The sudden noise coming from Amber Williams' laptop made her jump. It was the sound that signaled to her that one of her friends was trying to reach her on Facebook.
Amber ignored the sound, and tried to concentrate on the YouTube video she was watching in the other tab. Not that it was all that hard. This was, after all, a Jonas James video. Ever since she'd found his channel a year ago, she'd been obsessed with him. And every Friday after school, like clockwork, she would tune in to see his latest video.
Now Amber was getting a little annoyed.
OK, make that very annoyed. With a deep sigh, Amber navigated to the Facebook tab she had open. She saw that one of her best friend, Brooke Jackson, had sent her a message.
Did you get the math homework?
Amber rolled her dark brown eyes. She tied back her long brown hair into a ponytail using her favourite purple scrunchie, which had been lying on the bed next to her laptop. Being the 'smart one' in her group of friends was both a blessing and a curse for Amber.
You know that homework's not meant to be in until Monday, right? Amber typed.
You don't say, replied Brooke, but where else am I supposed to get it from now?
Amber sighed once more. Reluctantly, she uploaded her copy of the math homework to her chat with Brooke. Then she closed her Facebook tab. No more distractions, she thought. Time to concentrate.
Amber had told no-one, except her best friends, of her crippling obsession with Jonas James. It all started on night the year before. Just a normal night after school. Amber was surfing the Internet as usual. One of her favourite websites to visit had always been YouTube. And on this particular night, Jonas' latest video showed up on her Recommended Videos section. Jonas' channel would mostly be categorized in the genre of comedy, but he also uploaded vlogs and music videos from time to time. Amber swooned. She loved to hear Jonas sing.
After watching that first video, Amber had binge-watched everything on Jonas' channel. She was well and truly hooked. She'd never felt this way about anyone before. What was it about him that had such a profound effect on her? Maybe it was his messy strawberry-blond hair, or his gorgeous brown eyes. But she was pretty certain, above all else, it was his adorable British accent.
Of course, the fact that he had a British accent also meant that he was British. Which was extremely attractive, for sure, but it also meant he was half a world away from Amber. The thought was depressing, to say the least
Amber heard her mother, Angela Williams, call from the landing. Even though Amber's bedroom door was shut, she could hear her mother loud and clear. Feeling a little irritated, Amber closed the lid of her laptop and opened her bedroom door.
"What are you doing in there, all on your own?" Angela asked.
"Just studying," replied Amber. She knew her mother's main concern was her grades. Angela thought Amber was a model student - and a model daughter, too - and she'd be horrified if she knew she was obsessed with a YouTube star.
Angela smiled. "That's my girl. I'll leave you to it."
Amber rolled her eyes once more. She shut her bedroom door behind her, and returned to her laptop.
Amber sighed deeply again. She was considering deleting her Facebook account. At least, she would be, had Jonas not just made a profile on the site.
Are you watching that weird English kid again? typed Brooke.
That weird English kid. Amber's friends knew of her obsession, but couldn't understand what she saw in Jonas James.
What's it to you? retorted Amber.
He's so weird, Brooke replied.
You already said that, Amber typed, chuckling to herself. With his red hair and freckles, he might have seemed a little weird to other people. But to Amber, he was the perfect man.
You don't actually believe you have a chance with him, do you? Brooke asked.
Ambers heart sank. She knew she didn't have a chance with Jonas - not just yet, anyway - but it wasn't because he lived on the other side of the world, nor was it the fact he was a famous YouTuber. Rachel Parker, Jonas' girlfriend. If Amber was to have any chance with the man of her dreams, she had to get Rachel out of the picture.
But Amber had a plan.
South Fork High was your typical American high school. Amber and her group of friends were in the eleventh grade. That meant there was only one more year of the torturous experience to go.
When Amber arrived at school on Monday morning, her other best friend, Heather Brown, was already there, playing tonsil-tennis with her new squeeze, Sam Martinez, and thus completely ignoring Amber and Brooke.
"Nice of you to join us this morning," Amber teased her.
Heather broke away from Sam, and took his hand. "Sorry, Ams."
"Like you wouldn't be doing the same if Jonas James was here," Brooke said.
The sound of his name alone made Amber's heart leap. She scolded herself. This was not the time to get hot and bothered over Jonas.
As Amber walked to class, she reminded herself not to think about Jonas while she was learning.
And, of course, she fantasized about him for the rest of the day.
Jonas James sighed as he hit the 'upload' button in his browser. It was difficult, doing everything yourself, but he didn't have a choice.
Two years ago, Jonas was the most famous entertainer in Britain. But a series of unfortunate circumstances had led him to a point in his life where no-one would touch him. He wasn't 'the famous Jonas James' any more. He was 'Jonas James the joke'.
But Jonas wasn't about to give up that easily. After sulking in his room for two weeks, his girlfriend Rachel Parker had convinced him to go it alone and start a YouTube channel. So far, things were going well. Great in fact. He had a couple thousand fans.
But there were 'fans', and then there was Amber Williams. Jonas rolled his eyes. Amber seemed to be obsessed with him. She was forever commenting on his uploads, and sending him messages. Jonas had refused to entertain her thus far. But she had started to get extremely persistent. Jonas had no idea why; he was certainly nothing special. But obviously Amber didn't see it that way.
Suddenly Jonas' phone began to buzz. He picked it up on the third ring. "Hey, Rach."
"How's work going?" asked Rachel, who was sitting in her apartment only a couple of streets away from Jonas. She tucked her long platinum blonde hair behind her ears. Rachel really was quite stunning. Only the best for Jonas James.
"Just that; hard work," Jonas replied, leaning back on his office-chair. His computer was set up at a desk in his bedroom. "What are you up to today?"
"Meghan and I are going shopping. Can we get you anything?"
Jonas laughed. "My fame back?"
Rachel giggled. She loved when Jonas made her laugh; like most people, it was the thing that made her fall in love with him in the first place. But unlike most people, Rachel had stuck by him, through thick and thin.
Jonas' laptop made a noise. It had been mere minutes since he had uploaded his latest video, and already he was getting feedback. But he knew who it was from before he'd even looked at the screen. "Gotta go. Amber's hitting me up again."
"Tell her she can't have you," sighed Rachel.
"I try," Jonas said, "but she won't listen."
"She'll get the message at some point. Love you."
"I hope so. Love you too." He hung up.
Amber couldn't wait to get home. Since discovering Jonas, her weeks had fallen into a strict routine: on Friday she would come home from school and watch his new video, and for the rest of the week, she would come home and binge-watch all the videos already on his channel. But today was different. Today she was about to start putting a very important plan into action.
Amber slammed the front door behind her and practically sprinted upstairs to her bedroom. Her bedroom walls were purple, and completely bare apart from a Jonas poster she'd managed to find on eBay. Amber knew of Jonas' past, and his rise and fall. She came to the conclusion that the poster must have been produced when he'd been popular, and the seller was trying to rid themselves of the embarrassing fandom they'd once ashamedly been a part of.
But Amber didn't care what the rest of the public thought about Jonas James. She knew he was the One for her.
Amber opened her laptop and navigated to a cheap flights site. Amber had some savings in an account that she'd been given on her sixteenth birthday. The money was supposed to be 'invested in her future', as her parents had said. Amber truly believed Jonas James was her future, so that justified what she was doing.
Amber quickly booked a ticket on a flight to England. She had sent Jonas countless messages on his social media, but to now avail. He was purposely ignoring her, and she knew that. But this time, he'd have no choice but to take notice of her.