Part 1

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Nick was singing to a capacity seventy thousand crowd. The sound check was good first time, and the equipment showed up on time. Most of all, he was playing in his hometown of Manchester.

Nick was a tall, sultry figure dressed in the leather that had become his trademark. The crowd loved him; they loved the idea of a local boy making it big and it excited them for his first appearance on home ground.

Nick Novello, gone away, gone platinum and taken America by storm; he'd reached the top of his profession and coming off stage after three encores, they greeted him with a chorus of approval and congratulatory slaps on the back.

Although tired, Nick and his entourage were in a jubilant mood and ready for partying. His hotel suite had filled with people all intent on having a good time. Nick was contented as this was what he loved. He found a corner and slid down the wall, nursing a bottle of brandy.

"Hey," said a figure standing over him.

"Hey, yourself," he said, knocking back a mouthful and glancing at his PR man, a bespectacled blond from North London, whom everyone called Shaddy.

"A girl dropped in to see you this afternoon."

"Oh yeah? Was she pretty?"

"Yeah, great legs; said she was an old friend, so I told her to wait. When I got back, she'd gone. Must'a changed her mind or somefing."

"Well, this is my hometown, pal. I'll have mates crawling out of the woodwork. Still, if she was pretty," he trailed off, drinking again. "Did she leave a name?"

"Ginger. She just said, tell him Ginger." Nick almost dropped the bottle. "You know her, then?" asked Shaddy.

He nodded remembering the girl whose flat they squatted in the notorious Hulme tenement block back in the early eighties, over ten years ago. He and his mates hung out there day and night; hell, they practically lived there. He'd asked her once why she let everyone use her place like that.

She just shook her head and shrugged. "It's better than being alone."

Ginger wasn't pretty in the classical sense. She was skinny with long gangly legs, but had a good heart, too good really, and people took advantage of her.

His band rehearsed in her lounge. The songs from his first album had been inspired by her and those early days. Ginger would dance to their music with her eyes closed, always oblivious to what was going on around her.

 Ginger would dance to their music with her eyes closed, always oblivious to what was going on around her

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