Live while we're young

What would you do to live with the band of every girls' dreams? Well, for twenty-one year old Jemima Watson fantasy is about to become reality, and soon she will find herself falling for one of them.

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2. Chapter Two

My first day back at uni is as boring as the first day I started two years ago. Lecturers introduce themselves if we didn’t have them last year, or tell us about what we can expect to talk about in lectures, information that we can get from the hundreds of sheets of paper that they hand out. I mean, aren’t we supposed to be saving trees instead of killing more of them?

At lunch I head to the SU to grab a bite to eat with friends. “Oh. My. God.” Lisa says looking behind me.

“What?” I ask, turning to see what she’s looking at. “Oh. That’s just Hugh.” I tell them.

“You know him?” Rae asks. “How? Where? Jem we need details.”

“He’s one of my housemates, why?”

“He’s in Sour Freaks!” Anne-Marie hisses, handing me the magazine she was reading. “Tell me you knew that.”

“They said that they were in a band, but they didn’t say what the name of the band was.” I admit to them. I’m looking down at the magazine that Anne-Marie handed to me, and sure enough all five of them are pictured and it’s a double page spread. How could they not tell me that they’re the five lads that every girl wants to go out with; well, every girl but me apparently.

“That is it.” Rae says. “We are going to yours after our seminar.”

“Rae,” I breathe. “We can do that, but you need to promise me that you won’t start fangirling like you did that time we were on the same train as Tom Felton.”

“I promise.” I agree that we can go back to mine after uni, even though I’m pretty sure that Rae has her fingers crossed behind her back.

Please let her stay calm. I mentally pray, remembering the train ride. When we saw Tom Felton on the train, Rae dragged me over to where he was sitting and grabbed the seat next to him, I sat down in the seat opposite her. She was like a woman possessed, she wouldn’t stop staring at him, which made the entire journey really uncomfortable. When the train reached our stop, the only thing I could do was apologise to the poor guy.

“Relax, she’s taken her tablets for today.” Lisa comments, noticing the worried look on my face.

“I can assure you that I am always calm when I’m near a celebrity.” Rae defends herself.

“Two words.” Anne-Marie says. “Tess Gerritsen.”

“I only asked her for advice on writing a book.”

“You were hyperventilating.” Lisa argues.

“It was embarrassing Rae.” I look her in the eye. “Come on, we’re going to be late for our lecture.” I tell her as I pick up my bag and say bye to the others.

 

“Are you sure you live here with five guys?” Rae asks, looking around the living room that I’d tidied yesterday.

“Yes. It’s only tidy, because I tidied up yesterday.”

“That makes a lot of sense.”

“What does that mean?” I ask.

“Well, you are a neat freak.”

“I am not!” I state defensively, as I plump up a cushion. I really only want everything in a certain place, it’s not like I’m obsessive or anything.

“Really?” Rae asks. “Then why are you piling the post neatly on the coffee table?” I stop dead and look down, Rae’s right, as usual, but that doesn’t make me a neat freak. It just shows that I’m a tidy person. I’m going to argue with her when there’s a knock at the door. It’s Anne-Marie and the others, Rae tells me that she’d texted them my new address.

“Ok, where are they?” Anne-Marie asks.

“Yeah, what did you do with them?” Lisa chimes in.

“I killed them and buried them in the back garden.” I say, not even trying to hide my sarcasm. Just as I say it, they walk through the front door. As they enter the living room, my friends just stand and stare, not moving from where they’re standing – well, Lisa moves out of the way of the door, but other than that there is literally no movement from any of them.

“Hang on.” Rae says once the boys are in the living room. “There’s only four of them here, where’s Curtis?”

“Yeah. Where is Curtis?” I ask, looking around the room.

“I’m here.” He says walking through the living room door with five carrier bags on his arm. “I’m fine.” He tells me as I try to take a couple of the bags from him. He is definitely one of those people – you know the ones that are determined to carry all of the shopping bags in one trip. I sit down on the arm of the sofa while he put the shopping away and watch my friends; who are staring at the rest of the boys.

“So,” Ashley begins as Curtis comes back into the room. “I’m Ashley.”

“We know.” Rae tells, looking round at the others. Apparently, they’ve psychically voted her their spokesperson. “Hang on. Did Curtis do a food shop?”

“Yeah, I told Jem I’d go, since there wasn’t anything in the fridge yesterday.” He tells Rae.

“I’m impressed Jem. You already have him trained.” Lisa speaks up.

“She hasn’t trained him Lisa.” Rae says. “It’s the Jemima effect.”

“Rae, what the hell is the Jemima effect?” I ask.

“Well, remember in Year Nine when Seth, John and Mark carried your books and helped you out with the school play?” I nod, not quite sure where she’s going with the conversation. “You have some sort of scent that you give off.”

“Are you saying that I smell?”

“No. God no.” she saves herself. “I’m saying that you have definitely got some sort of Aphrodite thing going on.”

“Then why did Josh break up with me?”

“Because he’s an idiot.” Rae has always been blunt, especially when it comes to guys. I’m still sceptical about the Jemima effect though.

The boys sit down while Rae explains the Jemima effect to everyone, and Lisa has become fixated on Ashley. She’s managed to squeeze herself in between him and Lucas. Curtis is the one that stands up again first.  “So,” he begins, clapping his hands together. “Who fancies the pub?” with a unanimous round of ‘yeah’s’ everyone gets up and makes their way out of the house.

“Curtis.” I say holding back from the rest of the group.

“Yeah.” He stops, just short of the door to the hall.

“Why didn’t you say anything about you lot being the hottest boyband, in the world?”

“You didn’t recognise us.” He shrugs. “It was nice not having a crazed fan watching us.”

I nod and grab my bag and jacket. “By the way,” I say, turning to look at him. “I haven’t had a favourite band since I was thirteen.” He smiles as we walk out the house.

 

We walk down to the pub around the corner from the campus, and I decide to get the first round in to save everyone saying it’s my turn later. I watch from the bar, as Ashley tries to flirt with Rae. “I can’t decide whether or not to tell Ashley that he’s not Rae’s type.” I tell Curtis as I turn back to the bar.

He throws a glance over his shoulder at the scene behind us. “Why?”

“Because even though she is your biggest fan, Rae is more into Anne-Marie than she is Ashley.”

A plays at Curtis’ lips. “Let’s not tell him just yet.” As he finishes, the girl behind the bar puts the last two drinks onto a tray, and we carry them over to the table.

The conversation starts off in the ‘Let’s get to know each other’ camp and then ventures into the more personal territories, where Hugh asks the one question I hope to never be asked again; “Do you have a boyfriend?”

“I did,” I told him putting my drink down on the table. “but he broke up with me in April to go out with Lettie Andrews.”

“His loss.” Ashley says. He gives me a wink and I can’t help but smile.

“You aren’t really my type.” I tell him.

“Fair enough. What about you Rae?” I pinch my nose and fight back a laugh as he turns his attention to my best friend. It takes everything I have not to look at Curtis out of fear that he’ll set me off.

“You’re so sweet, but you really aren’t my type.” Rae says as she and Anne-Marie take hold of each other’s hands. I look up at Ashley whose face has just fallen at the realisation that he’s struck out not once but twice in the space of five minutes. Out of the corner of eye, I see Lisa sheepishly take a drink. She’s never been one to speak when we’re around people that we’ve just met.

“Ashley,” I say as the laughter around the table dies down. “you could take Lisa out on a date.” Lisa suddenly coughs and splutters as she takes another sip of her drink.

“No.” She says gaining composure. “I mean, you don’t have t- you don’t need to.”

“Don’t listen to her.” Rae says. “It’s been ages since she had a date.”

“Give us your address, and I’ll pick you up at seven on Friday.” Before Lisa can argue again, Rae is already scribbling down her address on a scrap of paper she pulls from her bag and handing it to Ashley.

“There now you have no excuse.” I say as Lisa takes to the shadows in an attempt to hide the extent of how red her face has gone.

“So Jem,” Curtis says to change the subject. “What’s the story behind your necklace?” I put my hand up and touch the deer that’s hanging around my neck, and Rae steps in.

“It was given to her at Christmas by some guy she kissed under the mistletoe.” She takes a drink. “She’s still hoping that he’ll find her one day.”

“Thanks for that, Billie Rae.” I say. I don’t mean to say her full name, but it slips out and it can’t be unsaid. I watch as her face heats up and her eyes widen.

“You swore that you would never say my full name in public.” She hisses at me.

“You started it.” I bite back.

“Your name’s Billie Rae?” Lucas asks. I’d almost forgotten he was there, he just sits so quietly that it’s like having two of Lisa.

Rae nods. “Mum’s a little obsessed with Billy Ray Cyrus.” She tells the group.

“A little obsessed?” Anne-Marie asks. “He’s the only person she follows on Twitter.”

“That’s not true.”

“Yeah she follows us, and...” I think back to the last time I was on Twitter. “and Ben Shepard, Susanna Reid, Ellen DeGeneres,”

“Piers Morgan.” Anne-Marie adds.

“Why would she follow him?” Ashley questions.

“Because she’s my mother, ok?” Rae blurts out. “She can follow anyone she wants and she follows everyone.”

“Ok, calm down.” I tell her as Anne-Marie places a hand on her shoulder. Apparently her mother’s Twitter use is a no go area, which I can kind of understand. I’m just so thankful that my mother doesn’t even know what Facebook is, never mind Twitter. 

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