Chapter 6

(Three months later)


(Shayla)


"Mama, I'm home!" I shouted as I ran in the house.


"Shayla, honey, Michael has been sending you so many letters. You need to answer him," My mom said as she hugged me.


"I know. I forgot to tell him I was leaving for college."


"Don't you think that's something you ought to tell someone when you are writing them?"


"Yes, I know. I just had a lot going on. You know that. Look, I'm just gonna take these..." I began to gather the envelopes until I realized how many there actually were, "Mom, how many did he send?"


"Twelve."


"Oh, my goodness. I have to write-"


"Don't bother," she went to the kitchen.


"What do you mean? He must be worried sick about me!"


"Don't get mad at me either."


"Why would I get mad at you?"


"I read the last letter he sent."


"You what?! That's my-"


"He gave you his number so the two of you could talk. Don't yell at me."


"He what?"


"Here," she handed me a piece of paper. "You better call him but don't talk too long. You know long distance calls cost me."


"Mom, I'm nervous! He's my favorite singer!"


"Do you want me to do it?"


"No, no, no. Ok. I'll call him," I picked up the phone.


"Go to your room. I'm not trying to hear you giggle and cry."


"Yes, ma'am," I laughed and hurried to my room with the envelopes.


"Not too long, Shayla!" She reminded me.


"Alright!" I yelled back and shut the door. I'm so nervous. My heart is racing faster than a speeding bullet. What if he doesn't like the sound of my voice? Don't be nervous. I took a deep breath and dialed his phone number. It rang once. Twice. Thr-


"Hello?" A woman answered.


"Whew!" I breathed. "Hi," my voice shook.


"Yeah... hi... May I ask who is calling?" They asked.


"Shayla. Shayla-Elizabeth Johnson. I'm calling to speak with Michael."


"Shayla? Oh, my goodness! Michael is going to be happy that you called!"


"Really?"


"Yes! I'm LaToya by the way. Hang on."


"Alright," I'm assuming she's heard good things about me. I picked my nails. I need new nail polish. This green is ugly. I lay back on my bed and stared at the ceiling.


"Hello?" A soft-spoken, yet nervous voice answered.


"Michael?" My voice is still shaking.


"Yeah. This is he."


"It's Shayla. You gave me your number in a letter you sent a while ago."


"Shayla-Elizabeth?" He perked up.


"Yeah," I smiled.


"How are you?!"


"Nervous," I admitted.


"Why?" He laughed.


"I'm talking to you for the first time."


"Don't be nervous. I'm the same guy you wrote letters to."


"I know. It's just...I don't know."


"Don't worry about it.


"I'll try," I managed to say. "I'm sorry I didn't get back to your letters. My mother said you sent twelve."


"I did. What happened?"


"I was going off to college and I had a lot going on. I haven't been back home until today."


"I understand. What college did you end up going to?"


"Neither one of the schools I told you about," I laughed. "I chose to stay close to home. Yet, I haven't been home. I go to Ohio State University."


"That's interesting," He laughed. I looked around my room and crossed my legs. I hate awkward silences like these. "You have a beautiful voice," he managed to say. It sounded as if he was too nervous to say it.


"Thank you," I blushed.


"You're welcome. I think you're stunning too."


"Thank you, Michael."


"You're welcome," I could tell he was smiling.


"I took your drawing of 'Neverland' to school."


"You did?"


"Yeah, it's right above my bed."


"Really?"


"Yeah. I look at it all the time. My roommate asked who drew it. I told her you did."


"What did she say?"


"She didn't believe me, but I didn't care."


"I like that about you."


"What is that?"


"You don't care what people think. I admire that."


"Well, thank you."


"Anytime."


"I don't think I've ever asked you this, but who is your favorite singer? Remember, I'm not that big of a fan, so I wouldn't know," I laughed.


"I don't mind, but I like James Brown. He's my ultimate favorite."


"I only know one song by him."


"What's that?"


"'Say it Loud'"


"I like that song."


"It's catchy. I like a lot of catchy, inspirational and romantic songs."


"Really? What are your favorite songs from those types?"


"By you?"


"It doesn't matter."


"Oh. Ok. Well, I like 'You're the One That I Want' by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. From the movie Grease."


"Yeah. What about the other ones?"


"That was a catchy one. Umm, a romantic one would be, 'She's Out of My Life.' I love that one. I know it's about a breakup, but I think it's pretty and I enjoy your raw emotion in it. Did you cry at the end?"


"Yeah. I cried at the end of every take, then Quincy decided to just keep it in."


"Quincy? As in Quincy Jones?"


"Yep."


"My mother listens to him all the time."


"Tell your mother, I said 'hello.'"


"I won't forget to," I blushed. "Do you listen to your own music a lot?"


"Nope."


"Oh, well, would it be safe to ask what a favorite of your own songs is?"


"Sure. From, 'Off the Wall?'"


"It doesn't matter."


"I don't know. I like 'She's Out of My Life' as well."


"It seems I'm not the only one. What's your favorite song in general?"


"'Smile' by Charlie Chaplin."


"I like that one. It lifts my spirit no matter what," I waited for him to respond, but he didn't. "Michael, are you there?"


"Yeah. I'm sorry. Your voice is beautiful. I was just listening," he admitted.


"Aww," I blushed. I felt like a little girl. "Michael, you're an-"


"Shayla, unless you plan on paying the phone bill, I suggest you get off the phone," Mom shouted up the stairs.


I sighed, "yes, ma'am! Michael?"


"Yes?"


"I'm sorry to cut the conversation so quickly, but I have to go. Long distance calls cost over here. So, maybe I'll call you from my dorm sometime. Is that okay?"


"That's perfect," I could hear the smile in his voice again.


"Alright, so I'll talk to you soon then?"


"Sure. Talk to you soon, Shayla."


"Bye, Michael."


"Huh? Why are you saying 'bye?' Are we never going to talk again?"


"We are!"


"Well, when you say 'bye,' it means forever."


"Of course not! So, I'll talk to you later then?"


"That's better."


"Alright, Michael. Talk to you soon," I laughed.


"I'll talk to you later," He said before I hung up.


"Shayla, are you off that-"


"Yes, ma'am!" I cut her off. Michael is so amazing. I can't wait to talk to him again.


(Michael)


Shayla is so amazing. She's beautiful, intelligent, has a beautiful voice. Man, I did not want to get off the phone. I wanted to talk to her forever. Hopefully, I can talk to her soon.


"Michael, Michael, Michael," LaToya walked in my room. "How was your talk with Shayla?"


"It was great, but she had to get off the phone."


"Aww. Why?"


"Long distance calls are expensive, I guess. She said she would call me back though, so I look forward to that call."


"I bet you do. What did you two talk about?"


"Why?"


"I'm just asking."


"Not much. I listened most of the time. She has such a beautiful voice, Toy."


"Really?"


"Yeah. God, I just want to call her again..."

© All Rights Reserved