Chapter 40

(Shayla)


Michael is coming today! I am so excited! I went around the house one last time to make sure everything was clean and in order, minus David's room. Walking in my room, I made sure my bed was made, nothing was on the floor and everything was in order. Gosh, I feel like I'm overdoing things. It's Michael! But he's a superstar now. I'm sure he has changed slightly over the past couple of years. I don't want him to judge me over the smallest things. I teased my hair a bit. Maybe a high ponytail or a low ponytail will do. How about a side ponytail? The doorbell rang. Is that Michael so soon? I looked at my watch. No, his flight hasn't arrived yet. I looked through the peephole to see Byron. What does he want? I opened the door, "hey, Byron. What's up?"


"Hey, Shayla! Are you busy today?" He asked, giving me yet another bouquet of flowers.


"Thanks, Byron, but I am busy."


"Really? Doing what?"


"Why? Were you trying to hang out today?"


"Of course. Who wouldn't want to spend their weekend with the most beautiful girl in the world?"


I smiled, "you're so sweet."


He smiled, "so, what are you doing today?"


"I'm picking up Michael from the airport. I haven't seen him for years, so I'm going to be with him for a while."


"Oh, hey, how about I go with you to pick Michael up? Maybe I could meet him and we could be friends or something?"


That's kind of weird... "Um, no," I made a face.


"Okay... Call me when you get to the airport."


"I'll see you later, Byron," I shut the door. Byron become friends with Michael? Yeah... no. I put the flowers in a vase along with the flowers I got from Byron last night. I honestly don't think Byron meeting Michael is a good idea. I just know Byron would make a big deal about it. It's best that I just don't let him meet Michael at all. If Michael wants to meet Byron, that's cool, but the other way around? No. I'm so excited that Michael is coming. I know he's changed just a little, but not so much. His voice is slightly deeper. I do realize everyone is making a big deal about him since the Thriller album, but I must admit, he did do an excellent job on it. I've had the record on repeat for a while now. So, when I pick him up from the airport, I'm going to try to contain my excitement as best as I can. Keyword: try. I wonder what he's going to think when he sees me. I did change a little. According to my brothers, Lauren has rubbed off on me. Which isn't true. My attire is slightly different. Oh gosh! Is what I'm wearing too much? I ran to my room and looked at myself in the mirror. My jeans aren't too tight. My turtleneck isn't too tight. I think I look fine. I mean, I'm showing my figure a little bit, but I can't escape that.


(Michael)


We finally landed in Sacramento. I wonder if Shayla has changed since the last time, I've seen her. Has she gained weight in all the right places? Will that Byron guy be with her? I really hope not. I honestly don't like that fact that he was at her house.


"Have a nice vacation, Mr. Jackson," the flight attendant smiled as I walked down the steps of the plane and put my disguise back on.


"Michael, we're going to take a private entrance to avoid any paparazzi or fans," Bill told me.


"Let's take the public entrance," I said pulling my baseball cap further down.


"Are you sure? Michael, I think it will be safer if we take the private entrance."


"I'm meeting Shayla, Bill. She won't meet me at the private entrance. I didn't tell her to."


"So, the public entrance?" He made a face.


"Yeah, there's no need for security."


"Michael, are you sure?!"


"I'm positive. I'll see you when I get back home," I went into the airport and started to look for Shayla. I made sure my baseball cap was down over my glasses. I really don't want to be noticed. I feel like if security was with me, it would have caused more attention. As I walked toward the exit to find Shayla, I heard a loud scream.


"Michael!!!" A girl yelled. Oh gosh. I think a fan has somehow spotted me. Maybe I should have brought security. I was reluctant to turn around, but I did anyway to see Shayla turning toward me. "Michael!" She screamed again as she jumped on me. "Michael, I've missed you so much!" She smiled that oh so gorgeous smile I've missed so much.


"I've missed you too," I smiled.


"Oh my gosh!" She got down.


"What?"


"You've gotten taller!" she looked me up and down.


I laughed, "no, you just got shorter. Do you think we can take this outside? I think people are beginning to stare," I looked around.


"Oh, sure! Come on," she grabbed one of my bags and walked outside.


"Michael, you haven't changed one bit. Well, you did get taller and your voice is a tad bit deeper."


"I didn't change that much, but Shayla you look great! I thought you didn't like turtlenecks though."


"I began to like them slowly, but surely," she opened the trunk to her car.


"I love that you still have this car," I looked at the Mustang.


"You thought I was going to get rid of this?" She laughed. "This is my baby!"


"Your baby, huh?" I walked over to the driver's side with her.


"Yeah," she blushed as I held her by her waist. Would it be strange to kiss her?


"What about me?" I whispered.


"You're my baby too..." At that, I kissed her. I've missed kissing her. "Michael," she smiled. "People are starting to look."


"Let them," I smiled, kissing her again. "You don't understand how much I have missed you, Shayla. I don't care who looks."


"Oh, I understand. Trust me, I do," she said as I opened the door for her.


"So, you moved out here with David, huh?" I asked once I got in the car.


"Yeah, I practically had to beg him to let me stay out here with him. We have a cute little townhouse. I'm moving out soon though."


"When?"


"I'm honestly shooting for next month. It's time for me to live on my own. When we got home, I'll show you the picture of the house I want. It's really nice."


"So, you're moving into a house by yourself?"


"Yeah. Don't worry, I'm going to get a dog. I won't be totally by myself," she laughed. I looked around outside and took in everything. There are so many trees. Maybe she moved here because it resembles Ohio. "I really like your new album," Shayla said, breaking the silence. "Did you have fun making the album?"


"I did have fun!"


"I really love 'Human Nature' and 'Baby Be Mine.' Those songs are my absolute favorites on the album."


"Human Nature was my favorite one to sing. When I first heard it and read the lyrics, I was amazed."


"That's what I thought when I heard it," she said as she turned into a new apartment complex. I've never lived in an apartment before. Let alone a townhouse. These are small... "We're here!" She sang.


"These are so nice but so small."


"I know. It's not much, but it beats living with my parents," she shrugged as she got out of the car and helped me with my luggage. "Make yourself at home," she opened the door. I took off my disguise.


"Is David home?" I asked, putting my bags by the couch.


"No, he won't be back until Sunday," she yelled from upstairs. I sat on the sofa and looked at the pictures on the wall. Shayla keeps it really nice here.


"Michael, come here. I'm going to show you your room," she called. I picked my bags up and went upstairs. More photos were decked on the walls. "We only have two bedrooms. So, you can sleep in my room. It's not super girly, so don't worry about that."


"Shayla, this is your room. I can just sleep on the couch," I suggested.


She shook her head, "oh no. I can't have you sleeping on the couch. I'll sleep there. You can have my room, Michael. No, if's, and's, or buts, about it."


"But-"


"Nope," she shut the door and went downstairs. "Make yourself comfortable, just don't go snooping around in my things." I sighed and sat on the bed. I looked over at the nightstand to find a photo of Shayla and me in the photobooth three years ago. I picked it up. This was when she was about to leave. I remember it like it was yesterday. I put the photo back and looked around her room. I'm guessing this is the master bedroom because she has a mighty large closet. I'll be fine in here. It's not too bad. I walked over to her dresser to find tons of photos around the mirror and on the wall. Mostly of her and I, then some of her with kids. "Michael... Oh," she opened the door. "I called your name twice."


"Sorry, I was just looking at your photos. Whose baby is that?"


"That's Robert's daughter, Andrea. We call her Andy for short."


"They had a baby?"


"Yeah, she's adorable!"


"Congratulations!"


"Thanks! It's nice to have a new addition to the family. It's about time because I was scared mom was going to have another baby just because Mariah is growing up too fast."


I laughed, "does Byron live around here?"


"I sure hope not!"


"Is he your co-worker?"


"Yeah. Well, first of all, he's David's college friend and I ended up working at the same school he did."


"Can I meet him?"


She looked at me, "you want to meet him?!"


I shrugged, "sure. Why not?"


"Oh wow. Um, like, right now?"


"Or later. It doesn't matter."


"I think later would be best because I want to spend time with you and no one else." I smiled and pulled her in for a passionate kiss.

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