Madden Grey is an odd one. One of a kind, she likes to say. When she gets hired to write a column at the Vogue offices, she gets her suitcase and leaves the Virginia memories behind. She soon realizes that making friends and finding love isn't easy in the city where everything happens. But then, she meets Noah Taylor, and he just happens to be amused by Madden's.... unusual qualities.


3. The Off Days

Madden awoke when the morning light illuminated through her translucent window. She sat up in her bed and gazed around at the boxes that were yet to be unpacked. The thought of it made her groan. She kicked the blankets off of her legs and arose, stretching out her arms and her legs. She got down on her hands and did 36 push-ups, as Madden always believed in getting a healthy start to her morning and since she absolutely detested any form of physical activity, a few push-ups and a good diet was the way to go. She'd never been blessed with a high metabolism and had to work off the crap food. It paid off though, as her figure was tall and trim, and she intended to keep it that way.

Her new home really was beautiful. Her style was pretty minimalism  with splashes of color everywhere, but the apartment itself was divine. There were three completely white walls and one wall of exposed brick, that Madden absolutely adored. That wall she put her bed space around. Then, in the corner of the apartment was her closet, and in the other corner, an exposed bathroom. She wasn't sure how she felt about the exposed bathroom at first, but now she rather liked the idea of it, thinking it would make her apartment have a "New York" feel. 

After she wandered around her new apartment, lightly grazing her delicate hands over the furniture that looked ever so different in a new space, she made her way into the kitchen to grab a bowl of cereal, to realize she had no food. She pondered whether she should unpack or shop for food first, but her stomach made the decision for her. She started toward her closet and grabbed her little suitcase of only her favorite outfits. Madden prodded through the worn, but still pretty, clothes she'd owned for the last year, trying to figure out what character to be that day. Back at home, it seemed everyone had seen every single one of her outfit combinations she could think of, but here-she smiled at the thought-no one had ever seen her styling tricks. And oh, she had much up her sleeve.

She pulled out one of her favorite dresses: a white sundress with pale pink flowers elegantly placed across the fabric. Simple, yet so easy to add to for the perfect outfit, Madden always said.

She folded the dress and set it on her bed, looking for something else to accessorize with. She sauntered into her walk in closet and opened the lid to her rather large jewelry box that towers up from the floor. She thumbed through her favorite jewelry and decided on necklace that looked like a pearly peter pan collar and a simple pair of silver studs. Madden carried the accessories and laid them out next to the dress. 

Madden then walked over to the bathroom corner of her apartment and brushed her teeth vigorously, (one of the best qualities of a person was good teeth, in Madden's opinion) washed her face, and applied a thin coat of foundation, though she didn't need it much, as her skin was flawless, without a pimple or spot in sight. 

The girl walked over to her "homemade vanity" as she liked to call it-  it was just a long black table that had drawers full of her makeup and an oval mirror hung on the wall above it- and opened the drawer to her makeup. She picked up pieces of her makeup collection and set it back down, unsure on what to use. She decided on doing a light beige and pink eye shadow combination that when together made a beautiful, effortless, almost natural look to her eyes. Having practiced it so much, she was done in nearly a minute with the eyeliner and eye shadow and was applying her mascara carefully, curling her eyelashes through the process. After the eyes were done, she picked up her pearly pink blush and added it to her face. The last thing was the lips. She automatically went for her nude shade of lipstick and applied it with care, rubbing her lips together to make sure it was even. Then, she grabbed her clear lip gloss and put that over the lipstick to make it look extra shiny. After looking her creation over one more time, she smiled her mega-watt smile, showing her deep and evident dimples, and told herself that it was going to be a great day.

She walked over to her bed and slipped off her pajamas and into her dress. She carefully pressed the sleeves and the skirt with her hands and felt satisfied with the familiar feel of the dress. She reached for her worn light brown scarf and tied it on the ends so it made an infinity scarf and laid it on her bed, to put on after her hair was done. 

She took her curling wand out of her suitcase and plugged it in by her vanity and brushed her hair while she waited for it to heat up. After about a minute, she went over and lightly curled her light brown- kind of blonde hair in big curls, and they laid down in a messy, but still orderly fashion. After she was satisfied, she unplugged the wand and sealed the hairstyle with a shot of  strawberry scented hairspray.

She finished her look with light pink heels, the brown scarf, and her light pink purse. Madden slabbed on some lotion to keep her skin soft and flawless and decided to go with Daisy by Marc Jacobs perfume, though it was a hard decision, being that Madden had a slight obsession with anything scented and had all the scents you could imagine.

The perky girl slung her purse over her shoulder, stuffed her shopping list inside of it, and popped a mint into her mouth, heading out the door and into the world, or at least the elevator to the world. She pressed the button with the star on it and waited for the door to close. As the door was closing, Madden heard someone yell "WAIT!" and saw a hand being thrust in between the doors yet again, as it had yesterday.

The doors opened again for Madden to see, unsurprisingly, Blake. 

"Hey Madden, thanks," he laughed as he stepped into the elevator. 

"I think you have a thing with interrupting the doors. Something must be done," Madden said sarcastically. 

"Me and my alarm clock don't exactly agree," Blake chuckled as the doors closed completely, and uninterrupted.

"Where you headed?" Blake asked.

"Food shopping. You?"

"Work." he replied.

"I forgot to ask yesterday, where do you work?" Madden asked him, surprised at herself that she forgot to ask him that the previous day.

"Teen Vogue. I'm a writer, editor, photographer, the works," he answered.

Madden's jaw dropped.

"No way!" she said.

"What?" he said, confused. 

"I'm starting to work there next week!" Madden said excitedly. Blake's jaw mimicked Madden's and they both began hugging and screaming like children.

"How come we didn't realize that yesterday?" Blake  said as the door opened. 

"I have no idea. I'm so psyched, you can help me out and we can see each other every single day," Madden smiled.

"I will for sure get sick of you," Blake joked as they walked out the lobby door.

She feigned offense and hit him on the shoulder. 

"Well, I better be going. I'll be done by 6, if you need more help tonight," he said and hugged Madden goodbye. 

"Thanks, I might take you up on that," Madden smiled and walked the opposite way of him, to the nearest Whole Foods around.                 

It took her awhile to walk there, as she was in awe of the city around her, always moving and filled with all different kinds of people with all different kinds of stories. 

Madden grabbed a small basket and made her way throughout the isles, cursing herself for letting her shop while hungry, the result being she wanted to stuff everything from the shelf into her basket, but she repressed the hunger and carefully picked out the healthy foods she really needed. 

After weaving her way through the store, she waited in line for the cash register, the band of her basket digging into her arm. It had gotten quite heavy, being that she needed new silverware and had to rebuild her pantry. She turned her head to see a mother that appeared to be single, struggling with her two little boys fighting and her little girl wandering, waiting for her brothers to knock it off. Madden couldn't help but admire the courage of that mom, raising her kids on her own, doing everything she could on her part to make sure the next generation of presidents, social workers, and teachers don't suck. 

The little girl wandered over to Madden.

"Hi," she said.

"Hello there," Madden smiled.

"Why is your basket so heavy?" the girl questioned.

Madden squatted down to meet the girl's level, to decrease any intimidation from her tall figure that must've looked like a skyscraper to the little one.

Madden made a big deal of looking around to make sure no one was listening to add to the effect of whispering to the little girl, "You see, I'm building a top secret robot."

The girl gasped and then smiled.

"What! That's crazy! What will it do?" the girl asked, engrossed in the idea of a robot.

"I'm going to make her a master chef. She'll bake me cupcakes all day long," Madden smiled.

"I want one of those!" The girl giggled.

"I'll have to tell you when it's done, maybe I can make you one too," Madden joked.

"Evelyn! Where are you?" the girl's mother called her name.

"That's my mom. I better go. Goodbye Miss!" Evelyn called as she ran away with a smile. Madden waved to the girl until she was gone and resumed her wait in line.

Soon, Madden had paid and gone out the door, her paper bag incredibly heavy, threatening to break at the bottom, causing her to hold it from the bottom, making her arms ache.

But Madden didn't care.

At least her arms were aching in New York, right? She could very well be in Virginia, looking for a low paying job and her own apartment, but no. She was in New York, the city of her dreams, and Madden was not one to complain when her dreams come true.

So Madden walked. She walked with her head high and her back straight, with purpose, hope, and curiosity for the future. 

She walked with a smile all the way back to her building feeling the happiest she's ever been in her life.

After all, when you love life, it has a way of loving you back.

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