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Chapter 19

Michael hasn't purposely talked to me nor has he been home in a week and it's bothering me. Not only that, but there is a photo all over the media of him with Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor, so now I'm pissed. Because now I know that he is ignoring me and he's out here living his best life as if he has no problem at home. I've always considered myself to be an understanding wife. A loving wife. A wife who never nags, but damn it, Michael is about to get the complete opposite of that. I'm livid. Now granted, I've been keeping myself occupied. I've been attending my classes, specifically my writing classes and we've been learning about word usage. How to paint a picture with our writing and how to bring forth our emotions through our words and I truly believe that I'm beginning to master that, because this past week has been a whirlwind of emotions. I've been working on a collection of poems regarding the situation and every time I read over one of them, I instantly get pissed at the situation that I wrote about. With the rate I'm going, I could write a couple of songs too. I can sing, but it's not what I'm most passionate about. Aside from that, I'm pissed. I picked up the phone to call Bill.

"Hi, Shayla," he sighed. He kind of sounded annoyed since I've been calling him nonstop about Michael.

"Where is Michael, Bill? It's been a week. Where is he? Why is he ignoring me? Why is he punishing me? What is he punishing me for?"

"Calm down, Shayla. He's not punishing you."

"Then, what is it?! Where is he and why hasn't he called me?"

"He's just been going places, Shayla."

"You think I don't know that, Bill? I've been seeing his face plastered everywhere with Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor! I know Michael has been spending time with Liz before, but how long has he been with her this time, Bill? Has he been with her all week?"

"I can't give you that information, Shayla."

I was stunned. Who is he to keep things from me? "Bill, I am his wife!" He says that as if Michael has definitely been staying with Liz this entire time. Are they fucking or what? Because they've been spending entirely too much time together. And I'm not a jealous type of woman. I don't mind if Michael has female friends. Heck, he's an entertainer for Pete's sake. He's always going to be in the company of women. But I also do know Michael loves older women, the evidence is in Diana Ross, so it wouldn't be a shock to me if he had romantic feelings toward Elizabeth as well. I've never had an issue with the amount of time he's spent with Liz all year, but this moment certainly tops them all.

"I know, Shayla," he sighed. "Trust me, I know."

"I don't know if you're tired of me calling every gosh darn day or whatever, but you don't keep things from me when it regards Michael. I am his wife!"

"Michael told me not to tell you, Shayla. I'm sorry. He needs this time to himself. Did you forget what your sister said to him? He's not trying to be around her any time soon."

"She isn't even here!"

"She's not?" He asked.

"No! I dropped her off with Joseph the same night he left. She hasn't been here since!" I am livid. Michael told Bill not to tell me anything as if I wasn't going to figure out what he's doing? I don't know whether to throw a fit or not. I can't believe this. My husband is literally acting like a child and avoiding me.

"Well, that certainly changes things. I'll tell Michael and I'll get back with you," Bill hung up. Yeah, right. I won't be hearing back from him for the rest of the day like every other day has been. I'm going to see Carol. I've got a lot of stuff to get off my chest. This is ridiculous.


Carol and I pulled up to Casa Vega, walking into the restaurant in silence. I just had so much on my mind. Mariah has been the least of my worries at this point, because I know she's being taken care of, but it's just Michael. What kind of childish games does he think he's playing? To not come home nor call is just beyond me. I would never do something like this to him. I can't wrap my mind around whatever kind of logical reasoning he may have for this, because it just doesn't make sense.

"Shayla-Elizabeth Jackson," Carol snapped at me. I looked at her, "the waitress wants to know what you want to drink, girl!"

"Oh, um, water," I told the waitress.

"Sheesh, girl. What is the matter with you? What's on your mind? We've come all this way without you saying a word and now you're going to be in your head over lunch too? No. What is going on, Shayla?"

I looked around trying to find the right words to say, but what right words could you say when your husband has left you without a trace? "I haven't seen or heard from Michael in a week."

"You what?" She gasped.

"He's been gone for a week now. He hasn't called or anything, but," I went through my purse. "Look at this. Look at this crap I've been seeing all over the media," I pulled out a newspaper article with a photo of Michael, Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor and slapped it onto the table. "I don't know what he's been doing. I don't know where he's been staying let alone who he's been staying with, but I've been seeing this photo plastered everywhere and I'm sick of it." Carol picked up the article, studying the photo. "He can't come home. He can't call me to tell me he's okay or to see if I'm okay, but he's out here living his best life with Elizabeth Taylor? Now, Carol, I know he's been hanging around Liz for quite some time now, so it didn't bother me beforehand. But clearly, we're going through something at home. Clearly, there's a reason why he hasn't come back home, and I get it, I guess. But to seek refuge in Elizabeth Taylor? Now, I feel some type of way. Now, I'm suspicious. Now, I don't even like the thought of him being with her."

"Have you tried calling him?"

"Carol, I don't know where he is! I've called Bill because I know he has to have Bill with him, but Bill acts like he can't tell me crap! He keeps telling me Michael doesn't want me to know or Michael has told him not to tell me anything. Are you freaking kidding me? Is he punishing me? What is he even punishing for? I don't get it. I'm this loyal wife to a megastar. I don't do anything to be punished. I don't do anything to be side-eyed or anything of that nature and this is how he treats me? I know my sister said some harsh things, but the girl is eleven years old. Get over it! He cannot punish me for what my sister said to him."

Carol shook her head, "maybe there's more to it, Shayla."

"Like what? There couldn't possibly be any more to it, Carol. I don't get it," I shook my head. I sighed, holding my head in my hands. I'm trying to wrap my mind around everything, I really am, but this is something I just can't wrap my mind around.

"Have you called Frank?"

"You think I haven't? You know he hasn't liked me from the get-go. Whether we patched things up or not, he wasn't going to tell me anything. If anything, he's happy Michael left without a trace. I don't even want to continue to feed into Frank. I am over Frank. Fuck Frank!"

"Shayla, calm down," Carol placed her hand on mine. I've cried my share of tears. There are no more tears to cry at this point because now I'm angry. I honestly hate being angry. I feel it's the worse emotion to have, so I avoid it at all costs, but I couldn't avoid it this time. I feel like everyone is against me, even my own husband. I've got his security siding with him as if Michael abandoning me is remotely right. Frank has always been on the opposing side of me. What is a girl to think when literally all of this is against her? "Have you tried Liz?"

"Girl," I waved off the thought. "Liz doesn't even know I exist. I don't have her number. I don't know where she lives and even if I did, she'd probably think I'm just some crazy black woman and call the police on me."

Carol's eyebrows furrowed, "Liz doesn't know you exist? What?"

"It's all a part of Michael and Franks stupid plan. None of Michael's famous friends knows that he's married. Only family and really close friends. Other than that, he's single as far as they're concerned."

"Oh, Shayla, that can't be good."

"You think I don't know that? Especially with how many times Michael has been hanging with her. I know she's been trying to set him out with somebody. You know how old ladies like to do that."

"You know there have been times when Michael hasn't talked to any of the family for a while."

I looked at her, "Carol, that does not make me feel better."

"You're right. I'm sorry."

I sighed, "I just don't know what to think. I know this isn't his way of leaving me or anything. He's just upset about what Mariah said to him, but how long will he continue to not talk to me about it. We need to talk about it. I know he's telling Liz about it, why can't he talk to me? This is our problem, not Elizabeth Taylor's. It's like he doesn't even care. I don't know who he has in his ear, but whoever it is, is going to get a piece of my mind." I looked at the menu to figure out what I wanted. Oddly enough, I don't have an appetite. When my emotions get the best of me, it tends to take a toll on my appetite, and it has been doing just that over the course of the week. I feel like I haven't eaten anything. I needed to eat something.

"Maybe you should come to stay with me for a while. I know it's got to be tough staying in that big old house all alone. That's probably another reason you're so upset because it's just you and your thoughts in that big ol' house."

I shrugged, "I've got Bubbles."

"You can bring Bubbles too! I'm sure the girls would love to have him around... How is Mariah?"

"I don't know. I haven't checked on her."

"I think you need to check on her. I get you're upset about Michael, but you also have a little sister out here that you agreed to take care of."

"Joseph is taking care of her right now. Once he corrects whatever demon she's got in her and Michael comes back, then I'll get her. Until then, she's fine. Joseph hasn't called to complain, so we're good."

Carol shook her head, "I don't like seeing you this upset. This isn't like you at all, Shayla. I feel like I'm looking at a stranger right now."

"I miss Michael, Carol," I sighed.

"Okay, but you cannot continue to revolve your life around his. You see he isn't doing that to you. He is being selfish. We all know that. This has got to be the most selfish thing he has ever done, but please don't let it continue to fester in you."

"He doesn't even care, Carol. He's literally out living life like there's nothing wrong. Just knowing that makes me so upset."

"Have you been delving into all of your hobbies?"

"That's just it! I've written all of my feelings about it. I've painted all my feelings about it. I've sewed and accidentally stabbed myself a couple of times. How would you feel if Marlon just up and left you without calling?"

"I'd be upset, but girl, I've got kids. I can't stay mad at him. I've got to stay strong for the girls."

"That's the difference between me and you. We don't have kids. I have no one to be strong for but myself. Bubbles doesn't really count. I don't feel like I'm doing a good job at being strong for myself right now," breathing in deeply, I tried to swallow the growing lump in my throat. Imagine if I were to tell Daddy about what Michael is putting me through right now, he'd catch the first flight over and track Michael down himself. Who purposely lets their wife worry about them? I mean I know he's okay, but I only know that because the news snitched on him. Had Michael just been a regular guy, I wouldn't know if he were dead or alive and that is what pisses me off.

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