Chapter 42

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We decided to spend a day at the Children's Hospital. Something we haven't done since we first met. Since we had to stay private with our relationship over the years, we weren't able to do hospital visits. But now that we're public, we can finally go back to it. This visit brought back so many memories of the day I introduced Shayla to Tabitha, Timothy, and Brandy. Everyone loved Shayla, except for Tabitha. Tabby was head over heels in love with me and she let Shayla know she did not want her anywhere near me. Looking back on it, it was adorable. Although Shayla probably felt awkward about it, she understood that Tabby was just a kid. I wonder where those kids are now. They've all got to be in their twenties now. I wonder where they've gone, who they grew up to be and what path they chose to take in their lives. I regret not keeping up with them, especially Brandy, being that she had a child at such a young age and that we were so close at the time. But life happens. Her son is probably the same age she was when she gave birth to him...


As much as I wanted this to be a visit that only the hospital knew about, they called the news and they came immediately after our arrival. I did not want this to be some kind of publicity stunt, but it seems to have turned into just that, no matter how much I tried to ignore the cameras. The news wanted me and Shayla to say something about our visit, but we politely declined. Photos of us interacting with children were shot every second.


"Mrs. Jackson, you look absolutely stunning today!" A nurse told my wife. I smiled as if the compliment was directed at me. In a way it was. When people compliment my wife, it was good for me, because Shayla is a reflection of me and when she looks good, I looked good. But Shayla always looked splendid; however, it was something about her today that made her glow more than usual. Maybe it was the fact that we were visiting these children and giving them every gift their heart desired. Maybe it was the memory of us doing this all those many years ago. We were so young then. Her spirit still hasn't changed. She was just as happy to be seeing these children today as she was when we first met. Looking back on that memory though, her attire now is mature being that she is in her thirties versus being the vibrant nineteen-year-old she was back then. Her white jumpsuit contrasted perfectly against her sun-kissed caramel skin, causing her skin to glow so beautifully. She applied a flawless red lipstick today and braided her hair into a crown with two curls hanging on either side of her face. My wife is stunning as always. She looks like pure royalty. She is pure royalty. Whatever it was about her today makes me want to start trying for babies now. And that's just what we're going to do as soon as we get home. I've got to put a baby in her tonight.


"What's your name?" Shayla bent down to be the same height as the little girl walking towards us.


"Lillian," the little girl smiled at Shayla.


"How old are you, Lillian?"


"Four." She held up four fingers.


"Wow! You're a big girl, huh? Are you too big to play with Barbies?"


"No..." Lillian shook her head.


As if on cue, I handed Shayla three boxes of Barbie dolls. Shayla took them and held them behind her back. "Have you ever been to Disneyland?"


"No..."


"Well, I've got Barbie dolls for you and if it's okay with your parents, I've also got tickets to Disneyland so they can take you. What do you think about that?"


Lillian's eyes lit up. "I'd love it!"


Shayla smiled. "I knew you would."


"Mrs. Jackson, do you mind if we take a picture of you, Michael and Lillian?" A woman I assumed to be Lillian's mom asked.


"Of course." Shayla stood up and pulled me beside her. "Lillian, you know who this is don't you?" Shayla pointed to me.


Lillian looked up at me, her eyes growing wide in excitement. "Michael Jackson!" She hugged my legs tight. The room echoed with "awws" at the sight of Lillian hugging me. Once she let go, Shayla and I bent down to her level to get ready to take the photo. I put my arm around Shayla as Lillian gave me a side hug and smiled for the camera. "I love you, Michael." Lillian planted a soft kiss to my cheek which only made the room erupt in more "awws." Lillian went over to hug Shayla after she had received her Barbie dolls. These are the moments I appreciate most about having the type of influence that I do. It doesn't get any purer than this.


Just as I stood up, my mobile phone began to ring. I excused myself to another room and answered it. "Hello?"


"Michael! Hey, it's Evan. Are you busy?"


"I'm doing a hospital visit with my wife. What's going on?"


"Gotcha. I won't keep you then. Did you get a chance to read the screenplay?" Couldn't this have waited?


"I did actually."


"Did you like it? What did you think?"


"Um..." I bit my lip. "You were right. It's different, but it wasn't really my taste to be honest with you."

"...so, you didn't like it?"


"No." I feel bad for saying that. But I couldn't lie to him. "I'm sure there is someone out there who will."

Evan paused. "That's the thing. I've tried everyone in this stinkin' town, and no one seems to be biting. It's brand new material. No one's written anything like this before, which is why I would love it if someone gave me a chance. Just help me fund it or something..."


"I'm sorry, Evan. I'm not interested."


"Wanna know something? Jordie actually had a lot to do with helping me write this screenplay. The whole thing was his idea. I just put it on paper for him. My boy is a genius, Michael!" He laughed.


"I'm sure he is. Every child is a genius, but I'll pass on this one. You know, sometimes you have to hear 'no' a couple of times in order to-"


"Yeah, yeah. I know." Evan hung up. I looked at my phone. Did he really just hang up on me because I told him I didn't like his screenplay? He's tripping. After I've helped out his family and allowed them to come to Neverland, he's going to hang up on me? I went back out to where Shayla was.


"Everything okay?" She asked me.


"Evan just called."


"And?"


"And he hung up on me because I told him I didn't like his screenplay." At first, Shayla looked confused, but then she looked at me like 'I told you so' and went back to talking to the nurses. I didn't expect that reaction, but I can't reject it either. She has been telling me about this family.

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