The Camera Never Lies | Jeanette Stampone

The Camera Never Lies

Jeanette Stampone

The Fake News Real Fiction Award

I perched on the edge of the hotel bed, gripping the newspaper. The edges of the pages crumpled between my fingers as I absorbed the image plastered across the tabloid spread. There was no mistaking the person in the photograph. My boyfriend was enjoying himself a little too much, pictured with his arms wrapped around a young girl in her lacy underwear.


Backstage at Joshua Black’s ‘Delusion Tour’, the pop-star is spotted getting down and dirty with dancer Rachel Simms, 19. Meanwhile, Black’s girlfriend and model, Shelley Yates is reportedly furious…

Josh ripped the newspaper from my hands. “Don’t read that crap, Shelley. It will mess with your head.”

“The picture—”

“It’s not how it seems.”

“Not how it seems! Are you serious?”

“I was comforting her backstage,” Josh said, crushing the paper in his fist. “She made a mistake during rehearsals.”

I threw back my head and laughed. “And her clothes just fell off?”

He smiled. “They kind of did. You know the part where the girls dance through the revolving door? Well, her dress got caught. Ripped right off. She was mortified. I gave her a hug and, of course, this gets printed.”

Josh threw the battered newspaper across the room. It bounced off the window, before landing on the carpet. He sighed and gently placed his hand on my shoulder.

“You can’t believe anything the tabloids print. Please, just trust me.”

I grabbed his hand and pulled him onto the bed beside me. For a moment, we sat side by side, saying nothing. Then I turned and faced him, gently squeezing his hand.

“I know. I’m sorry,” I whispered.

I’m sorry,” Josh said, pulling my hand to his lips and gently kissing my fingers. “This tour has got out of control. It was meant to be small and quick, but Marc has had us on the road for months.”

I nodded, knowing full well what pressure Josh was under. Marc Costa was an incredibly demanding manager. Always got what he wanted, no matter what.

A voice yelled from outside our hotel room door.

“Hurry up! Gig starts in two hours. You need to get moving.”

“Okay Marc. I’m coming,” Josh called, before pulling on his jacket and rushing out of the door.

I wandered to the window. A group of pre-pubescent girls had gathered at the hotel entrance, shrieking Josh’s name. The screaming grew louder as a limousine made its way past them, before disappearing into the city streets. Josh could have his pick of girls, but for some reason he chose me. He trusted me.

The newspaper lay beside my feet. I picked it up and placed it onto the table, pressing out the creases, before continuing to read the story.

…Meanwhile, Black’s girlfriend and model, Shelley Yates is reportedly furious. Friends of Miss Yates say that she has been comforted by Tour Manager, Marc Costa. Could this be the start of a new romance for the heartbroken model?  Turn to page 6 for a revealing picture!

I ripped through the paper until I reached page 6. Sure enough, there I was, pictured in this very spot, wearing my silk negligée with Marc resting his arm across my shoulders.

Those bastards were out there spying on me!

Grabbing at the curtains, I yanked them shut and slumped onto the bed. A rush of nausea swept over me. How could I possibly explain this?

But then I remembered.

Josh doesn’t believe anything the tabloids print.







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