Tatum has never had much luck when it came to people. In the course of three years, she's lost her best friends, her father, and her sister. But maybe this year, things will be different. Maybe this year, she will meet someone who will help change her perspective.


1. Chapter One

Chapter One

The boy dressed in a tight red polo, his blonde hair in spikes and Nikes on his feet stared out at the crowd in appreciation. Everything he had ever wanted, everything he had ever dreamt about was trapped within this moment. The thousands of faces of fans that were so dedicated, it scared him at times. Yet he could not force himself to pull away from it all. His best mates were on stage next to him, thanking the audience for coming out tonight. It had been their first concert in Australia and one of the best yet.


"Thank you all so much for coming out," Louis said, a broad smile stretched across his face. "It means the world to us and we all hope you had the best time. We love you."


The listeners roared with delight and the lads all laughed in return, waving goodbye and heading off backstage. There was sweat dripping off their foreheads from the intense performance they had just put on and they all could not wait to peel their clothes off and change into sweats.


The band room they were staying in was pretty small compared to the one they got back in England, but they weren't complaining. They had a luxurious hotel room to return to soon. It was amongst one of the most spectacular things their management had ever done for them and the boys could not be more happier.


"The fans were so loud!" Liam, the sandy-haired boy exclaimed. He was beaming from ear-to-ear with joy. Like some kids look when they get handed their favourite toys for Christmas. "I don't know about you lads, but that was by far one of my favourite shows."


"Mine too." Zayn added, smiling from his spot on the blue couch. He held a phone in his hand, rapidly texting someone at the other end.


"You reckon' all our shows are going to be like this?" The blonde haired boy asked, his ears red from all the dancing and prancing around he had done out on stage. "Because if they are, I'm fucking excited."


"Hopefully they will be," Harry answered, sending a look of acknowledgement his way. "I still can't believe we're this big here in Australia. Seems like just a few days ago we could barely get our names out in England. Now we're down under and selling out our own tour."


"Times flies, baby," Louis said, draping a long arm around the curly haired boy. "Time flies."


All five boys laughed and shook their head. Soon enough, after the tour, they would be flying off to America to record their second album. The plans were already made and set-up. Everything was intact and ready to go. Yet somehow, the Irish boy knew something extraordinary was about to happen. Something that was going to change the course of his life. He didn't know what it was yet, but he was eager to find out.




Tatum Ryder was the official manager of Old School Groove, or better known in their little town of Herringdale as OSG. They were a group of four talented teenage boys, best friends, who rocked gigs up and down the city. But despite their talent, though, they had yet to get anyone to sign them. That is what made Tatum the most furious. People whom she knew had the will, the dream, and the flair for the music industry got turned down day and night. The same went for OSG. They were immensely well constructed in both the music department and the looks department.


There was Parker, the brown haired, tall, smart guy who played base. There was Tommy, the red-haired joker who sat at the drums. Then there was Elliot, the lead guitarist and excessive flirt. And then finally came Denver, the lead singer who literally did nothing but sing. They were an odd bunch, yet their undeniable talent had them soaring high above the clouds. Well, in Herringdale anyways.


The way seventeen year old Tatum had gotten so lucky to be their unchangeable manager and close friend would forever remain a mystery to all those who did not already know. In the tenth grade, she caught Denver Hills singing All You Need is Love  under a tree in the courtyard when he thought no one was looking. She sought Tommy Winchester drumming holes into the desks of her English class. Parker Mackenzie was showing off to a bunch of people who didn't care and Elliot Samuels was playing for another band that thought too little of him.


For OSG, Tatum was their savior. They could not be more glad to have her plan their gigs, write songs, and advertise their music. And she felt more or less the same about them. As much as she did not want to admit it, those four boys sort of saved her. In more ways than one. They opened a new window of opportunities and helped her to close off her old life, the one that consisted of bad sibling rivalry and back-stabbing best friends.

At the moment, Tatum was sitting crossed-legged atop her tiny bed, going through the bucket load of photographs on her camera. They were from Friday night’s gig at the mall. Not many people had showed up, but she knew why. One of the most famous British boy-bands were in town for their tour, so a lot of listeners were at that showcase instead of this one. That was a given; One Direction had a huge fan-base. It stretched from the UK to all of North America, most of Asia and Australian fans were hard-core dedicated, that was undeniable. Tatum wished for OSG’s fame to rise just like that one day.

“Sweetheart?” Her mum called. She stood at the doorway. “There’s someone waiting for you downstairs.”

The strawberry-blonde haired girl looked at her mother, sending her a confused glance. Why would someone be visiting her at this time? It was 8:00 am on a Saturday. Either way, the girl stood to her feet and thanked her mother, taking the steps two at a time. Sure enough, a dark haired boy with glasses wearing a faded shirt and levis was standing at the entrance of her home. Tatum smiled to herself and welcomed him in.

“What are you doing here so early, Elliot?” She asked, pulling out a carton of juice and pouring some in for him. She carried it over and placed it gently on the coffee table next to him. The black leather sofas sank with her weight as she took an easy seat beside the boy.

He drank a bit of his cold orange juice and sat it back down on the table, turning to face the girl who had proposed the question to his appearance in her home. “I’ve got some ideas for our music video.”

Tatum raised her eyebrows, waiting for him to go on.

“I was walking on Churchill road last afternoon and I decided to take a little trip to the park nearby.” He said, almost excitedly. It was hard to look away from his rather attractive young face. “I didn’t know the town had fixed I it up, and man, it looks ten times more amazing. The playground looks brand new, even. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love it if you’d come check it out with me. I want to hear your opinion on it.”

The silent girl thought for a moment. Elliot was usually very good at picking out the perfect spots for the band’s music videos. The last two they had filmed for Make It Real and Justified Popstar had turned out exceptional. It was shot around mostly the local parts of town and Tatum had actually kept track of how many people from outside of Australia had watched. The total was a number any starting out manager of a small-town boy band could be proud of. And now Elliot’s proposal for their next music video, for the song Wake Up, It’s Summer! seemed like the best thing to do.

“Alright, just let me go grab my bag.” Tatum told him, getting up off her spot and running up the stairs. She slung an old side-bag around her neck, placed her cell-phone and wallet inside before dropping by her mother’s bedroom to tell her where she was headed. As always, her quiet single parent said no more than “be careful” before sending her a light kiss and waving.

When she returned, Elliot was out by his car, waiting for her. He had the volume of his radio turned up, but Tatum didn’t mind. She kind of enjoyed it. It reminded her of times when she used to go out and sing at the top of her lungs with her old best friends. Many of their adventures had consisted of raised degree of music and jokes no one would ever dare repeat now. As much as it hurt to her to remember past times, she would never regret them. It was a part of who she was, who she is, and nothing can make that change. And she doesn’t want it to.

“Let’s go,” Tatum said, slipping into the unlocked passenger side seat. She felt the coolness of air conditioning hit her in the face. Her house was relatively subtle when it came to temperature; it was constantly the perfect amount of warm and cold air. So when she travelled to other places, like school and people’s cars, she felt odd.

“I was thinking we could pick up the others on the way there.” Elliot said to her, revving up the engine and pulling the car into the street. "That way, we can all share what we think."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Tatum replied, rolling down the sleeves of her shirt. The air conditioning was making her hair stand at end, but she didn't want to ask Elliot to turn it down.

The street they were travelling on was quiet. Probably because it was a tad early on a Saturday morning for people to be out and about. Their town had always been one to stay under the radar. It was never odd to hear something or another about other large cities in the Herringdale Chronicle, but quite rare to hear something about the town that carried the paper itself.

Elliot drove first to Denver's house. It was a small house, but perfect for Denver's little family. It had one brown coloured front door that held inside a recently updated kitchen, a homey living room, and stairs that lead to three bedrooms on the second floor. Elliot cut the engine in the driveway and swiftly jumped out of the car to ring the doorbell, similar to the way he had at Tatum's only a few minutes ago. Denver, a black haired boy with shining brown eyes opened the door, looking a bit dazed as he took in the figure stood at his doorstep.

"Hey, man," Elliot greeted, smiling. "We're going to the park near Churchill road. Hurry and get dressed, we have to pick up the rest of the band."

Denver didn't ask any questions and did as he was told by the youngest member of their music group. He speedily ran to his room and threw on whatever was clean, grabbing the loose change off his desk and his cell phone while he was at it. His mum was asleep, so he left her a quick note under her bedroom door. He glanced into his little sister, Phoebe's room, checking in on her before running back down the steps and out the door. Denver saw their manager, Tatum, sitting in the passenger seat of Elliot's car and instantly smiled. It wasn't a cheesy smile, he didn't like her like that, rather, he fancied the kind of person she was. Everyone knew about the bucket of crap she went through in middle school and the hell her friends created for her freshman year. Tatum Ryder was a strong girl, she wasn't one to give up easily. Even when life pushed her to the ground and made her suffer, she pulled herself back up and fought. Denver admired that about her, he admired it a lot. He wished that that kind of will she had, he could possess himself one day.

It did not take Elliot long to drive up to the rest of the boys' houses. But it was most difficult to pull Tommy out of his bed. His mother allowed everyone entrance into her youngest son's bedroom and even offered up a vase of water to be thrown on him. Parker did not oblige to that and instantly dropped the cold water on his face. Tommy woke up immediately, a long stretch of profanities escaping his lips as he did so. Once everyone was assembled in Elliot's car, they arrived at Mount Georgie Park. Elliot wasn't kidding when he said they had 'fixed it up.' The park looked ten times better than before. New trees had been planted as well as fresh flowers, the playground had gotten new sand, and the grass was actually trimmed for the first time in so long. When all five pupils got out of the car, for a long moment, they just stared at it. Then Tatum brought everyone back down to earth and asked Elliot to explain his proposition.

The sixteen year old boy walked over to the bench and placed one solid hand on the wood, rubbing it slowly.

"We can start here," he began, smiling at his friends. "Since the song talks about school ending and the beginning of summer and most people think about the park when they think about summer, this would be the perfect place. Den, you can sit on this bench, with the first verse, and the rest of us can be around with our instruments."

Parker, Tommy, Denver, and Tatum all looked at each other. The idea wasn't bad and Elliot did seem to be excited about it. He was great when it came to things like this and nobody knew any other guy that could put together a fantastic music video the way he could. The band decided to discuss it when they got back to Tatum's house. Elliot was thrilled with the thought of this possibly being the best music video ever. His friends could see it in his eyes how excited he was and they all laughed.

They all wanted, especially Tatum, for this to be the song that got them the recognition they deserved. They had waited long enough, three years to be exact, and now it was time. Nothing was going to spoil this.

At least, that's what everyone thought.



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