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Chapter 3

After a long day at the parks, Michael and I took the monorail back to our room at The Contemporary. Out of all the resorts, this was Michael's favorite. The Polynesian is mine. Next time we visit Disney World, we're definitely staying at The Polynesian.

"Mike, Shayla, you guys did well out there. I'm proud of you kids." Frank offered as we got off of the monorail.

"I think our plan worked, don't you?" Michael asked him.

"Right up until they remembered her and started asking you questions. Everything went well. I'll catch you all back in California tomorrow. Don't forget that recording session, Michael."

"I'll be there," Michael assured him. We went back to our room as Frank went to his. All I can think about is how I'm going to tell Michael how Frank lied to our faces this morning. Knowing Michael, he's going to be pissed, but then again, you never know. He's put all of his trust into Frank like he's a godsend or something. While we are both grateful for what Frank has done for Michael's career, it's actually quite bothersome how I feel like Michael literally takes everything Frank says as Bible. "Did you have a good day, baby?" Michael asked me as he unlocked the door to our room.

"Yeah. It was quite eventful. Did my acting classes pay off?" I wondered.

"They sure did! I want to see you on the big screen, babe!"

"Now you're hyping me up," I laughed.

"No, I'm serious! And the way you handled their questions about how you were lucky to have been chosen to be with me again was amazing! You never got out of character. Just amazing!" He kissed me on the cheek and made his way to the restroom. I went to join him and turned the shower on, shedding myself of my clothing. As he relieved himself, I stood underneath the water allowing it to run over and through every crevice of my body. Michael got in and stood behind me as he pressed his manhood against my behind.

I blushed, "Michael, I have to tell you something."

"What, baby?" He asked as he kissed my neck and ran his hands across my breasts.

"Frank lied to us this morning."

"About what?" His voice deepened as his fingers made his way to my womanhood.

I tried to suppress my desire to give in, "the tabloid this morning. He lied. He made it up, not the National Enquirer."

At that, he paused, "what?"

I turned around to face him, "Mother called him this morning after you left for the premiere. She told him that he should stop lying on you. At first, I thought she made a mistake, but he told her the Captain EO headline you wanted wasn't enough, so he made up another story."

He looked away from me, confusion taking over the lustful demeanor he had thirty seconds before, "did you ask him why he would do something like that?"

"He told me your story wasn't interesting enough and that he's out to get you attention, not to continue iterating that you prepared for the role. I know you trust him, baby, but he has crossed the line."

Michael stood in silence as he thought over everything I said, "I'm going to confront him," he said as he started washing up.

"Before you go down there with all the irrational bones in your body right now, I highly recommend thinking everything through before you confront him."

"Think what through, Shayla? He just made a mockery of me in front of the whole world! Why should I be rational about this when he just made me look like a fool? Especially, the day of the premiere! No, he's going to get a piece of my mind. I trusted him. With him disrespecting you, our union and me, I'm sick of it. He has gone too far!" He said as he rushed out of the shower and went to get dressed. I feel good about telling Michael. Hopefully, he sets Frank straight, because, at this point, I'm sick of it too.


I went down to Franks bedroom and knocked on the door waiting for him to answer. I was fuming. How could he do this to me? Not only is he my manager, but I've also considered him a friend. I don't know about that too much now since he's constantly disrespecting Shayla. Since he told me about this single persona, we've always bumped heads. It took a while for him to convince me to agree with it since I want to share all of my achievements with Shayla. But he reminded me that before Shayla, my fans supported me. His defense has always been that the fans need to feel like they have a shot with me, married or not. The only solution was to push Shayla behind the scenes as I made regular appearances by myself. Although Shayla was a fan in the beginning, her being my wife completely separates herself from ever being a fan. The fans I'm not married to are what matters to Frank. Frank finally opened the door after numerous attempts at me knocking.

"What's going on, Michael?" He asked.

"We need to talk," I pushed past him.

"What about?" He shut the door.

"You lied to me. You said the media made up that story when it was you all along!"

"Oh," he sighed. "I take it Shayla told you?"

"How else do you think I would find out?"

"Look, Michael, my role here is to get you the exposure you need. If we're going to plant stories in the media, at least make them interesting."

"Frank, you have me out there looking like a weirdo! Who do you know that sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber to live longer? Huh? Did you make up 'Wacko Jacko' too?"

"Now, Michael, I may have planted the story, but I would never call you something that would hurt your feelings."

"You'd never call me names, but you have no problem lying about me, disrespecting my wife and my marriage?"

"Wait a minute, Michael. I have never disrespected your marriage."

"Yeah, but you have, Frank. Every time you catch yourself getting mouthy with Shayla or declining her requests when she wants to be somewhere with me, you're disrespecting my marriage. She has every right to everything I have a right to. It's your job to make sure she can attend all of my events and appearances without making some bullshit excuse. I'm getting really sick of you, Frank. And this tabloid you created isn't helping me and you know that. It has people questioning things they've ever known about me." Frank stared at me in disbelief. I don't know why! He did this. Not me! I thought I truly made the right decision in hiring him two years ago, but he's really making me regret it.

"Look, Michael, I apologize. This won't happen again," he assured me.

"You're right! This won't happen again. You're suspended until further notice." I exited his room and made my way back to my hotel room. Disrespect can go a long way when you allow it. I never realized that I've allowed for it to go on for so long, but now it's time to end it.


As soon as I got back to LA, I got a ride to the studio. Frank is suspended, so I better not see him there. I've been enjoying the "privacy" I've had over the past year and a half. With all the reviews regarding Captain EO, my name and face will be everywhere again. I looked down at my notebooks of songs and opened to the first page. The car phone rang, and I hurried to answer it, "hello?"

"Smelly, it's Q," Q replied.

"Hey. I'm right around the corner," I informed him

"Good! I told Prince you want him on 'I'm Bad.'"

"What'd he say?" I asked.

"He sent me a demo of a song he wants you to listen to."

I made a face, "what does that have to do with 'I'm Bad?'"

"Look, I don't know! I've got it waiting here for you. You just listen to it and tell him what you think."

"I will," I sighed and hung up. I really want Prince on "I'm Bad" with me. We're both in our prime. We both have that "bad persona." I think it'll work out for both of us.

We finally pulled up to the studio and I got out the car clutching my notebook tightly. With all the pages starting to fall out, I don't want any of my lyrics getting out to the public right now. I opened the door and made my way down to Studio D.

"Smelly! Took you long enough! Look what I have for 'Liberian Girl,'" he said excitedly as he played an instrumental. The instrumental had a jungle-esque sound to it. I looked around the room to find a woman sitting in the seat beside Q.

"Hi, I'm Michael," I went over to introduce myself to her.

"I've heard all about you, Michael," she smiled as she shook my hand. "My name is Letta."

"Where are my manners?" Q stood up. "Michael, this is Letta Mbulu. Letta, this is Michael. Michael, Letta is the roots lady. Her voice will seriously take you places you've never been before."

"Is that so?"

"Yeah, she's here to provide some vocals for 'Liberian Girl.'"

"Sounds fun... Have you read the lyrics, Letta?" I asked her.

"Yes, and after looking over the lyrics, Michael, I've found that you really don't need much from me."

"What do you mean?"

"After talking with Quincy, we agreed that I would just give you an opening vocal and maybe some vocals throughout the song, you've got the rest of it," she shrugged.

"Hmmm, so what are we working with when we say, 'opening vocal?'" I asked them.

Q smiled, "I'm glad you asked, Smelly. Go ahead, Letta,"

Letta smiled and closed her eyes as she began to sing, "naku penda piya-naku taka piya-mpenziwe..."

I looked at them both, shocked, "what does that mean?" I wondered. "That was beautiful, Letta!"

"It translates to, 'I love you too. I want you too, my love,'" she smiled.

"That is perfect! I love it! Has Q recorded it yet or no?"

"Nope," he said. "We were waiting on you. I think that she should say that throughout the song. So, I'm going to need both of you in there recording."

"Sounds good to me! Let's just figure out where we're going to put that on the lyrics and we've got a hit!" I opened my notebook and took out a pencil as they took out their copies of the lyrics. This album will be an album of hits. Just like Thriller, but this time: 100 million.

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