Why did I decide to become a writer?
I spin around the wheeled chair for the hundredth time, my eyes meeting the blank page of my laptop every time I stop. I slap my forehead, hoping some inspiration would hit me at once, but only crickets resound in my brain.
I’m an awful writer.
“Nöelle! It’s your turn to throw the rubbish!” yells my flatmate as he knocks on my door.
I roll my eyes, standing up from my chair and opening the door to an annoyed Liam. The white guy with dark eyes and even darker hair crosses his arms across his fit chest, raising an eyebrow at me. “Glad to know you’re alive. Now, throw it.”
I raise an eyebrow as well. “I wasn’t the one partying until five in the morning, so if I see one beer bottle in those bins, I’m not moving a finger,” I say, smirking at Liam.
He mimics my smirk, leaning against the door. “Don’t even. I saw you gladly interacting with our guests, especially with Kevin, so you’re not innocent anymore.”
My smirk drops. Damn it. And damn Kevin too. “That’s not fair,” I murmur, making him laugh.
He pats my box braided hair in victory. “Make sure I don’t see you next time.” And with that, he walks back inside his room.
I sigh, heading straight for the kitchen. My nose scrunches up at the mess. The floor is sticky, the once white table is filled with empty red cups and alcohol spillage. The sink is filled with dirty dishes, and I don’t even want to look at the hobs’ state.
Welcome to university, I guess.
I take my time with the bins, emptying and replacing all of them. When I step outside, my eyes linger at the opposite building, spotting Kevin smoking a joint with his flatmates.
How can one person be so damn hot?
His green eyes are bright under the spring sun, and his short dark curls make his jaw look even more defined. Let’s also not forget his plump, pink lips that I’d gladly kiss right now if he wanted me to.
Bless his parents.
It takes me three trips to throw the bins, and by the third one, his sweet low voice calls my name. “Hey, Nöelle!” he yells from the entrance of his building.
I look up at him with a confused frown. “Hi?” I mentally cringe at myself. I didn’t want it to come out as a question.
He passes the joint to one of his friends before walking up to me. I have to crane my neck up for him. I blame my mom for giving me a mere five-foot-one inch of height. “I’ve noticed you’re not on the campus’ group chat and wanted to ask if you would like to be in it? All parties and stuff like that are announced there. It might be useful,” he explains as I try hard to focus on his words and not his looks.
My head tilts to the side. “I didn’t even know there was a group chat, but yeah, sign me up,” I say, and he pulls out his phone from his grey sweatpants.
I bite the inside of my cheek, holding back the grin as I give him my number.
“I’ll add you now,” he says and I can only nod.
I want to talk with Kevin more, but his friends call him over, forcing us to part ways.
My face is void of emotion as I walk back to my room. Once the door closes, I squeal, throwing my body onto the bed and tightly hugging the pillow.
He has my number! Kevin Bailey actually has it! Holy shit!
It’s been over a year since I have a crush on him. The moment we locked our gaze, I was doomed. Although we’re pursuing different degrees, our departments are next to each other, which gives me enough opportunities to look at him from afar.
Now that I think about it, throughout my alcohol intoxication, I remember him talking about writing for movies, so I guess he’s doing a degree related to that.
We even have writing in common.
We’re just meant to be at this point.
The notification sound coming from my phone pulls me back to reality, and I quickly grab it from the bedside table.
An unknown number added me to the Campus chat.
I don’t waste time to save his number. Spam of messages comes flying in the group. Some are asking why the laundry machines aren’t working while others are complaining about lectures. Different conversations happen all at once, and I can’t be bothered with it.
I mute the group and go back to my chair, thinking about my assessment again. I hate non-fiction, and I hate this assignment. If only I had a fiction-like story in my life to tell, everything would be easy.
I need inspiration, but where?
I look up some prompts on Pinterest, but all I’m getting are fantasy-related ones. There are some sad ones as well, which I don’t want. I want something light but real. I don’t want to write about an episode of my life.
Ugh, what a mess.
I can’t even have a coherent thought.
Muffled voices come from the kitchen since it’s the only place where I can remotely hear a conversation, including the hallway.
“We need to clean up,” Tamera says.
I share my living space with two guys and one girl, although one guy is always at his girlfriend’s place.
“I cleaned last time on my own because you ran away for two full days,” Liam replies, “Ask Nöelle for help.”
As if on cue, Tamera groans. “I can’t. I lost her sweatshirt, and she’s using it as an excuse for everything.”
In my defense, it was one of my favourite sweatshirts, and I trusted her with it.
“Then I guess you’re on your own,” Liam teasingly says, making Tamera whine about her always cleaning our shit and buying loo rolls.
“I’m the one who always buys loo rolls,” I yell at her.
She lets out a frustrated groan, making me grin. Perhaps I should write about Tamera.
The story about a girl who became Cinderella for one day.
Yeah, right. I’ll never reach five thousand words of worthy content.
My hand mindlessly grabs my phone from the table, and my eyes mistakenly drop to the screen as my fingers scroll on the group chat. A bit more procrastination won’t hurt me.
I search for any reply from Kevin when on cue, a new message comes through.
Kevin: Noel, we should deffo do this!
I tap on the image above, and it’s a tweet suggesting strangers go to couples therapy to trick the therapist.
This is what I need!
Adrenaline flows through my veins as a grin spreads on my face.
Me: Oh my god, let’s do it!
Another message comes from an unknown number at the same time saying, mate, you’re crazy. I won’t pretend to be gay with you.
My heart drops as I anxiously wait for Kevin’s answer. It can’t be what I’m thinking about, right? I’m not that stupid.
A private message from my crush pops up, and at this point, I just want to bury myself alive.
Kevin: the text was aimed at Noel, but we can still do it if you want to.
I have to put the phone down to get my shit together. I stare at the ceiling, wanting nothing more than to get back in time and ignore that message.
Of course, there are other Noels in the world. Why did I think I was unique? Plus, it was the boyish version of the name. I bet Kevin thinks I’m a narcissist now.
I take a deep breath, get back onto my phone, and give a decent reply to him.
Me: I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I thought you meant me there.
Kevin: You caught me off guard, but I’m still down to follow the tweet. What do you wanna do?
Me: I don’t mind as well. It’ll be useful for my task, but do we even have a couples therapist in this town?
Kevin: Yeah, I looked it up earlier. I’m coming to your place to plan it out.
He’s coming to my place.
Kevin: Yeah, just give me five minutes to dress up.
He’s really coming to my place.
I jump out of bed, opening my wardrobe that has a full-length mirror attached to it. I slip my scrunchie off my wrist, pulling half of my box braided hair into a ponytail.
I don’t bother changing since he already saw me in my sweats, but I turn my black eyes into blue ones, thanks to my contact lenses. One thing I love besides writing is colored contact lenses. And make-up. I live for them.
I pass a nude lipstick over my heart-shaped mouth and create some freckles with the dark pencil when deep voices come from the hallway.
“The next party is a week from now. Why are you here so early?” Liam asks as they get closer to my door.
The other person chuckles. “I just need to talk to Nöelle.” And with that, powerful knocks come on my door.
I take a deep breath, nodding at myself in the mirror. You got this! Act indifferent, and everything will be fine.
I go to open the door, craning my neck up to look at Kevin. He’s grinning at me with that handsome face, and my heart leaps for the tiny gap in his teeth.
I let him walk into my room as Liam looks at me from afar with squinting eyes. I flip him off before shutting the door on his face.
“I feel like your room is bigger than mine,” Kevin comments, looking around the tiny space.
I frown, sitting on my chair while he plops his ass on the bed. “Impossible. You have a bathroom all to yourself.”
He chuckles. “True that. Anyway, therapy. I thought about it, and I think we should be one of those annoying couples that can’t even stand the sound of their voices but stick together nonetheless in the name of love.”
I hum, turning my back on him to write it down on my laptop. I don’t want to forget any detail. “Well, that can be a reason, but I feel like the people who go to couples therapy have issues of their own, and the therapist points it out. Perhaps we can be that superficial couple that doesn’t know shit about the other and complains about the lack of respect and love.”
“So one of our fights would go like, Nöelle,” he starts as I turn the chair toward him, “Why are you still pissed by the cheating I did two months ago?” he asks with a roll of his eyes.
I hold back a laugh, glaring at him instead. “You’re kidding me, right? I saw you hugging her at the party last night. How can you be so fucking dense?”
Kevin glares back as he stands up and towers over me, putting his hands on the armrest of my chair. Hot damn. ”You’re just jealous as always and making shit up. We’ve been like this for over three years, and you’re still annoying as fuck.”
I can’t help but break my character, going into a fit of laughter, and soon enough, Kevin follows me as well.
“I’m sorry,” I say as I cover my smiling mouth with my hand.
Kevin shakes his head, sitting back on the bed. “Don’t worry, but I feel like the therapist won’t notice a thing if we’re this good,” he says, grinning.
I mimic his expression. “Shall we book an appointment then?”
Kevin nods, pulling his phone out. I move from the chair to the bed to help with the research. We read each review we find about different therapists and end up booking with the best one in town.
“I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Kevin says.
I can’t believe it either.