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Chapter 39

Chapter 39

Tomorrow is July first and I have no idea what I'm going to do for Shayla's birthday. Not celebrating my own birthday isn't hard, but helping Shayla celebrate hers is tough. Because not only does she celebrate the whole month, but the days leading up to her birthday, she expects nothing less than spectacular. I think I spoil her too much though because every year gets harder and harder. You'd think it'd be easy when you can afford anything in the world, but it's not. It only makes things more difficult. And what about Mariah? Am I supposed to find a babysitter for her every day or something? This makes me wonder how life will be when Shayla and I decide to have children. She's going to have to slow down on this whole celebrating all month thing.

"Michael, I have a card for you," Frank slid the envelope across the table as we sat brainstorming on track placement.

"Who's this from?" I wondered.

"Read it and see!" I picked up the envelope to see Tatiana's name written in bold letters with a heart dotting the "i." "You've got an admirer," he laughed.

"Weren't you the same one reminding me I was married? Now you're co-signing this mess?" I rolled my eyes as I opened the letter to reveal a small thank you card.

"What's it say?"

I sighed, "Dear Michael, thank you for awarding me with the opportunity to work with you on 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and to allow me to continue to work with you on your upcoming Bad tour. I'm so happy to know we'll be seeing more of each other this year. All my love, Tatiana..."

"Are you going to reply?"

"Are you kidding me? If my wife sees this, I'm dead. I already told her I'm attracted to Tatiana. Let her see the girl is writing me love letters and divorce papers will be on my table before I even get the chance to explain," I tossed the letter in the trash.

"Shayla won't divorce you, man. Do you know who you are? She's lucky to have tied you down before you really started to show out. She's not going to divorce you. You're the biggest thing known to man. She knows what she'd be missing out on."

"You don't know my wife the way I know her. She doesn't care about all that stuff. And if anything, I'm lucky to be tied down by her. Someone else could have married her off and I never would have met her. Shayla's the best thing since sliced bread."

"Sliced bread?" Quincy laughed.

"You heard me! If it weren't for Shayla, I probably wouldn't be as grounded as I am now."

"What? So, she's like your mom or something?" Frank teased.

"See, you don't get it," I shook my head. "When you get married, your wife is supposed to be your wife, mother, sister, best friend all rolled into one. And vice versa. Y'all don't get it. Watch. I'm going to be married for the rest of my life, but y'all gonna be out here as divorcees and whatnot."

"Who does he think he's kidding?" Frank asked Q. "This boy is barely thirty years old talking to us like we're kids or something."

"Age ain't nothin' but a number, Frank. Wisdom and maturity come from within," I tapped my temple. "Speaking of Shayla, her book was released today. I trust you all will buy a copy?"

"What's it called again?" Q asked me.

"'Beyond the Dance.' It's a really good book. I think you'll enjoy it."

"Not into Chicklit," Frank waved off the idea.

"If I can read it, you can read it."

"Yeah, well, Shayla is your wife, so you have to read it."

"Right, Shayla is my wife and you work for me, so you have to read it too," I shoved him playfully. "Even if you don't read it, at least buy it."

"So, the money you pay me, you want me to spend it on your wife's book so the money could go right back to you?"

"Just support my wife, man! Don't look so deep into it. The book is only sixteen dollars. I pay you way more than that, now. She just left her publishing company too, so she needs all the support she can get."

"Damn, she released the book and left the company?" Q asked me.

"In the same day..." I pulled the book out of my bag. "They made one of the main characters white on the cover."

Frank scoffed, "so?"

"So, he's not supposed to be white. He's described in the book as black. Shayla's worried about the reception it's going to get since it looks like a book about an interracial relationship."

"What's wrong with an interracial relationship?" Q asked.

"Nothing! We all know there's nothing wrong with interracial relationships. It's just that that's not what her book is about. Plus, people are still getting used to the idea of interracial relationships. Especially where she's from. The east coast isn't as progressive as over here."

"Tell her I said welcome to the entertainment business. It's a harsh world out there. The public love to hate and they certainly hate to love," Frank looked back down at his notes.

"It's her first book, Frank... I understand why she's upset about how it's being released. In other news, her birthday is coming up soon and I don't know what to get her..."

"What haven't you gotten her?" Q teased.

"That's why this is so hard," I laughed. "And you know she celebrates all month. What am I supposed to do this time? Every time July comes, it's like a hole is burned right through my pocket. Shayla may look cute and meek, but my wife is expensive."

"Buy her an elephant," Frank suggested.

"Ha-Ha. Very funny. Where am I going to put an elephant in the hideout? Speaking of which, I plan on having a zoo on the ranch."

"What ranch?" Q turned around to look at me.

"Sycamore Valley. I plan on buying it soon. John is working on it for me."

"You're really buying it?"

"Sure," I shrugged. "Why not?"

"Don't you think that's a little bit too much space for just two people?"

"Well, Shayla and I plan on having and adopting about fifty kids, so we'll be fine," I laughed.

"Y'all can barely deal with the one that's not even y'alls now. I doubt Shayla would ever go for fifty kids. Have you talked about the ranch with her?"


"Why? Don't you think she should have a say in you buying it?"

"She does... I just don't want to talk to her about it yet if that makes sense. It's kind of a surprise but kind of not. I told her about it years ago and she was in love with the idea. But who's telling what she may think about it now?"

"Ask her!" Frank suggested.

"I mean, yeah, but she may think that it was all just a childish fantasy and that I wasn't serious about it."

"Y'all been married for four years now. Living with your childish behind, she should know that you're serious about something like that."

"I just don't know how she would feel about me spending so much money on it. That's millions of dollars I'll be putting into it."

"As long as she's stable, I'm sure she'll be fine. Y'all have been moving around a lot. Millions is a lot, but a happy wife to make your house a home is priceless," Q nodded. While I completely agree with him, I still don't know how to approach Shayla with the idea. She's still getting used to the idea of spending large amounts of money. If it were up to her, we'd move back to cold Ohio with a cute little house out in the middle of nowhere. But since it's up to me, the boring life in Ohio just won't work. I've got too much to do than to get sucked into the monotone life that Ohio tends to give people. I mean, Shayla knows buying a vast amount of land to create Neverland has always been a dream of mine. And she knows I have the money for it too. It's just a matter of discussing it. "How much is this ranch, Smelly?"

"About nineteen million."

"This better be some amazing ranch..."

"It's not all that," Frank waved off the thought.

"Frank doesn't see my vision. It's going to be way more than it is now. I want amusement park rides, a movie theatre, a train, a fire station. The ranch will be my own little world and you, Frank, will be begging me to come in it."

"He says that every time and he knows I don't care," Frank shrugged.

"Well, count me in, Mike. You know I'm visiting," Q told me.

"Everyone but Frank can visit."

"You know I'm helping John close this deal, right?" Frank finally looked up at me.

"And you seem to forget that you both work for me..." He rolled his eyes. "I'll talk to Shayla about it and see what she thinks. She'll love it. Besides, when we first met, I promised her she could visit, except now we'll be living there."

"Sounds like you've got all your ducks in a row, huh?" Q asked me.

"I guess so, huh? Got the album and the tour coming up. I got the Grammys in the bag and I'm going to purchase this ranch for me and my wife? Life is looking pretty good right now," I smiled. Life couldn't get any more perfect right now, except for the fact that Shayla's book cover was sabotaged. Other than that things are surely looking up and I can't wait until I release Bad. Let's really give the world something to talk about.

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