes of taking my stuff to the apartment, we returned downstairs to find that there was only one trolley bag left. I told them head to the restaurant and get us the table while I'll just get this bag upstairs and get a taxi. They all hugged me and said goodbye and to come quickly.

I take my bag and head upstairs. Just as I reach the door, the wheels of the trolley bag gets stuck. Apparently there was a little difference in height between the floor outside the door and inside. The outer floor was a little lower. The bag was too heavy to be lifted.

So, I clutch the handle hard trying to lift it but was of no use.

''Stupid Freaking Bag!'' I start muttering curses while pulling it. But that stupid thing didn't budge an inch!

Okay, Nova! One last time. Lift it with all your strength.

Just as I was about to pull it, a large hand covers mine and lifted the bag inside in one swift motion.

Wow! That was easy.

I turn my face to discover the hand belong to a very familiar face.

Scott!

Holy Moses!

He looks more handsome than from what I've seen on the internet.

Those sky blue eyes watched me intently as if waiting for my reaction. Oh my god! Even his nose was perfect. And those lips! Those perfectly kissable plump lips. My eyes travels down to see him wearing a blue button down shirt with sleeves rolled up to his arms and dark blue jeans with converse. You could clearly see his perfectly sculpted body underneath his tight shirt. My eyes trails back to his face, he still had that messy out-of-bed hair.

I wonder how it would feel to run my hands through it!

Wait, what?

Maybe he didn't see me checking him out.

I slowly look at him and finally notice.

Holy cow.

Scott Taylor's checking me out.

I quickly clear my throat making him look up at me and run his fingers through his hair.

Oh! How much I wanna do that...

''Thank you for the help. I'm...'' I start saying but am cut of when he says, ''I know you're Novella and you know I'm Scott, so let's cut this little 'introductory thing-y' and lemme tell you one single thing. Enjoy your stay here for as long as you live 'cause I'm pretty sure it isn't gonna last forever!'' He smirks.

Oh my freaking God! He did not just say that.

He's a real jerk!

Why do such jerks come in such pretty packages?

''Wow! Rude much? What's your problem?'' I spit angrily.

''What makes you think there's a problem? There's not gonna be any problem if you stay outta my way. Is that clear, Brownie?'' He smirks.

Why is he being such a jerk?

Wait! Did he just call me Brownie?

''Did you just call me Brownie?'' I ask him.

He looks confused for a minute but then just smirks and opens his mouth to say something when my phone rings.

I look at the caller ID to see its Aria.

Holy crap! I totally forgot about lunch.

I look up at Scott to see, he's having the same reaction.

I pick up the phone and quickly say, ''I'm coming! Just gimme 15 minutes!'' and hang up the phone.

I quickly walk to the door and look back at Scott.

''You coming?'' I ask. He sighs and nods.

What was that all about?

We walk outside together. He leads me to the garage to his car.

Sweet mother of God! He has a BMW X1.

What is it with boys and shiny cars?

He opens the door for me. If he hadn't been a real jerk to me before, I would've considered him to be a gentleman. We travel in complete silence.

What did he mean when he called me Brownie?

Halfway through our journey, I turn on the radio and flip through the channel when I find the song that I like. I turn the volume up and sing along to the tune of Firestarter by Samantha Jade.

After a minute, suddenly, Scott reaches over and switches off the radio.

''Seriously, what's your problem?'' I ask him.

''It's distracting me.'' He says, not even turning to look at me.

''Urgh...'' I turn my face towards the window.

After few minutes, he asks, ''I've heard your voice before. You a singer or something?''

I stiffen.

I take a deep breath and fist my hand and reply, ''No.'' and continue looking at the road. Not giving any attention to the surrounding.

From the corner of my eye, I see him looking intently at me.

Please don't ask me about it! Please don't ask me about it!

I repeat it over and over in my mind. He seems convinced with my answer because he turns his attention towards the road. I exhale in relief. I seriously hate talking about my past.

We reach the restaurant and Scott passes the keys to the valet. The hostess takes us to the table. Reaching there, I see everyone at the table frowning.

Sitting down between Drew and Jenna, while Scott sits opposite me next to Aria, with Ryan on his other side, ''What's going on?'' I ask them.

''Ambrosia was here, few minutes ago.'' Aria says frowning.

Ambrosia Decker was a very mean and too proud for her look kinda girl who used to work with us at the diner before she got fired. She had a thing for rich guys. So, obviously whenever had a chance, she used to flirt with Drew and Ryan, much to Aria's disappointment.

The waiter starts serving me food, I'm pretty sure Aria had already ordered what I wanna eat.

''Yeah, Ambrosia's too selfish and manipulative for mankind!'' I say, supporting Aria.

''Yeah, she's such a bitter gourd!'' Aria spits angrily.

As soon as she says that her eyes widen and she quickly covers her mouth with her hands.

Oh my God! Why did she have to say that?

I glare at her. She looks at me apologetically.

I look around at the table to see everyone has stop eating and are coughing. They all look at us intently.

Then Ryan finally says, ''I'm just gonna ask. What's a bitter gourd?''

''Nothing!'' Aria and I say together quickly.

''Guys, what's going on?'' Jenna asks us curiously.

I exhale in frustration and keep my spoon and fork down, wipe my mouth with a napkin and say, ''I'll explain it. It was bout few weeks back, when Ambrosia was working with us at the diner. It was a normal Tuesday and there's usually a very small crowd on Tuesdays. That day, Kara, our boss told us that her niece had gone for a picnic. So when she returns in the evening, the diner's gonna give all of her friends and their parents a free milkshake for the day.''

Aria starts, ''So Ambrosia being Ambrosia, was still acting like this stupid idiot and was messing up all the orders and talking rudely to the customers. So at last tired of her behaviour, Nova says to me, 'I'm sick of her!' and walks towards her," she says waving her fingers towards me and continues, ''Nova walks right up to her and says, 'Stop being such a bitc-' she was going to complete the sentence, when she looked around and saw all the parents giving her a disapproving look because all the children in the diner could hear what she was gonna say, so instead of saying what she wanted to say, she said the first thing that came to her mind and the sentence became, 'Stop being such a bit-tter gourd!'. Hence, the word bitter gourd." Aria finishes.

I look around the table to see everyone trying to hold their laughter.

Finally they give in, and start laughing loudly.

''It's not funny, guys!'' I say to them.

''You're right! It's not funny! It's hilarious!'' Scott says, still laughing.

Jerk! I'm sure right now my face would have been red with embarrassment.

After nearly a minute or two, "Guys, cut it out! Enough already!" Jenna says to everyone.

I sigh, "It's okay, I guess it is a little funny." I say to her.

"Little funny! Bullcrap! Bee-tee-dubbs how the first thing that came to your mind is bitter gourd?" Ryan asks scrunching up his nose.

"I don't know. In my mind, I couldn't find any other word that starts with bit so..." I say looking at him.

"Why not just bits?" Drew says, thinking loudly.

Bits, bits! Urgh... bits would have been perfect!

Why didn't I think of that?

And what is up with bitter gourd!?

"Okay... so now I'm pretty sure, everyone has established I'm not so smart! That's it! No more making child-friendly-curses!" I say, exhaling in frustration.

"You have more of such words?" Scott asks laughing inwardly.

Dang it! Me and my big mouth!

"Just one other word," I say looking down at my napkin.

Everyone looks at me, waiting to say more... but I don't.

Jenna sighs loudly, "Oh! For the love of God! Just say it already!" She exclaims.

I take a deep breath and say, "It's... um... it's ass-teroid belt!"

Everyone makes ohh and ahh noises.

"Oh, that a good one."

"Nice one, dude."

"Touché."

Happy with the response, I smile.

We return home talking and laughing.

Apparently, Ryan, inspired by my idea starting making few more CFC (child-friendly-curses) of his own.

It's like a five-year old has been given a new toy! At least it keeps him busy! I return home in Aria's car.

No way, I'm gonna spend some alone time with that jerk Scott in his flashy, shiny car.

Tired with Ryan's new CFC ideas, it was my idea to let him travel with Scott. A little payback for being a jerk to me!

When I return home, I realize that Scott and Ryan had already reached home and Ryan has taken the ideas of making CFC's to a whole new level, and has started jotting down his ideas in his laptop!

"Hey, Brownie!" Scott says walking towards me.

"Hey, Ace!" I say.

Wait. Did I call him Ace?

Again, I pity myself for having a small brain and a really big mouth!

He looks confused for a minute but lets it go and hands me a mug.

"What's this?" I ask him, holding the mug.

It looks like coffee.

"It's coffee, silly! A little gesture to make you understand how awful I feel for being such a jerk to you." He says, smiling apologetically.

I narrow my eyes and look at him suspiciously.

"Come on, drink it! It's just a peace offering!" He exclaims.

"'Kay, you're forgiven," I say to him and drink the coffee.

As soon as it touches my tongue, I spit it out of my mouth immediately.

That jerk made my coffee with salt instead of sugar.

"Gotcha!" He says smirking at me and walks to his room. Once I recover from the salty taste in my mouth, I turn towards his room. But stop immediately, when Jenna blocks my way.

"I saw what he did to you. I'm sorry that he's acting like such a jerk, but once you get to know him, he's a really great guy. I don't know what's up with him. But he's been through a lot these couple of years! But now, with you here, at least he smiles. Can you forgive him this once and give him another chance?" Jenna says softly.

"You don't have to apologize for what he did. I'll let go of him if it means this much to you. 'Kay? But, there's one thing. I don't understand why he calls me Brownie," I reply looking confused at her.

She looks at me with 'duh' expression on her face.

Am I missing something?

She smiles at me, "It's your eyes, silly! You have the brownest of the brown eyes I've ever seen! I'm really glad that you're living here." She says and walks away, leaving me wondering.

He calls me Brownie because of my eyes...

That's... sweet!

***

That evening all six of us, were watching television when Ryan flips to Discovery Channel where they were providing information about skeletons.

Oh no!

"Guys, I'm gonna take a shower and head to bed. See you guys tomorrow." I say and literally ran to my room.

I love my room, it has these baby blue walls and matching curtains and queen sized bed with royal blue coloured duvet and pillows. It has a walk in closet that could literally fit a shopping mall!

And my bathroom's unbelievable. It has two shower heads, a bath tub and a Jacuzzi in the corner with a huge mirror beside it.

I slowly take a shower enjoying the feel of hot water against my skin and dress in first pair of pyjama's that I find in my bag.

I turn the door knob and get out of my bathroom. My bedroom light was still off.

Really no need to on it if I'm gonna switch it off again anyway!

I walk towards my bed and get underneath the covers and rest my head on a very soft pillow.

I turn my body to find something's on my bed! I turn on the light and see it!

Holy Shit!

***

Scott:

Nova was nothing like the girl I saw in the photo. In fact, I think she looks even more beautiful. She had these big brown eyes all innocent and curious. Her little small nose and those perfect soft, full pink lips. She had curvy body and those long legs!

No, Scott! You can't think of her like that!

I hate myself for being such a jerk to her. But it's the only way I can keep her away from me.

The whole day, I pretended I couldn't give a damn about her. But all I wanna do was to hold her close.

Crap!

We were watching Discovery when she suddenly runs off to her room. As soon as she closes the door, Aria gives 100 bucks to Ryan.

"What's with the money?" I ask Ryan.

"She lost the bet!" He replies.

"What bet?" Drew asks Aria.

She says, "When Nova was in college with me, she was scared to death when it came to anything related to skeletons. She says it gives her the creeps. I knew that today this show bout skeleton was being broadcasted, so I made a bet with bro that she'll watch the whole show instead of running away like she always did."

Ryan says, "I knew she would never get over her fear of skeletons so I accepted. It was easy 100 bucks!"

She's afraid of skeletons.

Oh! I have just the thing to make her stay away from me!

I quickly call my downstairs neighbour who's a biology student, and tell him to come upstairs with his rubber skeleton. I quickly place it in Nova's bed and quietly head to my room to wait for the expected!

After few minutes, I hear a really girlish scream!

Ha! She found the skeleton!

I hope the guys hadn't heard her scream. No, they wouldn't have. Otherwise they would've been there when I used to wake up from my nightmares.

My thoughts were interrupted when there was a knock at the door.

It would probably be Nova, crying and telling me that she will move out of the apartment tomorrow.

Hee hee.

I open the door to find no one.

Huh, weird!

There's a box on the floor. I pick up the box and head to my bed. I sit down and open the box. It's the skeleton, with all the bones cut with scissors (it's made out of rubber), there's a little note at the side of the box.

I read it out loud...

"Game on, Bitter Gourd!"

***


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