speeding cars

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Melbourne, Australia
November 19, 1987
9:49am
Michael's POV

The blurry image of speeding cars is now slowing down as we reach the edge of the Queen Victoria Market. As we emerge into the business of the heart of Melbourne, the scrumptious scent of a variety of street foods fill my nostrils. I crane my neck to see the still cloudless cyan sky through the sunroof, the sun slowly heating our car like a microwave. C
"This could take a while." Ben sighs as his head whips side to side to scan for a different route; but we are now stuck in bumper to bumper traffic so there's not much use. "Oh, never mind!" He cheers as the cars begin to return to a steady roll down the elongated street.
"This is so beautiful." Belle chuffs as she admires the view from afar, her eyes squinting to clarify to distant market now within sight.
"You're so beautiful." I reply quietly, in a sensual whisper, placing my hand on Belle's lower back.
"Oh no!" Simon blurts with a cackle of a laughter, his hands cupping his mouth.
"Mike, that was horrible." Ben chimes in, chuckling through his words.
"What?" I frown lightly at them, taking my eyes off Belle briefly.
"Talk about cliche!" Ben shakes his head, still grinning.
"Oh, alright guys." I say embarrassed, realising they heard my words only intended for Belle. I look back at Belle so see she's biting her lip to hold back a smile. "Not you too?"
She contains the laughter for a second, before caving in and throwing her head back with harmonious giggles, "I'm sorry!" She apologises through her teeth.

Minutes later, our view becomes to be saturated with vibrant colours as we arrive beside the market. Ben and Simon drop us off as they swerve away to find somewhere to park amongst the crowded roads. A couple of body guards; both block-like in structure, stand both in front and behind us. Belle and I have now slipped on surgical masks; mine teal, hers red.
Belle and I look down as we walk through the crowds, hand in hand, quickly pacing towards the shops. We receive a few stares but manage to escape any possible future riot.
We step inside after barely managing to admire the outside of the market, reaching a jumbled clothes shop. I look around to see all different styles of shoe, the left shoe of each pair balanced on top of its cardboard box. Above the array of shoes, lay rows of perfectly folded graphic t-shirts, all much too high to reach. It's like some sort of thrift shop, yet oddly organised.
"This is interesting." I say quietly under my mask.
"That's to say the least." Belle responds quickly as we both scan the little shop. One of our bodyguards shut the shop door behind us, before they both stand firmly in front of the glass double doors, secluding is from the people.
A small Asian man stands up from behind a rustic wooden desk, a man I never even noticed was in here. He has a fluorescent, tight green shirt on, matched with a pair of three quarter length white shorts and a pair of plastic flip flops. "Ah! How may I help?" He says enthusiastically.
"Hi, is it okay if we keep the shop to ourselves for a few minutes?" I say sweetly, shifting my weight side to side awkwardly.
"But why?" The man grins with a soft shrug.
"He's an important man, sir. We don't want a hassle. That's ok with you, isn't it?" One of the bodyguards interrupts with a slight overpowering tone, which was necessary as I don't think I could have ever said that about myself.
"Oh, ah. That's... great! May I - uh, ask who you are?" He squints at my eyes which are shadowed by my fedora and almost reached by my mask.
"Michael Jackson." I say shyly. The man laughs hysterically before quickly returning to a poker face.
"Wait... Michael Jackson? ... Little Michael? ... From the Jackson 5?" His eyes widen to almost golf balls as he takes a quick step closer. A fan, I'm guessing.
"Yes, that's the one." I chuckle, my eyes hitting the floor. Thank God I'm wearing a mask to hide my embarrassment.
"Oh... Oh my - my God! I - I'm a huge fan! I can't believe this! Wait - wait here, Look!" He dashes back to his desk, buried in t-shirts, and pulls out a Barbie-sized, almost life-like, doll of Michael from the 70's. "I have this!"
"Aww, that's very sweet." I gush putting my hand on his shoulder. I glance at the doll to see it wearing my Off The Wall outfit; a white shirt, black suit and bow tie, glowing white socks and a some loafers. I cringe at the face details as my nose has been exaggerated to the highest extent.
"That's so cute!" Belle stands on her toes to see the doll in his shaking hand.
"Is this ... Belle Smith?" The man instantly noticed Belle after freaking out over me.
"Yes, you know me too?" Belle giggles with shock.
"Of course! You're only in every newspaper! 'The New Hot Couple!'" The man speaks with pure enthusiasm.
"Well, I'm flattered." Belle smiles at him. An awkward silence sits in the room for too long, as he stares at us as if he was expecting some sort of performance.
"Well...thank you." I say with a small wave before turning around to exit the shop, which I never ever looked in.
"Aren't you gonna buy something?" The shop owner raises his voice. I turn back to see him standing hopefully, his fingers fiddling with each other nervously.
"Uh... no?" I say without thinking. I instantly regret my words as I see Belle look at him and smile, as if to apologise as his face drops.
"Come on, we can buy something." Belle says, her voice is the only sound in the room.
"Yes!" The man claps.
"Uh, Mike? There's a bit of a... problem." The guard says reluctantly. I turn to see a rush of faces pushing against the glass, fans. Other probably just desperate for a peek at who was inside or what the fuss was all about.
"What do we do?" I raise my eyebrows and attempt to swallow my uninvited anxiety.
"Is there a back way out?" Belle says; a bright idea. She's always thinking for me.
"Hmmm... do I let you out the back way?" The owner dramatically brings his hands to his chin in thought, bringing us all extreme irritation.
"Not the time, sir. Where's the exit?" The bodyguard hollers from behind Belle and I, who were stood awkwardly in the middle of the shop, holding hands.
"Are you gonna buy summin'?" He crosses his arms like an obnoxious child.
"What the fuck..." I hear Belle mutter under her breath. I squeeze her hand so she knows I feel the same. I dart my eyes across the room to look for a possible exit; I see a door. A tall wooden door that looks as if it's on its last legs, but whatever.
"Here." I say before quickly walking over it it, dragging Belle with me.
I shake the chilled metal handle, and it doesn't open the door. In fact, it does the opposite. It snaps right off.
"Shit!" I gasp, realising that was my last route out of this mania.
"My door! Look what you've done!" The man falls to the ground, taking the flimsy handle in his hand and trying to re-attach it while on his hands and knees.
"He wouldn't of had to touch it if you'd just let us out." Belle snaps. I smile under my mask.
"What do we do? Guys?" I gesture hopelessly at the clueless bodyguards. For people here to protect my safety, they're not very helpful.
Belle and I fall back onto a burgundy, torn couch in the corner of the shop.
I look around to see the shop owner frantically panicking over his broken door, the bodyguards carelessly stood in front of the easily-broken-down doors and hundreds of fans trying to smash their way in. How did I get in this situation?
Seconds later, after Belle and I's brains cogs twisting and turning for a resolution, something happens.
The door is thrown open, much to the clumsy bodyguards shock, to reveal Ben and Simon.
"What the hell is going on out there?" Ben chuckles, somehow unaware of the cause of the riot. Me.
"Shut the door!" I quickly stand up due to reflex, my hand reached out in front of me.
"What?" Ben frowns before a rush of fans begin to flow through the now, wide open door.
Shit. Belle and I stand up and dash towards the door we tried previously, as I frantically begin to kick it as a last resort.
"Stop! My door!" The shop owner shrieks.
"Shut the hell up!" Belle snaps, yet again. But I'm too panicked to laugh. The room is filling with excited, crying, confused and desperate fans and I have no good security or way out. I have racked my brain and there's nothing more I can think of.
I begin to pray while I put my hands over my face and crouch down, my face towards the wall.
Please God, help me out of this.

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