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Chapter 21

“Hey Q, I brought a friend along with me if that’s alright,” I said as Shayla and I walked into the studio.

“That’s fine. As long as she doesn’t interrupt you from your work. Hi, Shayla-Elizabeth. You can call me, Q,” he smiled, shaking her hand.

“Hi, Mr. Jones – I mean, Q,” she blushed. “You can call me, Shayla.”

“Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Shayla.”

“Thank you… It’s a pleasure to meet you as well.”

“Um, Shayla, you can sit right here,” I pulled a chair up for her. She sat down looking at the clock on the wall. “It won’t be long. I promise,” I laughed and sat beside her.

“Michael, do you have anything for me?” Q sat across from me.

“Yeah, I wrote a song called, ‘Beat It.’”

“Let me hear it,” he said as he looked over the lyrics.

“Uh, right now?” I looked around. In front of Shayla?!

“Yeah, right now,” he looked at me like I was crazy.

“I don’t really have a beat for it right now. I know you said you wanted me to write a song like ‘My Sharona.’ So, it has a rock vibe of course, but I can’t really hear the beat right now.”

“Well, let me hear it.”

I cleared my throat, “they told him don’t you ever come around here! Don’t wanna see your face you better disappear! The fires’ in their eyes and their words are really clear, so beat it. But you wanna be bad!”

“That one is strong! I like that, Smelly,” Q nodded as he continued to look over the lyrics.

“I liked it,” Shayla chimed in.

“You did?” I blushed.

“Yeah, it was so raw. I’ve never heard you like that before…”

“Yeah, I really want to try something different,” I laughed nervously.

Q looked between the two of us, “You seem like more than friends to me, Smelly,” he smiled.

“Oh,” I cleared my throat. “We’re just good friends.”

“‘Good friends,’ huh? It seems like you all have a little bit more of a romantic relationship to me.”

“Oh, no… Not yet,” just as quick as I said it, I instantly regretted it. My body instantly turned hot at the embarrassment of it all.

“Not yet?” Q pressed.

“No…” I grabbed the lyrics and continued to look at them.

“Well, Shayla,” Q looked at her. If Smelly every gets the guts to ask you to be his girlfriend, you’ve got to understand what you’re in for. Michael is a serious trouble mater.”

“Yeah, right!” I laughed.

“I’m telling you the honest to God truth, Shayla. Keep your eyes on him,” he laughed.

“I’ll make sure to,” she laughed, nervously pushing her hair behind her ear.

“What are you two doing today?”

“Going to the arcade then dinner,” I told him.

“Well, it was a pleasure to meet you, Shayla,” Q stood up to shake her hand.

“It was nice meeting you too, Q,” she smiled.

“Bye, Q,” I said, leading Shayla out of the building.

“He’s so nice and down to earth!” She smiled as she got in the car.

“What did you expect?” I laughed. “He’s like a dad to me.”

“I can tell.”

“Are you ready for me to beat you in some games?” I asked her as I pulled out of the parking lot.

“You mean, am I ready to beat you in some games? Heck yeah. You’re about to get the beat down of your life!”

“I’m glad you’re so confident. You’re going to need it.”

“Oh, yeah, right. You’re the one who’s going to need that confidence.”

“Sure,” I laughed as we made our way to the arcade.


“Prepare to get your butt whooped, Shayla. This is my favorite game. I get a new high score every time,” I laughed as we ran to the final game, Orbit.

“Butt whoopin’? Michael, didn’t I just beat you in all the other games we just played?”

“How many times do I have to tell you, Shayla? I let you win. Therefore, you didn’t beat me.”

“Michael, honey, you wish you let me win. That was all skill back there, baby,” she laughed as she took her place behind the game controls.

“Michael, blah, blah, blah,” I mocked her and kissed her cheek. “Prepare to get taught a lesson, because I’m the master at this game,” I took my place behind my controls.

You better be prepared, because when I win, you owe me that Snicker bar and so much more.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I pressed start and waited for the game to begin.

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