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Chapter 13

Michael was at the studio and I was left with Mariah for the day. Ms. Fine was downstairs teaching a very irrational Mariah as I remained upstairs. I honestly don't know what I plan to do with my life as of right now. I have to find a new passion since teaching is no longer an option. I don't want to do anything too big. I just want to be successful. I was put on this earth for a purpose, not to just be Michael Jackson's wife. God put me here for a reason and I plan to live my life accordingly. Scanning my room, I got up to go into the closet. Maybe I could find something in there that could help me find my purpose in life. Opening each tote and storage bin, all I could find were clothes and memories. Clothes and memories. Clothes and memories. And finally, a notebook I had from a while back appeared. I picked it up to read its' contents which contained a series of stories and poems I had written. Writing has always been my first love. I think that's why I wanted to be a teacher because I felt that being a teacher would be the pathway to writing...Which doesn't really make sense, but for some reason, I thought it did. I always felt that I could write on the side and teach as a way of bringing in income or something. Now, I don't have to do that. Now, I can focus on my writing with no distraction in the world. Mariah came running into my room. No distraction in the world but Mariah it seems.

"Shayla! Mom is on the phone!" She said excitedly as she handed me the phone.

"Hey, mom," I answered.

"I'm coming out there, Shayla."


"Because I miss Mariah."


"No! No, moms! Mariah told me everything, Shayla."

I sighed, "what exactly did she tell you?"

"How you left her alone!"

"Because she was throwing a temper tantrum, but she came running after me."

"How you have her living with a monkey with rabies!"

"Bubbles is disease free."

"Um," she stammered. "How you sent her to bed without her dinner!"

"Because she felt the need to add her two cents into an adult conversation. Did she tell you how she has been rude to not only me but Michael, Katherine, Carol and Carol's daughters?"

"My Mariah would never!"

"Oh, but she has," I nodded.

"You're lying!" Mom and Mariah said in unison.

"We've clearly got a lot of work to do, mom. So, I think you'll be fine staying in Ohio. How's daddy?"

"He's doing much better! He's more upbeat than ever."

"And you want to leave to come to get Mariah?" I made a face.

"Not to get her... Just to check in on my baby, Shayla."

"We're fine, mom. You and dad continue to work on your marriage. I've got everything under control despite what Mariah is telling you."

She sighed, "if you say so. Tell Mariah I love her."

"I will."

"I love you and Michael too, Shayla. Your dad is very thankful..."

I smiled, "I'm sure. I love you too. We'll talk later," I hung up the phone.

"So? What did she say? When is she coming to get me?" Mariah asked excitedly.

"She's not coming," I continued to look through my notebook.

"She's not?! But she told me she was."

I looked up at her, "well, she's not. I told her not to."

She screamed, "that was my ticket out of this madhouse!" She slammed the door, running downstairs. If this is what having kids is like, I don't know if I want any...


Michael came home earlier than expected, bringing in a large box covered in wrapping paper and a smaller box wrapped, "ladies, I hope you all had a great day!" He smiled as he placed the presents on the kitchen counter. "I've got a surprise for the both of you. Now, I know we've been traveling a lot, Shayla and I know you've had to adjust to a whole new environment, Mariah, but I figured these would take the stress off and help a little."

"What are they?" Mariah asked.

"Open it and see!" Michael smiled, motioning toward the boxes. Mariah looked at me as I looked at her. I honestly don't think Mariah deserves anything, but if Michael is going to be generous, I guess.

"Open it," I told Mariah. I wanted to see what she got first.

She started to tear the wrapping paper off slowly, "Michael, what is it?" she smiled.

"Keep opening it!" He told her.

She continued to unwrap it faster and finally got to the box, "a Macintosh computer?!" she gasped.

"A computer, Michael?" I asked him.

"Oh my gosh! Thank you, Michael! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" she hugged him.

"Michael, why didn't you discuss this with me? She doesn't need a computer!"

"She does for her studies," he told me.

I shook my head, "no, Michael... She does not need a computer. What for? She can write all of her papers by hand. How much was this?"

He shrugged, "who cares?"

"I care, Michael. With the way she's been acting, did you really think she deserved this?"

"Maybe it will get her to stop acting the way she has been."

"This isn't the way to do it, Michael..."

"Can you at least open your gift?" He asked me.

I sighed, unwrapping the gift wrap to reveal a velvet box, "what is it?"

"Babe, can you just open it?" he smiled. I lifted the lid to reveal a pair of diamond earrings. "Do you like them?"

Mariah folded her arms, "how much did those cost?"

Michael shrugged, "fifteen thousand."

"I'm sure she won't complain about those and I'm sure those are way costlier than my computer. Michael, can you help me assemble this computer?"


"No," I told both of them. "Michael will assemble it when you get your attitude together. Until then, you can take your butt back upstairs and finish your homework."

"But I need my computer to finish my homework, Shayla," she sassed.

"You've done fine without it."

"You don't want me to have anything! You just want to keep me held up in this house with nothing to do just like you. You're really starting to get on my nerves," Mariah stomped up the stairs.

"Thank you for the gifts, Michael, but," I shook my head, "Mariah cannot have this computer."

"Shayla, she needs it for her studies!"

"Do you really think buying her gifts is the gateway to good behavior? No, it's only going to make it worse. We're trying to fix the problem, remember?"

"I'm not buying her gifts in hopes that she'll be good, Shayla. I literally only got it for her schooling."

"Well, why couldn't you discuss it with me first?"

"I thought you would agree with me," he shrugged.

"You should have checked with me first. Just go ahead and take it back, because she doesn't need it. I'm telling you."

"I can't take it back. Steve Jobs gave me and Quincy a couple..."

I sighed, "well, put it away or something. Mariah can't have it until she rightfully deserves it."

"Shayla, don't you think you're being a little bit too harsh?"

"Don't act like you haven't seen how Mariah has been acting. You're seriously going to reward that?"

"As I said, I'm not rewarding her..."

"But you are."

He sighed, "if you say so."

"So, can you please put it away somewhere until we both agree on an appropriate time to give it to her?"

"I'm just trying to be a good brother-in-law..."

"Yeah, but you're coming off like a gifty uncle... We have to learn to have these kinds of conversations, Michael. What about when we have kids of our own? Are you going to do the same thing and just buy them things all willy-nilly without first discussing it with me?"

He winced, "I'll try not to?"

I laughed, "you better make a concentrated effort to discuss it with me. We can't decide things on our own, Michael. We're married. We're a team. This type of division could cause a rift in our marriage down the line and I don't want that."

"Okay... But... did you like your gift?" he smiled.

I looked back at the pair of earrings, "I love them. Thank you, baby."

"Mariah was right though. You have a problem with the two-thousand-dollar computer than the fifteen thousand dollars I spent on you," he laughed.

"Because I deserve these fifteen thousand-dollar earrings. As far as I'm concerned, Mariah only deserves half a Happy Meal," I put my earrings on.

"Oh, that's cold, Shayla," he laughed as he picked up the computer box.

"I think I may have found my calling," I called after him.

"Oh, yeah? What's that?" he looked back at me.

"Writing. I want to start writing again."

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