Stargazer

I took a work trip across the continent. Being so far from home made me want to do something with my best friend. We decided to live stream a meteor shower to each other. I needed a balcony, and guess who opened the door?

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1. Chapter 1

Chapter 1

                I continued to check my watch every few minutes. It was almost time and I had yet to reach my hotel. I’d never seen so much traffic or so many people near here. The driver of the cab took a side road and dropped me off at the back entrance of the building. I paid and thanked him before jogging inside. The elevator went painfully slow up to the seventh floor. Tapping my foot on the ground, all I could think was that the stairs would have been faster.

                I pulled out my keycard and threw open my door. On my bed lay my camera, tripod, computer, and a black bag that had my extra lens in it. I checked everything once more, not wanting to forget anything. I put my computer in my satchel, along with the extra lens. I made my way back to the elevator pressing the button for the top floor probably more times than was necessary. I had calculated the best view from the outside of the building. Room 1204 would have a balcony that looked out towards the ocean.

                Gathering all the nerves I had, I knocked on the door. I didn’t know who’s room this was, or if anyone was actually staying in this room. I had been denied permission to be on the roof, something about safety hazards. I brushed my bangs back. I hadn’t taken the time to evaluate what I looked like, though I could imagine my red hair in a high, messy bun. As my phone buzzed, the door opened, catching my full attention.

                “Hello?” The man asked. He looked to be around my age, with sandy brown hair.

                “Hi. Can I use your balcony?” I asked. He looked me over, eyeing my camera with confusion and tiny bit of anger. Had I offended him in my request? “Actually, never mind. I’ll just…sorry for bothering you.”

                I turned and started for the stairwell. I’d take my chances with the roof. I hadn’t meant to upset the man. He could have simply said no instead of giving me an angry look. Then again, I had bothered him for a stupid reason. In retrospect, it had probably been my fault. I pulled out my phone, dialing the number of the missed call I’d received.

                “Hey, sorry. Would you bail me out jail after being arrested for breaking onto the roof?” I asked. I could hear my best friend frowning on the other end. She didn’t appreciate my question obviously.

                “Ellison Claire, don’t say things like that. No one would let you in?” Gwyn asked. I rolled my eyes. I hated when she called me that. It’s Ellie. Not Ellison. Ellie.

                “I had my heart set on an ocean view. I shouldn’t get caught. If you don’t hear from me, you know what’s happened.” I replied, tilting my head to hold the phone between my ear and my shoulder. I took out two bobby pins.

                “Hey, you can use my balcony. I don’t mind.” The man had followed me up the stairs. It was now that I noted that he had a British accent.

                “It’s fine.” I murmured, concentrating on getting the pins in the keyhole. Gwyn chastised me, telling me to take the offer.

                “Really, I insist. It’s also the more legal option.” He said. He must’ve heard my comment to Gwyn. I took a moment but decided to go with him. Once inside his suite, I put up extra caution. I didn’t know this guy. I stepped out onto his balcony, turning on my computer before setting up my tripod. “So what’s the occasion?”

                “Meteor shower.” I replied, checking my setting on the camera. I attached it to the stand, and then plugged a USB cord into the camera and computer.

                “We’re live.  It’s working good here.” Gwyn’s voice came over the speaker of my phone. I adjusted the camera, keeping just the tops of the buildings in the bottom of the frame.

                “I’ll talk to you after.” I said, hanging up on her. I loved her to pieces but she wouldn’t stop taking sometimes. I leaned against the rail, taking in the view.

                “I’m Liam, by the way. I was about to order dinner, would you like something?” He asked, handing me a menu. Looking it over, I settled on the crispy chicken sandwich I always ordered. He returned after a quick phone call. “Do you ask to use random stranger’s balcony’s often, stargazer?”

                “I try to keep it to a minimum, usually.” I answered. I looked back up at the sky. A moment later, one meteor flew over. “It’s starting.”

                I hadn’t even noticed that he’d left, but looking back, on the table sat our food. I made a mental note to pay him for it. Liam joined me at the railing. More meteors began to streak by. I checked the camera. Everything seemed to be in order.

                “Is this for school?” Liam asked.

                “Just a hobby, really. My friend Gwyn is back home on the east coast and we thought it would be good to both live stream the meteor shower. It makes her feel closer.” I explained. I missed being home. Don’t get me wrong, I loved LA for the reason I was here but I’d rather have been home.

                “That’s a nice thought, watching the same meteor shower. I haven’t had much time to think about things like that.”

                “Why is that?” I asked. Turning my head to look at him, he had a smile but his expression showed that I was missing something.

                “Being on tour keeps me and my mates busy,” Liam replied.

                “Right, fame must be so tedious.” I said. It had been an hour before the meteor shower stopped and it had taken a lot longer than it should have for me to recognize him. A knock came at the door.

                “Payno, open up.” A voice shouted.

                “One of your mate’s I presume?” I asked. Liam rolled his eyes as the person continued to shout on the other side of the door.

                “I apologize, stargazer. They get a little crazy sometimes.” He said. As he walked away, I realized that was the second time he’d called me that. I looked at my watch. It was late anyways. I put away all my equipment and grabbed my box with my sandwich in it. Digging through my wallet, I pulled out a ten and set it on the table.

                “Who’s your friend?” I heard one say. He had a thick Irish accent. I started towards the door.

                “You don’t have to go.” Liam said.

                “It’s late and I have a meeting in the morning. Thanks for letting me use your balcony.” I smiled.

                “Any time-”

                “Have a good night.” I said, giving a slight wave before walking away.

                “Goodnight.” I heard him answer. With that, the door closed and it was quiet. I waited for the elevator, hearing someone shout every now and then from Liam’s room.

                Back in my room, I called Gwyn to let her know that I was safely back in my room. I took out my computer and ate my microwaved chicken sandwich while watching the footage of the meteor shower. I had been right. That balcony had the perfect view of the display. I crawled under the covers after discarding my computer onto the floor. Tomorrow would come too soon. I was excited and nervous at the same time. New opportunities awaited me.

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