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She was promised the spotlight.

By @MeaningfulMee

She was promised the spotlight.

She grew up in a poor town, poor land.

When she was only six years old, 

Daddy had up and gone.

Her mama worked hard, worked good.

But still,

 there was never enough.

Never enough of anything, 

Money,

Food,

Every other basic necessity that the government manages to overlook. 

But you’d never see that girl without a smile.

She was so kind.

The type of girl you wanted to be around.

Everyone always said she had her head in the clouds,

And well she did.

She wanted something more.

Something more than the life she beheld.

She’d seen too many cousins, neighbours, brothers,

Get lost to the high, lost to drugs.

Overdose after overdose, 

Right on her doorstep.

But it wasn’t getting any coverage on the news.

She wanted to be the coverage,

Be the lost voice.

She was ready and willing.

She was writing lyrics before she could spell.

Singing before she could talk.

Deeply bedded inside of her was a fire.

Deep in her veins, running in her blood she was a fighter. 

But poverty has no mercy.

She was coming of age,

Beginning to fade away.

Had a criminal record from the age of twelve.

Had been her time of the month,

And mama doesn’t get paid till the end of the month.

Blood was flowing but no money was showing.

Living in the poor part of her city, going to the poorest school.

But the middle-class male principle wasn’t gonna hand them out. 

But he’d hand out attendants notes when girls were out for a week.

She couldn’t miss another day, 

Wanted to be something,

Do something, 

Something more.

So down to the chain store chemist shop.

They would not have noticed the gap in the shelf.

The 3 pounds out of the piggy bank.

But they didn’t care.

Took one look at her, 

Dark skin, old shoes.

Didn’t even see her take it but they already decided they knew. 

She is banned from the store but the boys that catcalled her on her way,

Did nothing wrong.

“Boys will be boys”

And tell them,

“What were you wearing?”

**** this ****,

Her hope was fading away.

Walking home from the station, 

phone rang.

Through tears,

 her mama sobbed.

She didn’t have a job anymore.

She stood there, 

In the streets,

The black of the night.

Knowing full well that within a month,

She’d be sleeping rough.

Main street last chance,

Last hope.

The drugs were looking pretty good.

She placed her hat down on the pavement.

Opened her mouth.

Doing what she did best.

Lyrics of gold, 

Voice of power.

When they heard her,

Some of the drunk, get a little bit sober.

Some money made its way in her hat. 

There was some hope yet.

Counted it up, 

It wasn’t enough.

But she persevered. 

Anything was better than nothing.

The years past and the hotel room was home.

The hotel room was too crowded.

She saved up now she had a guitar.

Open mics and bank holiday weekends.

Something was happening.

But too slow,

The drugs were looking fair good.

She was always one step away from the danger.

Fifteen years old things weren’t picking up.

It was getting rough.

Rougher.

She knew all the dealers now.

She was chasing flat lines.

Then came the open mic.

Did her bit,

But this time someone was listening.

A businessman came up to her.

Offered her a deal.

He promised her the spotlight.

She took it.

Thinking this was it.

She’d made it.

This was where she was meant to be.

Oh, how wrong could she have been.

Six months past. 

“Hits don’t hold meaning little girl.”

Her voice became just a clone.

“Show some skin, it’s called promotion little girl.”

She gave him what he wanted.

And it worked the sales went up.

The hotel room wasn’t her home anymore.

“Dye your hair, blondes sell better.”

She followed his every word.

“Little girl, there’s too much junk in the trunk”

Bottle of diet pills and a toilet bowl.

“Little girl, what else were you expecting.”

Spotlights became blinding.

High heels became crippling.

And her voice became nothing. 

She was making headlines,

Or at least her image was.

Underage,

Under a microscope.

“Come on, little girl, show them some more, this is what you sighed up for.”

Prostitution hidden behind autotune.

She doesn’t smile anymore.

They tell her to pout.

She doesn’t live in a poor town anymore.

She lives in a mansion and has ten different types of security on her front door.

Used to fear the streets, now she fears the wealth.

 She fears it more.

So much to steal, so little to earn.

She wanted to live the dream.

Wanted to be an idol.

But she’s just another dressed up heartbreak. 

Her lyrics are edited till she doesn’t know what they mean.

 Her voice is autotuned till it’s not even hers. 

Her body is for them, 

Not her.

She is a musician,

But she can’t find where the music comes into it anymore.

Just surgeries, mini skirts and photoshop.

Living threw her highlight real.

Getting high to feel like something is real.

Coming back down to earth,

To realise that she’s just living in the clouds.

Her life’s just a long game of make-believe.

Made a little shorter by diet pills and self remedies. 

Just hoping, waiting for her downfall. 

Her glorious downfall. 

She was promised the spotlight,

But she couldn’t see the dollar signs in his eyes. 

Back then.

But my god,

She could see them now as clear as day.

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