INTRO STORY FOR ARDEN REECE//

"Are you kidding me?" I sighed as my boot lace snapped, I held the offending lace in my hand and shook my head, it was like even the fashion world was against me today, I pulled off the short ankle booties that were some of my only shoes from when I had a wardrobe fresh out of gossip girl and instead reached for a $40 pair of boots from JCPenny and pulled them on with a frown, not that I was a label wh*re, just that I wanted to make a great impression for my first day. 
I was going to register for classes today, I had on a Breton striped dress so at least I looked semi decent, I guessed I would have to get used to all this, being born into money made it hard to adjust, I felt like Caroline from two broke girls. Pulling a messenger bag over my shoulder I headed from the small room I shared with my mom into the kitchen/dining/living room, my aunt was kind enough to let us sleep on a pull out bed in her office but it was a tight squeeze and with mom sleeping all the time it was hard. 

Aunt Izzie was out in the kitchen, she smiled and handed me a cup of tea, I smiled thankfully and she went back to typing on her laptop and eating some toast. "Hey do you think you could look for a job today?" she asked looking up at me and I nodded "I guess, I don't really have any skills besides music" I admitted and she sighed. "Thats what you get from spoiling a child" she said it lightly but there was bitterness in her voice, while my mother married rich my aunt was a single wannabe author living in grove apartments, she had borrowed money from mom a few times and I could tell now she was kinda enjoying our pain, not in a big way but still she was happy to watch us struggle. 

"You could try retail, you have spent enough time at the mall you should know how it works" I caught that glimmer in her eye and sighed "sure, sounds good" I forced a smile and headed out the door, "call me if mom needs me" I waved and slammed the door before she could reply. I strode down the street and nervously looked around, the area was safe enough but it was a long way from the gated communities I was used too, I envisioned myself getting mugged and then laughed, as if I had anything for them to take!

My purse had an old metro ticket for the bus or train, I had bought it once thinking I could be all progressive and take public transport, well that didn't end well, I wasn't looking forward to doing it now either, but I made it to the bus stop and sat down next to a woman with a gazillion garbage bags filled with empty bottles, I wondered vaguely if there was much money in that, oh how my friends would laugh to see me collecting bottles for a few dollars, man I really needed a job. I looked up from my thoughts just in time to see the bus go flying past "DAMN IT" I cursed and the lady next to me gave me a dark look, I held back tears and wished for my private car or at least a cab, but alas nobody was coming for me and I didn't have the money for a taxi. 

I got up and decided to walk it, how far could it be? An hour and three blisters later I found the collage and headed to register. "Yes" a frumpy woman called to me and I put on my best winning smile "I'm Arden R...Reece" I stumbled on my last name and the woman took a double look at my face, whispering something that sounded like "oh how the mighty have fallen" she went to work setting my classes, then with a smug smile she informed me I was able to get financial aid. 

"Son on a b*ch" I muttered when I was finally enrolled and on my way out of the building, "Sorry?" a cute face looked up at me and I took in the adorable boy sitting on the steps, "sorry, not you" I blushed and rushed off, he chuckled and called after me "well you don't know me that well.. yet" I ignored him mortified and sped as face as my blistered feet could muster. 

I decided to brave the subway home, two hours and a wrong direction later I finally made it home, I was walking up to my building when a pretty girl walked towards me. "Hey" she said as we soon met paths. I looked over at her and smiled a little. "Hi" I replied, the small smile still on my face, her coat probably cost more than my mother and I had in the bank now, I looked down at my old coat, it was out of season and had a hole in the sleeve where my thumb peeked out. "You must be new to town, I've never seen you around" she said, smiling. "I'm Blake, by the way, I also live in the apartment complex" she told me as we entered the building together.

“Oh well it’s nice to meet you” I brought a smile to my face, in truth it was nice to meet someone, it was a relief to be at the door and meeting a friendly face. “Likewise, do you have a name?” she chuckled and I slapped my palm to my face “Shoot, it’s Arden, Arden Reece” I winced saying my last name, waiting for the penny to drop, thinking back to the women who enrolled me into my classes she took all of a moment before she realized who I was and then she proceeded to tell me how a person in my position could get financial aid, it took all my will to accept it, not that I don’t appreciate it but seriously going from wealthy to dirt broke takes a toll on a person. 

“Lovely name” the girl smiled again, she didn't seem fazed by my last name but then again some people were better at hiding it than others. I gave her a thankful grin “Yours too, Blake, reminds me of Blake Lively” I used to love that show, hell at one point it was like a mirror to my life, nowadays I was lucky if I could afford the Netflix rental. “Well if you ever need anything, I’m just here” she pointed to a door and I realised we had made it up to my floor, “oh cool, looks like we are floor-mates” I tried to relax and realised she was carrying a whole load of grocery’s. 
“Oh shoot, I should have helped you with those, here let me hold them while you unlock your door” I smiled and took a bag, she giggled and pulled some keys out “Thanks, they were killing my arms” I took a peek inside the bag and saw a bazillion bottles of fruit juice “no problem” I giggled. She unlocked the door and rushed inside to put down the other bag “just put them on the counter” she called and I took a step inside the apartment, seeing her kitchen counter I put the bag down and glanced around. 

Her place was nice and compared to the cramped one bedroom we were sharing with my aunt it seemed like a palace, “great apartment” I smiled and stuck my now empty hands in my pockets, well I better go but see you around maybe?” I asked hopefully and she nodded “sure, thanks for your help, just knock if you ever need anything” she saw me out to the door and I headed across the hall to my aunts, “See ya” I nodded and she waved back, I snuck quietly into my aunts and once the door was closed I relaxed a little, a new friend, I hoped maybe things were looking up!
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