Chapter 3

Michael said that he didn't want me working at all, but does he really expect me to sit at home all by myself while he's on tour? And on top of that he won't even let me go on tour with him. What kind of sense does that make? I walked back and forth in front of our bed contemplating on whether I should call Marlon or not. In the end I know I will, but what do I say? I laid on the bed and covered my face. Maybe I should quit my job, have Michael let the world know he and I are married, and start going on tour with him. But then I'd be in the spotlight and I'm not ready for that yet. In fact, I dread what being in the spotlight could do to a person. I've seen what Michael goes through. I've seen what they say about him. I see it all, and I don't want to be apart of that, but going into this marriage I should have known that was going to happen. Ya know, I guess if Michael can keep me out of the spotlight for as long as he can, I will be satisfied with that. And when the word is out then it's out. Shoot, we've kept it a secret for this long. Who's to say we can't keep it a secret for a couple of years?


I sat up and picked up the phone off of the night stand and dialed Marlons' number. Wherever they are, I pray it's not late. It's only eight in the evening here. Wherever they are it's probably just a couple of hours later.


"Hello?!" Marlon answered breathlessly. You could hear the excitement clear in his voice.


"Marlon!" I smiled.


"Who's this?" He laughed.


"It's Shayla. Sorry, to call unannounced. Did I call at a bad time?"


"Oh no! Hey, Mike! It's Shayla!" I heard him yell. "Shayla, what's up? Shouldn't you be sleep? You have to work tomorrow, right?"


"Yeah, but I've been kind of restless lately."


"Ahh, that sucks..."


"Yeah... Hey, what time is it where you are?"


"We're in Houston, Texas and it's precisely," He paused to check the time. "Eleven fifteen. We just got finished with a show and we're probably going to go grab something to eat."


"Oh. So, you guys are pretty hyper then, huh?" I laughed.


"You know it." He laughed. "I was going to give the phone to Mike, but he just went to the restroom before we go make a move."


"Oh... Hey, are you the only one who has a portable phone?"


"Nope. The whole crew has a phone. We need it. It's in the budget anyway."


"Oh really...?" My heart sank.


"Yeah."


"Ok... Hey, I sent a letter yesterday. It'll probably get lost in the fanmail though, so you can pitch it, I guess." I shrugged.


"Mike! Mike!"


"Oh, no. It's fine, Mar-" I tried to say.


"Take the phone, man."


"Why?" I heard Michael ask.


"Just take it!"


"I don't want to!"


"Man, look. You want to take this call." Marlon said in a stern voice.


I heard Michael suck his teeth as he took the phone. "Yes?" I bit my lip unsure how to answer. "Hello...?" Michael asked.


"Hey..." I finally answered.


"Baby?" He asked.


"Yeah..." I sighed.


"Shayla! I missed you so much! How have -"


"Save it, Michael." I rolled my eyes.


"What? Why? What's going on?"


"You couldn't tell me that you had a portable phone?"


"I don't! You know I got rid of that thing."


"Oh yes, you did. But the whole crew has a portable phone and you mean to tell me that you don't have a new one?"


"No, babe. I don't. I didn't want one."


"Oh really? So, you mean to tell me that the whole crew has portable phones, but you couldn't bother to contact me?"


"Baby, I've been really busy. Okay? Don't think that I don't want to talk to you."


"Busy with what though? You're on tour, yes I understand that, but in your downtime you don't think that you can call me?"


"I have called you, Shayla..."


"Once this month, Michael!"


"Shayla, I've been busy..."


"With what?"


"I've been working on a new album."


"So, suddenly I'm not special enough to get a simple call from you now?"


"Baby, you're always special to me."


"Save it, Michael. Look, I sent a letter to you yesterday, but it's probably going to get stuck in all that fanmail."


"Shayla-"


"But don't bother looking for it, okay? Just pitch it since I'm not special enough to you anymore, alright?"


"Shayla-"


"Goodnight."

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