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Chapter 67

Chapter 67

It's been days and I still can't get the fact that Michael kept her around because he was so attracted to her out of my mind. So, they connected somehow and somewhere. Probably on that "Leave Me Alone" set. They connected somewhere. I don't even understand what they could have possibly even had to connect about. Maybe the fact that they were both in the entertainment industry? Can I even trust the fact that he didn't even talk to her outside of when he told me he did? It's like we took one step forward, but ten steps back after he admitted that, and I still keep thinking about it.

"Shayla?" Mom knocked on my door and opened it. "Roland is calling for you. What did you want me to tell him?" I got up to take the phone from her.

"Roland?" I asked.

"Are you okay, Mrs. Jackson? I haven't heard from you in a while. Just making sure you're doing okay."

"I'm alright," I sighed. "How are you and your family?"

"We're doing well. Have you gotten in contact with Mr. Jackson?"

"I have... He told me to tell you thank you for accompanying me."

"It's my pleasure... You don't sound so well. Are you sure everything is okay?" I didn't want to tell him that my husband admitted to keeping Tatiana around because of his own selfish desires. That would just open doors that I didn't need to be opened. Plus, I have to keep some part of my life private from him. He sees just about everything, but there was only so much he knew.

"I'm just going to stay here for a little while longer. I hope you're okay with that."

"Are we going to be joining Mr. Jackson any time soon?"

"I'll let you know. I still need some time to myself."

"Don't hesitate to call me, Mrs. Jackson."

"Thank you. I'll talk to you soon," I said before hanging up the phone. "Mom," I called as I went downstairs.

"What's going on, baby?"

"Can we talk for a moment?"

"Sure!" She followed me back upstairs to my room.

"You were right," I sighed.

"About what?"

"That whole single persona."

"Oh yeah?" Her eyebrows raised. "What about it?"

"He really took that to heart."

"With that video girl?" I nodded. "He didn't have sex with her, did he?" I shook my head, no. She sighed a breath of relief, "what happened?"

"He admitted to keeping her around because he really liked her a couple of days ago. I wanted to talk to you about it then, but my emotions were all over the place about it. I don't know what to do... He said he was sorry, but had he listened to me, in the beginning, none of this would have happened. He let it get that far. I saw it happening a mile away, but I trusted him to get rid of her and he didn't until it hit the fan."

"What did he love her or something?"

"I hope not. I don't see what there is to love about her. But he was so attracted to her that he kept her around. He definitely felt something with her, otherwise, attracted or not he would have gotten rid of her. I just don't know what to do... Am I supposed to leave him? Am I supposed to forgive him? Do I stick around like an idiot? I mean, she's gone now, but does he really understand how much he's hurt me?"

"Well, you've been gone this long, I don't see how he doesn't understand. In fact, you being gone probably made him realize how bad it was to begin with. That's why he admitted it to you. He understands how bad he hurt you."

"So, what do I do now? You were right all along. You knew he was going to take this single thing too far. And he did. Now that he's admitted it, what am I supposed to do? My husband practically fell in love with another woman right before my eyes!" I feel like leaving him would be too dramatic. It would send a message for sure, but it'd be too dramatic. He admitted to it. He apologized for it. But the blatant disrespect this whole time that I've had to endure because of it burns me up inside. If he told me many times to get rid of someone and I didn't do it, I'm sure he would leave me, but I... I don't know. This is my husband we're talking about. My husband who I've known since I was fresh out of high school. But people sure can change over the years. He practically paraded this girl in front of my face and for the whole world to see knowing how he felt about her.

"You know, if you weren't married to him, the obvious choice would be to leave him. Make it quick and simple. But baby, this is a choice you're going to have to make on your own. You've got a tough decision to make. You and Michael made vows to each other. He broke one of those vows, but he also apologized for it. He realized his error. He's willing to make it right with you."

"But did it have to take him a whole year to realize how this was affecting me and our marriage?"

She rolled her eyes, "men are stupid. We're grateful he realized his error before it went any further than it already did."

"What would you do if Daddy did something like that to you?"

She sighed, "I broke a vow too. I put my daughter before my husband... I'm grateful he didn't do anything like that to me, but your father was fed up with me, Shayla. If he had done something like that to me, could I really blame him? I practically opened the door for him to do that. In your case, Michael was just being an idiot. He just let that whole single thing get to his head. He didn't have sex with the girl. If your father had did that to me, I wouldn't leave him. We clearly need to work on why he did it to begin with. In our situation, it was me putting Mariah over your father. I can't thank you and Michael enough for taking her when you did. Michael is a grown man. He knows right from wrong, but I bet you had Frank not come into the picture with this whole single thing, this whole thing wouldn't have even happened." My mother is absolutely right. Michael is the one who owes his loyalty to me. Ultimately, he is at fault, but had it not been for Frank pushing this single agenda, would we really even be here in the first place? That's what we need to work on. Getting Frank out of the picture. He's been a strain on our marriage since he got here. "Shayla, I only want the best for you. Whatever you choose to do is ultimately up to you. If you choose to leave Michael, by all means, go ahead. It's his loss, not yours. I don't care who he is. But before you decide to do something like that, think about how you and Michael could possibly work this out. You and Michael are now the owners of a beautiful ranch. I know you all love each other very much. I know you all can work through this, but if you feel like it's too much, you make the right choice for you," she got up to leave, leaving me with my thoughts. I'm going to stay with him. Our fifth anniversary is in two weeks and it's crazy how all of this has occurred before it because I'm sure in two weeks, I'm still not going to be over this to the point that I want to celebrate. The one thing I can say is at least he didn't physically cheat with Tatiana. Emotional cheating can be far worse than physical cheating, so I'm glad it was just left at a physical attraction. But that physical attraction is what led Tatiana to believe it was okay to kiss my husband. I'm glad Michael fired her, but it will forever bother me that it took so long. I kind of feel stuck. I know that marriages face trials and tribulations. This is my first real issue with my husband. I can either throw in the towel now or we can grow from this. Had he had sex with Tatiana, I'd have definitely given up because that's a betrayal on far more levels than one. I'm going to stay, but I just need space from Michael. Even if that means skipping an important milestone in our marriage like our fifth anniversary... I just need to heal from this experience. I need to be away from Frank and his foolishness. He's responsible for some of this. I pray Frank isn't filling Michael's head with straight trash, especially with me being gone.

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