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Chapter 20

"Hey, baby." I opened the door for Shayla and kissed her. I could not wait until she got home. I feel like I've been waiting for her all day.

"Hey!" She smiled as she made her way in.

"How was work?" I took her bag and led her to the couch for her to relax.

"Work was work until I got into that craziness that was Byron today. I didn't know he was that crazy!" She said as she plopped down on the couch.

"I didn't either. I mean, I knew he was crazy, but not like that. I'll get to the bottom of it."

"Don't worry about it, Michael. He's not worth it." She sighed. "So... how was your day?"

"The phone has been ringing off the hook." I sighed.

"And I suppose you didn't answer, huh?"

"It's just too much to talk about with anyone else right now, babe."

"Well... talk to me about it. Let's start from the beginning. When did you decide you were going solo...?" She wondered.

"I've been feeling it for a while, Shayla-"

"Did the success of Thriller get to you or was it something else?"

"No! Not at all. I just felt that since everyone is doing things on their own anyway and is already successful, it's about time that we break up as a group, ya know?"

"I'm not getting it, Michael." She looked at me. Like, I said before, she wants to know both sides and cares about how both sides will feel about the situation.

"Jermaine is making solo albums. Tito is working on his music. Marlon is working on himself. Everyone is doing their own thing. We're all grown men. We can't be in a group forever."

"Did you ever talk to them about that or did you just come to that decision on your own?"

"Honestly, on my own. I've been making decisions for everyone else in my life, it's about time that I start making serious decisions on my own. It's time for me to make decisions for myself, so that's what I did last night."

"What made you say it in public instead of in private amongst you and your family?"

"Because Mom would have tried to convince me that it isn't the right thing to do. Joseph would have just pressured me into choosing to staying with the group. My brothers would be thinking the same thing as my parents. No one would have supported my decision, so if I had just done it right during the show, no one would have been able to tell me no and right after the show was done, I could have just gone home. In which, I did and I haven't spoken to anyone since." I explained. Shayla just shook her head.

"You know your family better than I do, Michael. I would have done it in a more private setting and had just stood on my word, but you know best when it comes to your family."

"Mother and my brothers would have probably let it go at some point, but Joseph? Nah." I shook my head. There was just no way he would have let me stand on my word and let it go. "The most he would do is let me stand on my word, but he would not let me go. He would convince me to continue doing stuff with the group. I didn't want to do that."

"Okay... I guess I get it. Why didn't you tell me, Michael?" She wondered.

"Honestly, I thought you would have wanted me to stay with my brothers as well and I didn't want to hear that..." I explained. That's honestly what I thought. She is my wife, so she would of course want to support me, but I think she would have thought it to be best to stay with my brothers.

"Michael, I'm your wife. I'm here to support you." She pointed at me. "Now, I do agree that you did mighty great with your brothers for the past twenty years and I've only seen you with your brothers. But I also agree that when it is time to branch away, it is time to branch away. Had you told me about it, I would have probably been a little sad, ya know? You're leaving your brothers... But if you felt that it was best for you to go entirely solo, I support that. I'm your wife, I support you, not your brothers. Your brothers may be good guys and whatnot, but I'm not here for them. I didn't marry them. I married you. So I'm kind of hurt that you didn't tell me since that has been on your heart for so long, but at the same time, I'm nothing but proud of you for standing your ground and doing what you felt was right for yourself." She kissed me on the cheek.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you, babe... I didn't know how you'd react."

"I'm not saying you have to tell me everything you plan on doing, but if you ever have any doubts of me supporting you, just know that I will always support you, unless it's something that I completely disagree with." She laughed.

"I'll always support you too, baby."

"I'd hope so!"

"Which is why I don't really want you at that school, but look, I can support you for the next six months. After that, you're on to the next one, okay?"

"Okay." She nodded.

"You promise?" I held out my pinky.

"Pinky promise." She hooked her pinky with mine.

Suddenly the phone rang. I rolled my eyes, but Shayla went to get it.

"Hello?" She answered. I bet it's the family again. She looked at me when she answered. I shook my head no. "I just got back from work. What's up, Hazel?" She asked. Hazel? How did she get our number? Had to have been Jermaine. "Spa date? Uh, how about Friday? That's my last day at work until next year." Okay, Shayla has hung out with Carol, but Hazel alone? "Oh, Carol is gonna be there? Cool! A wives' date! That sounds so fun! What time?" Enid, Hazel, Dee Dee, Carol, and Shayla all hanging out... I guess that's okay. I don't see anything crazy going on. "Four thirty? That sounds great. I'll see you all then!" She smiled and hung up.

"So?" I asked.

"Guess me and the wives are hanging out this Friday." She laughed.

"That sounds fun."

"I know, right? I'm excited. It would have been nice is Janet, Latoya and Rebbie could come too, but they're your sisters. So, this'll be different. I'm excited."

"I wonder why they weren't invited though... You guys are all sisters-in-law, why not invite them too? But I guess it is a wives' date." I shrugged. "I can't wait until this week is over." I sighed.

"Why is that?" Shayla asked me.

"Because you don't have to go to work for two weeks. You know mom asked me why I still have you working? I told her it wasn't up to me and that you wanted to work." I laughed.

"What's wrong with wanting to have my own money?" She laughed.

"I guess she figured you shouldn't be working because you don't have to worry about anything." I shrugged.

"Look, if I initially wasn't working, no offense, but mom would have thought that I was being a gold digger. I'd rather have her question why I'm working instead of wondering why I'm not working."

"You're right." I laughed.

"Not to toot my own horn, but aren't you glad you got a wife who decides to work even though you have all the money in the world?"

"Shows me that you're not in it for the money..." I smiled a little. "Honestly, if you weren't working and I didn't know your heart the way I do, I'd be pretty suspicious of your purpose in marrying me."

"Notice how you said if you didn't know my heart... Would you have really married a woman that you didn't know as well as you thought you did?"

"I'd hope that I wouldn't marry a woman who I thought was one way but was actually another... But look, I'm married to you. And I know you. I know your heart, your motives, you've only been with me and I'm glad you've been yourself the entire time. I'm also very glad that you like having your own money although sometimes I don't like seeing you go off to work." I laughed as I pulled her in for a passionate kiss.

"Aww, Michael." She blushed. I picked her up and began making my way upstairs. "Oh, so it's that kinda party?" She laughed.

"It is." I smirked. I love this woman. I don't know where I'd be if I didn't have her. I'm still kind of down about the events of the show last night, but I feel a little better now and that's all that matters.

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