tabloid trash

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Michael's POV

The next morning, I wake up to a shrill alarm clock. And it hits me. Today marks day 1 of the Bad Tour. I haul myself out of bed, and stop the clock from screaming.
"What time is it?" Belle groans, her voice half asleep as she stretches her arms out on the fluffy bed sheets.
"5." I state, speedily wading into the bathroom to shower. I hear her sigh and unwillingly get up too, causing the bed to creak.
As the water begins to drip down my body, I was have a sudden rush of emotions. It's like it just hit me that my first show is actually tomorrow, and today we were flying out to Tokyo for it. I was of course full of excitement, I get to see and please my fans while travelling the world. I love seeing new cultures and people around the world. But this is my first solo tour. What if no one shows up? At least I don't have to worry about that until tomorrow, my first actual performance. The thought pecked at the back of my brain as I frantically scrubbed the fruity shampoo into my hair, trying to beat time.
I hear Belle swiftly push open the wooden door and start to brush her teeth with a sense of urgency.
"You excited?" She muffles, her mouth full of toothpaste.
"I'm too tired. But I will be. You?" I respond, through the shower curtain. The heavy splashes of water drain my voice out slightly, so I raise my voice.
"Same, I'm half asleep, has the sun even risen?" She says, tapping her bare feet on the tiles, making a beat. I chuckle and step out the shower, wrapping a towel around my waist.
"What time is it in Japan?" I say while wiping the condensation off the mirror, a squeaking sound echoing around the bathroom.
"No clue. I've never even been." Belle replies, now from the bedroom.
"It's beautiful. The people, the food, the language. It's really something else." I say, combing my curls with a little, red plastic comb. Belle walks in, now wearing comfy clothes. A pair of red loose trousers hang from her hips, glowing as she walks. Her hair is thrown up into a messy ponytail, which looks amazing on her.
"I love you're hair." I turn to stroke her little head.
"Thank you baby." She says sweetly.
We continue getting ready before packing up our suitcases to fly to Tokyo.

6:12am
Santa Barbara Municipal Private Airport

The suitcases create a dreary, repetitive rolling sound as we drag them across the concrete of the landing strip. The sun was blasting a warm glow down onto me, my free hand cupping my eyes to see. When we reach the bottom of the steps to board the plane, Ben takes my luggage from me, and Simon does the same for Belle. We nod thank you, as we begin to go up the steep, metal staircase.
I turn the corner to see the planes interior, it was so sophisticated. The inner walls were a nude shape, with white and black details around the round small windows. The luxurious leather seats were spaced out along the aisle, each with a wooden table presenting an array of magazine and beverages.
"Where is everyone?" Belle says when she reaches the top of the stairs from behind me, her brows furrowed.
"It's a private jet, Bel." I let out a soft chuckle, I sometimes forget she's not used to this like I am. It's sweet.
"For just...us?" She raises her eyebrows, as her eyes scan the inside of the jet.
"Yes. Well, and some of the team. But technically it's just us." I respond with a smirk, taking her little hand in mine and leading her down the aisle of seating.
"It's so pretty in here." Belle sighs, sitting on my lap on the back row of leather chairs.
"You're so pretty." I say, with a slight giggle at the cliché compliment. She chuckles and rolls her eyes playfully before giving me a kiss.
"We were told to tell you to put on you're seatbelts, we're taking off." Ben exclaims, peeking over his seat a few rows from ours. "You comfy, Mike?" He jokes.
"Yeah, yeah." I reply, shaking my head in embarrassment. Ben and Simon always joke about me being intimate with Belle, but I find it funny.
"You're cute when you're embarrassed." Belle giggles, pulling herself onto the seat beside me, to put on her seatbelt.
The jet soon begins to roll along the runway, picking up in speed. I've always hated this part, since I was a little boy. We used to fly a lot in the Jackson 5 days, and I remember one time refusing to get on the plane. I was young and it was too much for me, all the traveling and attention. But, I was physically picked up and taken on the plane, in my crying state.
"We're up!" Belle squeals excitedly, her nose pushed against the window. I can't help but smile looking at her, she's so damn precious.
"Want a magazine?" I say waving a small pile of glossy books in my hand.
"Sure, what've you got?" She grins, turning her body to face me.
"Let's see...we've got some...Seventeen? People? Sky? Oh look, it's Janet!" I say, flicking through the different magazines.
"She looks amazing, I'll have that one." Belle says, putting her hands out. I pass her the Sky magazine with Janet on the cover.
"You look so much alike." She mutters, running her finger down the side of the front cover.
"You think?" I say, taking a better look at the picture. Janet's hair was crazy curly, as she styled an all black suit while she flashed a big smile.
"Your eyes are the same. Warm, dark and huge. And you're noses. And you're hair." Belle says, pointing excitedly at Janet's different facial features.
I chuckle, "I'll take that as a compliment." I sink back into my seat, looking up at the ceiling.
"Oh, it is." She says as I hear her begin to quickly flick through the thin, shiny pages.
A few minutes later, after we lounged about in the quiet serenity of the jet, the little metal cart rolls down to our back row.
"Would you like any treats or beverages?" A small Asian lady asks, perkily.
"Umm...I'll take a water. Belle?" I turn to see she's asleep, already. "I'll just take two waters, and that tub of strawberries please."
"Of course, Mr Jackson." She replies, reaching for the bottles of water.
"You can just call me Michael", I let out a soft chuckle. Being called 'Mr Jackson' made me feel somewhat less, normal and human.
"Okay, Michael. Here you go." She smiles shyly, handing me my things.
"Thank you." I take the items she's handing me and place them on the wooden table in front of me.
"Is this Belle? You're girlfriend?" She says, tilting her head while gazing at Belle asleep.
"Yes, this is Belle. She's very tired." I chuckle, stroking her leg gently.
"I saw a picture of you two in New York in the papers. She's one of you're dancers, correct?" She continues.
"Yeah, she is." I say quietly, trying not to wake Bel.
"Why isn't she in the other plane with the rest of the dancers, then? It seems unfair." She says, her tone suddenly becomes more powerful and rude. Her inquisition made me slightly uncomfortable, seeing as she doesn't even work for me, but the airline.
"Because she's my girlfriend. And this is a small private jet, for me...my close team...and my girlfriend." I say, slightly raising my eyebrows with a nod, a smart tone in my voice.
"I don't like it. I read the news." She says, trying to outsmart me as she widens her eyes.
"The news?" I say bluntly, rubbing my eyes at the amount of times I've heard that.
She chucks a magazine onto my lap from the table in front, "Read." She then scurries off, leaving me slightly baffled.
I look down into my lap, to see a People magazine, with Belle and I on the cover. The cover reads, 'Michael Splashing His Money Yet Again To His New Hot Girlfriend'.
God, I hate tabloids.
They always find a way to twist something beautiful, into a shadowed dark story. The photo is of Belle cycling by Central Park, with me in the background looking at her with a smile.
How can you use such an innocent picture, with such a dirty headline?
I peel open to the first page, to see us. Yet again. I scan over the page, and understand the jist of their story. Apparently, I'm dating one of my dancers who I barely know, just for her appearance. And I'm also throwing money at her because she's poor, so I can wrap her around my little finger. All while not working hard on my music. I scoff at the lies, while slamming the magazine shut and tossing it onto the ground.
It doesn't matter. I'm happy, Belle's happy, and that's not the truth. It's tabloid trash. I'm put under a microscope of black glass, meanwhile all I've ever done is provide the world with good music.
I decide to forget about it, and not let it get to me, otherwise I could let it run around my mind for hours.
I gently turn my head to see Belle still asleep. Soft breaths escape her sweet pink lips, as her eyelashes lay delicately on the top of her cheeks. This is who I'm going to focus on. My beautiful girlfriend.

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