Chapter 37

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Authors Note: I just want to say, writing this was harder than I thought it would be. Writing what will follow this chapter, later on, will be just as hard. Some may wonder why I'm writing it at all (because it's surely a risk to take, right?) and might I say that that is a valid question considering how sensitive of a topic it is when talking about Michael Jackson, but as I've told myself and others, I feel it's important to write about what really happened. Michael was naive. The Chandlers were greedy and they lied on a man that just wanted to help people.

It made me upset to write this and it more than likely will make you upset to read this. Michael Jackson is innocent. Always has been and always will be. People he wanted to help just thought it was okay to lie on him. If they wanted anything, Michael was willing to give it to them, but they got greedy and wanted more. And that's the real crime here.


VII


Jordie and I walked away from the movie theater toward the rides in silence. Shayla, June, Dave, and Lily were all inside the movie theater watching whatever Lily wanted to watch, but Jordie told me he needed to talk to me about something that was pretty important to him. This weekend, with much convincing, Shayla and I allowed the family to spend the night at the ranch for a family getaway. They enjoyed the festivities I had to offer to the public, but when it was time to wind down, I let them crash upstairs in the main house so they wouldn't be too far from breakfast this morning. Jordie had something urgent on his mind that was clearly bothering him and while I wanted to know why he couldn't talk to his parents about it, he told me it was because of his parents that he couldn't talk to them.


We stopped at a gazebo and sat down. "So, what's going on Jordie? Are you alright?"


He sighed and looked down as he picked at his fingernails. "It's my mom. She said something to me earlier this morning and it's been bothering me all morning that she doesn't believe me."


"Well, did you tell Dave? You didn't feel comfortable telling him?"


"She probably talked to him about it before I even got the chance to. I just figured I'd tell you so that you could straighten everything out." He finally looked up at me.


"Um, I can try. What's going on?"


He took a deep breath. "My mom thought that I came from your bedroom earlier this morning. I told her I didn't, that I had just came from the library because I was looking at the books you had, but she insisted that I was lying. I even told her the books I was looking at and that your library door is pretty close to your bedroom door, but she didn't believe me. She repeatedly asked me what I was doing in you and Mrs. Jackson's bedroom, but I couldn't tell her anything because obviously I never came from your room!" He heavily sighed. "I told her I didn't understand why she would think that and you're not like that and that I would never go in there to begin with, but... I don't know. I'm actually surprised she hasn't marched out here by now."


I took in everything he said trying to figure out why on earth June would even say or accuse anything like that. Her accusation doesn't even make sense. Why would I allow a child I don't even know into my bedroom? What business would he have in there and why would she think Jordie was in there? For what? Why hasn't she talked to me about it?


"Can you fix this, Michael? I don't know why she doesn't believe me." Jordie wondered.


"Come on." I stood up and led him back to the movie theater. I have to talk to June myself and straighten this out. I don't know what to make of this. I don't know why she would think I would allow something like that. I'm more upset than anything. And even then, if she brought that up to Jordie earlier this morning, why are they still here? If what she said really happened, why is she still here drinking my drink, eating my food, soaking up my AC and living lavishly as my guests? And what about Dave? Surely, she told him the lie she made up. Why haven't they asked me about it so I can prove them wrong? Why would she lie on her child? Why wouldn't she believe her child? I don't understand whatever motive June has one bit.


Jordie and I entered the movie theater and he hurried back to his seat. Shayla looked back to seek me out. Once she found me, she looked back at the screen.


I went over to June. "Hey, can we talk outside for a minute?"


"Sure! Everything okay?" She asked me as she stood up. Shayla watched both of us as we walked out. I'll inform her later. I want to handle this myself. "Is everything okay, Michael?" June asked again once we were out by the concession area.


"No, I'm actually kind of disturbed right now. I actually um," I cleared my throat. "I'm surprised at what I just learned."


"What happened?" She asked as if she genuinely did not know what was going on.


I looked her in the eye. "Jordie just let me know that you thought he came out of my bedroom this morning."


"Oh." She stood up straight. Her entire demeanor seemed to change. "Yes. I wanted to talk to you about that, Michael."


"Can I say something first, because your son seemed very distressed a couple of minutes ago because you didn't believe him. No matter how much he tried to tell you the truth, you told him he was wrong and I'm here to tell you whatever you thought you saw, never even happened. I don't know what he was doing in my library. I wasn't out there to know. I was in bed with my wife. But whatever Jordie was doing in my library, I need you to know he was doing just that. I gave you all free reign of my house as my guests and you all have taken advantage of that. But why on earth would you think I would allow anyone into my bedroom?"


She took a deep breath and looked at me. "Michael, I very clearly saw Jordie coming from your bedroom. I know what I saw. It wasn't right, nor was it appropriate for a grown man to allow a kid into his bedroom."


I shook my head in disbelief. "But that's where you're wrong, June! Again, why would I allow someone other than my wife into my bedroom? I gave you all a tour of the entire place. I told you what areas you could go to. I told you all that you had free reign over everything in here, except for my bedroom, because it's sacred to my wife and me. Shayla and I would never allow someone's child into our room. That's inappropriate and completely out of line. My wife can even attest to that. What would we even do in my bedroom? Nothing! June, come on! I let you all in my house as my guests and you make up something like that? That's not even like me. Hearing Jordie say that to me earlier really hurt my feelings after everything my wife and I have done for you, you think so low of me."


June looked away and bit her lip. She can't say anything because she knows I'm right! Why would I even allow that? And it's still not even adding up that if she truly believed that, why are they still here? To take advantage of me?!


"You're right, Michael. I- I'm sorry. I was just seeing things. I guess it doesn't help that the library and your bedroom doors are so close together." She tried to laugh it off, but I saw nothing funny.


"Why would you accuse your son and I of something like that? Jordie even told you the books he was reading. I was locked away in my room with my wife... Is this what you think of me?" It was a bold question to ask, but I needed to know. After all the time I've spent with her and her family, is this what she thought of me?


"I was seeing things, Michael. I'm sorry. This isn't what I think of you at all." She shook her head. She was upset now, and it showed.


"What did Dave have to say about that?"


"I didn't tell him. I was going to tell him when we left." Huh?! I don't know what to say to that. In fact, I'm confused!


"I think it's time you and your family leave now," I told her. "I'll have someone move your belongings to the guest house and a car will be ready for you first thing tomorrow morning." I went back into the theater and sat down beside Shayla.


"Everything okay?" She whispered. I shook my head 'no' and continued to stare up at the screen. How do I tell my wife that she was right about June? I've been forcing June on her this entire time only for June to lie about me to my face. It's time I part ways with this family the best way I know how.


VII


Telling Shayla about the event that occurred today only lit a fire in her that I knew would rear its' ugly head again soon.


"Why are they still here, Michael?! After she just lied on us like that? You should have put her out right then and there! I can't believe you let them stay another night!" Shayla was fuming. She was rightfully pissed that they were still on our ranch living lavishly. I wondered to myself why I allowed them to stay another night, but I had to remind myself that it was June's fault, not the kids. The kids didn't deserve to get punished because their mother lied about something so ridiculous. "And to think I was nice to that woman because of you! Oh, I am so glad you moved them into that guest house because June would be getting her ass handed to her right now."


"I know," I nodded. I said all I had to say when I confronted June about the situation and when I told Shayla about it. Now she can rant and rave all she wants to.


"And you know what doesn't even make sense to me? That she made that lie up and then has the audacity to kee-kee with me and continue to soak up everything we have here on the ranch as if everything was supposedly okay. It was okay, but to her, her freaking son just 'came from our room' and she thinks it makes sense to stay on the ranch and take advantage of everything we have?! I don't want anything to do with this family after this, Michael. I swear to God, I will hurt that woman."


"Don't take Jehovah's name in vain, babe."


She sighed deeply and rubbed her temples. "You're right. I'm sorry, Lord. I just... Ugh! I want her out of here, Michael!"


"She's out of here, Shayla. I promise."


"For good! I don't want to see her or her raggedy ass husband and kids again."


"Jordie still needs a positive male role model in his life, Shayla." I reminded her. "Remember his father isn't in his life like he needs to be. June is the problem. Not her children. Jordie and Lily are innocent in this."


"So! Michael, that is their problem! It's her fault that Jordie doesn't have his daddy in his life. Not ours! Are you trying to play 'daddy' to these kids? We're trying to begin our own family. Remember that? Or did you forget because you're so stuck on helping these opportunists of a family?"


Now I understand that Shayla is upset and rightfully so, but now I've had enough. "How could you say that, Shayla? That's so inconsiderate and disrespectful. You don't know why that family is dysfunctional. Jordie needs a positive male role model in his life. You can't be upset about that. And you know I would never forget about us building our own family. It's just that things have gotten so hectic around here that-"


"Because you're too busy helping out a family that doesn't even need our help, so you don't even want to start your own. Got it." She gathered her things.


"Where are you going?"


"I'm sleeping upstairs." Good. Because arguing over this dead issue was starting to get on my nerves. The family is leaving. That's the bottom line. We won't be seeing them again. There is no point in continuing on the matter and it wasn't fair for her to talk down on their family like that. And she thinks I'm playing "daddy?" No. I'm just being a decent human being.


VII


I watched as The Chandlers gathered their things and put it in the trunk of the car Michael had called for them. Lily and Jordie were so oblivious to the real reason that they were leaving that they thought their weekend was just over and that they'd be returning. Wrong. This is their last weekend here. I've got to admit, Michael may have forced this family on me, but I grew accustomed to Dave's corny jokes. Jordie's adolescent humor and Lily's princess mentality. It was almost bittersweet. Almost. I had one last thing to say to June before her and her family took off and it wasn't going to be nice.


As everyone began to get in the car, I called June over to meet me on the porch. Michael helped buckle Lily into her car seat and talked with Dave. As she began to walk over, I noticed June sporting a ruby ring and bracelet set on her hand that I hadn't noticed before.


"Hey, Shayla!" She smiled.


"Where'd you get that bracelet set? I didn't see it on you all weekend and it hardly goes with that pantsuit..." I looked her up and down. I let my emotions get the best of me. I'm not normally this cutthroat, but this situation truly pissed me off.


"Michael gave it to me this morning as an amends." Hearing her say that made my heart race with anger. "I'm sure he told you about what happened yesterday. I just want you to know that I'm truly sorry. I know you and Michael aren't like that. The library and your bedroom door are so close to each other that I guess I was just seeing things." She tried to laugh it off.


"Why would you even make something up like that?" I asked her.


"I told you I was seeing things, Shayla..."


"Our bedroom, June? Seriously? Would you let a random child into your bedroom? No, because that's a sacred place for you and your husband. It doesn't even make sense now, does it?"


"I mean, when you say it like that, no..."


"You know, I should snatch that bracelet off your wrist. As far as I'm concerned, I'll take the shit back. You don't deserve it. Especially after you just accused me and my husband of something as sick as letting a child we don't even know into our bedroom." June placed her other hand on top of her bracelet as if to protect it from me. "You know, I had my feelings about you, but I never thought you would stoop so low. If it were up to me, y'all would have left last night, but because my husband said what he said and gave you that stupid set to make 'amends,' I won't defy him. I've been nice to you and your family for the sake of my husband. You lied on two people who would do anything for you and your family even though I didn't even want to help you. I continued to tell Michael that I didn't like whatever energies y'all had around you, but he just wouldn't let up. We helped you with your rent. We helped you take your kids on trips. And this is what you do to us? Lie? Now, I hope he sees your true colors, because this... Oh, this will never happen again. This will be the last time y'all are allowed on this property. I'll make sure of that. You were seeing things? Well, I hope you see yourself never coming here again." I went back into the house and shut the door behind me. I could care less how she feels, how she felt, what she thinks of me and what I just told her. I'm ready for them to be gone for good this time around. If Michael doesn't see this family is full of crap by now, I don't know what will.

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