Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: AMAZING (04/19/18)
TITLE: Amelia Heart - Child Star
By Leola Ogle
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Amy inhaled. Sun warmed her cheeks. A breeze caressed her hair as she fought back tears. She would not cry. Her trembling finger pressed the doorbell. She still owned the house but she hadn’t stepped foot in it for ten years. She was there to make peace with her past and her mother.
“Miss Amelia.” Juanita, the housekeeper, hugged her. “So nice to see you. Your mother’s upstairs with the nurse. We watched one of your movies today. So cute, you were.”
Amy climbed the plush staircase, the walls lined with various pictures and movie posters of her. Her mother’s bedroom door was open. Amy stiffened her shoulders.
“Amelia, darling.” Her mother beckoned.
A nurse adjusted her mother’s pillow. “Hello, Amelia. I’m Crystal. Your mother is so excited about your visit. We watch your movies every day.” Crystal’s voice was friendly. “Your mother brags at your talent. Singing at two and playing the piano and violin by four. Quite amazing. Well, I’ll leave you two alone.”
Amy sat close to the bed, her stomach roiling with nervousness. “Are you recuperating well from your surgery, Mother?”
Her mother frowned. “Why did you let your hair go dark? Your blonde curls were your signature look. Are those wrinkles around your eyes? You should have some work done on your face. You can afford it.”
Sadness shivered through Amy at memories of her mother dying her hair blonde when she was eight-years-old. She was ten when her mother had her nose fixed to make it “a cute, button nose.”
“You were born blonde, but then it started getting darker. Thank God for hair dye.”
“I thank God for many things, Mother. Do you ever think of God? Do you miss church?”
“Oh, pooh! I can tell you’ve been with your dad. He was happy to be poor as pastor of that little church.”
“I learned to play the piano and sing in that church.”
Her mother chuckled. “Plunking on that old piano when you were two and singing like a canary. Everyone was amazed. I knew you were a special gift and my ticket out of poverty.”
Amy hated the word amazing. It was used too often to describe her. Fame crept in like an angel of light, but it almost destroyed her. It had destroyed her mother, only her mother didn’t realize it.
“So how is your dad? And Chloe? Still in that little church?”
“The church has grown. Dad is happy and content. So is Chloe, and her husband, and children. Returning home and to God saved my life, Mother.”
“Pfft. I suppose your sister still thinks I didn’t love or want her. I know your dad thinks that. For heaven’s sake, they could’ve lived here with us. It’s not my fault they chose not to.”
Her mother would never admit she ignored Chloe over her obsession with Amy’s rise to stardom or that she considered her dad a country bumpkin. They had all lived together in her California house for a few months. When her dad complained about her mother’s neglect of Chloe, she ordered him to leave and take Chloe with him.
“I never knew we were poor. I had everything a child wanted or needed. Faith and family, and our home was filled with love and laughter.”
“What’s that supposed to mean, Amelia? You were never grateful for all I sacrificed for your career. You had incredible talent. Someone had to fight to get you recognized.”
Amy fought back tears. “I was just a small child. I couldn’t play outside or go to normal school or have friends. I didn’t know how to function as an adult. I had broken relationships. Two failed marriages. I abused drugs and alcohol and almost died. You were obsessed with my fame and money. I’m not Amazing Amelia Heart. I’m Amy Hartley.”
“Well,” her mother sputtered.
A sigh quivered from Amy’s lips. “I’m sorry, Mother. Forgive me for sounding harsh. I came to tell you I forgive you because Jesus has forgiven me. I love you. I pray you find the peace I have. You want to know what's amazing? Finding wholeness in God.”
Her mother’s mouth quivered. Were those tears in her eyes? Amy grabbed the hand her mother extended.
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