Chapter 30

Chapter 30

She won't talk to me. What am I supposed to do when she doesn't talk to me? How am I supposed to fix this if she can't even bear to look at me? Where are we supposed to go from here if all she wants is space? What are we gonna do when the twins can come home? Stay separate? No. That's not going to work. She knows that.


My phone rang off the hook with calls from Sandy, my family, and Shayla's family. I can't bring myself to talk to anyone in Shayla's family right now. I already feel guilty. Just talking to anyone over there is going to make me feel worse. I just know they have plenty to say about the birth. I don't see Shayla telling them about the affair... yet. But when it comes, I might have to change my number.


And I'm sure Joseph already told Katherine everything. I need to call her, but I don't know what to say. There's too much going on between the affair and the birth of the twins. I don't know what to focus on first.


As if on cue, my mobile phone rang with the caller ID alerting me that it was from Hayvenhurst. I watched it ring for a moment. That's got to be my mother. I don't see it being anyone else.


"Hello?"


"Michael, where are you?" Called it.


"Caesar's Palace."


"So, you mean to tell me neither of you could call to tell me the babies were coming?"


"To be fair, I didn't even know Shayla gave birth."


"Excuse me?"


I sighed. "It's a long story."


"Which brings me to my next topic. Joseph said you had something to tell me." Now, why would he tell her that?


I shook my head. "It's not important. What is important is that Michael and Milan are in the NICU, and they're doing fine."


"Oh my- I need to book the first flight out there."


"No... No." I shook my head. "Just stay home. We'll be home in about a week or two. You can visit them then."


"Michael, what is going on?" She pressed.


"Nothing. It's just-" I caught myself. "A lot is going on right now. Shayla's doing well."


"Which also brings me to why I haven't been able to reach her. Angie has been calling me, but I can't tell her anything. Are you sure she's okay? Her family is worried about her."


I sighed. "She's fine. I'll have her call tomorrow."


"Uh-uh. Something's not right. You're not telling me. Shayla's not answering the phone for her family. Something's wrong."


"She's in recovery right now."


"Was she okay giving birth?"


"I don't know."


"You don't- Michael, I'm coming out there."


"Mom, please don't stress yourself out."


"I have Angie calling me. Your father was the only person to visit the hospital. Thank God Carol was there. And you couldn't be there for the birth of your own children?"


"Mom, that's Shayla. I'll call you back." I lied and hung up. I understand everyone's concern, but we're good over here. Had Joseph not said anything, everyone would just be worrying about the kids. Now I have this to worry about too.


We're going to have to go through some serious counseling to get through this. We simply cannot get through this alone.


I keep telling Shayla that we have to talk, but I don't even know what to talk to her about.


I just want to tell her that Shana meant nothing to me. She never did. She was just someone to- No. If she asks me why I cheated, I have nothing more to say than that I was an idiot and that I shouldn't have done it. Whether she was pregnant or not, I should have never done it.


If she asks me why I chose Shana... I don't know the answer to that question. Would it had been better if I had just gone and picked up some random woman off the street? Better someone I know than someone I don't. That would have led to an even bigger scandal.


I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. My wife hates me. What am I supposed to do about that? She won't even look at me.


This was never supposed to happen. It was never supposed to happen like this. We're supposed to laugh 'til our hearts stop. We're supposed to be in our home in the twin's nursery. We're supposed to let this roll off of our backs and forgive and forget like we've always done.


I didn't mean to cheat. I didn't mean to hurt my wife. I didn't mean to hurt anybody. And now, between the both of us, I am the one that has to get the brunt of it all. Shayla doesn't understand what she's doing to me. It's not fair. It hurts.


I admit. I cheated. That was wrong. I apologized. But she wouldn't... She wouldn't accept my apology. Had I told her instead of Shana, would it had made a difference? Because it came from Shana, does that make matters worse?


Even before the kids were born, I knew I was wrong. I knew I had to stop. I knew I had to stop doing what I was doing with Shana. Knowing that I was already hurting my wife, I broke Shana as well. I didn't mean to hurt anybody. But I hurt two people. Shana was right about that.


After losing one of my children, Shayla was blessed to give me more. If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is. But that's just like me to fuck a good thing up.


When I look back on our relationship, nothing was ever terrible. I've loved Shayla from the very beginning. Had we not met, I don't know where I'd be in this thing called life. She was there for me in my highest and lowest moments. Even when I did wrong, she was right by my side through it all. She loved me just as I loved her.


We've been through a lot together... I may have put her through some things... We may have fought or she may have been upset with me, but one thing I will never forget... I will never forget witnessing the pure innocence leave her eyes. That's something that will be seared into my memory forever. Something that was supposed to bring joy only left pain, resentment, and uncertainty towards me. That look... That look tops everything. I may be getting the brunt of it all now, but that look told it all. At that moment, I knew she hated me. That will forever go down as one of my lowest moments. A low moment that Shayla refuses to be there for even when I apologized...


With her talking about the possibility of divorce, it makes me wonder what we'll tell our children. Will I then be forced to tell them why we divorced? Would they look at me the same after that revelation? My heart breaks for the day I have to explain my mistakes, and the mask goes away. But that'll never happen because we'll never divorce. And that's something I will never have to explain to my children.


VII


"Are you sure you don't want to stay here?" Joseph asked me again. After packing my belongings and loading the GMC, Varg, Carol, and I drove around the city, trying to find our next spot. I can't stay with Joseph. Michael would know where to find me.


"I'm sure. We're going to find a condo or something." I looked out the window at the pirate show in front of the Treasure Island hotel."


"You know Jackie has a place out here. Kate has a house out here as well. No one's there. You could stay there if you like."


I sighed. "No, it's okay. Michael would know exactly where to find me."


He sighed. "Why don't you want Mike to find you, Shayla? It's okay to talk it out right now."


"I just need space. This is too much all at once. If I see him, I do. If I don't, I don't. And right now, I choose not to."


"Well, that's understandable. But, sweetie, do me a favor, will you?"


"Depends on what it is."


"Once you get settled down, call your family. They're worried about you. Your mother and father have been contacting me non-stop on your whereabouts. I can only tell them what you allow me to."


I sighed. "You're right. I'll call them shortly. I just have a lot going on."


"I get it. And you have every legal right to want some space, but you've got to talk to your family."


"Okay. I will. Thanks, Joseph. I'll let you know when I'm settled down and everything."


"Love you, Shayla."


"Love you too." I hung up and stared ahead.


"What'd he say?" Carol asked.


"He wanted us to come over, but I declined. The first place Michael would look is at his family's houses, and I just don't have time."


"Have you checked your entire contact list?"


I pressed the "down" arrow to look through my contact list. Each and every one of these people either lives in California, Ohio, or elsewhere. It seems like I'm going to have to look for a place of my own... "Wait."


"What?"


I pressed "call" and waited for the dial tone. By the grace of God, this man answers. I know he will. He always told me if I ever needed something, to call him. Well, right now, I need him more than anything. So, I know for a fact he'll come through.


"Who are you calling?" Carol asked, but I ignored her. My mind racing a mile a minute at the unlikelihood of him not answering.


"Well, well, well... Congratulations, Ms. Shayla." My good friend, Prince, answered in that smooth, unbothered voice that he owned.


I swear that's the first time in a while that I've genuinely smiled amongst all of this. "Prince..." I laughed, closing my eyes as a wave of relief washed over me.


"I thought the twins were due in February."


"Change of plans." I shrugged.


"Well, I can't wait to see them. What's got you calling me today, girl? It's been how long since we've spoken? Since you were telling me about your little ex-boyfriends' wife, right?"


I laughed. "You can't be saying stuff out loud like that. But I know... That's my fault. So much has gone on that-"


"You forgot all about me, huh?" He chuckled.


"I could never forget you. You know that."


"Well, what can I do for you, Ms. Shayla?"


"I need a favor. It's a huge favor to ask, but I really need it."


"What's going on?"


"Too long of a story to tell. I might have to save this one for later. Long story short, you know I'm in Vegas, and... I need a new place to crash. Michael and I..." I sighed. "It's complicated but needless to say, I don't want to be around him, so... I need a place to lay low while I stay here for the twins until they're able to be released from the hospital."


"...okay. Okay, I can do that. You need my place tonight?"


I smiled. I knew he'd pull through. "Yeah. It'll just be me, Carol, and Varg. I stayed at Caesars, but Michael had a key to my room, so I had to leave. I need to be as far away from him as I can. And I just know he wouldn't think twice about you. No, offense." I laughed.


"None taken. That's fine, that's fine. Um, let me make a few phone calls. You go ahead and make your way to the house. You remember the address, right?"


I nodded. "Yep."


"Good. Make your way to the house; you should be able to just waltz right in. Call me once you make. But girl... We're gonna have to talk about you and this Michael situation."


"I know. Thank you so much, babe. This means a lot to me."


"You know I'm always here for you, Shayla. When I said call me if you need anything, I meant that."


I nodded. "I know you did."


"Call me when you get in. Love you, peace." He hung up swiftly.


I leaned my head against the headrest and exhaled. "Varg, head on over to Prince's residence. We're staying there for a while."


No matter what the media said, Michael and Prince were never at odds. They were cool. However, Prince and I made great friends. Michael respected that. He had no choice but to. Prince had never made a move on me. His demeanor in nature is flirtatious, but it's all just playful banter. He respected my husband and my marriage, or whatever was left of it. We set our boundaries, and while we may not see each other often, he was a friend. A friend I could call any time of day. And he always pulled through. Prince doesn't know it, but he just saved me in every way a heartbroken woman could be saved. But when I tell him what Michael did... I know his view of my husband will be changed indefinitely.

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