Being home with my family was a breath of fresh air. Mom and Dad were on their small vacation and all of my brothers, besides David, since he's all the way out in Cali, found the time to hang with me and Mariah. Despite my brothers and I being older than her, we found a way to include her in just about everything. It felt so good to be with my siblings. Of course, when Mariah got sick with being with us grown folks, she found herself hanging out with Andy, RJ, and Nori. She is having a ball with Nori. It was evident that Nori replaced Andy in being Mariah's favorite niece. My siblings and Mary sat in the living room catching up on life. Vivian had something else to do. Good. I don't like Vivian anyway and that's a fact. I told Matthew and all he could say was "what else is new?" He must have known I wasn't going to like her. If I were him, I'd pay attention to stuff like this. If my family didn't like Michael, there was no way I was going to marry him, but whatever floats his boat. "Mary, what are you going to name the new baby?" I asked her.
She smiled and rubbed her belly, "Michael." Robert took one look at me and shook his head.
"Why?" I wondered. I honestly felt some type of way about that and Robert could tell.
She shrugged, "did you know it's the most popular name out right now? You know it's because of Michael and all. But it feels right. I can't seem to figure out another name for him that just feels right."
"Um, there are tons of names out there. You had to choose 'Michael?'"
She looked a bit taken aback, "yeah. What's wrong with that?"
"I just assumed you already knew that name was taken."
She laughed nervously, "taken? By who? The millions of men named Michael in the world?"
I rolled my eyes, "you know what I mean, Mary. Michael and I are naming our son 'Michael.'"
"Oh, you're pregnant?" She and everyone else looked at me and my stomach.
"No... When Michael and I decide to have children, we're naming our son 'Michael.'"
"Well, if you're not pregnant now, I don't see the problem. My son will be older than yours, so what point are you trying to get at?"
"You can't name your son 'Michael.' Is it not obvious?"
"Shayla," she rolled her eyes. "That's a bit petty, don't you think?"
"No. It makes sense. That's like me naming my son 'RJ.' It's no longer original."
"I wouldn't care."
"Well, I do."
"Shayla," Matthew sighed. "You can't just tell her she can't name her kid something because that's the name you want."
"You wouldn't understand, Matthew," I rolled my eyes. It only made sense for me to name my son 'Michael' since that's his father's name. She's only naming her son 'Michael' because it's a popular name because of my husband Michael. Whether I'm having him now or not, we don't need two kids in the family named 'Michael.' And besides, that's crossing all types of girl code. I low key feel betrayed right now.
"Shayla, it's not that big a deal," Mary said. "Ain't no telling when you and Michael are going to have kids anyway, so what's the problem?"
I looked at Robert. He must understand where I'm coming from, "Rob, why are you so quiet?"
"I tried to tell her, Shayla. I told her you were going to feel some type of way about it, but she insisted because 'Michael' just feels right. Who am I to argue with my pregnant wife?" He shrugged.
"I just think it's rude to take someone else's baby name," I sighed.
"You're not even pregnant and by the looks of it you don't even plan to be!" Mary was suddenly upset and sat up to address me.
"Calm down, baby," Robert pulled her back to relax in the couch.
"No, I don't get why this is such a big deal. If I want to name our son 'Michael' then I will, and no one can stop me." I don't understand the sudden hostility. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones because Mary isn't normally like this. I don't know. I just had my mind set and stone that I'm naming my future son after his father. Not necessarily unique but I just knew he was going to be the only Michael in the family. I guess not. That just breaks all kinds of girl code to me. But I guess Mary and I weren't friends like that anyway.
"Excuse me," I stood up.
"You okay, Shay?" Matthew grabbed my arm.
"Yeah, I'm just going to call Michael. I haven't talked to him since I landed."
"Gotcha. Just wanted to make sure you weren't upset about all that."
"Just a bit irritated. I'm just going to catch up with him for a few minutes and I'll be back down." He let my arm go. I went upstairs for some privacy and dialed the car phone. It was eleven here, so it's about eight over there. He should just have finished up with the "Leave Me Alone" short film for the day. I'm sure everything on set has been going well. He's been talking my head off with the plans for it. I'm so excited to see the final product.
"Hello?" He answered.
"Hey, baby. How's it going?"
"Shayla!" He sounded so excited to hear from me. "I've missed you so much. Everything is going well. How is the family?"
"Good. Nori is so adorable. I know you would have loved to meet her. My brothers are doing great. I see why my mother doesn't like Vivian though."
"Why is that?"
"The girl is full of herself. I think my brother is only with her for her looks though. She looks like a Barbie doll. Just stunning. Her attitude is just crap though. Matt deserves better."
"I mean, he did propose to her. It may be more than looks."
"Uh uh. Can't be. I'm sure it's her looks. My brother may think it's time for him to settle down because he's thirty-one but settling down with Vivian just because he thinks it's time would be the wrong choice."
"Everyone deserves love, babe."
"I know. I only want the best for my brother. He deserves the right kind of love."
"You only just met the girl."
"Yeah, well, first impressions matter more than people think," I sighed. "How's the short film coming along?"
"It's...coming. Still got a couple days to go."
"Oh, yeah? I know Bubbles is excited to be in the film."
"You know he is," he laughed a little.
"I can't wait to get back home to you guys. Ooo! Guess what?"
"Mary is naming the new baby 'Michael.'"
"My thoughts exactly."
"We're naming our son Michael... That means we'll have two 'Michael's' in the family if she does that."
I sighed, "I know. She just says it feels right. I guess if the baby says so, then it just has to happen."
"Well, this is going to be interesting."
"Rob told her, but can you really tell someone not to name their kid something?"
"Don't you think that's crossing a line though? I low key feel betrayed."
"I'm sure Tito would feel some type of way if I named my son Taj. It just doesn't make sense."
"She's actually inspired by you."
"You know the name is popular because of you. That was literally her reason for picking the name."
"Well... I don't know what to say about that."
"I just think that's a poor reason. It makes it unoriginal too."
"Anyway," I sighed. "I'm coming back the eighth. Don't you have tour rehearsals coming soon?"
"Yeah. It starts next week. What did your siblings think about the book?"
"They have yet to read it, I think. They felt it was messed up what Rebecca did to me though."
"I can't wait to see the final product for 'Leave Me Alone.'"
"Me either. We just finished the photo shoot for it."
"Ooo! I can't wait to see the photos!"
"What time will you be back on Saturday?"
"I don't know. I'd have to look at the ticket again."
"Well, let me know."
"I will. What does Frank have to say about the shoot?"
"He likes it. Bubbles can't wait to see you." I felt like he was switching to a new topic or being really short each time I asked him about the short film. Why can't we just talk about the short film? He had no problem talking to me about all the ideas he had for it. Now when it's time to shoot, he doesn't want to talk about it?
"Why don't you want to talk about the short film?"
"I am! What do you mean, babe?"
"Every time I ask you something, you give me a short answer and switch to another subject. I thought you were excited about it."
"I am, babe. It's just a lot going on on set."
"Like what?" I wondered.
"...costumes aren't right. We had to record a scene more than once. I just feel like it's all over the place."
"Well, if it's not to your liking, why don't you let your staff know?"
"I am. It's just... It'll be alright. All that matters is that you and I will both be happy once we see the final product."
"You're right, okay. Well, I'll talk to you later, baby. I just wanted to check in on you."
"Love you, babe."
"I love you too," I hung up the phone. It's funny how Michael told me he stays on top of everything when it comes to his art and recommended I do the same. I don't know what kind of staff he hired this time around, but I hope they help him create a stellar video instead of sabotaging him too.