Chapter 15

As we pulled up to the park, the rain was pouring, "Shayla, I don't know if I want to go." I looked at her.


"Why are you backing out already? We just got here. Come on!" Shayla laughed and got out the car then ran to the swings.


I sighed, "oh my..." I got out the car and ran over to the swings.


"Michael, stop being a chicken!" Shayla laughed as she swung high in the air.


"I'm not a chicken," I started swinging. "I can't believe I'm swinging in the rain. I'm going to get sick."


"No, you're not, Michael. Stop wishing bad things on yourself." I looked over at her to find her hair soaking wet and her shorts drenched. This is a bad idea.


"Shayla, come on. Let's go," I stopped my swing.


"Michael, we just got here!" she protested.


"Yeah, but I'm not trying to get sick. I'm already getting cold."


She sighed, "fine," and stopped her swing. She put her arm around my waist as we walked back to the car. "I'm surprised you're not running to get back to the car." I opened her door for her then got in. As soon as I started the car, I turned on the heat.


"You're drenched!" I said as I backed out of the parking lot.


"You should be drenched too, Mr. I'm-Gonna-Get-Sick," she shivered.


"See! You're shivering. I'll turn the heat up."


"Thanks... Do you want a hug now?" She laughed.


"No, I'm driving," I laughed. "you're soaked anyway! Do you want to go home and change clothes?"


"No. Let's go to a movie!"


"Shayla, it's cold in a movie theatre."


"So...?"


"So... that's really when you'll get sick. I'm not letting you get sick."


"Oh, come on, Michael."


"No. We're going home so you can change then we can go to a movie. I don't want my girl getting sick."


"Your what?" She asked as she rubbed her arms.


I cleared my throat, realizing what I called her, "I said, I don't want you getting sick." She's not my girl yet.


"No, you said something else..." She teased.


"I said, we're going home because I'm not going to let you get sick."


She smiled, "you called me your girl. It's okay to admit it. Don't be ashamed. I want to be your girl."


"You do?" I looked at her.


"Is it not obvious?" She blushed and turned around to look out the window as it continued to rain. She was still shivering.


"Here," I grabbed a jacket once we stopped at a stoplight.


"Thank you," she wrapped it around her arms.


VII


"Hey, Shayla and Michael. Where were you too?" Mother asked as we walked in the house.


"We went to the park," I said.


"Did you have fun, Shayla?"


"Yes, ma'am. I had a lot of fun," she smiled between shivers.


"Why are you shivering, dear?"


"Michael and I went to the park again when it rained."


"Oh, baby! You must be freezing! Michael, why would you let her go outside like that?" Mom asked me as she led Shayla to the fireplace.


"I tried to stop her. She wouldn't listen to me," I protested.


"It's true, Mrs. Jackson," Shayla backed me up as she sat in a chair facing the fireplace.


"Michael, go get this girl some hot chocolate."


"Yes, ma'am," I said as I made my way to the kitchen.


"Applehead, why are you trying to get your girlfriend sick?" Janet teased.


"I'm not," I stuck my tongue out at her.


"What did you all do?"


"We went to the park, got some ice cream and then she insisted we go back to the park while it was raining. I tried to stop her, but she wants to go."


"Is she sick?"


"I hope not. She wanted to go to the movies directly after she got drenched by the rain. I told her no because she really would have gotten sick then. So I just brought her home. Guess what..."


"What?"


"I accidentally called her 'my girl,'" I told her as I poured hot water in the hot chocolate powder.


Janet gasped, "what did she say?"


"I tried to play it off, but she repeated me and said it was okay that I call her mine," I smiled.


"You're making that up."


"No, I'm not. Ask her."


"Fine. I will."


"Wait! I was kidding!" I followed her as she ran to Shayla.


"Shayla, did you say it was okay for Michael to call you his girl? I'm certain he's lying."


Shayla blushed, "he's telling the truth," she said as she looked at me.


"See, Janet? I have nothing to lie about." Shayla and I laughed as I made my way back to the kitchen.


"Michael?" Shayla called me.


"Yeah?"


"Could we go up to your secret place tonight after we come back from the movies?"


"Sure. Any particular reason why?" I made my way back over to her


"I really like that view. It's beautiful and peaceful."


"It is, isn't it?"


"Yeah."


"What movie did you want to see?"


"I don't know... Do you have a newspaper around here?"


"I'll check," I went back to the kitchen.


"Michael, Shayla's hot chocolate is done," Janet handed the cup to me.


"Thanks. Hey, Janet?"


"What?"


"Did we get today's paper?"


"Yeah. It's on the breakfast nook."


"Thanks," I went to get the paper and brought both items back to Shayla. "Here's your hot chocolate and a copy of today's paper." I handed both to Shayla. I sat down beside her on the footrest.


"You can pick the movie, Michael," Shayla took a sip from her mug."


"No, you're the guest."


"It's okay. I don't even know what's interesting enough to see. You go ahead."


"I don't know either."


"Michael, pick..." she laughed.


"You pick, Shayla. I want you to."


"Michael, you're the guy."


"Ladies first," I smiled.


She rolled her eyes playfully, "fine. If I pick the movie then you have to buy the popcorn."


"I was going to anyway."


"Well, excuse the heck out of me!" She laughed. "What about Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back?"


I gasped, "you like Star Wars?"


"Yeah! Who doesn't?"


"LaToya."


"She doesn't? We have to take her with us!"


"How about some other time? I'd rather just go to the movies with you," I blushed.


"Okay. I'm all for it! Maybe she and I could hang out some other time and see it. Let me go change out of these wet clothes first," she got up with her blanket around her and went upstairs.


"What are you two doing?" LaToya asked me as she came downstairs.


"We're going to a movie."


"Really? To see what?"


"Star Wars."


"She likes that kind of stuff?" She laughed. "You must really like her now, huh?"


"I liked her before I found out she likes Star Wars, but this makes it even better."


"My bad!" She laughed as she went into the kitchen. I grabbed Shayla's cup and followed LaToya into the kitchen.


"Why is Shayla so wet?" She asked Janet.


"They went to the park in the rain," Janet responded.


"Wow, Michael. You don't care about your girl now?"


"I tried to stop her, but she wouldn't listen," I explained for the third time.


"Michael, I'm ready!" Shayla called as she ran into the kitchen wearing blue jeans, a grey shirt, and black sneakers. This time her hair was pulled back into a sleek ponytail.


"You look nice," I smiled.


"Thank you," she blushed. "Hey, LaToya!"


"Hey Shayla," LaToya smiled back.


"We'll see you guys later," I called as Shayla and I walked out the front door.


"We're going to the movies, we're going to the movies, we're going to the movies! Movies here we come!" Shayla sang.

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