Chapter 2

I woke up to see Alice going into the bathroom, "Alice?" I groaned.


"Yes, Mrs. Jackson?" She quickly made her way over toward me.


"Did you just get here?" I asked, my eyes still closed to avoid the light from the sun.


"I just got here about fifteen minutes ago."


"Oh, really?"


"Yes, ma'am."


"Hey, just take the day off." I began to sit up, rubbing my eyes.


"Are you sure? I was just about to clean the bathroom."


"There's not much to clean anyway. Just take the day off."


"Are you positive?"


"I'm positive." I said as I began to stand up, "Oh! Could you do me a favor on your way out?"


"Yes, of course."


"Could you please take this to the post office for me? I need it mailed off immediately."


"Of course." She took the envelope from my hands and gave me a hug. "Are you okay?"


"I'm fine." I forced a smile. "Be on your way now."


"Have a nice day, Mrs. Jackson."


"You too," I said as I slowly began to make my way to the bathroom. I turned on the shower and stood in there for what seemed to be an hour. He hasn't contacted me in two weeks. You would think that he would call once he got to a different city or not, but no. Nothing. This isn't like Michael. But he told me not to worry about it because the tour life is a heavy business. Of course, I would worry about it. I know nothing about it. I have every legal right to worry about it, but I'm going to try not to.


VII


"Mrs. Jackson, my brother said you used to have a different name," Jordyn said as she stood beside me.


I smiled, "Yes, I did."


"Why did you change your name? You didn't like it?"


"Well, I got married."


"My mom is married and she didn't change her name."


"Well, Jordyn, she did change it, but she added your dads' name to the end of her name."


"What do you mean?"


"You know how your name is Jordyn Lee-Vida? With that hyphen in the middle?"


"What's a hyphen?" She tilted her head.


I laughed, "It's that line between your last name."


"Oh, yeah."


"Well, Vida is your dad's last name. She changed her last name, just not completely."


"So, why didn't you do that to your name? You didn't like your first last name?"


"I did. But, if I had kept it, my name would be really long."


"What would it have been?"


"Mrs. Johnson-Jackson." I made a face.


"Woah! That's too long!"


"I know, right?"


"Since I have two last names, I think I'm going to get rid of them like you and take my husbands' last name."


"Yeah, it's all up to you, Jordyn." I laughed as she skipped off to be with her friends.


"Good afternoon, Mrs. Jackson." Byron smiled as he walked in my classroom with two cups in his hands.


"Good afternoon, Byron..." I forced a smile. "Don't you have a class right now?"


"No. They left for specials. Here, I got you a cup of coffee. I figured you needed it." He handed the disposable cup to me.


"Well, thanks..."


"Did Michael contact you this morning?"


"No."


"You don't have a number that you could reach him at?"


I sighed, "No." I try to keep my relationship business to myself. I would rather not tell anyone in fear that the stupidest thoughts could be planted in my mind.


"That is just odd. What husband doesn't contact his wife?" Byron shook his head. I shrugged and began to grade papers. I don't even want to entertain his foolishness right now. "I try to keep up with everyone in my life no matter the circumstance. Ya know?" I nodded. Although he knows I'm married now, he still tries to make his little attempts, but I think he knows I'm not up for it. "Hey, are you doing anything later on today?"


"No. Why?" I asked without looking up at him.


"I was wondering if...-"


"Byron!" Mrs. Walker walked into my classroom.


"Mrs. Walker!" My class exclaimed as they ran up to the principal.


"Class, take your seats," I commanded as she walked over to Byron and me.


"Are you on break?" She asked him.


"Yes, I am." Byron answered.


"What time does your class get back?"


"In about thirty minutes."


"Well, come with me. Mr. Knox is absent for the rest of the day and we're placing his students in your classroom." She looked at him.


"Oh, alright..." He sighed.


"Plus, I'm sure Mrs. Jackson does not want to be bothered with your company right now." She winked at me.


"Thank you!" I laughed.


"I'll talk to you after school then, Shayla." Byron turned bright red with a shy smile on his face.


VII


"Hey, Shayla! What's up?" Janet picked up the phone immediately after I had dialed her number.


"I know you're super busy right now, but I have a question." I said.


"Gotta make it quick, Janet. We have some things to tweak up on some tracks." A male voice said in the background.


"What's up, Shay?"


"Well, I was wondering, have you talked to Michael at all?"


"Nope. Not at all."


"Have you talked to any of the guys?"


"I've been talking to Marlon every once in a while since you know he's helping me with this album here."


"Really?" My heart skipped a beat.


"Yeah."


"So, you have a number that you can reach him by?"


"Yeah. All the guys do I think."


"...are you serious?"


"That's what I think. I don't want you getting that idea when I could be wrong though, ya know?" She said quickly.


"Well, could I have Marlons' number really quick?"


"Yeah, but right after that I have to get off the phone or Jesses' gonna eat me alive." We laughed as she gave me Marlons' phone number.


"Alright. I'll talk to you later, sis. Good luck on that album!"


"Thanks!" She said and hung up. I know Michael had a portable phone earlier this year, but he eventually got rid of it because it was too big for his liking, and he never liked carrying it around. But for the sake of our relationship he better not have a portable phone now. Because if he does, and he didn't think to give me the number, he's going to be in a lot of trouble.

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