Rags to Riches

by John Morehead

I wanna be rich… I wanna be-e-e-e rich…” were the words sung by a twenty year old man named, Nick Cole, who worked for John Charles, a famous singer who went by the stage name “J. Cee”. Nick had been working for John since he was sixteen because he was a dropout student. He was also a hard-working man that grew up in the city of Houston, Texas. He saw himself being great and successful one day, but one thing he lacked was knowing the steps it took to get to where he wanted to be in life. All he could do for the moment was continue to listen to his boss. John one the other hand, was a very successful singer. Although he was hated by many due to his conceited attitude, and lack of involvement in the community, he still sold millions of albums and went platinum on several. He was the highest paid entertainer in his genre of music with a total of 7.6 million dollars in average annual income. He was the face of music.

It was a hot day in California, in the summer of 2009. It was only a few days away before John hit the road for his “Me, Myself, and I” tour. John was going to step in six different states and perform a “must see” concert for all of his fans.

“Everybody! Everybody! I need a bottle water and a towel. I’m about to get in the studio, and it’s gon’ get wild. Get on it!” said John as he screamed across his huge mansion. “Why are you people not moving?! Let’s go!” John walked downstairs to his studio in the basement to record some more music that would be performed at his concert. It was a song that most of his fans were looking forward to hear called “Money Changed Me”. As said by John in a previous interview, “This song is meant to let everyone know that without my money, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I was tired of being broke, so I did something about it. If people don’t like me, then they’re probably just hating cause’ I got “bands”. He lost a lot of supporters due to the comment he made, but it also boosted up the anticipation for the new song.

“I’m here sir. Here’s your water and I got your towel,” said Nick.

“Finally fool. I’ve been waiting forever. I thought Christmas would come around before you,” said John very sarcastically. “Go back upstairs and mind your business son.”

“Yes sir,” said Nick very respectively.

John always treated Nick like a slave. Sadly, Nick couldn’t do anything about it because he needed the paycheck that John gave him every week. It was not obvious, but John only paid Nick an annual income of 12,000 dollars a month. John took advantage of Nick because he knew Nick would not be smart enough to realize it. All Nick knew was he couldn’t quit because he had no other place to go due to no education.

After recording a few bars, John took a short break and headed upstairs to stare at his full body, life-sized, sculpture that always sat in the corner of the living room with red rope around it. As he walked upstairs, he couldn’t help but notice his servant, Nick, dusting the sculpture while singing the song “Money Changed Me”. Once Nick looked back to notice John, he said “Did you finish recording sir?” John then said, “No. I just came up here to take a break. But by the way you’re singing, you should probably go down and record the song.”

“Oh really? I don’t think I’m that good sir,” said Nick.

“At least you’re honest kid. You’re not that good, but don’t stop practicing. You can get there, but for now keep dusting,” John said with cockiness.

“I love being me. I’m the king and that will never change.” Mumbled John as he headed back to the studio. Nick continued to dust the sculpture and sing as he pictured himself one day showing off his talent.

Finally, a few days later at 8 o’clock a.m., John was getting ready to leave California to go to the first state he would perform in, Texas. Houston, Texas to be specific. Before leaving the house, Nick packed his and John’s clothes for the trip. Once everything was in order, everyone got in their cars and headed toward the airport. Because of John’s high status, he rode in an all-black Cadillac SUV that was driven by his personal shofar. Once everyone arrived at the airport, John said his goodbye’s, and got onto his private jet. He rode alone because he felt like he needed peace and quiet before arriving to a noisy crowd. While he stepped into his private jet, Nick and the rest of the crew had to deal with the airport hassle. After sixty minutes, they all began to load the plane to get ready for take-off. Once, the plane set into the air, most of the passengers, were already asleep. Out of most, Nick was still up looking out of the window. He was just gazing as if he was day dreaming about something.

“This will be me one day. All of these people will be here for me one day. I will no longer work for anyone anymore. I know it will happen,” whispered Nick to himself. “I can feel it,” he said before he began to sing “Money Changed Me” softly. He knew the song word for word. Because he didn’t agree with most of the lyrics, he came up with his own version of the song that he also sang daily.

Five hours went by and the plane finally landed in Houston, Texas. Once everything was situated, Nick and the crew got off the plane to catch up with their luggage. After getting everything they needed, they went to the back where they met up with another one of John’s personal drivers. Nick and the crew realized that they were going to have to wait on John because he had not yet arrived at the airport. While waiting, the impatient driver decided to take everyone to the hotel and wait on the call of John to let him know he was ready to be picked up. It was four o’clock in the afternoon and the first concert was scheduled to start at seven o’clock that night.

Two hours went by and no one had heard from John. Nick didn’t want to start getting worried because he knew John to be someone that never arrived on time. It was six o’clock in the evening so the crew headed to the Reliant Stadium to get everything ready for the performance. As minutes went by, the Stadium started to fill. By 6:30, the concert was sold out with a total of 150,000 seats occupied. Everyone backstage began to worry. “Should we cancel the show?” asked John’s manager. “NO! The show must go on!” said everyone backstage.

Nick continued to wait patiently for his boss to arrive. Twenty minutes passed by and everyone backstage started to conclude that John would not be showing up.

Nick happened to take out his phone to check the time, and noticed that he was getting a call from his boss, John. Nick instantly answered the phone saying, “Yes sir.”

“Hey, where are you?” said John.

“I’m backstage sir and we are all waiting on you,” responded Nick.

“I don’t see any of you. I’m here in New York at the airport. You guys were supposed to meet me here,” said John angrily.

“No sir. Your first performance is here in Houston,” said Nick.

“You idiot! Why didn’t anyone tell me?! You are fired fool! I’m tired of ig…” John said before he got rudely interrupted by Nick hanging up the phone.

Nick realized that all of the pain he had to endure from working for John, was going to stop. He was tired of listening to his complaining and rude comments. But instead of pouting about it, Nick went about it in a different way.

It was only a fifteen seconds before the show was on. John’s manager began to walk to the stage to inform everyone that the show had been canceled. While on his way to the stage, he encountered a bee on his shoulder that forced him to swipe at it. He was allergic to bees so he couldn’t let this one get away.

Every show began with John shooting out of floor into to the smoke, but this show was going to be different.

“Ten, nine, eight, seven…” the crowd counted down. “Three, two, one…”

The music began, as someone shot through the floor into the smoke. It was Nick. The smoke cleared. The crowd began to look confused. He then stated that J. Cee would not be able to make it tonight but the show must go on. He commanded to the band, “Turn up the music!” the music played as Nick sung “Money Changed Me”. He sang his heart out. Every note was on point and every move was amazing. After performing the song, the crowd demanded an encore.

Later that night after performing five songs, two of which were John’s songs and three of which Nick had written himself, he told the crowd that he was a Houstonian himself. He expressed his love for the city and for the fans that he got that night. He went backstage to a crew of excited people who applauded him for stepping up and pleasing a large audience.

Before Nick left, John’s manager gave him an opportunity of a lifetime. John’s manager offered Nick a 1 million dollar contract to sign with his record label. Nick couldn’t help but say yes. They shook hands as Nick told the man, “I can’t wait to start.”

Now today, Nick, also known as his stage name Nikko is a multi-millionaire. He has sold many albums in the past years, and sold more copies of his first album than John did on any of his. He also bought John’s house and the land surrounding it.

He now is living his dream.




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