WAKE ME UP
Book Two: Rooftop Series
Continue the journey with Rhys, Erick, Joey, and their circle of friends from Rooftops as they follow their dreams.
Aspiring actor Rhys, who has relocated to New York with his boyfriend, Liam.
Joey and Cheryl, who join Rhys in the Big Apple and are planning their wedding.
And Erick, who remains in LA, pursuing an education designed to bring him wealth.
But, as they discover, life is not all smooth sailing.
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“WELCOME TO NEW YORK,” Liam says as he pulls a moving truck up to the curb.
“We’ve been in New York for a while,” Rhys says, leaning to look around Liam at the building.
“Okay… welcome home.”
Rhys unbuckles his seat belt as Liam reverses the truck to get as close to the curb as possible. “I really need to stop signing leases without looking at the place first.”
“What do you mean?” Liam looks out the window.
“This place looks like a dump.”
“What is this dump?” Cheryl asks, sliding out of the moving truck parked in front of Liam and Rhys’.
“I don’t think it’s that bad,” Liam says.
The apartments are below a pizza parlor called Dominic’s (although the sign simply reads: Pizza). The building is two stories with a basement. Above the shop is where Dominic and his family live; below is where Liam and Rhys have one apartment and Joey and Cheryl have the other across the hall. The stairwell to the basement is on the side of the building in a well-lit alley with a tree and a bench. The building itself is old. It still has some of its old-world charm, but it could use some TLC.
“It looks run-down,” Rhys says as he follows Joey into the pizza shop.
“Well, don’t say anything about it in front of the owner,” Joey says under his breath.
“Hey, how are you doing?” a round, stout man behind the counter asks. He has salt-and-pepper hair and thick glasses. “What can I getcha?” He wipes his hands on his pizza-stained apron.
“We’re actually Joey and Cheryl, here for the apartment,” Joey says. “And this is Rhys and Liam.” He motions behind him.
“Hi.” Rhys waves.
“Oh, excellent.” He holds out his hand to shake Joey’s. “Did you have any trouble finding the place?”
“No, not really.”
“Wow, he’s a lot friendlier than New Yorkers on TV,” Rhys whispers to Liam.
Dominic bends over, disappearing briefly under the counter, then reappears with two key chains in the shape of a slice of pizza. “Here are your keys.” He slides them across the counter. “You’re in apartment three and the boys are in one.” Liam takes his ring with two keys hanging from it. “There’s a key pad to get in. The code is four-five-two.”
Cheryl writes this on the back of her hand.
“I want you to feel safe, so if you ever need the code changed for any reason, just ask. As for dinner….”
Everyone looks at him in confusion.
“You all get free dinner tonight for your first night here.”
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Rhys says.
Dominic’s smile widens. “I want you to feel like family, which is what we are now. Only you pay rent.”
“Who else is part of this family?” Cheryl asks.
“Oh, your neighbors? Apartment four is currently empty and number two is home to rap superstar Minnie.”
“Who?” Joey asks as Rhys nods knowingly.
“I don’t think I’ve heard of her,” Liam says.
“Well, she’s not signed yet, but she’s released some… What did she call them? Mix tapes?”
“But they aren’t on tape, they’re digital. I tried to buy one to play in the dining room, but she didn’t have any. Doesn’t seem like she should call them mix tapes if they aren’t on tape.”
“Order up!” calls a woman in the kitchen, placing a pizza in the pass-through window.
“So, go downstairs and get settled and come up whenever you’re hungry. We close at eleven.”
JOHN WILEY is currently a barista that hates coffee, but is really good at making it. When not writing, he likes to expose his cat to as many Christmas movies as possible. Just like his life, his biography is a work in progress.