Chapter 14

Chapter 14

"I can still feel you inside me," Shana giggled, closing her eyes as she tried to focus on the feeling even more. I remember that look. Shayla would make that exact same statement with that exact same face and would tell me how a literal wave seemed to roll through her vagina at the thought. I imagine that's what Shana is feeling right now. To hear Shana say that was certainly an ego booster. I smiled to myself. Having to teach her what I like is quite the task, but I'm enjoying every minute of it. The more and more I have sex with Shana, the more I feel this bond grows more profound. It's something I'm trying to avoid, but how do you avoid something so substantial? It makes me wonder if I could see a future with Shana. I don't know.


"What are we, Michael?" She asked.


"Hmm?" I pressed my lips together.


She sat up on the couch and faced me, clearing her throat. We were back at her place. And to be quite frank, I really enjoyed making love to her in the comfort of her own home. "What are we? I guess I'm asking this so I can understand the man I've admired for so long."


"What are you trying to understand?"


"Me. You. This. This moment. We know each other now. Biblically, that is." Biblically. My heart raced. I didn't expect this to go so spiritual. But that's what sex entails... I guess I just didn't expect for her to tap into that side. But you can't really avoid something like that...


I cleared my throat. "What do you mean 'biblically?'" I knew. I just want to make sure she knows what she's implying.


"In the bible, 'knowing' someone means you've had sexual relations with them. I know you in more ways than one, and the same goes for you." She only knows what I want her to know, but I can't tell her that. This conversation is getting too deep. If I thought this relationship would have a future, that's entirely out of the question now. This can't go anywhere beyond friendship.


"Shana, I care about you. A lot. Let's not ruin a beautiful friendship."


"Friendship? Oh, Michael, this stopped being a friendship the moment you pulled that condom out of the drawer."


"I didn't think-"


"If this was just a friendship, I imagine you'd have told Shayla about us a long time ago. Why do this to Shayla, huh? She doesn't deserve this. She deserves to know so she won't get hurt and so that she can just move on with her life."


"Shana, it's not that easy." If I tell her Shayla is pregnant, she'll go berserk.


"How come? 'Shayla, we're not in love anymore.' That's it. That's all you have to say!" She pressed her lips together and raised her eyebrows as if that was the end all be all. Seeing Shana behind Shayla's back is the worst thing I could have ever done. Seeing Shana at all, for that matter, but I needed her in more ways than one. She was there for me. Especially after all I've been through. I wanted to feel like me again. Shayla wasn't letting me feel like myself. Shana was. The least I owe Shana is a concrete answer. The least I owe the person who made me feel like a man again, the man again, is confusion. Shana deserves to know that it's okay to need me the way I needed her.


VII


I’m pregnant!

She’s pregnant.

I couldn’t be any happier.

I’ve always wanted to be a father,
but what a perfect time to suddenly
be with child.

Twins!

Twins.

God works in mysterious ways.

Doesn’t he?

Who would have
thought that I’d be entering
such a beautiful chapter
in my life?

I didn’t expect such a boring
chapter in my life to suddenly
include joy.

This is going to bring Michael
and I so much closer.

I highly doubt this will bring
us together as a couple.
To be quite frank,
I never thought I’d stay married
for our children instead of
the love this marriage was
founded upon.

I’ve told my family.
I wonder if Michael
has told his family yet.

I’ve yet to tell anyone.
I should probably get on that.
But I’d hate for her to suffer
another miscarriage and everyone is
“sorry” again.

We still need to
go over baby names.

I’m so conflicted about Shana.

If we have a girl,
“Katherine” is out of the question.

What do I do about her?

Gotta have a Michael Jr. though!

Do I leave Shayla for her?

When do we find out the sexes?

Nah.
That’s the sex talking.
I’d be a fool.
I can’t leave Shayla.
It wouldn’t look good
to the public.

I really want a boy and a girl.
The best of both worlds.

I can’t have my cake and eat it too?

Oh my God.
My babies will be the babies
on both sides!

If I ever decide to end this,
how on earth do I tell Shayla?

Seven months to go!

I can’t.

Michael and I are going to make
fantastic parents.

I can’t tell the woman bearing my children
that I’ve been cheating on her with
someone we know.

Home school or private school?

I could tell her after she gives birth.

Nanny or no nanny?

Or not at all.

Will they both look like Michael
or will they both look like me?

I won’t tell her.

Identical or fraternal?

How in the hell am I going to
let go of Shana?!

We’ve got to keep our babies
out of the public eye.

I think she’s in love with me.

I love my babies too much to
allow them to be scrutinized
by the public.

I’ve been doing a great job at
keeping her out of the public eye,
but I swear it gets harder every day.

What would have been great
was if Michael could have joined
me for these two weeks.

All it took was two weeks.
two weeks for Shana
to quench my thirst.
Put me first.
Make me feel like me again.


I hate that these two weeks are coming to a close.


I needed this.


I found myself again. In more ways than one.


I love harder.


I can’t see myself without him anymore.

But now I’m confused.

The past and the future
merge to meet us here
and…

I don’t know what to do.

God knew what he was doing
and although we suffered some
hardships,
I am forever grateful for the
blessings I have now.

Shayla can’t do for me what Shana can.

I’ll be learning something new
all over again

I won’t say I love her, but if I had been
given the chance to foresee what Shayla
would put me through
and I had the choice to choose between
Shayla and Shana,
I’d choose


New Beginnings.



VII

August 3, 1996


"Hey, baby!" Shayla answered the phone just as quickly as I had picked it up. Just my luck that she'd call as soon as Shana and I walked into the hideout. We haven't talked since she's been gone. I should have expected an "I'm coming home" call. But alas, I didn't. "How's it going? I missed you."


"I missed you too." I closed the bathroom door behind me. Shana knows I'm speaking to Shayla, but I would hate to give her any ideas that it was remotely okay for her to make her presence known.


"I'm coming home tomorrow. Can you make sure you're at the airport at seven p.m. sharp? Oh! And make sure someone has a hot bath waiting for me, okay? I've been so sore lately, and I swear my breasts have never been this tender before."


"I'll be there at six fifty-five. How does that sound?"


"Perfect, baby. Thank you. We haven't talked all trip. Everything okay?"


"Rehearsal. You know the tour begins next month."


"Ugh! That's right!"


"Are you coming?"


"No. I want to be as low maintenance as possible. I'll be there in spirit though." She kissed me through the phone.


"You don't know how bad I wish I could be with you."


"It's okay. I got you for this month, and you'll be back soon. Babe," she lowered her voice to a whisper. "My hormones have been out of this world. Please tell me you'll have some energy tomorrow night."


I laughed to myself. "I always have energy for you."


"Good because we've been without for a while, and I think we need to start making this a regular thing again."


"Hallelujah!"


"Shut up." She laughed. "Alrighty, well, I'll let you know when we board tomorrow. I love you."


"Love you too." As soon as she hung up, I took a deep breath. This exclusive affair would have to come to an end. Even though I enjoyed every minute shared with Shana, I always felt guilty. And it wasn't like I forgot, but damn. Shayla is pregnant. What have I done?


I opened the door to find Shana flipping through channels on the television. She turned around and smiled.


"Hey, babe. What did Shayla have to say?"


I cleared my throat. "She's coming back tomorrow."


"So, will you tell her?"


"No."


Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Why not?"


"I can't."


"How come?"


"Shana," I sighed, pinching the bridge of my nose. "Believe me when I say this, it's not as easy as it looks."


"How? You tell me all the time that you're not happy with her. You and I both know that. I know it hurts, but you have to remember who put you first. And it wasn't her. She put that stupid book over you. Remember that? You say you want me, but you're not doing anything about it when the opportunity is staring you right in the face!" She stood up. She's frustrated with me. I can see it all over her face. But if she knew how difficult this really was, I think she'd cut me some slack. "The fact that you're married, and you think it's okay to string people along, is not fair. And it's not fair to Shayla. Especially after all that she had been through. You have no idea how bad I've felt being with you when I know Shayla and have always looked up to her. We don't deserve this, Michael!"


"Shana, I know I'm married. That's one of the main reasons I can't tell her." I sighed. "I needed this. I needed you. More than you know. Just you. Not Shayla."


"So, why can't you just tell her?"


I walked over to her and tried to pull her in for a kiss, but she wouldn't let me. "Shana, don't do that." I pulled her chin toward me with my index finger. "I'll tell her. Okay?" I planted a trail of kisses from her jaw to her lips. "Just not tomorrow."


"When?" She softly begged.


"In due time..." We searched each other's eyes.


"Michael, I have to tell you something."


"What is it?"


"It was supposed to be good news, but now I feel like it's not..." She took a deep breath. "Jim is sending me on tour with him so that I'll be his assistant for the time being. Whether you tell her or not, will there be anything awkward between us on tour?" She's going with me on tour, and Shayla isn't coming. Wow. Ending this thing for sure is gonna be more challenging than I thought. "Will this be our last night together?" I nodded. She bit her bottom lip. "Can we make tonight memorable?" I nodded again and led her to my office. Once again, I felt guilty. But if I convince myself that this is the last time, I'll be fine.

I'll be making love to her through you. So, let me keep my eyes closed...

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