Paap. Clover slapped the vibrating clock, forcing apart her eyelids to see the light. They strained from the lack of sleep. Bending her arms down on her face, leaving some gaps to sense the day, she stared through the plain turquoise curtains enclosing the casements. Darkness was still outside, dimming the streets, encouraging the nights to go on. But today was the very first day, of becoming a personal assistant of a rising superstar, she couldn’t afford to not get ready early in the morning. She sat up straight immediately with that thought fixed in her mind.
The room was studied for the second time- to invite friendliness to come upon her. Though there were no any spider webs lingering at the corners or any spots, it looked like no one had stayed in there for decades. Smell of old wooden furniture filled up the room and basically other than the walls and the bedroom set, there was nothing else.
Well, it was more than enough.
She couldn’t be expecting to stay with Kyle in his room. That was common sense.
So this really isn’t a dream.
Without wasting much time, bouncing her butt to the edge of the bed, she got on her feet and made the bed. Blanket was folded into thin layers, mattress was pulled at the ends. Giving it another glance before stepping into the bathroom, she paused just to make sure that everything was in order.
As she was grooming herself, she could hear the same, familiar arguments going on in the living room, passing through the obstacles, entering her ears. The contents were similar to the ones she eavesdropped yesterday. Brandon trying his best to stop Kyle from involving himself with Clover, and Kyle, on the other hand, trying his best to make Brandon believe him that everything will be alright.
Spitting out her toothpaste, cupping the running water in her hands and splashed it onto her face, “Everything happens for a reason, Clover Hon,” she said, looking at her own reflection, feeling the drips of liquid down her chin, “don’t give up.”
“You’re gonna regret this, Kyle.” The noise came clear the moment she opened the door, showing up in full formal.
Kyle ended the argument instantly. “Wow Clover. It fits you just nicely,” he said, only moving his eyes to her while having his hair done by the professionals. “You gotta need more of these clothes.”
“Yeah.. I guess so...” she flashed an awkward smile, walking over to help Brandon, carrying the bags and boxes onto the car. “Let me help.”
He paused his motion and stared right into her deep black eyes, “If you really want to help,” he uttered, hinting the coldness growing at the end of his tone. “Then leave.”
Clover stumbled few steps back, only to find her balance when she pressed on the metal pole. “Brandon..” she said, fighting the urge of her tears to claim their attendance. “W-why? I..I only ...I only meant to help..”
“The only way for you to help is to disappear away from his sight,” he leaned in closer and softened his voice into a whisper, “trust me.”
“B-..But..” she pulled back.
Clover! Help out here a little! Kyle extended his head from his seat, eyeballs dancing at the corner to search for her shadow.
“Coming!” she responded at a stroke, taking her steps towards the entrance. almost forgetting the conversation going on with Brandon.
“Don’t destroy him, Clover,” Brandon grabbed her arm, eyes showering the layers of concern he had on him. “He has sacrificed too much, to be who he is today.”
Rather than responding to him, she pulled her hand away from him. Red marks circled her wrist, pinching her with the morning chill filling up the air. Maybe it did hurt a little, but Kyle's voice was urging her- making her to forget the existence of the sting.
Dont destroy him, Clover. The words echoed at the back of her mind. Her pace wobbled, forcing her to stop by the door, unable to move forward to where Kyle was.
Clover looked down at her overall attire, as the so-called ‘P. A’, a.k.a, personal assistant, “Do..do I really have to leave..?”
“Clover!” Kyle tapped on her shoulder, shaking her back into the reality. “What are you staring at? Come on! Help me out with my make-up!”
“M-make ups?!” she said in her high-pitch voice. “I...I don’t.. I don’t know how..”
“As my personal assistant, you gotta learn to know everything,” he dragged her over to his table, laid out with a complete set of branded cosmetics.
Wow. She slacked her jaw the moment those limited editions products displayed linearly in front of her eyes. Lancôme. Estée Lauder. MAC. It felt like a bright spotlight appeared out of nowhere was shone on them, making them the main characters of the day. Her fingers shivered in excitement with a mixture of increasing pressure as she reached out to hold. She knew those brands, maybe not deep enough like how a professional make-up artist would. But to use them? -Not even once in her past twenty years.
“Get started with the foundation,” A lady in half white- half black beside her commanded.
Her voice was dark and serious. “F-..foundation?” Clover scanned through the table to look for the ‘foundation’. Too many creams. Too similar in every way. She had to pick up one by one to read the corresponding labels printed on them.
And it took quite a while for her to find one. “Ah!! This is it!” She let out a huge sigh of relieve when she finally found a bottle that was supposed to be the foundation, according to her very own definition.
“That’s the TONER!” The lady spat, hiding her gripping fists behind her back. Her voice was cracking.
“S-..sorry.. I-I thought they are the same,” nervousness took over as she put down the item, sensing the uprise in temperature, causing the remaining products standing still on the table to fall apart, turning the whole place into a mess.” Sorry..! Sorry! I’ll get it done in a minute!”
“Mandy,” Kyle said. “Patient,” he got down his chair and helped with the fallen cosmetics. “She’s still new to this.”
“Right, Clover?” he bumped her shrunken shoulder. “Take it easy.”
She didn’t return his look. Instead, she just nodded a little with her eyes fixed on the ‘colourful’ floor. It wouldn’t have been that worse if Brandon didn’t show up the very next second. But he did- so..yeah.
“Kyle! You’re not done yet?!” His attention immediately shifted to the messy floor. “..What..the heck?!” he glanced over at Mandy and she narrowed her eyes towards Clover.
“You do it, Mandy!” he ordered as he stomped off, leaving the echoes of his loud and angry thuds. “It’s REALLY LATE!”
Kyle gave her an apologetic look. “Wait for me in the car,” he whispered as he went to Mandy to finish his make-up.
After putting everything back to their original positions, Clover left the place without saying a word. She thought of locking herself up in her room, to be alone for a few moments. But, today was only the first day, or barely even half a day! This must be why people always say that beginning is always the hardest. You can’t have a sunshine without a little rain. Shaking away the negativity in her, patting away the dirt on her uniform, she marched straight to the porch. However, her steps slowed down as she saw Brandon in the car, whistling at his own rhythm, acting as though he didn’t see her approaching. She didn’t want to be alone with him, especially when she just caused a chaos. Hence, rather than getting in, she walked along the side fence, letting the flowers to slide freely on her palm, calming herself by breathing in the sweet scents giving off by the blossomed flowers.
And it actually didn’t take long for Kyle to be ready, since he was handled by a real professional. “Clover,” he said, holding onto the doorknob, squeezing his feet into his Adidas sneakers. “I thought I told you to wait in the car?”
His hair was sprayed, though there were a few thin strands refused to listen. His eyebrows, lips were touched up finely and a thin layer of eyeliner was drawn at the edge of his double eyelids. It would really be a lie if Clover were to say that he’s not charming. The perfect definition of the ‘Nation’s Husband’.
“W..Well...” she scratched her head.
“Come on, let’s go!”
“Where are we going?”
He smiled. “It’s a fan signing event.”
“Fan signing event?” The scene at the airport, where Kyle was being surrounded by hundreds of people flashed across her mind suddenly. She sighed as she stepped into the turned-on car. “It’s gonna be .. a longg day.”
Throughout the journey, not many conversations were made. It was surprisingly more quiet than usual. A small part of it was because Kyle busied himself by reading his scripts, and going through his schedules for the day. But the bigger reason lies between the remaining two. Brandon was still annoyed at Kyle for having the troublemaker with them in the car. And Clover was struggling to not feel nervous because of the upcoming event. What to do in a fan signing event? Where should she wait? How does it really look like? What exactly is a fan signing event? She didn’t know. Her palms were getting soggy as time ticked off. Rubbing them onto her pants were useless.- only to leave stains. She just hoped, she wouldn’t bring any disgrace to them later.