Status: Finished!

Work Experience

Hard Work

Nicole Lowman had had enough, she’d done far too much work and wasn’t receiving any thanks for her efforts.

She groaned and flopped down no the floor by the t-shirt’s she’d been unpacking and pulled her last remaining smokes from her back pocket. This was like slave labour. She’d be promised work experience as a band manager, granted she’d done a few things, but most of the work was menial labour you’d never see Rhian do.

Since everyone had come back from the TV show, Rhian hadn’t allowed her to just go back to the bus and hang. Instead she’d gone back to working hard unpacking.

How was she learning what being the band manager was like if she was no where near the band manager?

“Hey kiddo,” She groaned, everyone had affectionately started calling her kid or kiddo, a nickname that was not welcomed. “You alright?” Niki just nodded as Matt, Mattie, Berry came and sat down beside her. “Good, how’s this going?”


“Great,” He smiled gazing over the t-shirts before digging into his shorts to find his own smokes. “Looks like it’s going good,”

“Boring shit,” Niki spoke up, blowing smoke through her lips. Matt just nodded brining his own cigarette towards his mouth.

“You’re telling me, but it helps the band then I’m in,” Niki just shock her head and tapped the ash off her cigarette.

“You do this?”

“It’s what they pay me for, I do other bits and pieces,” He added gazing down at the girl.
“You’re not enjoying work experience?”

“Manual labour wasn’t what I signed on for,” She muttered. Mattie nodded a small smile breaking across his lips. He gazed across the car park the lorries and buses, that made up the Avenged tour, were parked in. “You don’t see Rhian fucking lifting a finger do you!”

“Hey, she’s done her bit before,” Mattie replied sticking up for the band manager.

“Bollocks, this is just shit,” Mattie just nodded, blowing smoke into the air and staying silent for a few minutes.

“So if I said, you’ve got a new role tonight what would you say?” Niki looked at him as he broke the silence, no emotion escaping her face. “We’re gonna set up some equipment now, and then you’re filling in for one of the crew tonight, he’s had to rush home for his wife,”

“What crew?”

“He’s a guitar tech, but his junior will set everything up, you just need to be around to hand the guys the right guitar, bottles of water and stuff like that, just generally help out during the concert,” Matty explained. “But since you don’t like manual labour,” Niki shrugged and dropped her cigarette butt to the floor.

“I’ll do it,” She answered slowly as if she couldn’t care less.

“Good, remember to tell Rhian,”

“Can’t you?”

“It’s not my job, it’s yours!” He smirked chucking the cigarette to the floor and stamping it out. “Also those boxes need to go behind the counter of the merch stand. Remember to bring two boxes of each size, and three of the mediums,” Niki just glared at him, it seemed as if he was enjoying ordering her around. She watched as he walked off and left her sat there with boxes of merchandise. Her only choice was to dig deep in her pockets for her packet of cigarettes and grab yet another cigarette and wait it out till someone offered her help.

Niki just sat there starring out at the grey car park. No one came past for what seemed like ages, she knew the band were rehearsing so them and most of the crew would be inside the venue. Rhian would also be inside the venue. Sarah, as far as Niki knew, was on the bus doing some work for Zacky’s label. Niki had been the last to leave the bus, and Sarah had had the music blaring and her head stuck in a note book. No one shouted at Sarah when she didn’t do her work though.

Niki chucked the cigarette to the floor and wondered over to the bus, leaving all her work behind. She could hear the music as soon as she tipped the pin code in to open the door.

She walked into the bus to see it looked a lot cleaner than it was last night; someone must clean for the boys. There was no one at the front of the bus, meaning Sarah was probably still right at the back. Niki traipsed through dumping her hoodie on someone’s bunk and knocked on the shut door, which lead to the back room.

“Yeah?” She heard Sarah’s voice, and took it as a sign to come in. “Oh hey,” Sarah smiled watching Niki as she walked in. “Shouldn’t you be on set?”

“Wanted a break,” Niki replied simply flopping down onto the sofa.

“Feeling better after last night?” Sarah asked the hint of sympathy in her voice.

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” Niki replied.

“Probably, not my finest moment,”

“I heard you really hit that bitch,”

“Oh that yeah, slight accident,” Sarah mumbled going back to her sketch book. Niki starred at her for a few seconds before speaking.

“What did you think I meant?” Sarah just shock her head and focused on her drawings. Niki sighed and leant further into the sofa. “Mind if I watch tv,”

“No go ahead,” Sarah smiled picking up a different colour and starting to shade the t-shirt logo she’d been playing with for the past hour.

“So how long have you worked with the guys?”

“I knew Rhian before the guys, I met Zack through her, and then he realised I was a kickass designer,” Sarah explained. “The rest they say is history,” Niki just nodded.

“You know them all pretty well then?” Sarah just nodded, as the two fell into silence again. “Has Matt got a girl?” Sarah looked up, putting the pencil against her lip and looking slightly thoughtful.



“Well he’s had loads of girls, but no girl,”


“Well Zacky has me, Brian had Shell, Johnny has Becca, Jimmy had Chloe,” Niki starred blankly at Sarah. “I mean everyone had a girl, a serious, heartbreaking, love shaking-” Sarah nearly started signing but refrained. “They’ve all had someone serious, I can’t name anyone Matt’s been that serious with, nothing lasts more than a few months,”

“That’s not unusual,” Niki replied, Sarah just nodded turning back to her sketch book and sighing. “Problem?”

“Stuck on a design, playing with colours and stuff,” The two fell silent again, as Sarah starred at the sketch and Niki fixed her gaze on the TV.

“Who’s Rhian had then?”

“Umm, well there’s been guys,” She replied cautiously. “No one-”


“Not really, she’s always busy I mean Avenged are rather hard work,” Sarah joked. “As you’ll notice,”

“Eh I haven’t seen anything yet,”

“Give it time, you’re lucky to have Rhian, she knows what she’s doing,”

“Ya think?”

“I know,” Sarah smiled. “I’m sure Matt’s told you how vital she is,”

“He’s not really said much about her,” Niki shrugged, thinking back on conversations with Matt. To be fair the conversations were rare, and usually quite short, followed by the pair snapping at each other. Niki did not really know Matt all that well so he hadn’t shared much in the way of thoughts, opinions and feelings about anyone else; least of all his manager. Niki took it to be strictly business between the pair, so if that was anything to go by… “Everyone hates their manager,” Sarah chuckled at the girls response and nodded.

“Well there’s always an exception to the rule,” Niki eyed the other girl.

“You know something?” Sarah returned her gaze and shock her head.

“Sadly not, I wish I did, but it’s all just speculation, no truth,”

“What’s the speculation?” Niki pushed, but Sarah just turned back to her sketchbook and shock her head. “Oh come on,”

“No,” Sarah replied. “It’s not worth my life if Rhian found out! Or if it got into the wrong hands for that matter,”

“I’m not going to tell anyone,”

“The ears have walls!” Sarah warned as the door opened, making both girls jump a little.

“You!” Mattie Berry pointed at Niki as he walked into the room, standing up tall and broad shoulders he was quite ominous. He was over 6 foot and built very much like Matt, with huge shoulders and arms, and a very powerful body. You’d be stupid to get in his way. Though he was a gentle giant to his friends.
“Yeah?” Niki replied causally not at all fazed by Mattie.

“I told you to finish those boxes,”

“I’ve been doing them all afternoon with no fucking help, and I’m exhausted!”

“I don’t care, I gave you a fucking free card tonight, you get to work as a guitar tech next to the stage, and that’s how you fucking repay me?” He questioned starring at her.

“Rhian gave me the chance,” Mattie just shock his head and turned away. “Where are you going?”

“To finish your work,” He replied. “See ya later Sarah,” He added sending the English girl a smile.

“You should go with him,” Sarah muttered as she heard the coach door shut. “Help out, get back in his and Rhian’s good books,” Niki just rolled her eyes. “Go on,” Niki sighed loudly but gave in and got up.

“See ya later,” She muttered sounding particularly pissed off as she left the room. Though Sarah knew that pissed off attitude, it was the teenage, moody girl attitude that she had once had. Hell every girl was like that once in their teenage life. Niki knew she had to do the work and it was the right thing to do, so she’d do it, but fuck would she be nice and cheerful while doing it.

Sarah smiled realising that Niki wasn’t all bad at all.

Though there was probably no way in hell Niki wanted anyone to know her nice side; maybe a defensive mechanism.

Sarah flipped her sketch pad over and tucked the pencil into her pencil case. She’d heard the door on the coach go again, and the sound of the boys piling in to grab food; her cue to see everyone.

Her and Zack still hadn’t spoken properly. There was a little awkwardness and each seemed to be cautious about what they were about to say. It was not the kind of thing that would go away, Sarah knew they had to talk, but when and where was the issue. There was very little alone time on tour, and all ideas of personally space went out the window.

Stepping out from the back room, Sarah saw the band and Rhian were all inside grabbing things to drink and nibble on.

“Hey!” Sarah called tucking her sketchbook into her bunk and walking through to see everyone.

“Heya,” Rhian smiled taking a sip from her water bottle. “We’ve decided to go out for a nice meal tomorrow, the whole band and crew,”

“Oh cool,” Sarah nodded, stealing a quick glance at Zack who was sat in the corner booth flicking through his phone. “We have tomorrow off then?” Rhian just nodded as she grabbed some of the crisps from a bag Matt had just opened and sat down next to him.

“Thought it’d be good to get some decent grub in us,” Johnny explained to me.

“Amen!” Jimmy shouted. “I want some meat!”

“I’ve got a nice 8inch-”

“No one wants to know Brian,” Rhian muttered leaning back in the chair. “Where’s Niki?”
“I bet she’d love my-”

“No,” Matt warned, though it sounded more like a growl than a word. Everyone smirked a little while carrying on their own conversations.

“She’s still working with Mattie,” Sarah answered perching on the sofa with Matt and Rhian.

“Wow,” Rhian smiled. “I’m either impressed or shocked,”

“Why shocked?” Matt questioned turning on Rhian who just raised her eyebrows. “What?”

“Come on I didn’t expect her to agree to do manual labour, but to actually agree and then continue to do the work-”

“Well actually-” Sarah started but got drowned out by a sudden mood swing from Matt.

“Give her a fucking chance, not everyone’s as perfect as you, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to work hard!” He stood up and walked off to the back of the coach. His little outburst making the rest of the guys look up from the food.

“What was that?”

“Temper,” Rhian muttered putting her fingers to her temple and massaging them slowly. “He has one temper,” Sarah just nodded in agreement. “Anyway love, how are you doing?”

“Eh, I need time,” Sarah replied quietly so only Rhian could here. “When everyone else isn’t around to hear our business,”



“Tomorrow everyone has the day off, do something, just the two of you,” Rhian suggested. “We’re in a hotel tomorrow night as well, so it will make it easier, travelling tonight and we get to the hotel tomorrow at 9am; you’ve got the rest of the day together!”

“You ducky are amazing,”

“Why thank you!” Rhian smirked gazing over to the other booth were Zack was sat. “God he looks sad, you better get planning that day!”

“On it,” Sarah sighed gazing over at Zacky as well. “God I don’t know what I’m gonna say,”

“It’ll come to you,”

“Yeah,” Sarah just nodded tugging on the bracelets on her wrist absentmindedly. “I hope so! Hey shouldn‘t you go check on Matt,”

“Me why me?” Rhian muttered.

“Cause its your job,” Sarah lied a small smile upon her face.

“What?” Rhian questioned the smile.

“Oh nothing, just go check,” Rhian rolled her eyes and gazed suspiciously at Sarah for a few seconds.

“Whatever it is your thinking you can forget it,” Sarah just nodded and smiled, watching Rhian walk through to the back of the bus. She might not share her suspicious with Niki, but Sarah was sure she knew something. And if this something needed a little push, she was willing to be the one to do so.
♠ ♠ ♠
I found out today I shall graduate with a Bachelor of science honors, upper second class degree in Geography! YES!!!
In other news enjoy the update!! xx