With Michael at the studio more often than not, Mariah and I would often spend our days at the house. Her being tutored and me working on my writing. I convinced Michael to pay for my writing classes whilst dropping my sewing class. I'd much rather focus on the arts in terms of painting and writing. I could focus on sewing when I'm an old lady. While it took a lot of convincing, Michael finally understood where I was coming from. Mariah's behavior has not changed. In fact, I feel like it may have gotten worse since she knows she has the computer, but she's not allowed to use it yet. With Michael coming home late nights, missing dinners, Mariah has felt like the lack of male authority has given her every legal right to mouth off. We've got to put that to an end.
"Shayla, why does Michael come home late all the time? Is he cheating on you?" Mariah climbed in bed with me.
I looked up at her, "why would you even ask me something like that?"
"Because your husband comes home late smelling like who done it and why. That's why," she rolled her eyes.
"You know he's working on an album. We've been telling you that for weeks now. Don't come into my room spewing nonsense, okay?"
"I'm just looking out for you, big sis. No need to get mad at me if your husband is cheating," she shrugged.
"What is wrong with you?" I finally asked. I am so sick of the disrespect and back talk. I feel like I live in a house with another grown woman in a little body. I'm still trying to figure out where this attitude came from. David is the only other one who acts like this, but it's not this bad. So, I often wonder where she got this stank attitude from.
"What's wrong with me? What's wrong with you? How come you let your husband stay out all hours of the night? Mom would never allow dad to do that!"
"You are eleven years old. I don't have to explain anything to you, and you should never be so involved in adult matters that you feel the need to come into my room asking stupid questions."
"Well, where are those kids you so desperately wanted me around, huh? We've only been to see Carol once. Michael won't let me hang out with Joh'Vonnie and you keep me locked up in this house with Ms. Fine 24/7. So, what's the deal here, Shayla?"
"The deal is-"
Michael came into the room running over to the bed, "oh, hey, Mariah. Did I interrupt something?" He asked as he looked between me and Mariah.
"Are you cheating on my sister?" Mariah narrowed her eyes at Michael.
Michael looked at me and laughed, "what?"
I rolled my eyes, "ignore her," I continued to write.
"Mariah, what would lead you to ask me a question like that?"
"Because, you're always coming home late, missing dinners, and you never call. My mom would never allow my dad to do that."
"Well, what your parents have in place is completely different from the environment Shayla and I have in our home."
"So, that's your excuse for cheating on my sister?"
"Stop accusing my husband of cheating, Mariah! Go to your room!"
"Why?" She folded her arms.
"I said so," I told her.
"Mariah, go to your room," Michael told her as well. It's only been four weeks and I'm already sick of the nonsense. I honestly see why and how my dad had two heart attacks. Mom has allowed Mariah to get away with just about anything. I'm honestly considering sending her back to Ohio, but what good will that do? It would only continue to make her feel unwanted.
"I hate you guys," she stood up. Michael and I looked at each other. "Both of you. No one asked you guys to take me. I was fine right where I was. Everything was perfect and here you two come in thinking you can save somebody, but you're not. Shayla, you're not my sister and Michael, you are definitely not my brother," she looked him up and down. "You're so weird, I don't see how anyone could love you. Who the heck keeps a monkey in the house? You may try to hide it, but everyone knows you look like a cow. Shayla, you're just as weird for marrying this Jacko. I can't believe I live in a house full of weirdos. Take me back to Ohio." I looked at Michael, who could only stare at Mariah in shock and anger. After all, he has done for her, she repays him with this?
"Baby," I placed my hand on his. He stood up, jaws clenched as he smoothed out his clothes. "Baby, she didn't mean it. She's just a kid," I tried to tell him.
He looked back at me, "don't you know that kids don't lie, Shayla?" He asked as he left the room in silence.
I looked back at Mariah, "it's time for you to go," I stood up.
"Back to Ohio, I hope. I've already got my things packed. All you have to do is buy my ticket," she smirked.
"No," I grabbed her by the arm and followed Michael out the door. "Michael," I called as he went downstairs. But he only ignored me and left out the front door. What Mariah said must have really got to him, because he's ignoring me. "Why would you say something like that?!" I asked Mariah.
"It was the truth," she shrugged. "Mom has always taught me to tell the truth."
"But I'm sure mom never taught you to be an egotistical abhorrent little girl! Michael has done nothing but right by you and you're just going to disrespect him? Michael was the one who suggested you come out here. Not me! He was the one that suggested you needed to get away and mom and dad could have a break from your selfish behind. It's all because of him that you're even here, to begin with. And you go and pull that?!" I was about to cry. "I don't get it, Mariah. I really don't. Everyone does right by you, but you're too selfish to see that. You've got to go. You said you have everything packed up, go on and take it downstairs. I can't take this anymore," I went back to my room and hurried to put some clothes on. Michael and I have been nothing but kind to my sister and this is how she treats us? I wiped a few tears that had escaped. I don't even know where Michael is going, let alone what he's even thinking right now. I only want him to be okay. Mariah's words hurt me, so I know they hurt him even more. You do right by people, not even just people, but family and they treat you like crap. I'm over it. I've done everything I possibly could. I hurried downstairs to find only one bag by the door, "hurry up, Mariah!" I called upstairs. I picked up the phone and called the one person I knew that could fix this: Joseph.