• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12
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A SOMEBODY ONCE

Weren’t you a somebody once – a “used to be”, a “once upon a time”? I remember you a bit, but my mum remembers you better than me. A star, the world following your every move, writing you letters, sending you presents, keeping your picture on the wall. Yes, that’s how it used to be. Mum and Granny told me.

You had a big mansion place in that star town, where all of the stars live. A swimming pool, a pink piano, a St Bernard dog called Bruno. Or was it Bernie? I can’t really remember now. It was some name beginning with “B”.

A child star, so sweet and endearing, ruling over that part of the dream where little kids lived and you were right at the top, one of the best. Little girls flocked around you, you were seen in all of the best places, winning awards, winning the hearts of mothers everywhere. The papers called you “The Town Prince.” You could do no wrong. Not when you were five anyway.

There was that part that you played in that film. I can’t remember the name now, but you were so sweet, helping that man win the heart of his true love by delivering a letter to her from him every day. You were the postman, the cupid, the adorable deliverer of joy. People fell in love with you then. They weren’t bothered about the other two. I can’t even remember who they were.

So, what happened? Why are you here in this place, washing dishes and sweeping floors? You had it all at one time. Where did it go wrong? Maybe you’ve asked yourself that a few times.

People grow up. That was the explanation. That was the problem. No longer cute, no longer adorable. Just an acne-ridden teen with an attitude.

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A SOMEBODY ONCE

Others dropped your hand, moved away without saying why. No longer a prince. Not even a serf. You became an embarrassment, fodder for the tabloids and the gossips. You helped to fill a page or two until somebody else came along who was more interesting, more outrageous, even more vulnerable. That’s how it used to be. That’s how it still is.

You may be interested in what I have to say. I’m helping in a new tv show that’s in development. We’re tracking down former film stars, you know, a sort of “where they are now” thing. I was wondering whether you might be interested in taking part. What do you mean, “Piss off?”

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