“Janet, I’m telling you, it sounded like she was going to say, ‘yes!’” I paced around her room.
“So, she gasped, and it sounded like she was smiling?” She asked.
I sighed, “I mean… No. It didn’t sound like she was smiling.”
“Then, she wasn’t going to say yes, Michael.”
“Don’t say that. There is still hope,” I lay back on her bed.
“You’re thinking about marrying Shayla now?”
“No. I mean, when the time is right, yes. I can wait and I’m sure she can too.”
“That’s good. Why are you thinking about marriage and all that right now? I thought you never wanted to get married after seeing what it did to everyone else?” I looked around to figure out the best way I could answer. “You love her, don’t you?” she asked with a sly smile.
I sighed, “is it obvious?”
“Yeah. Joseph can tell.”
“He can?!” I sat up.
“Come on now. Joseph finds out everything. You can’t hide anything from him.”
“I wasn’t trying to hide it.”
“Michael, let’s go!” LaToya shouted from downstairs.
“Go where?” Janet asked as I got up to see what LaToya wanted.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“Remember your hair appointment?”
“That’s right!” I hurried downstairs.
“Michael is getting his hair done?” Janet asked. “Can I go?” LaToya shrugged and grabbed her car keys. I opened the front door for them. “What are you getting done?”
“I don’t know. I just want to get rid of this afro,” I laughed.
“Matt, maybe we should check her hairdresser,” I suggested.
“Why would she be there? She obviously doesn’t get her hair done,” he shrugged.
“Stop being mean. You kissed her, remember?” I punched him in the arm.
“What?” he laughed. “It’s a good question.” I rolled my eyes and proceeded to look out the window. “Shay, is that Lauren?” He pointed out a girl with bright red hair coming out of a beauty shop.
“Oh my gosh,” I gasped. “Pull into the parking lot.” Once he parked, I got out of the car and made my way to Lauren.
She smiled, “hey, Shayla.”
“Lauren, you dyed your hair!” I looked at her bright red hair in amazement.
“Isn’t it nice?” she spun around.
“You don’t like it?” She frowned.
“I do like it. Red suits you. It’s just very bright...”
“It’s better than cutting my hair though. That’s all that matters. How did you get here with no car?”
“Matt drove me,” I pointed him out.
“Oh,” she rolled her eyes. “Your brother is something else.”
“He’s just… Never mind. Want to get your hair done? It looks like you’re due for a trim anyway. I’ll pay.”
“No. I’ll just go with Matt.”
“Are you sure?” She asked. I nodded and made my way over to Matt.
“What’s up?” He asked as I got in the car.
“Nothing. Let’s go.”
“You don’t look very happy, Shay. What did she say?”
“Nothing. I’m hungry. Let’s go find something to eat.”
“Okay, but you have to tell me what you’re upset about.”
“Matthew, I’m fine. See?” I forced a big smile.
“I’m not stupid, Shay.”
“You don’t give up, do you?”
“When there’s something wrong with my sister, why would I give up?”
“She was getting ready to say something stupid about you and it kind of bothered me.”
“Don’t worry about stuff like that, Shay.”
“Why wouldn’t I worry? You’re my brother,” I laughed as I told him the exact same words, he told me.
“She’s just mad at me.”
“I know… You need to stop leading girls on, Matt!”
“That’s why you can’t keep a relationship now. You’d be where Robert is now if you’d stop all that nonsense.”
He smiled, “you think so?” I rolled my eyes at his sarcasm, “which reminds me… Since when did you believe in love?”
My heart raced, “…since I met Michael…”
“He said he loved you?”
“Not out of the clear blue sky like everyone else tends to do. But, yes, he did.”
“I see I have to teach you some things. Most of the time, guys like to tell girls they love them for one thing and one thing only. And that is to just get in their pants.”
I sighed heavily, “not this again.”
“What do you mean? It’s true! I’ve done it plenty of times.”
“I’m going to say this for the last time, okay? Michael is so much more different than any average male. He is not perverted. He doesn’t pressure me to have sex with him. He’s different, Matt. He’s the kind of guy every girl dreams of.”
“Well, damn! He’s quite the guy, huh?” Matt laughed. I nodded. “When I grow up, I want to be just like him some day.” We laughed. “I bet he opens doors for women and calls his mom, ‘Mother,’ too, huh?”
I giggled, “he does actually. You know, with you having two little sisters, you’d think you’d be the same way… I’m sure you wouldn’t want me, and Mariah being treated any ol’ way now…”
“Of course not! Just let me have my fun while it lasts, okay? When is he coming out here? I want to meet this dreamboat of a guy that just so happens to have the magic key to my sisters’ heart.”
“He wants to visit in this summer.”
“Six months of not seeing one another, Shayla? Are you sure this long distance thing is going to work?”
“I think it will,” I looked out the window. I wonder if Michael thinks it will to…
“Alrighty, are you ready to see it?” Darlene asked me as I sat in the chair waiting to see my hair.
“Yes, but wait. Janet and LaToya, what do you think? Does it look good?” I asked my sisters.
“Michael, you look great!” LaToya smiled.
“Yeah, you look alright,” Janet teased.
I laughed and turned around to view my reflection. I looked at my hair, running my fingers through it, “Darlene, I love it! Thank you!” I hugged her.
“Wait until Shayla sees you now,” Janet said.
“She won’t think anything different of me, Dunk. But I think she’ll like it.”