I have A Voice of an Adult, I’m 5!! (Part 2)

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The next evening, while we were watching a movie, I turned to Madeline.

– (Belle) Do you have some skin cream? My birthmark is really itchy. 

Madeline pulled out a jar from her drawer, but when I asked her to put it on, she looked confused.  

– (Madeline) Why can’t you put it on yourself?

– (Belle) Uh, because I can’t reach it. You do know my birthmark is on my back, right? 

– (Madeline) Of course, I know. It’s just been a long time, honey. But, yes, it’s on your back. Lift your shirt, please. 

– (Belle) Actually, it’s on my thigh and it’s the size of Africa! The only way you’d forget that is if you never knew it in the first place.

– (Madeline) What’s gotten into you?

– (Belle) Madeline, I know you’re not my Mom. You’ve lied about everything, so I really don’t have to believe that DNA test either.  

– (Madeline) Okay. Okay. I’m not your Mom, you caught me. But listen.

– (Belle) You did all this for publicity, didn’t you? Just so you could tell the world about your long-lost daughter and capture everyone’s interest and sell albums? You’re a monster. 

– (Madeline) Please, let me explain. I did do it for publicity because it’s so hard to stay on top in this industry. But I do love you and I wanna have you around. If I did something that helps me and also gives an orphan an amazing life, why is that a bad thing?

– (Belle) I’m not your charity case to show off and use to make money. It’s late now. But tomorrow morning I’m going back to the orphanage. I won’t lie to anyone about being your daughter.  

I stormed off to my room before Madeline could say more. She was unbelievable! But the next morning, when I went down with my bags, I saw a doctor leaving Madeline’s room and I found out that she had a high fever. I was sure she was faking that too, but the doctor confirmed that she was down with a bad infection. That she was down with a bad infection. 

– (Madeline) Belle, please, come here. Listen, I’m sorry. Please, don’t go. Not like this.  

– (Belle) Madeline, just get some rest, okay? I’m here. 

I didn’t wanna stay, but I just couldn’t leave her when she was so sick. The paparazzi were gonna find out when I went back to the orphanage, so I’d let her deal with all that media frenzy once she was better. But I couldn’t help calling Miss Vivian. And hearing her voice, I broke down and told her everything. 

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– (Belle) I’m sorry. You were right about Madeline. Her whole life is a lie and she pulled me into it. And maybe I never really believed she was my Mom, but I wanted to.  

– (Miss Vivian) I don’t blame you, Belle. And I was being selfish too because it was hard to let you go. I can’t wait to see you soon. 

I stayed by Madeline’s side till she recovered completely. But as I was packing my stuff again, Madeline walked into my room. 

– (Madeline) Belle, don’t leave me, please. 

– (Belle) You’re only saying that because you’re worried about your reputation once the truth comes out. Sorry, I can’t help you anymore.    

– (Madeline) Then let me make you an offer you can’t refuse. I wanna feature a duet by you and Juliet on my album releasing next week, and then I’ll launch your solo career. The publicity we’ve received helps us both. With me, you can become a pop star overnight. You’ll never get a chance like this again, trust me. 

Here Madeline was, handing me my dreams on a silver platter. And it was true, once I got back to the orphanage, people would forget me soon and I’d struggle to be a singer. I couldn’t really trust her. But Madeline called me and Juliet to the studio the very next day to record a song together. It was the most thrilling experience and she was blown away by my talent.

– (Madeline) You have the voice of an angel, darling. You’re really gonna go places.  

The album was released and it exploded. The duet people thought Madeline and I sang together, shot straight to number one on the charts and it was all you could hear everywhere! One day, when Madeline and I were at an album signing event, I spotted Miss Vivian in the line and ran to her. 

– (Belle) Miss Vivian, how have you been? I’ve been meaning to call.

– (Miss Vivian) But you got busy becoming a star, right? I’m happy that your dreams are coming true but are you sure this is how you want it? 

– (Belle) What do you mean? 

– (Miss Vivian) You said Madeline’s whole life was a lie and now yours is too. You’re part of her secret and you’re faking being her daughter. This lie will just grow deeper and then you’ll have to give it up forever. Are you okay doing that? 

I stood there, speechless. 

– (Miss Vivian) I just came to tell you that I got a job in another city and I’m leaving next month. I wanted to wish you luck and say goodbye. I hope you’ll do the right thing, Belle. I know you have that in you. 

I was bummed out for days after that meeting, and I just couldn’t shake off her words. Soon after, Juliet came down with a bad throat infection. It turned out to be laryngitis, and she recovered in a couple of weeks, but the doctor said she could no longer sing. And Madeline went ballistic.

– (Madeline) What? No, you’re fine now. You can speak, right? Why can’t you sing?

– (Belle) The doctor said straining her vocal cords could damage them forever.

– (Madeline) But she has to try. I’ll take you anywhere to get you treated.

– (Juliet) Madeline, I’ve served you for 15 years. I think I’m done, okay? 

– (Madeline) Done? You are done? Have you forgotten our deal and what I can do?

– (Belle) What are you talking about? 

– (Juliet) My mother worked as a maid in Madeline’s family home and my brother stole all their precious heirlooms. He’s already sold them by the time he got caught and he was gonna end up in prison for years. But Madeline kept him out, as long as I agreed to be her singing voice. I’ve been repaying her debt all this time, but I’m just tired now.

– (Belle) Juliet, if the robbery happened 15 years ago, she can’t charge your brother for that crime anymore.  

– (Madeline) You don’t know what you’re talking about. And why are you complaining, Juliet? You were just a maid and I’ve done so much for you.    

– (Belle) Just stop! You’re a terrible person who will always find a way to justify every selfish act. Juliet is done with you and so am I. And so is your career because you have no talent. And the family you wanted to impress so badly, well, I don’t see them around either. Enjoy the rest of your sad, lonely life with your money because that’s what you did everything for. 

Juliet and I left Madeline for good and I couldn’t get fast enough to orphanage. Miss Vivian was leaving that day and I hoped I wasn’t too late. I caught her just as she was putting her bags in a cab. 

– (Miss Vivian) Belle? What are you…

– (Belle) I did the right thing, Miss Vivian. And wherever you’re going, I’m coming with you. I won’t take no for an answer. 

– (Miss Vivian) I would like nothing more, love. But what about your career?

– (Belle) I’ll tell everyone the truth and then we’ll figure it out. I actually have talent, remember? I wanna do things the right way, even if it’s harder.                      

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