When a miserable, disaffected teenager meets the beautiful and mysterious Lily, he discovers a new way to live, The only way. Later, when Lily’s life is in danger, he is willing to risk everything to save her, but time and circumstances are against him. How can he live, if she doesn’t survive?
Age guideline 12 – 16 years
Read the opening Chapters of The only way
Did you ever feel like you were getting it all wrong? Not just when you told a lie to get yourself out of trouble. Not just when you upset someone because you didn’t really care how they felt. But always? Did you ever feel like even when you tried to get it right you ended up getting it wrong? Like your friends were getting it wrong as well – and your parents too. Like all the crazy people on the news were getting it so badly, so unbelievably wrong. Yeah? Me too. Well guess what … you’re right. There is a better way. And this is the story of how I found it.
I suppose I’d better set the scene.
- A housing estate.
Do you need to know any more?
Oh yeah me. Well I guess I look pretty average. When our form tutor lined the class up by height one day, I was in the middle. I’ve got brown eyes and dark curly hair that there’s just no point in combing. My nails are always bitten right down and sometimes I go too far and make them bleed. When I’m not in school I just wear a T-shirt and jeans: blue jeans – I hate black. What else is there? Oh yeah, my parents are still together – just.
I’m gonna start the story before I knew anything about the better way – it was a while ago now so if I seem a bit young and stupid, that’s why. Just down the road from our house, the council had put a few swings and a see-saw to shut us kids up. I’ll start the story there. Imagine me sitting on one of the swings – it doesn’t matter which (although there was graffiti on the seat, I remember that). I’m not in the best of moods; in fact I’m pretty hacked off to tell you the truth since I left my parents in the kitchen arguing again. Just look at me – I’m not even swinging. I’m sitting there all miserable with my own little problems. Like I’m the only person in the world.
I don’t know why the girl picked me. I’m no one special.
For some reason I looked up (I was on the swing, remember) – it was almost like I knew something was going to happen. At that moment the girl came round the corner on a bike. The bike was old and way too big for her and the front wheel wobbled like it was going to fall off. She was moving way too fast and nearly crashed into the railings. Somehow she stopped the thing in time, although the back wheel gave out a hell of a screech, and I swear smoke came off the tyre. For a while she sat on the saddle looking over. I’d never seen her before. The smile on her face told me she knew more than she was planning to let on. I was staring at her like some kind of moron. She was a miracle. She looked amazing. A minute later she stuck out her tongue and I went red.
“Where are you going?” she asked.
I said, “Nowhere.”
She laughed. “That figures.”
When I didn’t move she reached her hand out towards me. “Well come on then,” she said.
And I got on the back of her bike.