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Lives of the Rich and Famous

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The eyes and faces all turned themselves toward me, and guiding myself by them, as by a magical thread, I stepped into the room. It was moments like this that I lived for; the aftermath. When all was said and done they wanted me and me alone. Their cameras flashed like lightning among the thunder of their roaring voices.
"Maranda! Maranda!" They cried as I looked down upon them from my platform. One reporter finally broke away from the crowd. He approached my podium bravely, his eyes burning with curiosity.
"Maranda," he said in a calm and business-like manner. "Are the accusations true?"
"Yes."
"So you did in fact have an affair with the mayor?"
"Yes."
"You've certainly created quite a reputation for yourself, don't you think?"
I made eye contact with him as my lips spread into a sly smile. "I hadn't noticed. What kind of reputation would that be."
"A man-eater, a married woman's worst nightmare. It's been reported that you were involved in fourteen affairs."
"Is that so?"
"Yes."
"Well then somebody has their facts all messed up, now don't they? I wasn't involved in fourteen affairs. I lured fourteen powerful men into my trap and destroyed their lives." I couldn't help but giggle at myself. "Oo, I like the way that sounded. Put it in your article sweetie; direct quote."
"Don't you think you've destroyed your own life."
He had brought silence to the room with his statement. Each reporter stood with their microphone hovering desperately before me. I laughed again, trying to mask the insecurity that had cracked my glamorous charade. But I could already see myself on the cover of every magazine, eyes wide, faced flushed, beneath the headline "HOLLYWOOD WHORE FINALLY CRACKS"
"I'm living the dream," I sneered. "I have more rich men wrapped around my finger than you can count. They shower me with their gifts and their money. And when all's said and done, no strings attached." I smirked at him triumphantly, but his severe brown eyes didn't waver. "I think we're done here."
The voices of the reporters swelled as they shouted their protests, but I was already halfway across the room. The sound of my heals clicking on the tiled floor resonated through the mirrored hallways almost masking the sound of footsteps behind me.
"I said I was done, sweetie," I snapped.
"I didn't mean what I said," the reporter from before called after me. As his reflection came into my field of vision I stopped abruptly and starred at the mirrored panels on the wall. How long had it been since I really saw myself; my long brown hair and innocent blue eyes. And yet, the woman looking back was not me. Her face was coated with makeup and her eyes lacked their childish glint. Her hair, once wild and unruly like a horse's mane, had been tamed into sleek perfection.
"What have I done?" The woman in the mirror returned my pleading gaze. "You're so stupid," I screamed at her. "You've ruined everything!"
She scowled. "Wasn't this what you wanted? Didn't you want to be rich and famous?"
"Not like this, never like this."
"You're still the same silly farm girl from Kentucky."
"Shut up," I sobbed. Rage devoured me. Hadn't I done my best? Hadn't I become the most beautiful and desirable woman in Hollywood? If I had, why did it feel so wrong?
"You're weak," the woman in the mirror hissed. "And you're a failure."
I grabbed a heavy vase from behind me and launched it at the mirrors. They shattered like my disillusioned world. I collapsed among the glittering pieces, stroking them tenderly as if they were fond memories. Then he was there, his expensive shoes crushing the glass beside me into a fine powder.
"Is this what you wanted, sweetie?"



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