So, I just wanted to clear up some confusion about this story. I've been itching to get back into writing, but I've been feeling a little rusty, so I decided to go back and begin with some familair characters. In re-reading Under My Skin there is a lot about the story I would like to go back and change being older and wiser now. I started writing UMS like 4 years ago, so obviously a lot has changed. Anyway it's always bothered me, so I decided to attempt a rewrite. My master plan begins with this story which takes place from the very beginning of Nick and Alyssa's relationship and sort of cuts out/clarifies a lot of the unecessary flashbacks in UMS. Step two will be to rewrite UMS. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with A Little Taste of Sin. I will most likely either edit it slightly to reflect some changes or edit it so that it can work as a stand alone story. I have also left up When My World is Crashing in case I ever decide I want to finish it. As of now all of these stories are still listed as being in the Not Like We Predicted series. New readers are welcome to check out the other stories in the series, but please bear in mind that I am rewriting, so things will probably change along the way. Also note that I have changed some character names for various reasons, so please try not to be confused. I hope you enjoy and please remember to leave me your thoughts!
Alyssa arrives in Florida for her internship.
Chapter 1- A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes
Alyssa Martinelli drummed her fingertips against the inside door of the taxi she was riding in as it pulled away from the curb at Orlando International Airport. Her stomach flip flopped with nervous excitement knowing that she was beginning what was probably the biggest adventure of her short nineteen year old life. She was still in disbelief that she was actually here in Florida, getting ready to fulfill one of her biggest dreams.
Who doesn't wish they could run away from home to work at Disney World? she thought warmly to herself. Actually she assumed a lot of people could care less. Okay, so maybe she wasn't exactly running away from home. She'd been accepted into the Disney College Program, an internship program aimed at college students who were looking for the opportunity to work for a major company. It would be a great experience to put on a resume and she'd be able to earn some college credit at the same time. Even though Alyssa knew that the work would be far from glamorous, she was eagerly looking forward to the opportunity. She would probably be assigned to working a cash register at a fast food location throughout one of the parks, or stocking merchandise in a gift shop. It wasn't the work part that she was really looking forward to as much as the overall experience. She'd be getting to live away from home among other people her own age from all over the world. Just the life lessons she'd get from the total experience would most likely to be more beneficial to her than any college credit she'd be receiving.
Her parents who were normally fairly overprotective, had surprisingly been all for the experience. They hadn't been too keen on her going away to school, so she had wound up staying local for the first part of her freshman year, completing a few courses at a local community college. After her older sister Megan had dropped out of school and ran off to California with a guy, they'd been particularly strict with Alyssa. When Alyssa had seen the posters advertising the Disney Program around campus, it sounded almost too good to be true. She'd attended the local informational session and then presented her parents with the literature that she'd received about the program. At first, she expected them to be against the idea since it would mean delaying at least a semester from her studies, but their reaction was entirely unexpected. They thought that it would be a positive experience for her and being a big Disney buff, they knew what an exciting opportunity it would be for her.
'Do it now when you're young," her Dad had advised her. "If you don't, someday you will look back and regret that you didn't take this opportunity. College can wait."
So here she was on her way to her new apartment complex where she would be staying while she was involved in the program. Her flight from New York had been uneventful and now she was just nervous to see her new place and meet her new roommates.
Disney had three apartment complexes that they owned to house their college program staff. They were kind of set up like really nice college dorms with usually four roommates sharing one apartment. There were two bedrooms with two people assigned to each room. Alyssa had received her apartment assignment as well as the names of her other three roommates in her introductory packet to the program. She had also been able to take a virtual tour of the apartment online, so she felt as well prepared as she could be. She'd also been checking out past CPer's experiences over the internet and she was relieved to hear that majority of them were positive. She was very excited to meet new friends and create some magical memories.
Before she knew it, her taxi turned into what she assumed was the apartment complex and rolled to a stop in front of her building. I guess this is it, she thought to herself, biting her lip as she thanked her driver and handed him his fare along with a generous tip. She stepped out of the cab and walked around to the back to retrieve her luggage from the trunk which the driver had already popped for her.
She headed towards the building grateful that she had been assigned a unit on the bottom floor. She'd hate to have to lug all her bags up a flight of stairs or two. She quickly located the number that was written in her paperwork and as she approached the door she realized that she did not yet have her key. She'd have to stop at the office to pick it up. Deciding to take a chance anyway, she turned the doorknob and the door swung open easily.
"Hello," she called, her voice echoing throughout the seemingly empty apartment. "Is anybody here yet?"
She heard the sound of footsteps and a few moments later a tiny redhead appeared in front of her. "Hi. I'm Victoria, but everyone just calls me Torie. It's nice to meet you. I'm guessing we're going to be living together for the next few months?"
Alyssa nodded her head. 'It appears that way. I'm Alyssa." She stuck out her hand in a formal greeting.
"Awesome to meet you," Torie replied as she took it. "The other girls haven't arrived yet, so we get first dibs on rooms. I of course grabbed the bigger one. You know the early bird gets the worm and all that. You are welcome to room with me if you like."
"Sure," Alyssa agreed. Torie seemed nice enough and she didn't want to take the chance that her other two roommates might not be as welcoming.
"So where are you from?" Torie asked as Alyssa followed her down the hall towards their bedroom.
"New York," she answered. "What about you?"
"Originally Kentucky, but I've been going to school down here in Florida." Alyssa thought she had recognized a bit of a southern drawl to her voice. "New York huh? That must be exciting." She wrinkled her nose. "I've been there a few times, but not sure if I'd actually want to live there."
Oh, I don't live like in the city or anything," she explained. "I live on Long Island about an hour or so away. I agree with you about Manhattan. It's an awesome place to visit for the day, but I don't know if I could do it long term."
"That's cool. So what made you decide to come down here for the college program?" Torie asked as she stretched out onto her already made bed, watching Alyssa start to unpack her belongings.
Alyssa shrugged. "It just sounded like such an amazing opportunity to meet new friends and how many people actually can say that they got to work at a major theme park? Plus there's the fact that I'm a major Disney freak at heart."
"Me too," the other girl confessed. "I feel like such a little fangirl being here. What's your favorite Disney movie? No wait, let me guess. The Little Mermaid?"
Alyssa chuckled to herself. "How did you guess? I can probably recite that movie line by line. Beauty and the Beast is a close second though."
"Because it's my favorite too. I can already tell that we're going to get along great! Anyway my cousin urged me to apply for the program. He used to work for Disney when he was younger and said that it was a really fun experience for him. He even met his wife while he was working down here. Isn't that totally sweet? He thought that it would be good for me, so I figured what the hell." Torie shrugged.
"Are you close with your cousin?" Somehow Alyssa got the sense that by the way her new roommates eyes shown in admiration when she talked about him that the answer was yes.
Torie nodded. "He's like a second father to me. My parents have been going through a really messy divorce and I really didn't want to stick around to watch the fallout. So, I transferred down here for college and have been staying with him and his fiancee. This internship came at a great time because he's been away on business for the last few months and I felt funny staying at his place by myself and I think he did too. in fact, I think Kevin was so glad to see me go that he even offered me Kristin's old car to use while I'm here," she joked. "He bought her a new Audi as an early wedding gift."
"Wow..." Alyssa commented. It sounded as if Torie and her cousin came from a pretty well off family. She wondered what exactly this Kevin did for a living that he was away on business for so long, but felt that it was too forward of her to ask somebody that she had just met that type of question. Not that Alyssa's family was poor, but they were also far from rich. She lived a very middle class life. "So, you have a car here?" Alyssa had remembered reading from other former CPer's that making friends with someone who had a car was a very good idea, especially if you did have one yourself with you. Alyssa's own Neon was sitting back up in her garage in NY. Her parents had insisted that she fly down versus making the 23 hour drive on our own. Plus, she doubted her car could handle that kind of mileage. Not that she'd have too much of a reason to need a car. There would be shuttles providing them transportation to and from their job locations as well as the other parks. If she wanted to leave Disney grounds for whatever reason though she would need to find some other way of getting around and cabs could get expensive.
"Yea. It's parked out front, so like if we get bored or something we're totally free to explore the area. If you ever need to run to the store or anything just let me know," she offered. "I mean I don't know you well enough to lend you it, but I'd be glad to drive you anywhere. Within reason of course. So, what about your folks? Are you close with your family?"
Alyssa nodded her head still surprised at how friendly Torie was being to her. Maybe it was the New Yorker in her, but she had always been wary of meeting new people and getting to that friendship level right away. Here Torie was practically offering to lend Alyssa her car and she had known the girl all of five minutes. Maybe it was just that Southern hospitality that she wasn't used to. "Yea, it's going to be weird living so far away from them, but I think it'll be good for me. They can still be a tad bit on the protective side."
Torie wrinkled her nose. "That sucks. Sometimes I wish my parents were a little more protective though. Do you have any siblings?"
Again Alyssa nodded. "Yea, I have two sisters. One older and one younger. Meg's two years older than me and Brittany is 13."
"That's quite an age spread huh?"
Alyssa laughed a bit. "Meg and I always tease Brit and tell her that she wasn't planned. I really do think that she came as a bit of surprise to my parents. She's got my Dad wrapped around her little pinkie though."
"So, you're the Jan Brady of the family?" Torie asked with a smirk.
"Huh?" Alyssa was caught off guard with the allusion to The Brady Bunch.
"You know? The Brady Bunch? How Jan is the middle sister and is always complaining about how Marcia gets all the attention because she's pretty and popular with boys and Cindy gets attention because she's young and cute," Torie explained.
"Oh..." Alyssa giggled. "Ehh... Sort of. I mean Meg and I are pretty close, at least we were until she met Josh. She started dating him towards the end of her senior year and then she started college, but dropped out after one semester. Josh convinced her that they could make a living out in California selling his artwork or something." She rolled her eyes. "Last I heard they were both working at Wal-mart."
"You don't sound like you are a fan of this Josh character huh?"
"I'm not," she confessed. "There's something about him that rubs me the wrong way, but it's her life. After she ran off though, my parents have been even stricter with me. It sucks, especially because I think they need to be more concerned about Brit. She's growing up way too fast in my opinion. Anyway I'm just glad that they agreed to let me come down here. I think I need some space."
"I hear you." Torie sighed. "You are lucky though. I wish I had siblings."
"Well, you have your cousin who sounds like he's a big brother figure to you."
'Yea, I guess you are right," she agreed. "I could never get away with much around him or any of his friends. When I was with them I was always, 'one of the boys,' but when it came down to it they'd all do whatever they could to protect me.
"Sounds nice. I always wished I had an older brother or something growing up," Alyssa wistfully replied before changing the subject. "So, what area are you going to be working in?"
"My first choice was ride operations, but I wound up being placed at one of the hotels working front desk." Torie shrugged. "It is what it is. I guess I can be thankful that I'm working inside in the AC and I'll get to meet all kinds of interesting people. I'm sure I'll be the source of a lot of complaints too, but it certainly won't be dull. What about you?"
"Well, I'm placed at that huge gift shop at the Magic Kingdom, but I'm kind of thinking of auditioning for a role in entertainment," she admitted, biting her lip. "I was told that those roles are usually cast the first week or so. I thought that I may as well give it a shot. I just don't know if I'm good enough."
Torie smiled. "My cousin was in entertainment. He used to play Aladdin. I take it you dance or sing then?"
"Dance," Alyssa supplied. "I mean I can kind of sing, but not like awesome or anything. I was in choir in high school and stuff. I've been dancing though since I was three. I stopped taking lessons when I was 16, but I was captain of my high school dance team my senior year. We used to compete and stuff. I took a few dance classes in college this past year to stay in shape. I'm a bit rusty, so I don't know how I'll do."
Torie nodded. "Well good luck. This program is full of musical theater geeks. They usually get most of the roles in entertainment."
"So are you saying your cousin was a musical theater geek?" Alyssa laughed.
"Not exactly..." There seemed to be some hesitation in Torie's voice. "He sings though and can dance pretty well." She seemed to be choosing her words carefully. "Anyway so do you have a boyfriend back home in New York?"
Alyssa couldn't help feeling like she was purposely changing the subject, but chose to pretend not to notice. Torie had already revealed quite a bit about herself already and it was only the first day. They'd be living together for the next few months, so if there was more to the story perhaps it would come out over time. "No," she admitted blushing. "Guys and I usually don't hit it off very well."
"Why not?" Torie asked. "I mean you seem really pretty and nice."
Alyssa shrugged. "I wish I knew the answer myself. I guess I'm just really kind of shy around them and I'm picky. Plus I usually pick the ones that are way out of my league." She wish she knew the answer herself. She had never quite understood what made some girls popular with boys and other girls seemingly invisible. She knew that looks were only one small piece of the puzzle and she'd had plenty of people tell her that she was pretty for it to not at least be partially true. Yet sometimes she'd see very average looking girls who had swarms of guys around them. Even with her own sister Meg, she noticed that growing up she'd never had a shortage of boyfriends and the two of them shared many of the same features. So, she knew it wasn't necessarily looks that were holding her back. Maybe her personality just sucked.
"Aww... Yea I totally understand about the falling for guys out of your league part," Torie confessed. "It's okay though. I'm single too and that's the best way to be right now. Do you know how many people wind up hooking up during College Program? I mean look at my cousin and Kristin. It definitely happens, so who knows. Maybe we'll wind up meeting the men of our dreams here. There's so much opportunity to meet people. You just never know."
"Yea I guess you are right," she agreed with a smile. "I think this experience will be super positive for us." She already felt relieved to have found a friend in Torie. There was definitely something about her that Alyssa felt that she could trust and she was kind of glad that they'd be rooming together. She'd been so scared that she'd get stuck with a roommate she hated, but she doubt there would be a problem with Torie. They seemed to have lots in common and her bubbly personality seemed enough to draw people right in. Alyssa was already feeling more at ease. She just hoped her other two roommates were just as nice.