Mr Popular and I Episode 1


Lea Wilson and River Parker don’t mix; they don’t like the same things, their lives are majorly different. But, what if these two people who are least expected to spend time with each other are doing exactly that? And, not only at school but at home as well.

After Lea’s house falls apart due to a termite infestation, the Wilson’s are invited to stay at an old family friend’s mansion of a house.

The family friend also happens to be River’s father. I’ll give you time to digest that information. Yes, you’re right.

The sarcastic nerd and the egotistical heart-throb live under the same roof and encounter a series of events that make the two do something they didn’t think would happen.

They grow closer, and closer, and closer, until…well, you’ll have to find that out for yourself. Follow them through their adventures of falling in love, getting their hearts broken, and learning lessons that explain there is more to life than they have ever imagined.




Don’t ask why I’m standing on the cold, dark street with my parents either side of me, staring at my collapsed house. All three of us, wrapped in our sleeping robes with our arms crossed over our chests to shoo away the bitter air, frown at our house – or what is left of it.


“Bloody house mites.” Mutters my dad under his breath, his eyebrows are creased downwards, creating dents in the skin between his eyes and his forehead.

“What are we going to do?” My mother sighs, hopelessly.


Peculiarly, on the coldest night we’ve had in a long time, she decides to wear her silk pyjamas today – what a bad idea mum.

I jump in a spot, hoping to cling onto any ounce of warmth in my body, unfortunately failing when I feel goosebumps crawl onto every inch of my skin, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight. Great.


For another fifteen minutes, we stare unwillingly at the ruin we once called our home, while firemen make sure no one else is in the house. The roof has completely fallen, leaving no shelter for the upstairs bedrooms and crushing the furniture beneath it, it’s like our house has been turned into a sandwich. Each and every downstairs window has cracked due to the excelling pressure from the sudden collapse. As if it wasn’t already blatantly obvious, a fireman had to come and tell us that it’s ‘no longer inhabitable’. Brilliant.


At least we’re alive and okay.

Our neighbors soon gather around to watch the scene, pointing at the concrete and brinks sprawled all over our front yard. Some approach my parents and give them their apologies while their children snicker under their breath.


Well, that’s even greater. Thanks to termites, we’ve just lost our home, and people are laughing.

I want to curse, but I don’t say anything aloud.


Instead, I think of every repulsive word that comes to mind and pronounce it under my breath, making no sound. Only a few hours ago we were we tucked up in bed and ready for a goodnights sleep, when BAM , the roof falls down. Luckily, we all managed to escape but taking nothing with us.


Shoot, my laptop.

I stand on my tiptoes and talk to my dad. “Where are we going to stay tonight?” I ask, trying not to let the irritation shine through in my tone.


“I guess we’ll have to stay at a hotel for the time being. I’ll work something out love.” He pats me on my head like I’m a puppy and I stand down from my tiptoes.


I’m cold, hungry, tired, and I think I have PMS. I do not want to spend any more time on this street, feeling humiliated.


Hesitantly, I look around as I see our fellow nosy residents have formed a semi-circle around our house, my family being situated right in the middle.




If you haven’t already realized, I hate being the center of attention. So, this situation isn’t helping.

Oh damn, my makeup is in there.


Focus Lea. Your makeup isn’t important…Well, maybe it is a little.


My frown doesn’t disappear, but it eases a little when I hear Marissa’s calls over the noise of the crowd forming around us. I twist my head in her direction.


“Lea!” Marissa calls my name again as she wriggles and weaves through the gaps in the crowd and starts towards me.


“Lea! Are you okay? Holy crap, is that your house?” My mother glares at Marissa for her ‘filthy’ language.

“I meant crackers, holy crackers…”


Marissa adjusts her words to satisfy my mum, but even she looks confused at herself for making that adjustment.

I can’t help but smile.


“Hey Ris, I’m fine. And yes, that’s my house.” I point and nod tiredly towards it.

“Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God!” Oh great, she’s started her mantra again.


Please don’t say ‘oh my god’ again, Marissa, please. “Oh my God! How?” She asks, eyes wide.


I sigh, “termites.”

“Eugh,” She sticks her tongue out, replused. “Those little sh-” She stops speaking before spitting the nasty swear word that my mother will definitely disapprove of.

“I know,” I mutter, a shiver wriggles its way down my spine.


“Oh my God!” She whispers harshly; it’s her favourite phrase.

“What is it?” I inquire, rolling my eyes. She’s always been overdramatic, but that’s why we’re friends, we’re the complete opposite of each other.

“Look.” She whispers into my ear as her eyes stare past me, into the crowd of neighbours.


I turn my body only slightly to peek at the audience gathered; in the huddle of bodies stand three familiar figures, easily spotted in any type of crowd. Not only are they much taller than everyone stood beside them, however, it’s the aura that seems to radiate from them which differentiates them. I don’t know how to describe it, but some people are just like that, able to turn heads when they enter a room even if no one knows who they are. In this case, though, I’m pretty sure everyone knows who they are – River, Jake and Ky.


They’re incredibly attractive, from the confidence that they ooze and the way they hold themselves, to their flawless facial features and muscular physiques. Not only are they pretty popular in school, but their families are quite influential in this town with the wealth to show for it, contrasting to my family’s working class status. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, but sometimes I do wonder how different life could be for my father if he didn’t have to slave away at a job he resented, trying to make ends meet.

To add to the ‘oh my God’ effect, River looks straight at me.


Instantly, I twist my head away from them, embarrassed that he caught me staring. You would think that I wouldn’t look back again, but no, I’m Lea and despite my impressive school grades, I can be pretty dim. Stupidly, I glance over my shoulder to find that all three of them are looking back in my direction. Jake, has a small smirk on his face – rude . However, Ky, is looking rather bored, meeting my gaze for only a moment before turning to the ground. River, on the other hand, continues to stare at me, forcing me to be the one to look away again.

“Why does this have to happen?” I cringe, snapping my eyes shut to avoid looking at the ruins of my house.

“They’re all staring at you,”


Marissa states the obvious.

“Well no shit Sherlock,” I say in a stupid voice, quietly so that my mother doesn’t overhear.


“Excuse me, excuse me,” I hear a man from behind me call.

I turn to face the middle-aged man who’s walking hurriedly towards my father, calling his name.


Surprised, my dad turns from examining the state of his house and greats the man, hugging him for a moment before pulling away and telling him what happened.


“I don’t want to go to school tomorrow,” I say to Marissa. “Everyone’s gonna be looking at me funny,” I groan.

“Well, River’s already looking at you funny,”


Marissa states, peeking a glance backward.

I playfully hit her arm. She’s only saying it how it is, but still.


“Hey!” She rubs at where I practically only tapped her. I look at her, dumfounded. “Sorry, that was dramatic.”


My attention diverges from Marissa to the middle-aged man speaking to my father when he says, “you can stay at our house.” I never knew dad had the man as a friend, but I don’t care even if he’s a complete stranger.

I want to hug the man.

“Thank you, Malcolm, but I can’t accept,” my dad tells him.


Ah, his name is Malcolm and…wait, what? Is my dad high?


Did he just decline an offer to spend a night at someone’s cozy, warm house for free? Come again?

“No, I insist.” Replies Malcolm.

Yes! Go Malcolm, go!

“I don’t know, it’s too much to ask.”


My father says.

“Only for one night, then I’ll help you relocate tomorrow.”

Dad pauses for a moment of consideration. “What do you say, Lea?”


By this time, I’m smiling foolishly at Malcolm as he continues to convince my dad, not realising that my father’s question is aimed at me. I look up at him and snap back into reality.


“Uh, yeah, that sounds cool.” I try to answer as smoothly as possible.


“Then it’s settled, you can spend the night with us.” Malcolm smiles.



My dad pulls up in Malcolm’s driveway, parking his car near the edge of the grass and switching off the engine.


Curiously, I stare out of the window onto the house before us, or should I say mansion. My mouth creates an ‘o’ shape as I gawk at the large palace-like building in awe.


Gigantic pillars that hold up the second floor sit on the stairs that wind up to the front double doors. In the middle of the great front garden sits a flowing fountain with mermaid and mermen figures carved into its stonewalls. The lights from within the house illuminate from the several large windows, adding a fairytale glow to the nighttime darkness. As I allow my eyes to roam free over the beautiful architecture, both my parents turn to face me in the back seat.


“Malcolm is my old high school friend who I’ve managed to keep in touch with over the years.


He’s a very nice man, and I expect you, Lea, to be on your best behavior.” Dad says in his I’m-your-father-so-lets-be-serious tone.


I turn to him and nod my head, resisting the urge to roll my eyes. What am I going to do? Set the house on fire? All I want now is to have a tour of this mansion. Actually, I kind of just want to sleep.

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