Aria: The Man Next Door

Aria struggled to make friends, having only really spoken to her siblings, or herself in the mirror. It took a lot of courage to seize any opportunity to make new friends. It was through her love of music that Aria was able to make her first friends via a club called Major Chords. Although she had taken her mother’s advice and got a job as a team mascot, through her new friends she was still able to pursue her passion for the creative arts by learning to sing and playing the violin.

Finding time to spend with her favourite brother Wesley was difficult; aside from their jobs, Del Sol Valley, a city the size of LA separate them, travelling took hours. Since Aria’s confidence was growing from both her new social life and her job, she found talking to Wesley and her siblings far easier, she also took less of their nonsense. Wesley was still trying to earn enough money to start his own restaurant, but it was tough. Tara was between jobs and Parker had landed himself in trouble again. It was typical family life, just without Buffy-Anne, from whom no-one had any contact

One of the best things to come out of the move was the hot neighbour, Jose Rodriguez. He worked as a Style Influencer for a local magazine but was trying to make a career from writing Children’s books.

Things were a little awkward at first, Aria, had only socialised with her siblings and hadn’t quite grasped that she needed a little more reserve with others, her music friends were as quirky as she so it never occurred to her that the rest of the world might not be so kind and friendly. Nonetheless their friendship grew through the enjoyment of simple things such as cloud gazing and chatting about everyday things. Like her ancestor, Jose had no idea where he came from, having been brought up in an orphanage, he felt lucky to have the life he now lived and was a little reluctant to let Aria into his life. Jose was only trying to protect himself, a fear of abandonment he had felt all his life.

Aria wanted to know Jose better in every sense of the word. Grabbing her sister Tara, the three of them headed to San Myshuno, to experience the flea market and maybe find a bargain or two. It was brilliant and very relaxed, even the street performer was good. There weren’t any eye-catching bargains in the city that day, but Aria had certainly Jose’s eye, as much as he tried to deny it. Heading home they stopped off in a park. Tara struck up the barbecue while Jose and Aria played chess. Their game was full of distractions as their mutual attraction turned each move into a series of little flirtations. It wasn’t their intention to make Tara feel left out but seeing Aria so happy made Tara storm off. Aria chased after her, Tara explained that Aria shouldn’t need a chaperone to go on a date, despite Aria’s protests that is wasn’t like that at all, Tara still felt like a third wheel. Jose didn’t want to come between the sisters so he and Aria dialled back their feelings so they could all continue enjoying the beautiful afternoon they had been blessed with.

At work, an opportunity to advance was too good to miss for Aria; she was tired of being the mascot, it was no fun being dressed as a Llama for several hours a day, it was summer, and as she left work in desperate need of a shower, she knew she needed a change. Alongside dance lessons, Aria got to the gym more often; she saw an opportunity to move to the cheer squad which required strict discipline. She roped in a friend to help her train. Although her thoughts wandered over to Jose, she had to put him to the back of her mind long enough to secure this promotion. It worked, Aria ditched the oversized costume in favour of some Lycra and a financial bonus

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