Chapter 9

(Michael)


When LaToya and I arrived at the airport, it wasn't as full as I expected it to be. A few people recognized me, so I signed a couple of autographs. It feels good to be appreciated.


Finally, we waited for Shayla to arrive. My heart raced at the thought of her.


"Michael, I'm going to get some snacks. Do you want anything?" LaToya asked me.


"Nah. I'm fine," I said as I continued to look around for Shayla.


"Are you sure? Because if I come back and you ask for my stuff, we're going to have a problem."


"I'm positive. I'm not worried about your snacks, girl. Go on somewhere."


"Alright," She shrugged and went about her way. I looked at the clock. Five more minutes and she'll be here...


(Shayla)


We finally landed in Los Angeles. I smiled as I looked out the window to find the sun shining at me. It must be a good sixty or seventy degrees out.


"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Los Angeles, California," The pilot said over the speaker. I wonder if Michael is waiting for me. I hope I wouldn't have to take a taxi back to his place. That would be rude. I gathered my bags and walked off the plane and into the airport. I retrieved my suitcase and went looking for Michael. Just thinking about him gives me butterflies. What should I do when I see him? Oh heck, who cares? Whatever happens, happens. As I neared the exit, I looked around in search of Michael. No Michael. Have I been stood up? Do I really have to find my own transportation? I walked around some more in search of him. I really hope I don't have to take a taxi...


(Michael)


I pulled Shayla's photo out of my pocket. Her smile is so bright. Her hair is so beautiful. Just her being the gorgeous girl she is, is making me even more excited. I put the photo back in my pocket as I looked at the clock again. She should be here by now. I got up and looked around for her. As I walked toward baggage claim, I noticed a young woman with the same frame as Shayla. Her hair in a loose long ponytail. I took Shayla's photo out and compared the two. I smiled as I realized the girl was Shayla.


I made my way toward her, "excuse me, miss. You look lost. Are you looking for someone?"


"As a matter of fact, I am," She turned around to face me. She opened her mouth to say something but stopped once she realized it was me. She gasped, "Michael?"


"Hey, Shayla," I smiled. She must notice how nervous I am right now.


"Michael?" She asked again.


"Yes...?" Do I have something green in between my teeth?


"Oh, my goodness! Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry. Oh my gosh! Michael!" She jumped with excitement and hugged me. "Michael, I'm so glad to meet you!"


"I'm glad to meet you too," I laughed and continued to hug her.


"Oh my. I'm sorry if I'm causing a scene. It's just...I finally get to meet you!" She smiled and hugged me again. I can only imagine. I'm excited too.


"Here, let me take your luggage," I said as I picked up her suitcase.


"Michael, I'm so excited to see you!" She smiled. We walked over to sit down. Dang. LaToya isn't back yet? "Michael, I hope I don't seem star struck or anything. I feel bad. I'm sure you get that a lot from fans. I'm just excited. I'm meeting my best friend for the first time ever," She confessed.


"Oh no. It's okay. I understand. I'm excited to meet you too. I figured you would be pretty excited. I've been nervous all day," I confessed as I wiped the sweat from my forehead. I'm so nervous I'm sweating.


"Hey, Mike. I got some Sprite. I'm not all that hungry. Is Shayla here yet?" LaToya walked over to us.


I chuckled to myself and introduced them, "LaToya, Shayla-Elizabeth. Shayla-Elizabeth, LaToya." How did LaToya not notice Shayla beside me?


"Oh, my goodness. I'm so sorry. Hi, I'm LaToya, Michael's older sister," LaToya smiled and hugged her.


"Nice to meet you! You can call me Shayla. All my friends do." Shayla smiled.


"Come on! What are y'all waiting for? Let's go see Mom," LaToya smiled and led us to the car. I picked up Shayla's bag and followed her.


"LaToya is so sweet," Shayla told me.


"Only in front of company," I laughed. When we got to the car, I put her bags in the trunk. "You can sit in the front with Toy," I offered.


"Are you sure?" She asked.


"Of course!" I opened the door for her.


"Now, Michael, why don't you open the door for me like that?" LaToya asked as she shut her door. Why is she embarrassing me like this? "Huh, Mike?" She pressed.


"I have..."


"When?"


"Remember that last time, when I... Remember?"


"No! Stop lying. Just because Shayla is around, all of a sudden you're a gentleman," Shayla laughed. Toy, please stop embarrassing me in front of Shayla! Of all people... Sheesh.


VII


When we got home, I opened both Shayla and LaToya's door.


"Thank you," Toy smiled.


"Sure," I faked a smile as I got Shayla's bag out of the back


"You and LaToya are funny," Shayla laughed.


"You should see me and Janet." I laughed as LaToya unlocked the door.


"We're home!" She shouted as she put her keys on the key hook.


Shayla gasped, "your house is beautiful!" She continued to look around. I led her upstairs.


"Your room is right here. Right across from mine," I told her as we walked in the guest room.


"Did you do that on purpose?" She asked.


"No... Surprisingly, the guest room is really across from my room," I blushed. I kind of did do that on purpose. She could have had the room downstairs, but I want her near me.


"It's nice. The bed is comfy too." I put her bag in the closet and stood in the doorway as she roamed around her room. "I have my own bathroom?" She gasped. I laughed. "Woah! It's so pretty and shiny!" She smiled as she walked out. "My own TV too? I've never had a TV in my room before. Not even in my dorm."


"Are you ready to meet my mom?"


"Your mom, Katherine? Oh my... Do I look presentable?"


"You look great!" I assured her.


"Are you sure?"


"Positive. Come on," I said as I led her down the stairs to find mom sitting in the library. "Mother?" I asked as we walked in.


"Yes?" She asked without looking up from her book.


"I want you to meet someone special... This is Shayla-Elizabeth. The young woman I've been writing back and forth to for a couple of months. I've also had the pleasure of calling her a few times."


"Hello, Shayla-Elizabeth! You're so beautiful! No wonder Michael talks so much about you," she got up to hug Shayla.


"Thank you, Mrs. Jackson," Shayla smiled. "My friends call me Shayla. I'm only called by my entire name when I'm in trouble," She laughed.


"Do you mind if I call you Shayla-Elizabeth? I'm sure you won't be in any trouble here," Mom smiled.


"Oh, of course!" She smiled. I watched as the two of them spoke to one another. Any other girl I've brought over has never had this impact on my Mother before. They spoke as if they've known each other forever.

© All Rights Reserved