From England To Alabama

"Madeline!" my mother called up the stairs from her office.

I rolled my eyes. My mother sounded a bit frantic, but I wasn’t alarmed. Being a full-time business owner of her prom dress company, WhiteDaisy, she was frantic most of the time.

Instead, I flipped the page of the newest issue of my favorite teen magazine and settled back into my favorite fluffy pillow. I was very comfortable lounging on my queen sized, luxurious Tempur-Pedic mattress, with the large collection of oversized pillows stuffed with down feathers under my head.

"Madeline!" Mum screeched, raising her voice even higher. Being the star soprano in your high school choir every single year allows you to do that, unfortunately. Like I hadn’t heard her the first time. Like the entire country of England hadn’t heard her the first time! She did sound a bit more frazzled than usual though, so I decided I should probably go downstairs to investigate.

Reluctantly, I slid off the bed, careful not to step on Maxie, my tiny black Scottie. I picked her up and headed downstairs, passing Simon, our butler, who had been coming up to my room to bring me downstairs, knowing that I had ignored Mum.

I walked down the long hallway towards the staircase, admiring my favorite chandelier as I turned a corner. It had about a million sparkling little bulbs, and lit up the whole hallway. I had tried to count them once, when I was seven, but whoever my current ‘nanny’ had been at that time stopped me after I counted to fifty for the third time.

I rounded the last corner into the office, and saw my mother at her desk, frowning at her computer screen. She was in her forties but still pretty, with highlighted brown hair pulled out of her eyes and make up that looked like it was professionally done, like always.

"Yes?" I asked, raising my eyebrows when she didn’t realize I was standing in the doorway.

"Um, Madeline," my mother started, "I have some rather..... important news."

I nodded for her to go on, stroking Maxie’s little head as I sank into a leather seat. I knew what the ‘important news’ was, of course. Some big corporation was interested in one of her designs, so she had to go on a trip to meet them, blah, blah, blah. My mother would hire a new ‘nanny’ to stay with me, whom would treat me like I was five years old instead of 13, and I would not get a day’s peace until Mum returned. I’m not trying to sound negative or anything, because I really am pretty lucky. I mean, not many girls have more Prada handbags and Gucci sunglasses than they can count. The whole business trip thing does get old, though.

"What is it?" I asked, pretending to be interested.

"Well, yesterday Identity in Paris called, and they have a few questions and ideas about my most recent design, and they want me to go to France and work everything out." She looked at me to see if I was paying attention, then continued. "I was just about to hire a sitter for you" – I mentally rolled my eyes – "when I got another phone call. From a very important person who wants you to stay with them instead. And after a long discussion, I agreed." She settled back into her chair, waiting for me to absorb this new piece of information.

I was shocked. Every other business trip my mother went on, it had always been a new ‘nanny’ to stay here in Manchester with me. I never traveled anywhere to stay with them.

"And.... who might that be?" I asked, deciding to start with the most important question first.

"Madeline," Mum said, taking a deep breath, "it’s your father."

The End

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