|Degree in love
Author: Alexandra Zeola PM
Alice Markers never expected to fall in love , especially not when attending Oxford University , but then she meets Luke Southlands and finds herself desperate to learn more about him. However things are never smooth and simple when your playing with games of the heart and Alice finds herself battling for Luke's attention. Seems her degree in economics has it been swapped for love?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 5 - Words: 24,225 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 01-11-13 - Published: 01-10-13 - id: 3090939
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Good morning class. I'm professor Harkwin and I'll be your management lecturer for the next three years. I have three rules which I believe if you adhere to will ensure you graduate with a 1.1 degree. If you choose to not listen, well I think it's best you just leave this lecture room now." Professor Jacob Harkwin acted like the typical business man but his appearances were far from the stereotyped idea. His peroxide blonde hair parried with his sharp navy suit made him both an eye sore and a potential heart throb. Alice had bagged a seat nearer the back and even though she was interested in what her Professor was lecturing she was finding it hard to concentrate. "The first rule is punctuality; if you're late I will send you away. The second rule is organization, if I ask for an assignment or for you to bring a report on something; I expect it handed to me when I ask for it. And the third rule is Initiative; I am not going to feed you all the knowledge. That is your job so take the initiative and do independent study. Take these rules into your work and your will succeed. Don't and as I said you might as well drop out of university now" Alice jotted down the rules at the top of her work book and braced herself for a two hour lecture on business management.
Two hours later and Alice starts packing away her books when a manicured hand tapped her on the shoulder. Alice spun round to see the human version of Barbie standing in front of her with pursed pink lips. She had bright blonde hair like Lady Gaga and was wearing white jeans with a pink lace top with a very extravagant white pearl necklace around her neck. When she spoke her voice was smooth and sophisticated, the kind of voice you associated with elocution lessons. She hadn't been in the class which meant she was probably in the second year, which just made Alice more nervous.
"Alice Markers I'm guessing?" Alice nodded and hugged her books to her chest. She didn't know why but this girl made her really uncomfortable and self conscious. "I'm Selena Kingston. It's come to my attention that you have a little crush on a certain second year student. Is that correct?" She sounded so patronizing. Was she referring to Luke? But she hadn't told anyone that she liked him, how could she have found out? And why did she care?
"No...That's not correct, sorry I have to go" Alice tried to move but behind Selena stood two identical brunette Barbie dolls who blocked her from leaving.
"It won't take long, I promise" Selena smiled down at Alice. There was something sinister about her smile, as if the smile was just a cover up for a very malevolent girl. Alice stared down at the floor, to uncomfortable to look her in the eye.
"Please let me pass. I have to meet my friend" Selena didn't move, instead she got out her phone and turned the screen towards Alice to show her a picture of someone. Alice looked up and saw that it was a picture of Luke; he was sitting on a bench with sunglasses on, smiling up at the camera. Seeing him even in picture form made her heart leap and she couldn't stop herself showing a little blush, even though she had nothing to blush at.
"You know him don't you?" Alice didn't want to attempt lying anymore so she nodded "And you spoke to him yesterday in the canteen?" Alice nodded again "Well I'm going to tell you something which I want you to never forget, ok?" Alice nodded and looked up at Selena's immaculate face "Your never to talk to him again" What! Alice stood in silence then finally got her voice back.
"What! Why?" Selena obviously hadn't expected Alice to say anything as she looked quite shocked to see that her order had not been taken with silent obedience.
"Because he's my boyfriend and I don't want him being bothered by someone like you" Boyfriend? But he had said he was single, his exact words were that he was "flying solo". Why would he say he was single when he wasn't?
"He didn't say anything about having a girlfriend when I spoke to him" Selena glanced back to the twins who chuckled a little then stared at Alice with a sarcastic expression.
"That's because he didn't want to hurt your fragile little feelings. To be honest he thinks it's pathetic that you think someone like him would go for, well, someone as plain as you" Alice could feel tears prickling her eyes and decided she needed to get away from this bitchy trio before they saw her crying.
"I really need to go, please let me pass" Alice tried to move past Selena but the twins still didn't budge.
"You're not going anywhere until you say you promise to stay away from my boyfriend. You wouldn't want to make an enemy out of me, now would you?" Alice shook her head.
"I promise to not talk to you or your arrogant boyfriend. Now move out of my way!" And with one more death glance at Selena and the twins, Alice was able to get through them and walked out of the lecture room towards the quad.
Walking through the quad Alice tries her hardest to hide her tears. Pulling her hoodie over her head and putting her hands into her pockets she speed walks towards Beehive, longing to get into her room and phone her best friend Katie. Katie and Alice had been friends since primary school and had always promised to have each other's back. When Alice had been accepted to Oxford it was Katie who she rang first.
When Katie's boyfriend Randolph had dumped her it had been Alice who had spent the weekend helping Katie burn all the pictures and letters he had written. Even though they were complete opposites in most things including things like fashion, Katie being very glamorous and trendy whereas Alice lived in Jeans and numerous hoodie jumpers, they were always there for each other and knew exactly what the other needed. Now Alice needed a friend and quickly. She passed through numerous arches and rounded numerous corners but Beehive was nowhere to be seen. She stood pondering her geography of the college for a while. Great she gets lost when she's close to tears. Bloody typical!
"Alice. We need to stop bumping into each other like this, people will get the wrong idea" Alice followed the voice and saw Andrew walking towards her waving. He was smiling brightly and increased his pace so that he was standing in front of her within seconds. He looked as attractive today as he had done yesterday but it was his smile that made Alice smile back. Even his eyes were smiling at her.
"Well a little bit of gossip never hurt anyone" Andrew let out a laugh and Alice found herself laughing back. Selena and her bitchy twins had gone from her mind. All she was thinking about now was talking to Andrew. However she was still holding back the tears and a small tear escaped and rolled down her cheek. Andrew instantly noticed and leant into her face with concern.
"Hey what's up? I was just kidding no one's gunna talk" He looked around to see if anyone was staring and pretended to shush their talking, causing some of the other students to raise their eyebrows in his direction. Alice laughed and playfully hit him; he pretended to recoil in fear from her. His smile was so genuine and happy that it was almost infectious. Another student called his name and Andrew acknowledged them with a small nod. Allowing her a chance to examine his appearance again, he was dressed casually with Black jeans and a black shirt unbuttoned with a white t-shirt underneath. His hair shaped his face perfectly and the sun brought out his natural highlights. Alice looked towards the other student Andrew was talking to and spotted Selena and her twin posse walking out onto the quad, they walked in a triangle formation with Selena at the front. They all had the same sunglasses on and looked like they had just walked off the pages of Oxfords Vogue. Alice remembered Selena's comments and the tears prickled her eyes once more. She brushed an escaping one away hoping Andrew hadn't noticed. He had noticed and turned back towards her, his expression back to concern.
"Alice you sure your ok?"
"I'm fine. Just ..."She needed an excuse quickly "Got something in my eye" Original Alice!
"Oh, you want me to get it?" She shook her head and wiped any stray tears away.
"Thank you but I think it's gone now."
"Hey Andrew" Selena walked up to Alice and Andrew, lifting her sunglasses off her eyes as she walked and placing them leisurely on top of her head.
"Selena, hey" He glanced behind her shoulder to see both the twins waving flirtatiously at him. Andrew acknowledged them with a nod of the head each "Belle, Beth" He gestured at Alice with a wave of the hand "This is Alice, Alice this is Sel ..." Selena cut him off with her manicured hand.
"We've met. Remember me Alice?" She hated her. Alice didn't use the word hate that often, her parents use to say it was as bad as swearing. But she was sure she could use it with Selena.
"Yes I remember you. Sorry I really need to go."
Selena waved her manicured little hand at her and turned back towards Andrew. "Luke just texted me and said he wants all his friends to meet him at the lounge. Apparently he has some important news." Alice had noticed how she had exaggerated Luke's name and the fact she wasn't one of the people Luke wanted to meet in the lounge. Alice pulled her hoodie back over her head and started walking, she still was lost but she had to get away from Selena.
Finally she worked out the way back to beehive and walked up the staircase towards her room. She texted Katie asking her to ring her as soon as possible and Katie had replied saying she would ring her as soon as she was done with a photo-shoot. Katie had planned to be a model since she was 5 and had been given her big break at the age of 13 when she landed an M&S catalogue spot. Now aged 19 she was gracing the pages of all the top magazines like Hello! OK! And even a few spreads in Cosmo. Many asked Alice if she was envious of her best friend's success and beauty but Alice always replied no. And she really wasn't envious. Katie was naturally beautiful with light honey blonde hair and large brown eyes which needed no mascara to look good. She had the personality of an angel and was nice to everyone she met. There was one fault to her friend though, and that was her choice in men. She always went for the bad boy, the notorious player, the one guy that had a reputation for being a dickhead. She just didn't find good guys attractive, said they were too boring for her.
Alice reached her room and unlocked the door. Taking off her hoodie and throwing her bag onto her bed she grabs her notes from her earlier lecture and re reads them. The lecture its self had been easy enough to handle and most of the issues which Professor Harkwin had spoken about she knew. It was the atmosphere inside the lecture room which unsettled her. It was all so serious, no one smiled and no one joked. There were just blank expressions on blank people. Who are nodding at this and shaking their heads at that. It was the debating side of Economics that had drawn Alice to the course. She loved the fact that it was always on the move, always changing according to the situation of the society. It wasn't black and white but completely multi coloured. It was suppose to be exciting, unlike the lecture today which she'd nearly fallen asleep in.
Going to her wardrobe Alice pulls out her favourite formal gown, a dress she hoped to wear to the formal evenings here at St John's. Running her hand down the light blue silk, Alice pictures herself dancing along to soft violins, her and her partner move across the floor in perfect unison, rising and falling in time to the soft melody. As they dance the floor length gown shimmers in the light, flowing like water over her limbs. She would look like a princess in this dress. But the man she thinks could be her prince charming is taken, by an evil witch. She is brought out of her daydream by her phones ringtone, which is Jessie J's number one hit Price Tag. Alice hums the tune as she searches for her phone in her bag and answers. She smiles when she hears Katie's calm town on the other line.
"Hey, sorry I couldn't talk earlier. Moby has me working overtime to get the cover shoots done before doing all the catalogue stuff" Moby is Katie's manager , agent and stylist and is one of the campest guys to walk this earth , but he's also one of the most influential people in the fashion industry and a privilege to work with. Katie was introduced too Moby three years ago when she was working on a pictorial shoot for Elle magazine. Katie had been signed with 'Brush Models' at the time but was getting tired of doing un-named shoots. That's where Moby came in. He offered Katie a six year contract on the basis that she was "too fabulous to risk losing darling" And Katie jumped at the idea of being privately managed instead of going though an agency. Also Katie wanted to get away from Arielle, one of the more bitchy models. In some way or another Katie and Moby were made to work for each other because they both wanted to escape from something. Katie wanted to escape from Arielle and the agency and Moby wanted to escape from "these dreadfully boring manicured managers" as he called the agency he worked as a stylist for.
"That's alright. You free to talk for a bit now?" Katie was hardly ever given time off and for Alice to get a few minutes with her best friend was near impossible. But she needed to ask someone about Selena and what she should do. She knew that Katie would have an answer for her, she always did.
"Umm I have about..." There was a loud crash heard in the background of where ever Katie was and Alice could hear Moby's American accent shout in Katie's direction telling her to get back to the set. Alice brought her attention back to the phone call as Katie returned to the mouth piece "Alice I'm really sorry but I can't talk right now. A camera has just been dropped and that means we only have two working instead of three. And so now Moby is shouting that the angles will be wrong, and well it's all a bit mad here. Can I call you sometime over the weekend maybe? Oh wait aren't you coming down for Tilly's engagement party this Saturday? We can chat then." Alice confirmed her attendance to the party and said her goodbyes.
Truth was she had been planning on not going to Tilly and Jake's engagement party and instead had been planning on phoning her mum and saying she was sick on the day. Now she had told Katie she'd be there she couldn't really not go, seemed she'd be heading back to Notting Hill this weekend then.
When people hear how Alice lives in London they always think of it as glamour's lifestyle. Full of west end shows and shopping on Bond street. And even though Courtnell St is no Eastenders's Watford it's also far from the Oxford Street class. Living in the centre of London had its pro's through. Her home was grand, as most houses in the ever famous Notting Hill area are, but the interior was welcoming and homely. Notting Hill, according to numerous real estate agents is the trendiest part of London and is always offering excitement and enjoyment to new residence so as a teenage Alice had absorbed the hustle and bustle of the famous Portobello Market, she'd walk the market every day and examine the numerous bits of antique items but every weekend she took the tube to Oxford Street and emerged herself in full London glamour. Growing up with that kind of lifestyle, a lifestyle where money and safety were never in short supply, usually made a girl snobby and overly confident; Selena Kingston is a prime example of the effects of a cushioned lifestyle. Alice prided herself on not being that type of girl. And it was mostly down to her friendship with Matilda Cosgrave, or as she was known to her friends and family Tilly. Tilly and her family moved from Brighton to Courtnell St when Alice was 10. At first Alice was apprehensive of the rather flamboyant family but when Tilly had invited Alice into her house after witnessing Alice fall over outside her house, she'd been playing hopscotch and had tripped on her shoelace causing her to land face first onto the pavement, Alice learned that Tilly Cosgrave was a lot of fun to be around. She was funny and adventurous and was constantly playing pranks on anyone and everyone. She was also intelligent, even from the age of 10 Tilly was skilled in science and was able to recite the periodic table when ever asked. Alice was never bored around Tilly, never turned down a chance to be around her. And that carried out throughout their childhood and even today Alice still enjoyed her friends company. It was Tilly's fiancé, Jake Martin, which kept Alice away from her friend. Tilly met Jake when she was 18. He had been enrolled as a medical assistant to her dad, Dr Lucas Cosgrave. Jake instantly made an impression on Tilly with his broad shoulders and surfer blonde hair. And it wasn't long before Tilly phoned Alice gushing about her new boyfriend and all the things that make him so amazing. At first Alice had been thrilled for her friend, as all friends should be when they can see how happy their friend is. However on meeting Jake Alice was far from thrilled, but more concerned about Jake's interest in Tilly. Like Alice Tilly's family were financially very well off and looking at Jakes washed out jeans and simple cheap t-shirt, as Alice entered the Harrow Restaurant, she could tell it wasn't just Tilly's good looks that had caught his eye. Alice remembered how defensive Tilly had been when Alice had phoned her about her concerns later on that day.
"All I'm saying is watch your back. I don't want to see you hurt Tilly" Alice's pleaded with her love struck friend. But Tilly wasn't hearing it. In her eye there was nothing wrong with the handsome 23 year old Medical Assistant.
"I don't need to watch my back Alice! I love him and he loves me. There's nothing for me to worry about!" Alice sighed in frustration down the phone.
"You love him? You've known him what two months tops! How can you say you love him within such a short amount of time?"
"I can say it because I do love him! And he's said he loves me." Alice could imagine Tilly putting her hands on her hips in a triumphant pose as she said this. It was 9pm and she had just returned home from another date with Jake.
"It's not possible to fall in real love in two months Tilly. Be serious about something for once in your life!" Opps maybe that was a bit harsh. Alice heard Tilly gasp at her comment. She quickly apologised. "Sorry I shouldn't have said that last bit"
"I'm going to ignore it anyway. And do you know why?" Tilly was known for being sarcastic and patronising at times, it was part of her charm apparently.
"No, I don't know why Tilly but I'm sure you'll tell me" Alice sat down on her bed and waited.
"I'm going to ignore you because you're only saying these things because you're jealous!" Alice had taken a mouthful of her water and Tilly's comment caused her to spit the mouthful over her indigo carpet.
"I'm what!" Maybe she had heard her wrong, because she was definitely not right.
"You heard me. I said you're jealous that I've found someone and your still single. Admit it; you want someone like Jake in your life." Alice pulled her rug over the water stain; she would clear that up later. First she had to clear up her friends thinking.
"I am not jealous of Jake. If anything I feel sorry for you."
"I'm not having this conversation anymore!" And with that Tilly hung up the phone leaving Alice clenching her hand around the phone in anger.
Tilly didn't talk to Alice for three weeks after that fateful phone call. But in time both made apologises to each other and their friendship was back to its happy normality. However Tilly was still adamant that Jake was the one. One year on she has the engagement ring to prove he loves her back. Perhaps she was being too mean towards Jake and if it made Tilly happy surely it should make Alice happy too. But there was something about Jake that made her worry. It's not that Tilly wasn't capable of making men fall for her. She was tall and toned, thanks to her cross country running hobby. And her bright red hair contrasted her pale skin beautifully. She also had excellent fashion sense and always looked like she could grace the pages of glossy magazines. When Alice had invited both Tilly and Katie round for a sleepover Alice had sat mesmerised as her two friends went through every item of her wardrobe throwing various pairs of jeans and combats over their shoulders , each item got a review and it was usually "What made you buy this , its nasty" or "Seriously you actually wear this outside?"
At the end of the day Katie and Tilly were her best friends. They were the three amigos. Even though they had bickered before and probably will bicker again in the future Alice was sure that they would be friends forever. However the fact that both Tilly and Katie are both still in Notting Hill while Alice was miles away at Oxford worried Alice a bit. What if when she returned this weekend Tilly and Katie had found a replacement for her? Would she have to replace Tilly and Katie with the Oxford bunch?