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Chapter 25

"Mom!" I called as I hurried downstairs to her room. I wasn't going to go to sleep without telling her all about my perfect day. "Mom," I knocked on the door.

"Come in," she said from behind the door. I opened it and went in, "hey, baby," she smiled. "How was your day?"

"Perfect," I sat on the bed.

"Perfect?" She asked.

"Yes, ma'am. Simply put."

"How is that?"

"Well first, Shayla and I went to see Quincy. Then we went to the arcade and she beat me at Orbit!"

"What?" She laughed.

"She beat me at Orbit," I shook my head.

"How? I thought no one could beat your high score."

"That's what I thought, but she did... My score was a measly 314,662 and she got 524,702."

"Wow!" She laughed. "Did you let her win?"

I mumbled, "no."

"Aww," she laughed.

"It was fun though," I shrugged.

"That's good to hear!"

"After the arcade, we went to the beach and I technically asked her to be my girlfriend."

"What do you mean 'technically?'"

"Well, I told her I was going to ask then she asked me why I wouldn't ask. So I did and she said she thought were already together. Then I told her I just wanted to make it official."

"So, she said, 'yes,' right?"

"Yep," I nodded.

"Well, I'm happy for you, baby!" She hugged me.


"Did anything else exciting happen?"

"I took her to my favorite restaurant and we plan to visit Disneyland before she leaves."

"That's going to be fun!"

"I know, I can't wait."

"Kate – Oh, hey, Michael," Joseph walked in.

"Hey, Joseph," I stood up. "Goodnight, mom. I love you," I kissed her cheek.

"Goodnight, baby, I'm glad you had a perfect day!"

"Thank you," I smiled. "Goodnight, Joseph."

"Night, Michael," he said as I shut the door and went up to my room. Before I went in, I opened Shayla's door to find her sleeping.

"Sweet dreams," I whispered and shut the door. I went to my room and changed into my pajamas. I can't wait for tomorrow.


"Michael!" Janet whispered loudly in my ear.

I groaned, "what?"

"Can I sleep with you tonight? I had a bad dream," she wiped the tears from her eyes. I looked at the clock: 2:54 a.m. Great.

"Sure," I moved over.

"Thank you," she sighed a breath of relief and got in my bed quickly. "Can I tell you my dream?"

"How about tomorrow, Dunk? I'm tired. Just go to sleep, okay?"

"Okay. Thank you, Michael."

"You're welcome," I yawned before going back to sleep.


I woke up at noon to find Janet gone. She probably had to go to rehearsal. Someone opened my door and peeked in, "good afternoon, Michael," Shayla smiled, walking in once she realized I was awake.

"Good afternoon," I sat up. "You straightened your hair!"

"LaToya did it for me," she sat on the bed.

"It's pretty," I ran my fingers through it.

"Thank you!" She blushed.

"That's a nice dress," I looked at the bright yellow dress she wore that complimented her caramel colored skin flawlessly.

"Thank you! I had to wear it at some point."

"Is that LaToya's bow in your hair?" I looked at the yellow bow snapped onto the left side of her head.

"Oh no. This is mine. Isn't it cute?"

"You look amazing, Shayla..."

"Thanks," she smiled.

"Now, I have to figure out what we're going to do today so that we don't mess up that pretty dress of yours."

"Well, I do want to go shopping while I'm here. LaToya says there are some pretty good stores out here."

"Sounds good. Let me go get dressed and we'll be on our way," I rubbed my eyes.

"That's fine. I'm in no rush," she said and hurried along.


When I walked out of the bathroom, I bumped into Shayla. "Woah, um..." she said as she stared at my wet chest. "I'm so sorry," she shook her head and hurried downstairs. I laughed, making my way back to my room to get dressed. I wore a white button-down shirt and blue jeans. Once I put on my shoes, I went downstairs.

"Good afternoon!" I kissed mom on the cheek.

"You slept pretty late, Michael. Did you sleep well?"

"Yes, ma'am. I slept great."

"Well, that's good to hear."

I looked over to find Shayla playing cards with Randy. I sat beside her and kissed her cheek. "Did you already eat breakfast?"

"Yeah," she said as she stayed focused on the card game.

"Great. I'm going to go eat and we'll be on our way," I said as I got up to get some oatmeal. After making it, I went to sit beside Shayla again. "What game are you playing?" I asked.

"I declare war," Randy said as he focused on the game.

"Shayla is going to beat you, Randy," I teased.

He sighed, "just because she beat you doesn't mean she's going to beat me."

I rolled my eyes, "who has the most cards?"

"I have thirty-two and he has twenty," Shayla said.

"Well, there you have it. Shayla won."

"Shut up, Michael! I'm trying to concentrate!" Randy snapped.

"On what? She already beat you, man. Just give up."


"Fine. Are you ready to go, Shayla?"

"Oh, um, yeah. We can play later, Randy," she promised him.

"Where are you going?" He asked.


"Man, forget y'all!" He threw the cards on the table.

"Do you have your shopping shoes on, Shayla?" I asked her as we walked out to the car. "I know how you women can get when it comes to shopping."

"Of course!" She laughed.


"What's this?" Shayla asked as we pulled up to Westfield.

"It's an outdoor mall. It's called Westfield."

"An outdoor mall? I've never been to one of these before!"

"It's pretty nice. I think you'll love it," I took her hand in mine as we walked up to Macy's.

"Welcome to Macy's! Are you looking for anything in particular?" An associate asked us.

"Um, no. We're just browsing," Shayla smiled.

"If you need any help, my name is Jenny. Just let me know if you need anything." Shayla thanked her and walked along.

"Michael, where is the young adult section?"

"Right over here," I led her over to it. She let go of my hand and started looking at the clothes. I followed behind her as she looked at the pants and shirts.

"Michael, look at this shirt!" She laughed as she showed me a shirt that said, 'I love Michael!'

"Wow!" I laughed.

"That's such a cute shirt," she said as she put it away. "But I don't like the color." We walked over to the dresses and business suits. "Michael, do you like this dress?" She asked as she held up a white peplum dress to her body.

"Try it on," I suggested. We walked over to the fitting room and she went in to try it on. I waited outside.

"Michael, can you help me zip this up?" She asked as she walked out from the fitting room. She turned around for me to zip up the back. "What do you think? She asked as she twisted and turned, looking in the mirror.

"You look fantastic!" I said as I eyed each and every one of her accented curves.

"Really?" She asked. "I'm going to get it. Can you check the price tag for me?"

I looked at the price tag under her arm, "$69.99."

"Aww, man," she sighed.

"What's wrong?"

"I only have sixty dollars..."

"I can buy it for you."

"No, I don't want you to do that, Michael."

"I want to, Shayla."

"It's okay. It's not even worth it," she sighed as she went back into the fitting room. Maybe I should get it for her anyway. She came out and put the dress on the rack.

"Are you sure you don't want it?"

"I'm positive. There wouldn't be anywhere I could wear it anyway."

"You could have worn in on a rainy day."

"It's snowing in Ohio, Michael," she laughed.

"Oh, yeah..."

"I'd probably grow out of it by the time Spring rolls around anyway."

"Well, why don't you just let me buy it for you and you could wear it here? It really looks good on you, Shayla."

"You think so?"

"I would not lie about that."


"Please," I grabbed her hands into mine.

"Um..." she blushed.

"What do you say?"

"Um... No. It's not worth it."

"Aww, come on, Shayla," I laughed.

"Nah. I don't want you spending money on a dress that will probably rip anyway because it's cheap material."

"If you say so," I shrugged.

She gasped, "wait!"


"Is there a thrift store around?"

"Yeah... You like thrift stores?"

"Who doesn't? Let's go!" I laughed as she dragged me out of Macy's...

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