Read Playing Along Online

Authors: Rory Samantha Green

Tags: #contemporary fiction, #looking for love, #music and lyrics, #music scene, #indie music, #romantic comedy, #love story, #quirky romance, #his and hers, #British fiction, #London, #women�s fiction, #Los Angeles, #teenage dreams, #eco job, #new adult, #meant to be, #chick lit, #sensitive soul

Playing Along

BOOK: Playing Along
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Playing Along

Rory Samantha Green

Write To Be You Press

 

Playing Along

Rory Samantha Green

Write To Be You Press

 

© 2012 by Rory Samantha Green

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work, in whole or in part, in any form.

ISBN number: 978-0-9884948-1-7 (paperback)

Published by Write To Be You Press

This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, organizations and products depicted herein are either a product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Words and Music by Annie Lennox and David Stewart
Copyright © 1983 by Universal Music Publishing MGB Ltd
All rights in the U.S. and Canada Administered by Universal Music—MGB Songs
International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved
Reprinted by Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation

Cover Illustration and Design © 2012 by Olivia Frisbie
www.oliviafrisbie.com

eBook editions by eBooks by Barb for
booknook.biz

Visit Rory at her website
www.writetobeyou.com
or her Facebook page
www.facebook.com/RorySamanthaGreen

 

© 2012 by Rory Samantha Green

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work, in whole or in part, in any form.

ISBN number: 978-0-9884948-1-7 (paperback)

Published by Write To Be You Press

This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, organizations and products depicted herein are either a product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Words and Music by Annie Lennox and David Stewart
Copyright © 1983 by Universal Music Publishing MGB Ltd
All rights in the U.S. and Canada Administered by Universal Music—MGB Songs
International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved
Reprinted by Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation

Cover Illustration and Design © 2012 by Olivia Frisbie
www.oliviafrisbie.com

eBook editions by eBooks by Barb for
booknook.biz

Visit Rory at her website
www.writetobeyou.com
or her Facebook page
www.facebook.com/RorySamanthaGreen

Contents

THEN

NOW

SIX MONTHS LATER

About the Author

Contents

THEN

NOW

SIX MONTHS LATER

About the Author

 

To my mother, a true inspiration…

To my sisters for never-ending encouragement, love and fellow fantasizing!

And to D, B and C for being my constant soundtrack

 

To my mother, a true inspiration…

To my sisters for never-ending encouragement, love and fellow fantasizing!

And to D, B and C for being my constant soundtrack

With Thanks

It has taken quite some time for this book to breathe the air it’s been asking for!

The first person I’d like to thank is one of the top fiction editors at one of the top London publishing houses who gave me the gift of the most glorious rejection:

“After much soul searching, and about a hundred conversations here, I have very reluctantly decided to pass on this wonderful novel. As you know I really did love the story, and fell head over heels for George. I will have to content myself with saying ‘I told you so’ when she goes on to sell a million copies. I hope you can tell this is a really reluctant turn down, and I have no doubt at all that I shall regret it.”

I never met you, but thank you for motivating me to keep George and Lexi alive rather than suffocating them in the nether regions of my hard drive.

Now, I just need to sell those million copies…

Thank you to Sarah Lutyens and Kim Witherspoon for trying and trying!

To Tiff for going to ‘that’ concert, planting ‘that’ seed’ and then watering it faithfully.

To Beth and Keith for late night tea and chats and for encouraging me to stop hiding.

To Jennifer for shining the light on the self-publishing path, and to Hitch at Booknook.biz for invaluable advice.

To my cheerleading reading squad: Mum, TT, TC, Chloe, David, Karen, Sarah, Beth H., Dawn, Brett, Lynne, Barry, Emma, Kay, Kris, India, Dilly and Eden. You helped me to believe!

And to the readers I have yet to meet—I hope you enjoy ‘Playing Along’!

Life gets rough. We all need stories that make us smile…

RSG

With Thanks

It has taken quite some time for this book to breathe the air it’s been asking for!

The first person I’d like to thank is one of the top fiction editors at one of the top London publishing houses who gave me the gift of the most glorious rejection:

“After much soul searching, and about a hundred conversations here, I have very reluctantly decided to pass on this wonderful novel. As you know I really did love the story, and fell head over heels for George. I will have to content myself with saying ‘I told you so’ when she goes on to sell a million copies. I hope you can tell this is a really reluctant turn down, and I have no doubt at all that I shall regret it.”

I never met you, but thank you for motivating me to keep George and Lexi alive rather than suffocating them in the nether regions of my hard drive.

Now, I just need to sell those million copies…

Thank you to Sarah Lutyens and Kim Witherspoon for trying and trying!

To Tiff for going to ‘that’ concert, planting ‘that’ seed’ and then watering it faithfully.

To Beth and Keith for late night tea and chats and for encouraging me to stop hiding.

To Jennifer for shining the light on the self-publishing path, and to Hitch at Booknook.biz for invaluable advice.

To my cheerleading reading squad: Mum, TT, TC, Chloe, David, Karen, Sarah, Beth H., Dawn, Brett, Lynne, Barry, Emma, Kay, Kris, India, Dilly and Eden. You helped me to believe!

And to the readers I have yet to meet—I hope you enjoy ‘Playing Along’!

Life gets rough. We all need stories that make us smile…

RSG

 

“Fame is a bee

It has a song—

It has a sting—

Ah, too, it has a wing”

Emily Dickinson

“Sweet dreams are made of this

Who am I to disagree?

I travel the world and the seven seas

Everybody’s looking for something”

Eurythmics

 

“Fame is a bee

It has a song—

It has a sting—

Ah, too, it has a wing”

Emily Dickinson

“Sweet dreams are made of this

Who am I to disagree?

I travel the world and the seven seas

Everybody’s looking for something”

Eurythmics

THEN

GEORGE
1
st
November, 1994
Stanford in the Vale, Oxfordshire

“Your brother’s grown up a bit, hasn’t he?”

George holds his breath when he hears these words swoop past his bedroom door. He’s thirteen, but his sister is two years older and her friends are an enigma. They smell like grapefruit and cigarettes and layer mascara on their lashes until they look like pandas. Most of them have boobs. Big ones. He’s fascinated by the divide. George’s sister, Polly, has maybe said one word to him in the last two weeks and that was muttered in disdain when he had mistakenly knocked her make-up brush off the counter and into the toilet. It had floated forlornly in the bowl like a drowned rodent.

“Arsehole!”

But now there’s a chance of redemption. Despite his skinny legs and spotty rounded face, it seems as if one of the awesome grapefruit girls has noticed something in him. Something unique. He reckons it will take a very special woman to appreciate his nuances. His love of Grover from Sesame Street (so underrated—why did Kermit get all the limelight?) and his adoration of the most amazing music the universe has to offer—Bowie, U2, Portishead, Dylan, New Order. The woman who takes his heart must take his record collection as well.

“My brother?” replies Polly in dramatic shock. “Yeah, you could say he’s grown up—into a first rate troll.”

The grapefruit girls giggle and their laughter snakes under his door and rings painfully in his ears. George bites his bottom lip, scraping his teeth against peeling skin. Another nervous habit.

“And listen to this… he claims one day he’s going to be in a famous band and be on the cover of
NME
and have groupies. What a joke!”

George, prepared for the inevitable cackle of mockery, grabs his headphones and his CD player and presses play with an urgency. “Fools Gold” by the Stone Roses floods his brain. He turns up the volume as loud as it will go and hurls his notebook across the room where it ricochets off the wall and slides under his bed. The notebook is filled with songs. George has been unpacking heartache from his sensitive soul since the age of ten.

His sister’s harsh words are never as brutal as the words he calls himself.

He knows what he wants, but he’s pretty damn certain that a boy like him is never going to get it.

LEXI
November 1
st
, 1994
Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California

“I’m psyched about the game tomorrow!” Andrew enthusiastically polishes off his second burrito, gazing longingly at Lexi across the table. She smiles at him mischievously knowing that she drives him crazy with her Juicy Fruit breath, her shiny brown hair, and her legs which have conveniently slimmed out and toned up since she started diligently attending an after school kickboxing class.

“I’m excited too,” she replies, playfully nudging his size twelve basketball shoes under the table. “I hope you win, so we can celebrate.”

Lexi and Andrew are
the
couple at Pali High. Just embarking on their senior year, they have been an item since the eleventh grade. Andrew first kissed Lexi on Zuma beach with the waves lapping at their bare feet two nights after passing his driving test. His parents had given him a convertible Mustang for his sixteenth birthday and when he drove her home, one hand on the wheel, the other holding hers, Lexi had a sweet taste lingering in her mouth and salty wind in her hair.

“So unfair,” her best friend, Meg, had complained the following morning. “It’s not supposed to happen like that. He’s supposed to drool, or run out of gas, or step on your toe or something. Why is your life like an Audrey Hepburn movie and mine like a bad TV sitcom?”

And Lexi certainly didn’t want to be smug, but there was some truth in Meg’s observation. Things just seemed to go her way. Her parents had raised her to believe in herself and face life with a positive outlook. Not that she was syrupy or self-obsessed. She worked hard at her studies and had an excellent Grade Point Average. She volunteered at a local homeless shelter, fingerpainting with vulnerable kids after school. She’d started up a current events debate club in her junior year and persuaded many of her friends to join. They now competed nationally. Oh and of course, she kickboxed and played on the girls’ volleyball team, and thankfully had the sort of hair that didn’t frizz on damp mornings when the fog rolled in off the coast.

Lexi had lost her virginity to Andrew on the floor in his bedroom on a Sunday afternoon while his parents shopped at Target. He had lit a scented candle stolen from his mother’s bathroom, and the smell of orange mimosa flooded the room. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by UB40 was playing on his CD player.

When it was over (slightly painful, but not nearly as uncomfortable as she had imagined), he leaned on his elbows beside her and whispered in her ear, “I can’t help falling in love with
you
…”

One year later, sitting opposite him watching him wipe guacamole from the side of his lips, Lexi feels in her heart that she loves him too. In fact she is sure, along with almost everyone else at Pali High who either knows them or admires them from afar, that they will most likely end up getting married. Lexi’s mother has saved her own wedding dress for the occasion, wrapped in delicate layers of archival tissue in an ivory box on the top shelf of her cupboard. “It’s just waiting, my beauty,” her mother has promised.

Lexi can picture their home now (a cozy New England style house, a few blocks from her parents, with whitewashed floors and shabby chic couches), two or maybe three kids (she really doesn’t have a preference for boys or girls) and most definitely a dog, a black Labrador called George. She imagines a fulfilling and creative part time job as well, maybe a teacher or an art therapist, something that leaves her with the freedom to be a hands-on mom. So what if she is only seventeen? It’s just a dream, but life has already proven to Lexi that dreams do find a way of coming true.

GEORGE
1
st
November, 1994
Stanford in the Vale, Oxfordshire

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