It was premiere night and Zoey was nervous. Her new movie, a remake of Jaws, was already getting panned by critics. It’d seemed like a good career move. Quality roles for actresses of color were rare, plus her character delivered the movie’s iconic line, We’re gonna need a bigger boat. But, the backlash was swift. Twitter was bombarded with hatred – racist memes, messages, videos – all targeting her. She hadn’t left her home for days.
The car stopped. She wiped her wet eyes and emerged with a luminous smile. The fans were calling her name.
The fans in the arena erupted in deafening cheers as Sari belted out the final notes of her latest #1 hit. It was one of those my-man-done-me-wrong uptempo numbers that her admirers ate up like candy. Her bestselling single ever, largely due to the rumors. Was Rowan, her longtime love, cheating? Everyone wondered.
Her bodyguards rushed her into a waiting car, where she fell, exhausted, into Rowan’s arms. This was her farewell tour. In a month, they’d disappear. It was time for her real life to begin. She closed her eyes, dreaming of the South Pacific.
She was tired of being Ms. Monroe. The cameras always flashing. The mob of fans everywhere she went. The constant tabloid articles. The men who always broke her heart.
She tucked her trademark blond curls under a colorful scarf, slipped on a pair of dark sunglasses and walked to the beach, enjoying the feel of the blistering hot sun against her bare legs. There was a woman sitting nearby, completely oblivious to her presence, engrossed in a tattered magazine that had Marilyn on its cover. Marilyn Monroe’s Secret Tragedy, the headline screamed.
Marilyn spread out a blanket and relaxed for a bit, enjoying the silence. Until it was too quiet. The emptiness at her core threatened to swallow her whole.
She sat up and pulled off the scarf, shaking out her golden locks.
“Ms. Monroe! Oh my goodness!” The woman rushed over, spraying sand in her wake. “Will you sign this for me?”
“Of course I will, doll,” Marilyn responded in her affected breathy tone. “I always have time for a fan!”
The story is out. I wake up to countless unread messages and reporters and paparazzi parked outside my gates. My publicist and manager are ringing the bell incessantly. My assistant lets them in. It isn’t their first time seeing me wild-haired in my pajamas.
“Don’t worry, we’ve got all this under control.”
“Tell us what you need.”
I pause. “I want to walk my dog to the beach.”
We look out the window at the chaos of shoving reporters and flashbulbs, knowing they’ll never be able to give me the one thing I crave – freedom.
Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island. It was perfect. Now she could have the private, dreamy, romantic fairy-tale wedding she’d dreamed of since she was a girl, away from the prying eyes of photographers. Her other dream as a girl was to be a famous actress; she had no idea how much that dream would cost her.
She peeked through the window, taking in the glorious day. Was that – a camera lens? Incensed, she ran down the steps and out the door in full wedding regalia. The camera flashed. The angry starlet on her wedding day – the tabloid headlines would read. She snatched the camera away; body-slammed the weasel on the ground. He screamed for mercy as she placed her foot on his neck.
“This is private property!”
She handed him his damaged camera and he scurried away.