chapter 1

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Nora's pov

The next day, Star and I catch a taxi pulling up at the Spanish studio apartment, it wasn't as spacious as the houses around Rhode Island Avenue near the boardwalk; but, with the promotion I was given I could save up for my own place. Star and I exit the taxi as I paid the driver taking my luggage with me. I glance around the apartment trading glances with Star, "So, this is it? About time we don't have to live with our parents anymore. We're grown woman, I feel free!" Star exclaimed with excitement. "Girl, who are you telling, it's not easy staying home in New York with my mom and dad up my back, I need space. So living in New Jersey, maybe it's a first step?" I replied as Star and I walked up the path with our suitcases taking a small tour of the apartment. As soon as we reached the entrance, I was amazed at how beautiful the place looked. The foyer entrance was lead to a beautiful set of rose colored folding doors, matching windows, a stylish cream colored carpet, 2 wall mirrors that greeted the both of us with velvet leather couches. Fresh painted white walls, an elevator that lead to each bedroom floor. Taking the elevator to the floor we were moving on 2 gentlemen greet us, "Hello ladies!" Their voices spoke in unison. "Hi!" Star greeted being the first to speak. "I'm Peter, but you can call me Bruno. Who's your friend?" Peter asked. "This is my best friend Nora, she doesn't speak much!" Star informed. "So, I see! Both of you are new to the building correct?" Peter asked. "Yes, we are. In fact, you look really familiar. You're in a band called 'Hooligans? ' You sing 'Treasure' 'Gorilla' and 'Natalie' right?" Stars asked. "Yes, are you a fan?" Peter asked. "Huge!" Stars smiled brightly. "Sorry to cut you both off but, we have a masquerade party to plan for tonight, you're welcome to come." I finally spoke. "You mean it?" Stars asked. "Well, he is an 'A' list celebrity so why not?" I responded covering my ears before Star could scream. "Good, maybe you should take my number down?" Peter asked Star as I watched the two exchange numbers. Me on the other hand, I wasn't that good at meeting new people. I was what you called, 'Push Over' 'Too Nice'.

I enter the apartment as Star shares a conversation with Peter, dropping my luggage onto the floor and unzipping it. I empty my clothes, folding them putting everything away into the black marble drawers that came with the room. A small walk in bathroom was connected to the bedroom with floral painted walls. A double sink, walk in shower, and a small toilet. I know it wasn't much, but I figured why not start of with living small before living in a big house. Emptying my bathroom essentials with body wash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, feminine etc and more things a woman would use. I had enough clothes to last me a whole year. I didn't wear much make-up considering I looked picture perfect like my mom who was latina and mixed with American. While my father was Chinese and Indian. So, I guess I was beautiful but I never had that mindset. My body wasn't matched to any Victoria's Secret model but it was average. I was 140lbs 34C small waist with medium sized hips and caramel skinned with natural black curly hair. Guys wouldn't dare look at me twice, when it came down to my mother or Stars, they would always look 3 times at them. Was I insecure, maybe.....ok yes I was but I didn't show it as much. My mother and I never had that mother and daughter bond, as my father, he emotionally and physically abused me at 6 years old. Thinking about memory brought tears to my eyes, I needed time to myself. Maybe planning this party was a way to branch out and become what I needed to be? Hours later Stars enter the room with a smile on her face informing me about going to lunch with Peter while I emailed every 'A' list celebrity about the masquerade party at Atlantic City banquet hall. I receive an anonymous email informing a new R&B celebrity would be coming tonight and to show love and support. "Who is this guy?" I asked as Star catches my glimpse of the email reading every detail. "Hmm, he's a new comer, a lot of girls love him, he's made a few mixtapes, a few albums in the past. He's from New Orleans, and his brother Mel made a big impact on his life setting a big example to those who want to make it in the music world. Hmm, I like him." Stars replied. "I don't!" I replied seeing Star smirk. "Yea, we'll see." Star replied.

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