Read Big Apple Dreams Online

Authors: Kamery Solomon

Big Apple Dreams

BOOK: Big Apple Dreams
9.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



“Are you a member of the union?”

“No,” I said nervously, trying to act like this was as normal as breathing.

“Okay, print your name at the bottom of this list then. If there’s time, they’ll see you after everyone else. Keep in mind that everyone on this list has to wait, as well. You’ll all be seen in the order you signed up. If I call your name and you aren’t here to answer, you will be skipped. If you still want to audition, your name will be added to the bottom of the list and you’ll have to wait your turn, again. You could possibly not be seen, if they decide they don’t want to see every number today.”

“Okay, thank you,” I said with a smile, my stomach twisting in knots.

My heart fell a little as I signed under at least one hundred other girls on the audition sheet. It would be a miracle if I got to set foot in the room, let alone sing for anyone.

Praise For
Big Apple Dreams


“This isn't Cinderella, this is Wicked. It's New York, a young woman's dream come true, told through the eyes of Mara and what a fabulous tale at that.”

~Crystal Martin, Random Musesomy


I want to go to New York! I want to see Wicked (so I really did buy a ticket.) And I want to be kissed by Evan! Big Apple Dreams will have you dreaming big and wanting more.”

~Raquel Auriemma, Roc ‘n Read



Other Books By Kamery Solomon




The God Chronicles:



Coming Soon


Once Upon A Time
~ Coming Soon!







Big Apple

A contemporary romance by

Kamery Solomon



Happily Ever After Publishing
- Arizona

Copyright © 2013
Kamery Solomon

Edited by
Book Peddler’s Editing


Published by

Happily Ever After Publishing


Ebook Edition

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.  The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.


This book is available in print and ebook format.



For everyone who has ever encouraged and helped me to follow my dreams.




Every time I write a book, I’m still struck by how much work and outside help goes into it!

Of course, thank you to my family for all of your help. The babysitting and listening to my blabbering truly was a lifesaver for this story!

Jake, my sweet husband, I have to give you a whole paragraph to yourself. I would never be able to figure out the stories in my head if you weren’t there to help talk me through them. I love you!

Thank you to one of m
y favorite groups to hang out in, Phantom Phans. We got together because we all love
The Phantom of the Opera
. Thank you for letting me pick your brains a little while I was working on this story!

Thank you to everyone who’s ever been involved in the musical
! I didn’t mean for it to become such a huge part of this story, but it fits perfectly.

Perhaps the biggest thank you should go to a man I’ve never met (but still dream I will someday!). When Mara was in the fifth grade, she listened to her first Broadway musical and it changed her life. That was a part of me in this story. At ten years old, I listened to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s
The Phantom of the Opera
and it changed my life forever. Thank you for giving me dreams to chase.





All is silent and dark, every breath held in crazy anticipation of what is about to unfold. The smell of sheet music, musty curtains, and fizzled out lights burns in my nostrils, speaking to the part of me that constantly hungers for moments like this.

Will the audience love me? Will they laugh at all the jokes, gasp
in the right spots, and whistle after each song? When all is said and done, will they stand to show their appreciation? How many of them will wait to speak to us afterwards, promises of return on their lips?

silently hurry to my spot among the other actors, every step memorized. The beat of my heart increases, adrenaline pumping through my system.

In mere seconds, the lights will rise, bathing us all in their warmth and transport
ing everyone in the room to a world they couldn’t find otherwise. I take a deep breath, calming myself and donning my character like a well-worn coat, familiar and comfortable. I am now a starlet from another time, poised and ready to give the best show I can—in both instances.

A soft glow begins to emanate above us, signaling the beginning of the show. For a second, the entire stage is lit the same, each person washed in soft orange light. I can make out the shapes of people in the audience. It’s a full house, just like every other night.

A strong cord is struck in the pit and the lights flash up brightly before falling back to darkness. Immediately, they bounce to life again, imitating the flashing of a camera until all is still, one spotlight shining down on the star of the evening.

I smile sweetly, the very likeness of my part, open my mouth, and sing.



Chapter One


The plane jolted, hitting some turbulence, and I jerked awake, grabbing the arm rest in a panic.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” a voice said ov
er the speaker. “The captain has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign. Please, secure your seatbelts and remain in your chair as we begin our descent into New York City.”

I blinked a few times and sat up in my seat, running a hand through my hair. My muscles screamed at me in protest, having not moved
for almost the entire four hour flight. Thankfully, my bladder wasn’t calling for attention so badly that I couldn’t hold it until we landed at La Guardia Airport.

My headphones continued to play a show tunes list, tapping sounds clacking out of the tiny speakers. I turned them up
, since I was actually listening now, singing along in my head.

Stretching the best I could, I peeked a look out of the window two seats to my left. I’d hoped I’d get a s
pot with a view, but was stuck with the aisle instead. It was in the back, thankfully. I hadn’t wanted to spend the first thirty minutes on board dodging every bag that passed me, especially the backpacks.

We were still up in the clouds, nothing remotely exciting to look at. I sighed and rested back against my
chair again, twisting my hands together in nervous excitement.

’d literally saved every penny I’d made since the fifth grade to move to the Big Apple. There was a musical I listened to one day when I was bored, the first I’d ever really paid attention to, and that was it for me. I knew I needed to get myself to the east coast and be on Broadway. Nothing had ever touched me the way those two CDs did. Even now, I dreamed of being in that same musical and realizing my goals fully.

I worked hard, more so through my high school years. I sang in the choir, played in the band,
danced on the dance team, and did every show that came around. There were only so many opportunities in a small town lost in the middle of nowhere, though. I continually felt I was being passed over for parts because the director’s daughter, or second cousin once removed, auditioned as well. The other kids didn’t take it as seriously as I did either, which made it less fun for me.

Teasing can tear even the strongest of people down.

Once I graduated, I decided to study theatre at our community college. It was the cheapest school in the state, and I saved even more money by living with my parents. I had a wonderful experience there, getting to participate in several shows and feel like I was cast according to my abilities.

It still wasn’t enough for me
, though. I dreamed of dropping everything and hopping on a plane, leaving all of the naysayers behind. There was always one person who acted snotty towards me.

“Oh, you’re still trying to do

Yes. Yes, I am. I can’
t do anything else—I was made to be a Broadway performer.

Finally, I’d had enough. I hadn’t finished a degree, even though I’d had more than ample time, and I was tired of waiting around for my dreams to magically come true. I ditched my last class, quit my job, went straight home to my laptop, and bought a one way ticket to the Land of Dreams.

My parents were supportive as always, but made sure to voice their concerns, checking to make sure I really wanted to go. Nothing was going to stop me at that point though.

A thorough apartment search online landed me with a furnished studio in Harlem. I managed to nail down a job at a chain restaurant with an Internet application and long distance phone call.
Everything was falling into place, one block at a time. I couldn’t go anywhere without a dorky grin plastered on my face.

Finally, the day arrived for me to leave. I’d packed two suitcases of essentials during the week leading up to
my departure, boxing up everything else I wanted to bring, so it could be mailed.

“Are you ready to go?” Dad asked, stopping in the doorway to my room.

“Yeah,” I said, a nervous twinge in my stomach. “I’m just grabbing a few last minute things.”

“We’ll mail it right over if you forget anything,” he said reassuringly.

“Thanks, Dad.”

“It’s what I do,” he laughed.

Mom called him from downstairs, saying something about the time and he left, giving me another smile.

I slung my guitar bag over my shoulder and hefted up one suitcase, rolling the other behind me.
Before I left for good, I turned and looked at the one place that had really been mine my entire life. A small smile graced my lips and I walked over the threshold, closing the door behind me.

A tearful goodbye followed at the terminal after our long drive into the nearest city.

“You call me as often as you can,” Mom ordered, clutching me to her in a death grip.

“I will,” I laughed through my own tears. “I love you, Mom. I love you, too, Dad.”

“You’re going to knock ‘em dead,” he said, his own eyes misty.

“I’ll see you in a few months,” I said, breaking away from them.

“Come when you can afford it,” Dad said. “Take care of yourself, first. We can wait a little longer, if we need to.”

I hugged each of them again and kissed their cheeks before turning to face the security checkpoint.

“This is it,” I said, looking back and smiling at them.

“We love you!” Mom said, crying as she waved.

I took a deep breath, trying not to be overwhelmed by all that was happening. So many different emotions ran through me at once. I was scared to leave the familiar, but I couldn’t wait to step foot in the place I’d been dreaming of since I was ten. Leaving my family behind was as hard as I’d expected it to be, even with my dreams calling from a few feet away.

I straightened, readjusting the strap on my shoulder, and stepped forward confidently, my heart racing.

I reached the TSA’s stand and handed him my boarding pass and driver’s license, elation running though me.

“Marama Adams,” he said, marking my pass.

“I go by Mara,” I said with a smile.

“Where are you headed today, Mara?” he asked without looking up.

“New York City,” I said excitedly.

“Have a good flight,” he said with a smile, handing my things back.

“Thank you!”

I walked through the checkpoint and turned to wave to my parents one more time.

“I love you!” I called.

“We love you, too!” Mom said again.

“Call us when you get there,” Dad yelled.

“I will!”

I turned
around and started through security, joining the crowd of people doing the same.

My first flight had gone well, the only rough part being the landing in Denver. I’d never flown before, but handled it very well accor
ding to the woman next to me, who almost threw up all over the place. As I pulled my carryon out of the cabinet above my head, the attendant informed us that my connecting flight had been delayed two hours.

I deflated some, let down that I’d have to wait that much longer to get
to my new home. The airport turned out to be pretty awesome, though, and the time passed quickly.

Here I was now,
flying over the one place I wanted to be more than anywhere in the world. I tried to look out the window again, catching a glimpse of green, open space through a break in the clouds.

“Excuse me,” I asked the attendant passing by just then. “How much longer do we have?”

“About twenty minutes,” she said with a smile.

“Thank you.”

I slunk in my seat again, drumming my fingers on my thigh impatiently.

“First time in the city?” The man next to me asked.

“Yeah,” I said, grinning again. “You?”

“Born and raised,” he laughed.

“Awesome! I bet you loved every second of it.”

“It’s a pretty cool place,” he said with a nod. “Do you want to switch seats?”

My heart leapt into my throat as I eyed him to see if he was serious. The seat between us was empty, so I didn’t have to feel bad about squeezing around someone.

“I really do,” I finally said, an apologetic tone to my voice.

“Hop on over,” he laughed, unbuckling.

“Sir,” the attendant said, coming up from behind us.

“I know,” he said. “I’ll sit right back down, I promise.”

I grimaced, feeling bad for getting him in trouble, but scooted into his seat all the same.

“Thank you,” I said as he sat down.

“No problem,” he said, waving me off. “It’s your first time. You shou
ld get to really experience it.”

I wasted no time in pressing my face into the window
, like a moron, drinking in everything there was to see. I didn’t care if I looked like a dork, I was excited.

On the ground below I could see that we were coming into a more populated area and I looked forward the best I could, trying to make out the famous skyline. There was nothing to see though, so I settled with staring at the ground, so excited I thought I might burst.

Slowly, I began to make out buildings, my insides twisting together like a pit of snakes. It looked fake, like a miniature model down there. I couldn’t believe how tall the buildings were, especially the Empire State Building. The smile I couldn’t stop stretched from ear to ear, tears welling in my eyes as I spotted the Statue of Liberty, as unreal as everything else.

We began to turn away from the city, towards our landing spot, but I still couldn’t tear my face from my little piece of heaven. I was here! I finally did it!

We were only in the air for a few more minutes before our wheels touched ground and we rolled into our gate. Slowly, the plane started to empty, everyone grabbing their things. I turned my phone on, while I waited for things to clear out, preferring to not get caught in the rush.

No one answered the phone at home
, so I left a message telling them I’d just landed. I couldn’t take it any more after that, crawling out to the aisle and grabbing my instrument.

“Thank you,” I said as my row partner walked away.

“No problem,” he said with a wave.

I hurried the best I could
off of the plane and up the ramp to the terminal, making sure to thank everyone as I did. Finally, I stepped through the door and onto New York soil. I checked which carousel my other bags would be on, and went into the restroom, wanting to freshen up before I got on my way.

I used the bathroom quickly, trying not to hold up the line, and checked myself in the mirror. My makeup had lasted
, so I only redid my lip gloss. A quick scrunch of my curled hair brought back its bounce.

My slacks had made the journey fine, leaving only my white shirt and dress jacket to be smoothed. As soon as I was satisfied with my appearance enough to not be embarrassed if I met anyone important, I exited the tiny room, ready to be done with airports for the next little while.

La Guardia wasn’t nearly as nice as the two other airports I’d been in today, but I didn’t care. I hurried through the tiny halls, already feeling the cramp I’d tried to prepare myself for. My bags were waiting for me when I arrived at their pickup area. Within seconds it seemed, I was helping load them into a taxi and asking the driver to take me to Times Square.

We rocketed out of the airport, my driver honking his horn at everything that moved—or didn’t. I was lost in the buildings, already noticing how different it looked from anything I’d seen out west.

Bubbles rolled in my stomach as the city came into better view, traffic rolling over the different bridges leading into the city. The driver swerved in and out of the traffic, fitting into the tiniest places possible. Before I knew it, we were driving through the actual city, buildings rising so high I couldn’t even see the tops of them.

I was in love. It was even better than I’d imagined
, somehow. Everything looked just like the pictures and videos, something I’d discovered to not be true for other places. I wanted to get out and slowly walk through them all, just so I could take it in.

The sun set as we soared down the streets and lights began to sparkle everywhere, a true New York spectacle. As we neared the Square, traffic slowed considerably, stopping us dead in the street. After a few minutes, I told the man I’d get out here and paid him, thanking him for his time.

With all of my things in tow, I headed forward with purpose, seeing the lights flashing ahead. Famous billboards winked down at me, my excitement propelling me forward. Finally, I stood in front of the red steps, turning in a circle as I looked at everything. Broadway ran right next to me, paved with gold in my mind.

“I’m here, New York,” I said softly. “I made it.”


BOOK: Big Apple Dreams
9.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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