Chapter 24

"What if I want to surprise you and take you to dinner?" I asked as I ate my last piece of pizza.


"Go ahead. You just won't be choosing my meal," Shayla warned.


"Aww, fine," I laughed. "Are you ready to go home?"


"Sure. I'm getting kind of sleepy."


"Sounds good. Brianna!" I called for her as I pulled out my wallet.


"Ready for the check?" Brianna came over to us.


"Yes, please," I said as she went back to retrieve it.


"I'll be back, Michael," Shayla stood up.


"Where are you going?"


"The ladies room. I'll be back," she said and hurried along. Shayla is officially my girlfriend now... It took a while, but I'm proud to say that she's mine.


"Here you go, Michael," Brianna placed the check in front of me.


"Thanks, Bri," I took it and started to get the money out.


"Who's the lucky girl?" She asked and sat down beside me.


I blushed, "my girlfriend... Shayla."


"Your girlfriend? I thought you said you weren't ready to date..."


"I guess I am... Now that I've met her."


"Well, congrats!"


"Thank you," I smiled.


"How'd the two of you meet?"


"She actually sent me a fan letter... Soon it became a friendship. I just brought her out here two days ago."


"That sounds romantic!"


"I guess it is, huh?"


"How and when did you finally get the guts to ask her?"


"Literally an hour ago. It was interesting because I told her I wanted to ask her and then she made me actually ask," I laughed. "But once I did, she told me she thought we were already going steady. So, I just told her I wanted to make it official."


"Oh my gosh! That sounds so cute and innocent. It almost sounds like a book I'm reading."


I rolled my eyes, playfully, "you're still reading those love books?"


"Heck yeah! I have to read those books so that I can get an idea of how I want my husband to be."


"Oh, so I see you're out here trying to build a husband," I laughed.


"Don't judge me! This is serious business. I've got to get going, Michael. See you later," she laughed as she got up, took the check and left.


Just then, Shayla was coming back, "are you ready?" I asked. She nodded. I grabbed her hand and walked back out to the car.


"Do you think it will rain tonight?" She asked, looking out the window of the car.


"No," I said as I backed out.


"Well, do you think we can go up to the roof tonight?"


"Of course," I looked over at her and noticed a glazed look on her face. She must be tired. I guess it was a full day.


VII


When we got in the house, Shayla walked up to her room. I went upstairs to tell Janet and LaToya the good news.


"Michael, I'm going to take a shower and put on my pajamas, then we can go," Shayla said as she went into her room. I knocked on LaToya's door.


"Come in," she called. I opened the door to find her painting Janet's toenails and Randy roaming around. "Hey, Mike."


"Hey, Applehead!" Janet looked up. Randy just waved as she opened LaToya's closet.


"Hey..." I smiled and sat in the rolling chair.


"How was your day?" LaToya asked me.


I couldn't contain my smile, "perfect."


"How so?"


"Well, Shayla and I went to visit Q, then she beat me at Orbit."


"Finally!" Randy laughed. "I got tired of seeing you win that game, Michael."


I cut him a look, "I actually let her win."


"If I go ask her right now if she beat you by skill and she says 'yes,' then you owe me one hundred dollars."


I paused for a moment... "Fine," I sighed. "She beat me by skill," I mumbled.


"Ha! I knew it!" He laughed.


"Anyway... Then we went to the beach and I asked her to be my girlfriend and-"


"What happened?!" LaToya and Janet interrupted.


I laughed, "she said, 'yes.'"


"No way! How did you ask? How did she answer?" LaToya asked excitedly. I laughed and explained to her as Randy stared blankly at me.


"Did you tell mom?" Janet asked.


"Not yet. I'm going to thought."


"I knew you two were going to end up going steady," Janet smiled.


"Of course! They're perfect for each other, Dunk!" LaToya laughed.


"Welp, I'm going to talk to Shayla. Randy," I looked at him. "Are you okay?" We all looked at him.


"He's just mad because he kept going on and on about how Shayla likes him more than she likes you... Or so he's convinced," Janet laughed. I shook my head and made my way to Shayla's room. Before I knocked, I could hear her singing Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You." She has such a beautiful voice. Who would have known that she can sing? I knocked on the door.


"Come in," she sang. I walked in to find her sitting in front of the mirror doing her hair. "Hey," she smiled as she tried to figure out a style for her thick coily hair.


"Hey," I sat on her bed and watched as she did her hair. Tonight, she wore blue shorts and a large button-down shirt. She always looks so good... "You, um, you look beautiful tonight," I said nervously.


"Thanks," she said as she stood up. I looked her up and down, nibbling at my bottom lip. "Ready?" She asked.


"Yeah," I stood up. She has such beautiful long legs. My God... God is good. She grabbed a large blanket and hurried to the attic door. I went to my room to grab the keys and opened the door. "Ladies first," I instructed her. She pulled the blanket over her shoulders and made her way to the door to the roof. After locking all doors behind us, I found her sitting on the edge. I sat beside her and put my arm around her.


"This view is so beautiful," she sighed and snuggled up to me.


"It is, but not as beautiful as you," I kissed her head.


She hugged me, "today was an amazing day. Thank you, Michael."


"You're more than welcome."


"You are very warm..."


"Really? Usually, I'm pretty cold."


"My hands are always cold. They've been that way since I was a baby."


I grabbed her hand to test her theory, "I actually like how your hand is cool in comparison to my skin."


"Really?"


"It's perfect," I looked at her hand. "Your nails aren't as bad as you make them out to be."


"Yeah, right," she snatched her hand from me in embarrassment. "They're horrible."


"They're beautiful."


"You're just saying that..."


"No. I'm telling the truth. My girl has the most beautiful hands."


She blushed, "thank you... I still think you're lying though..."


"Why would I lie?"


She lay on my lap, yawning, "I don't know."


"Are you sleepy?"


"Just a little, but I'm not going to go to sleep yet." I rubbed her back and began to sing "I'll Be There" as I gazed at the full moon shining brightly above us.


VII


"I will be... there," I finished. I looked down at Shayla to find her sleep. "Shayla...?" I sang as I brushed the hair from her face. "You are so beautiful," I whispered. I stretched my legs which only caused Shayla to wake up.


"Michael?" She slowly got up.


"Sorry to wake you. That was quite the cat nap. I was going to carry you back to bed..."


"I didn't mean to nap. I was just resting my eyes," she laughed lightly as she rubbed her eyes. She stood up and wrapped herself in the blanket. When we got downstairs, I kissed her goodnight.


"Are you okay sleeping alone tonight?" I asked as we stood in her doorway.


"Yeah. If I get scared, I'll just go to your room."


"I'm right across the hallway," I pointed.


She laughed, "I know... Goodnight, Michael."


"Sweet dreams," I smiled and went to my room. Wow. I just had the best day ever.

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