This book began its life as a short story that I entered into a competition (and did not win, alas, on the other hand, it did get long-listed in a publishing company’s competition) but I was then so taken with the idea and the concept that I decided it needed expansion.
See what you think…
Sunday morning – somewhere in the city
Listen, it isn’t like this is the first time I have ever woken up and not known where I am. I mean, six months ago this happened to me regularly. Even more disconcerting was when I didn’t recognise the guy lying next to me either.
But waking up and being disconcerted by surroundings you don’t immediately recognise happens to all of us from time to time. You need a few seconds to re-orient yourself – “Ah, we’re at my mum’s”, or “Of course, we crashed out at Dixie’s.”
I wait for revelation to spring itself upon me, but nothing happens so I run through what I do know. I am in a large and comfortable bed, with clean sheets which smell strongly of fabric softener. The window is to my left and there is daylight shining through the curtains, and the décor is very modern and very smart from what I can make out.
And, reassuringly, Josh is next to me.
The shout outside the bedroom door startles Josh. His eyes spring open and I watch him working through the same thought process as I did – where am I, I don’t recognise my surroundings – and then arriving at the same mental destination I did, the I don’t where I am one.
The door bursts open and a tall, gangly teenage boy flings himself into the room, coming to a rest at the foot of our bed, hopping in agitation from foot to foot.
“Guys! C’mon, get up! You’ve got to take me to the auditions!”
I have sat up in bed, modestly clutching the duvet to my chest which is inadequately covered by a thin nightie, and exchanged an incredulous glance with Josh. He has returned the glance in full, but his incredulity mingles with intense curiosity, and I scrabble for my glasses (thankfully left, as per usual, on the table next to my bedside).
The boy in front of us undoubtedly looks like both of us. Curly-haired (we both sport frizzy mops), bluey-green eyes (my boyfriend), a wide face (me) and approximately 6ft 2” – me too.
Kidding, of course the height is all Josh.
“Five minutes guys!” The teenager grabs hold of my foot and waggles it, and the unfamiliar touch sends a jolt through me. I have to concentrate very hard on not jerking my foot away.
“Get you downstairs then,” I say. He gives both of us an intense look, a “hurry and get up” look and leaves the bedroom in roughly the same way he entered it.
“What the f–”