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    Stay - By Doro Franz

    She got off the bus near her street, as she usually did. Since she hadnít had so much success lately, she was able to take a normal bus the way home, although she was a member of Americaís most famous black family. La Toyaís eyes were tired. So much lay behind her. All the fame, all the fighting with her family, all the quarreling with a man named Jack Gordon ... Well , it was long over. But still she couldnít sleep at night. Still, after all this time. At least the sun was shining.

    La Toya sighed and watched the bus drive away. She thought about going out for dinner tonight. But then she shook her head. Going out was no fun when you were alone. She could also stay at home and cook. Then she started to walk along the street. A man waited on the corner. When La Toya was right in front of him, he looked up.

  • Excuse me, are you Michael Jacksonís sister? Could you please sign this for me?
  • He waved a paper in his hand in front of her nose.

  • Oh funny, La Toya thought. Another person wanting me to sign something because Iím Michael Jacksonís sister.
  • That happened to her almost every day. Everybody knew who she was but nobody respected her for what she was. Being M.J.Ďs sister had almost become a curse. When something like this happened to her, La Toya always tried to be polite and friendly. But today she wasnít in the best shape, and so she answered unfriendly:

  • Why should I? Youíre only after my brother. I guess you donít even know my name!
  • I do.
  • You do?
  • Yeah, youíre Toy.
  • And now La Toya really wanted to cry.

  • Iím not Toy! she shouted. Iím La Toya, thatís my name! Iím not a toy for any man, I need respect and you all treat me like a bitch! Thatís not me, thatís not me! Go away, go away!
  • She burst into tears. The man looked strangely at her, but then he saw a blonde woman on the other side of the road. He forgot about La Toya and stormed over.

  • Youíre Madonna! Could you please sign this for me?
  • La Toya wavered home. She was so tired and she was so lonely. Would there never be anyone that would respect her and like her as a person? Would that ever happen? Or would everybody only see her as the Jackson sister that brought shame over the family? Or would there be anyone Ė just anyone Ė who would recognize her face behind the mask ?

    The next morning La Toyaís eyes were totally red from crying. Sheíd have liked to stay in bed all day, but that wasnít possible. The fridge was empty, she had to go to the supermarket to buy some food. Ariiving at the supermarket, La Toya felt a lot better. The sun was shining like yesterday, and so she happily entered the supermarket. She was even singing a little: "Stay with me..."

  • Look over! There she is! The Michael Jackson sister! Look, there, the woman with the curly black hair and the little nose.
  • La Toya stopped. No no no , this couldnít be true. She even heard voices in her head. Oh no. She was completely going crazy. But after she stood for a while she understood that the voices were real.

  • You donít know who she is? You know, the woman that posed for PLAYBOY ten years ago. Look! Those breasts just canít be made by God!
  • Oh , I see! Isnít she the woman that blamed her brother of child abuse? And she also wrote a trash book about her whole family, didnít she?
  • Yes , she did. Oh , thatís a real bitch!
  • La Toya slowly turned around and stared into the faces of three old women who looked like wrinkled witches. They grinned dirtily when they saw La Toya. They had been the ones who had whispered all these mean things. La Toyaís eyes became wet. The three witches only grinned. It was clear what they were thinking about her. So La Toya turned away. Her eyes were already blind from the tears. "Bitch! Bitch! Bitch!" That was all she thought. Thatís what people think about me, she thought. Oh no. No oneíll ever understand me. No one, not ever.

    The three women started to laugh dirtily. La Toya couldnít cope with that any more. She quickly turned around and crashed right into a shelf with coca cola bottles. The shelf broke down , all the bottles broke and La Toya , who had fallen down to the ground, was covered with coca cola all over within a second. Oh no ... her new shirt ... her new skirt ... her new boots ... everything was wet. Her face, her hair, the sticky black liquid was everywhere. And she laid down on the floor, and the three witches were laughing out loud. La Toya closed her eyes. Now she would like to die. She was so embarassed.

  • Oh , a little accident? No problem, Lady. No problem at all!
  • Two hands took La Toyaís hands , and before she could even open her eyes, somebody had already put her on her feet again. La Toya looked surprised at the man who had helped her. He was a bit taller than her, with curly black hair and lovely blue eyes. He was quite handsome and he seemed to work here because he was dressed in white and wore the name of the supermarket on his shirt. La Toya blushed. This man was so friendly and she was acting like a complete fool.

  • Iím sorry ...
  • Itís no problem. Iíll clean it up immediately!
  • He ran away and before La Toya could even think about it he came back with a towel and cleaned the floor.

  • You donít have to pay for the bottles, he said.
  • La Toya gazed at him.

  • Did I understand that right? I donít have to pay? But that must be about fifty bottles ...
  • Who cares? And besides, who drinks Coca Cola nowadays?
  • He laughed at La Toya had to laugh too. She was surprised about that. It had been for weeks that she had laughed so much...


    To Be Continued...

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