Chapter 18

Chapter 18

November 2, 1986


I stared up at the stage in awe as Liza Minnelli belted out "Cabaret." Liza was a star in her own right. She somehow managed to get out of the shadow of her parents Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli and made a name for herself. She was quite the inspiration. She, like Elizabeth and I alike, was raised in entertainment at a young age, so she knew what it was like for me just as Elizabeth did. Just as Liza finished "Cabaret," Elizabeth, me and the rest of the audience rose to our feet to give Liza the standing ovation she truly deserved. Simply flawless. Liza was a force to be reckoned with on the stage. I couldn't wait to tell her how much I enjoyed the show.


VII


I followed Elizabeth backstage as we made our way to Liza's dressing room. Liza and Elizabeth have always been close friends of mine; however, neither of which have any idea I've been married for three years and I have no idea when I'm going to tell them. It's hard because Elizabeth still sees me as some young man who is still in love with Diana Ross and she makes it her absolute duty to set me up with just about anyone. I've told her I'm dating... Not married. However, she doesn't want to hear another word of it.


Elizabeth knocked on the door and pushed it open, "Liza!!" She smiled as she went over to hug her. Liza jumped from her seat, smiling as she saw us walk in.


"Michael and Elizabeth! I'm so happy to see you all! How was the show? What did you think?" She hugged Elizabeth.


"You did amazing as always, Liza," I smiled as I kissed her cheek.


"Oh, Michael, you charmer," she playfully hit me. "Now what did you really think? I know I must have messed up somewhere along the line."


"Now Liza," Elizabeth gave her a look. "You know you were absolutely astonishing up there!"


Liza smiled daringly, "I know," she laughed. She loves to hear about herself no matter what. Such a conceited sweetheart, I tell you. "So, tell me what's up with the two of you! Elizabeth, you look fabulous as usual! Michael, I love the new hair!"


"Thanks. Were you able to see the 3D film I did with Disney?" I asked her.


Liza gasped, "not yet! You didn't tell me you did a movie, Michael!"


"It's only about fourteen minutes. Nothing too fancy. You have to see it and tell me what you think."


"You know I will! Ugh! I'm so glad to hear all of my friends are doing such amazing things!"


"Liza, we have got to get Michael set up with someone you know. I know you have a couple young friends Michael's age that would love to be with him," Elizabeth told her.


"You know what? I have the perfect gal! You'll love her, Michael. She loves kids and animals just like you! I think the two of you would be a lovely pair. Here, I'll even write her number down for you. Her name is Cindy Marsh," she began to write down the number.


"Um, actually, I'm with someone right now," I cleared my throat.


"You are?!" She asked me. "Who?! You've got to spill and let me know who you've been seeing. Is it someone I know? Does she look like me?"


I laughed, "no, you wouldn't know her. Elizabeth hasn't even met her yet."


Elizabeth rolled her eyes, "exactly. And if I haven't met her, you know she's imaginary, Liza. Now hurry up and give him Cindy's number."


"It's okay, you two. I promise. I'm in love. We're having a rough patch right now, but everything is okay. You don't need to hook me up with anyone."


"What is her name?" Elizabeth squinted at me.


I smiled, "well, if you're dying to know, Elizabeth, she just so happens to have the same name as you."


"Now I know you're lying. When did you meet this girl?" Elizabeth begged to know.


I thought about it, "seven years ago."


"Lies!" Liza added. "And you haven't popped the question yet?"


"Who's to say I haven't?"


"And you haven't told anyone?!" They asked.


I laughed, "it's something I want to keep to myself, okay. Frank and I decided it'd be best if I present myself as single. I can't be this amazing entertainer with a girlfriend. How will my fans react to that?"

Liza nodded, "he's got a point there, Elizabeth."


"Well, I have to meet her, Michael. You need to set up an appointment so we can meet as soon as possible."


"We're kind of having a rough patch right now..."


"Probably because you're not married to her yet," Liza laughed.


I shook my head, "no... her sister said some pretty hurtful things to me last week, so I've just decided to stay away for a while."


"So, you're punishing your girlfriend for what her sister said to you?" Elizabeth made a face.


"I'm not punishing her... it's not her fault. Her sister is just too much at times. I just had to get away for a while."


"Have you talked to this 'girlfriend' about it, Michael?" Liza asked.


I shook my head, no, "not yet."


Elizabeth added, "well, you have to talk to her about this. You can't just leave her wondering what's going on with you while you're here with me going to concerts and whatnot. I thought you just wanted to hang out with me! No, you're just getting away from your little girlfriend. I ought to pinch you," she teased.


"The girl called me a cow, Elizabeth." They gasped, looking between each other. "Yeah. Called me weird and everything. I can't help my skin condition. Yeah, I may leak some funny stuff to the press, but seriously? I've given her sister everything she's ever wanted."


"Why was her sister even with you to begin with?" Liza asked.


"My wi-" I cleared my throat, "girlfriend and I actually live together. We invited her sister to stay with us for a while."


Elizabeth gasped, "What? You're living with this girlfriend and I've never met her? Michael, I'm going to your house tomorrow morning to meet this girl."


"No," I shook my head. "You can meet her soon enough. Not right now. It's just not the right time."


"What? Are you hiding her or something?" Liza teased.


"It's not that. I just... I just don't want her exposed to the public is all."


"I won't expose her to the public, Michael!" Elizabeth looked up at me. Elizabeth may be the sweetest woman outside of Diana and my mother that I've ever met, but she is surely one to gossip. I'd rather not risk my chance.


"In due time, Elizabeth. I promise," I held her hands in mine.


She scoffed, snatching her hands from mine, "if you say so."


"Well, I sure hope you bring her to one of my concerts soon, Michael," Liza interrupted.


"You know I will, Liza. I'm sure she's heard your music before. She'll surely enjoy it."


"Oh, honey, everyone has heard something by Liza Minnelli before. Don't get it twisted," she winked at me. Shayla meeting Liza and Elizabeth would be interesting. They're both drama queens and Shayla is very down to earth compared to them. It'd be interesting to see their reactions to one another. I literally haven't spoken with Shayla in almost a week and it's definitely making me feel empty inside. It kind of reminds me of the time we lost contact with one another. I just know that Mariah is there, and I don't want any part of it when it comes to her. I guess that just gave me the extra umph I needed to just up and leave because I've been thinking about it for a while now. Mariah has been driving us crazy since she got there, and I couldn't stand it. I know Shayla was trying her best. Heck, I even tried, but with me being at the studio all the time, it didn't seem to work. And don't get me started on the gifts debacle. Shayla and I were butting heads all the time about it. I just hope we don't butt heads like this when we have our own children because at this point Mariah is really making me reconsider having children at all.

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