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Million Dollar Baby

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Summary

Cierra POV After her family crush her dreams, Cierra makes the bold move to live in LA at only 19 years old to pursue her dreams of becoming a sussecful author. After 10 years, Cierra has a bookstore and still not achieved her dream... until her friend Melody tells her about her Publishing company... With Melody's wayward son in charge does Cierra have a shot or does Melody have something else planned for her son and Cierra?

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
Bunny1996x
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
9
Rating:
4.7 3 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

The Deal

‘Marriage is a good deal like the circus. There is just not so much represented in the advertising’ - E.W Howe

The sun was shining bright in the city of angels and all was well, Maya May’s Books was doing not bad at bringing in the money and my short stories based on my main characters Chloe and Albert were doing the best that they could be doing for an aspiring novelist who wants to keep in the shadows for now.

Walking passed the Hollywood sign at 6 am like I did every morning, looking out over the whole of LA was so refreshing after my 6-mile run. Having a disability like mine, you are not supposed to walk or run 6 miles because it tiers you out. Back home in England, I had a blue badge that you put on the front of your car to get you closer to the shops. Not here though. Here I was a new me a non-disabled me, no Cerebral Palsy holding me back, nobody telling me that I can’t walk my dog or take myself to the shops.

Now, back here in the city, I’m just about to make my way into work and relax for the whole day, because if I don’t then my back, side, legs and feet will go and I can’t run home again.

I know you properly think I’m torturing myself, but if I’m completely honest with you back home I was never supported enough but I have friends here who support my work and want me to succeed, even if it’s only in my shop, I’m still getting my work out there, and my works keep my shop going so that I can write my next story while they sell the books that I have in stock.

The morning of the 20th of August 2008, I met the most amazing person you’d ever want to meet, her caring attitude warmed your heart. Mrs Di Angelo, any child would love her as a mother or a friend and on that day she became a customer. Her jet brown hair with a streak of blonde through her fringe, the emerald green background with pink Japanese flowers on her shirt and jet black dress trousers fitted her slim figure perfectly. She wore a chain with a moon and sun charm round her neck, I never asked why and she never said. It was a topic that she never spoke about, yet she never took it off.

Over the next nine years, I got to know her name, it was Melody Di Angelo, she came in every Tuesday and Friday afternoon for a book and a chat, she seemed like a very lonely woman and I felt sorry for her because I know how that feels.

That loneliness.

So, I sat with her every Tuesday and Friday and we’d have a hot latte with two sugars, and she told me about her successful wayward son, her beautiful daughter who apparently looked like Jasmine from Aladdin. I was becoming a friend of hers, a close friend and she became a friend of mine because I needed friends in this town, I was still so new.

As the day dawned on the 22nd of April almost nine years later, I walked like a snail past each window of shops looking at what they had to offer at easter time. A rabbit here in old man Pearson’s window and a chick there sitting outside Miss Crows doorstep, everyone in this part of town loved the holiday seasons from Christmas to birthdays, we celebrate almost everything around here and that’s the reason I love LA more than London and it’s not just because of the wonderful sunny weather we get all year round.

Arriving at Maya May’s I take a deep breath, I just ran 6 miles and walked 2 miles.

Good for my health. Check.
Bad for my disabilities. Check.

I really can’t win to be honest. This will be me for the next three days now. My friends tell me I’m mad for doing it and my doctors, but if I don’t do it, I feel like a outsider, more than I am already with my disability. Doing 6 miles a day of running and walking makes me feel like a normal person.

Do I have a boyfriend? No.

Do I want one? No.

Am I wanting a good life for myself? Yes.

I want to be like every other person around me, my next door neighbour, my best friend, even you reading this. I want a husband, a son or daughter, someone who will say ‘I love you’ at the end of the night and each morning will give me a kiss on the forehead when I feel down about something. I don’t want to be looked at like I’m sick, I’m not sick because I’m not in a hospital or in any type of care facility, I am a 28 year old woman who has Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy, I have had them my whole life and I think I’ll always have them, they are a part of me.

Still, I arrive at the shop with a slight spring in my step and a sense of pride as I pulled open the door to stacks and stacks of books in shelves, my best friend Meghan behind the counter, her brown hair tied up in bun with the sides down wrapped behind the rim of her ears, around her thin long neck sat a necklace with a heart shaped pendant that said ‘Meghan’ in the middle given to her by her father. The security guard, was my brother from another mother Cody. I met Cody at the age of 6 years old and 10 years we stayed friends in the UK. and when I moved to LA at 18 years old, he followed on 2 years later. Now, he lives two doors down, visits me every night, to check that I’m not dead and every morning to see if I need anything, but still gives me that space so that I feel independent in my way. He is the brother I never had, my brother treats me like a child still even though I’m the older one of the two of us. Still, we love each other, I just wish he didn’t live so far away. I’m here in LA loving life with Cody and Meghan while my brother is still in the UK with my parents, yes he’s already married and has a child, a daughter called Nova Scarlett. Yet, here I am and I haven’t even published my first book yet.

I’m 28 years old and my life isn’t worth anything but my bookshop. A bookshop that is failing if people keep buying books online, these online sellers like amazon books for your kindle will be the death of bookstores like mine. Here we are though, still going, still standing. just need a little push, a little help sometimes.

“Good morning troops” I cheerfully expressed to my friends as I quickly changed my tiered face to a smile before they noticed I outdid myself today.

“Too much Lex?” Cody questioned me as he walked behind me through to the office.

“Stop!” I bitterly declared to him as I turned to shut the door behind me.

“Cierra, I’m serious, you could end up in a wheelchair!”

“What will being in a wheelchair do to help me with getting a husband?” I bitterly and frustrated shouted at him when the thought of a wheelchair even crossed his mind. “You’re starting to sound just like Rob now.” I protested.

“I am nothing like your brother, your brother is too overprotective... I’m just looking out for you... there’s a difference” He replied trying to make it sound better. “Now, get on with writing more of that delicious story of yours”

“Hahaha, it’s not that great” I responded with a sigh looking at the laptop and paper in front of me.

“Let me see” Cody runs around the table and pushes my seat out the road, the swivel chair slides halfway across the room.

“Well...”

As his eyes skimmed the page of my laptop. He turned to face me, with an elated grin plastered on that smug face of his.

“Amazing, Cierra, this could easily be a play or a tv show”

“No way” I respectably told him. “It’s not that great”

“You’re amazing, I mean, listen to this yourself”

Have you ever looked up at the night sky, and wondered, what’s up there?

The stars?

The moon?

The planets of the world from Mars to Earth, even Pluto, you know the one named after Mickey mouse’s dog.

Earth is where we all live, and in that earth is a place where Alexandra Scott lives, supermum to her three young children, super wife to her husband Damon, super worker as a Detective for the LAPD. There is nothing that can stop her doing her work to her ultimate best...

That is until a blast from the past shows up at the station one morning and spoils everything, how will she explain to her now-husband Damon that her then-husband Cole has turned up.

He physically and mentally abused her, and now he’s back here, how does she tell Damon and their child that news?

I looked at Cody who was still scanning my work as he scrolled the laptop mouse to see the very last line of my work, he turned to me.

“Did you hear me, Lex?”

“Huh?” I responded looking at him quickly turning my attention away from his hand that was still on the mouse.

“Cierra, you have been working on these characters on and off since you were 16 years old, sitting in your bedroom at your parents’ house wring away while they told you that you’d never make it”

“I still won’t Cody”

“Lier.”

I watched as Cody marched over to the door, taking a huge step in between as if he was doing hopscotch or trying to get somewhere really fast.

“Meghan, please get in here” He yells from the doorway all the way across the room.

“What is it?” A faint voice replies far off in the distance.

“Cody, leave her, she’s working, like you should be” I replied standing up, giving him the look of death like I used to do when he frustrated me when we were kids.

“Ok, Ok, Ok.” He replied, holding his hands up as if he was going to be arrested himself.

Walking out the door, I sat back in my rightful place by my laptop, my main characters Damon and Alexandra Scott in front of me, when there was a knock on the door.

“Cody, if that’s you again -”

“It’s me this time, not Cody” A voice called from the door.

As I looked up from the laptop, I saw it was my friend who lives on the other side of the ocean, her name is Rebecca, but we all call her ‘Bec’, she is a month older than me and Cody. She didn’t follow us out to LA because she had her life sorted. We were the oppisite, we all kept in touch though through text and skype every few weeks or months, got the update on her work and she got the update on my writing and Cody’s lack of a love life.

Rebecca used to have a cheery look about her though, she was a little bit like Mary Poppins in school wanting to look after all the younger children, we knew she’d be a great mum one day because of how she’d take care of everybody. Only today, she wasn’t acting like Mary Poppins or even looking like her, she was more like the casper the friendly gohst. She was still sweet and kind, but her bundle of energy was gone, it was as if the life had been sucked out of her.

“Bec, Bec sweetie, what’s wrong?” I asked her, walking towards her, trying not to show how much pain I’m in.

Rebecca looks at my bright blue eyes and I look back at her hazel eyes, that began to fill up with tear drops and she wept like a baby on my shoulder.

“Rebecca, what happened?” I asked her, trying to look at her face to wipe away the falling tear drops.

“It’s sensitive matter Lex” She replied in a distressed manner.

“Follow me,” I told her, as I walked to open up my office door leading out to the books and customers.

As I took her by the wrist, she pulled back suddenly, unlike her when I was trying to help her.

“Bec!”

She looked up at me with puppy dog eyes.

“Right, we’re getting out of here” I barked. “Cody, Meghan, I’m going out” I yelled from the front of the shop.

“Cierra” Meghan said as she came over me, tucking her hair behind her ears.

“I’ll phone you later, I’m going to see Mrs Di Angelo at her work with this book, save her coming here”

“Are you sure”

“Meghan, there’s no point her making a journey for nothing, you know how she like a book and a chat”

“I know” She replied with a sigh. “Don’t forget my party on Friday night”

“I won’t, I’ll be coming with Cody anyway.”

“That’s true.” She responded, delighted knowing that I’d still be going to her party in three days.

Leaving my bookshop, closing the door softly behind me, I turned to Rebecca as she looked away from me with haste.

Taking her to the Starbucks at the corner, I went to order the drinks while she got the table. It was the usual person behind the till on a Tuesday, a young girl called Meliana, who loved to write like me, her parents were also strict and didn’t allow her to do it when she wanted to, so she came into the shop every day after her shift just to write for a few hours, that way one day her dream can be real even if mine isn’t.

Walking closer to the till, I ordered two latte’s for us, and began to wander to grab spoons, sugar and napkins to take back to our table when...

‘bang’

“Hey,” The bitter voice said.

“Oh, sorry” I replied, ashamed as I wasn’t watching where I was going.

“Now, I need another one!”

“It’s not that big of a deal surely”

“Are you kidding!” Frustrated he stamped his right foot in angry like a child. “This suit cost almost 2 thousand dollars”

As I lifted my head so that my eyes could meet his, it didn’t help a) because he was so tall, and b) he was so angry still at me. Angry because HE spilt HIS coffee.

Suddenly, just as I was about to turn around and pick up our second cup of coffee ad carry it to the table, I felt my whole body go numb and I collapsed.

“Welcome back Miss coffee spiller,” A voice said as I came around a few minutes later.

“Oh no!” I mumbled, did I seize again.

“Again!”

“I’m epileptic” I responded as he helped me off the ground, still shaking.

As he and his coffee-stained 2 grand shirt helped me to the table, he bent down to my right ear and whispered.

“I should know your name now”

“Know my name?” I asked back. “Surely, you would rather this be a Romeo and Juliet type of thing”

“Where we both end up beside god, I don’t think so” “Go on, give me something,” He entreaty said to me.

I rummaged through my bag, passing my notebook and pen, my purse and got a picture of myself, Meghan and Cody at a party a few months ago.

“Here, I told him, passing over the photograph”

“See you around Bean” He called to me as he wandered out the door.

Turning my attention back to Rebecca and the actual reason we even came here in the first place. I looked at the long-sleeved top she wearing, I hadn’t noticed that before because she was wearing a jacket. but it was still warm outside, why were a coat over a long-sleeved top.

“Bec, what’s going on?” I quizzed her, as I picked up the second round of coffee that we were giving.

At least, this coffee was piping hot and not lukewarm, because it would have been freezing by the time I came out of the seizures. That’s the only thing about having epilepsy, you could take a fit at any time of day at any establishment, with people you know or with people you don’t know.

“Do we have to talk about it?”

“Yes Rebecca, because you are thousands of miles away from home, away from your job, your family, your partner, your friends”

“Your my family Cierra, you and Cody”

“You have others too, you have your parents, your siblings, you don’t just have us Bec” I reassured her.

“I can’t tell them though” She snapped back at me.

“Tell them what?”

“Tell them, that I’m not comung home, that I’m staying in LA with you and Cody FOREVER!, That the man they pushed on me abused me, raped me and got me pregnant!”

Sipping the last of my coffee, I dropped the mug in utter shock, my best friend, who I left all those years ago was getting abused and she didn’t tell me.

I felt so ashamed, here I was in the U.S living this amazing new life, with Cody and my bookstore, while she was having to conqure her fear to get away from the man she thought loved her. I have decided that I am the worst friend AND upcoming author out there.

I should have seen it.

Seen, what was behind that fake smile she showed us every skype chat, she deserves more from me, from Cody, we’ve knowing each other since we were kids, we should know everytime somebody is hurting just like twins.

Bec really hid it well though because she fooled all of us, until telling me today. Now that she has told me though, it was time to see what her next plan was, like...

Has she told her family?

Her parents,?

Her sister?

Even my brother who only lives a few doors away?

These were what needed answered first before moving onto the...

Where is she staying?

Will she live in LA forever?

All the questions would be answered in time, for now, I had a pregnant, abused best friend in front of me crying her eyes out again as she went over each detail of how her ex abused her every day for the last 5 years.

That night, I gave her a pair of my Sleeping Beauty pjs, and we sat on the corner sofa in my livingroom the whole night talking about everything that we have missed over the passed two years since we last saw each other.

“So, tell me Lex, how’s the writing going? How’s Albert and Chloe or Damon and Alex?” She asked me as if my characters where real people living in the middle of LA.

“Well... Albert and Chloe are in the middle of a tug of war between the Porter family and Damon is taking care of the children while Alex is with Cole” I replied looking at the notes placed neatly around the walls of my apartment.

I am extremly OCD, so my work that I jot down for each stor, if it’s not right, it has to be re done. If one letter, or a word even if a comma is out of place, I scrap the whole page and start over. Now garunteed my dylexia sometimes mistakes the commas and what I scar was actually correct, I just thought it was wrong or it didn’t look right.

So, yes I’m not only disabled, but I am a disabled, eplietic, OCD freak. So, the guy I met earlier as if he’d EVER actually fall in love with somebody like me.

Over the next three days, Rebecca spent time with Cody catching up, she moved from my house to his each night and during the day time I spent it helping Meghan at the bookstore taking Cody’s place.

Before we knew it, it was Thurday afternoon and Melody was due in for her usual chat and cup of hot chocolate while she read the latest of my stories. She was my beta reader, because even though I love them dearly, I don’t trust Cody and Meghan to only say ‘they love it’ just to spare my feelings rather than tell me the truth that my story is actually good or bad. If I am putting too much or too little into my characters.

“Cierra dear, tell me this” Melody asked me as she read the line of my latest short story.

“What is it? is it bad?” I asked nervously rubbing my shoulders up and down as if I was freezing cold.

“haha” She laughed. “Gosh, no my dear, I’m just thinking though..”

I watched as she put her hand in her jacket pocket, she pulled out a card with a firms name on it and handed it to me.

“What’s this Melody?”

“It’s my company, my son and daughter are joint owners now, but I built it up from nothing almost 50 years ago”

“This is for authors”

“Upcoming authors and novelists Cierra, like you”

“Me!”

I looked at her in disbelif, me, a author. A true author. A published author.

Could this be happening right now?

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