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Authors: Lois Kasznia

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Play for Me

BOOK: Play for Me
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Play for Me
 
By
 
Lois L. Kasznia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of
Contents

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

About the Author

www.lazydaypub.com

 

 

Play
for Me

 

ISBN-13
-
978-1-61258-074-6

ISBN-10-
1-61258-074-2

 

 

ALL
RIGHTS RESERVED

Copyright
© 2013 Lois L. Kasznia

Cover
art by Bret Poinier

 

This
book is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or
places, any events or locales is purely coincidental. The names, characters,
places and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination and are not to be
construed as real.

 

No
part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without
the express written permission from the publisher LazyDay, with the exception
of quotes used in reviews and critical articles.

Dedication

 

I give sincere thanks to my husband, daughter, Lazy Day
Publishing, family and friends who have given me encouragement and support. My
stories are based on variations of real life experiences, so I want to thank
all of you who have touched my life. My memories of you will always live on.

Chapter One

 

 

“I can't even cry prettily,” sniffled Sam as she looked at
herself in the mirror. Sam thought about all the movies she had seen where the
leading ladies would cry so stoically. Their eyes would glisten with tears that
slipped daintily down their cheeks. Nope. Not her. All she saw were puffy,
bloodshot eyes and a red nose that would make W.C. Fields proud. Sam splashed
cold water on her face, tightened the belt on her robe and went back to bed, pulling
the pillow over her head. Her faithful companion, Cracker, a Siberian Husky,
cocked his head in confusion over his owner's behavior. “Face it, Cracker.
Today has to be the worst day of my life.” Even with the pillow over her head,
Sam couldn't shut out the images of the day.

“Samantha? I need to see you in my office right away,” said
Paul Levin, CEO of General American Life Insurance, in Chicago, Illinois.

“Yes, sir,” said Sam as she hung up the phone. Taking a quick
peek in her compact, Sam smoothed down the curls of her long chestnut hair and
then checked her teeth to make sure none of her lunch showed. She grabbed a pad
and pen and strode into her boss' office. Sam worked hard at General American
and had climbed the corporate ladder. Within five years, she accepted the
position of Vice President of Marketing; a job she took very seriously. Although
she and Paul were good friends, she treated him with the utmost respect.

“Have a seat,” said Paul as he got up from his desk to close
the door. Sam quickly assessed the reason for this meeting. Nothing good ever
came out about a closed door meeting. Her guard came up.

“Is there a problem?” Sam asked cautiously.

“Yes, there is,” said Paul carefully. “You know, Sam,
business has been hurting. With the economy and all, people are not buying life
insurance. Sales are down and we're not pulling in the business we should be to
keep afloat.”

“But look at the new campaigns we have going,” replied Sam.
She started to put two and two together and her heart raced with dread. “So
far, they seem to be working.”

“Look, Sam. I'm really sorry, but it's just not enough. I
have to let you go.”

“What?” Sam couldn't believe this. This job had been her
whole life, her everything. She had thrown all of her energy into this job
which explained why she still stayed single without any children. “You can't
let me go. You need me, Paul!” Tears started to well up in her eyes, but she
made damned sure she wouldn't embarrass herself in front of Paul.

“I'm sorry, Sam. I really am. The decision came from the
Board of Directors. They feel that our marketing needs a new direction.”

“But I thought they liked me,” said Sam in a small voice.

“Yes, they like you, but not where the company is headed. It's
not the end of the world. You'll land on your feet. They've even given you
quite a healthy severance package. A year's salary, plus four weeks of vacation
pay. There's no bonus, since the company is operating in the red.”

“I can't believe this,” said Sam absolutely stunned. She
stood up and looked around not seeing anything but a gloomy future. Thoughts of
her new car, her upscale condo payments loomed ahead. She could hear Paul
talking, but nothing sank in.

“You need to stop by Human Resources where you'll get your
severance package.”

“What about my things?” asked Sam as she looked at her
office. She glanced up and saw Beth, her secretary looking at her with a
sympathetic look on her face.

“I'll have Beth pack it up for you. Sam, I really am sorry.
Call me later if you have any questions and if you need a reference, I'll be
more than happy to give one for you.”

 

****

 

Sam's cell phone wouldn't stop ringing, so she turned it
off. Cracker jumped on the bed and stepped on Sam. “Cracker, ouch! Jeesh your
nails are long and you shouldn't be on the bed!” Sam sat up and pushed her long
curly mane out of her face. Cracker sat face to face with her. “What?” asked
Sam, feeling grouchy. Even her dog wouldn't leave her alone. “Do you have to go
out?” Sam got out of bed and padded to the front door to gather Cracker's
leash. That's when Sam heard the pounding at the door.

 “Samantha Stephanie Stevens! I know you're in there. Let me
in.” Sam cringed at the voice. Mom? This day had gone from bad to worse.

“Mom, I don't want to talk about it. Please.” Sam had no
choice. She opened the door to let her mother in.

“I can't believe they let you go,” stormed Bunny Stevens. “I'm
tempted to give them a piece of my mind.” Bunny appeared beautifully dressed as
always, and could have easily passed as Sam's older sister. Both were tall and
trim, with green eyes set in an attractive angular face. Both had beautiful
chestnut hair; Sam’s being long with curls where Bunny’s style had been cut in
an attractive bob. However, Sam had been more endowed than her mother,
something she had always tried to hide, especially in the corporate world.

“My life is over. That's all there is to it, Mom. I'm going
to sell the condo, the car and just live on the streets. Me and Cracker.” Sam
flopped on the couch with her back to her mother.

“It's Cracker and I, and no, you're not going to live on the
streets. You're going to pull yourself together, whip up that resume and get
back to the land of the living. Now!” Bunny had her arms crossed and tapped her
foot in anger. “We Stevens are not quitters.”

“Mom, I'll be okay. I just need to wrap my head around this
day. I mean, it's a total shock. I've given this company my heart and soul. I
haven't taken any extended vacations, I'm not married nor have a boyfriend. I
have to sort things out.”

“I warned you, young lady. How many times have I told you I
wanted a grandchild? It could be too late.”

“Don't I have a brother for that?” snapped Sam.

“Don't get me started on him. Traveling all over the world
with druggies who call themselves musicians. Ha! He probably has venereal
disease.” Bunny then looked at Sam and attempted some humor. “Crying doesn't
help, Sam,” she said softly. “It adds wrinkles to your eyes.”

“Mother! Stop! Jordan makes plenty of money and he's not a
druggie. It's what musicians do. They love to perform.” Sam glared at her mother
and decided to zing her, “Who knows, you might have grandchildren you weren't
even aware of.”

“Samantha Stephanie Stevens, you just stop right there,” demanded
Bunny. “You get dressed. I'm taking you out to dinner.”

“I don't want to go. I'm not hungry.”

“You're going!” Bunny took Sam's arm and pulled her up out
of the cushions. She propelled Sam into the bedroom, snatched a pair of jeans
and a top from the closet and handed it to her. “Dress.”

“Oh, all right,” Sam stumbled into the bathroom, cursing her
mother.

“And why isn't your cell phone on?” shouted Bunny from the
other room. Sam just rolled her eyes.

 

****

 

Seated at the restaurant, Sam eyed the menu with
disinterest. However, the thought of a Cosmo beckoned her taste buds.

“Sam, take off your sunglasses. It's not polite to wear them
in a restaurant.” Bunny stared determinedly at Sam across the table. “Now, this
is what we're going to do.”

“Order a pitcher of Cosmos?” asked Sam hopefully.

“On one condition. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You've
got lots of potential. I don't know how many times I've been through this with
your father. Picking computers as a profession proved to be a big mistake.”
Bunny shook her head. “But that's neither here nor there. You've got to get
your resume together. I have friends in high places where I think I can get you
in.” Bunny adjusted her reading glasses and whipped out a notebook and a pen.

“Mom, I haven't done a resume since college. I've had this
job since I graduated.” Sam thought about what she had done over the years.
Could she write it down? Sure she could. She had been in marketing. She could
whip something up. Maybe her mom's enthusiasm started rubbing off on her. “Okay,
so I do the resume. Then what?”

“Give it to me, and I'll give it to my friends. Also, join
Monster, Career Builder, you know, those employment websites. Then, there are
job workshops to attend so keep your wardrobe and job skills up to date.”

BOOK: Play for Me
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