“Isn’t it a nice house?” Shayla asked while showing me the house she wanted. “It has two bedrooms, so I can have a guestroom. Then there are two bathrooms. I’m so excited to get it. Ya know, teaching-” I leaned in to kiss her, slowly pushing the ad away from us. “Michael,” escaped from her lips as we kissed deeply. Her fingers ran through my curls and gently pulled. I didn’t realize I missed her this much until I finally saw her. Slowly, we began to lay back on her bed. One thing slowly led to another when I realized I began to lift her shirt off of her. “Michael, I can’t… I can’t do this.” Shayla managed to say as she sat up and pulled her shirt back down.
“I’m sorry. I’ve missed you so much,” I exhaled.
“I missed you too, but…”
“I didn’t intend to. Honestly, I didn’t.”
“I know. We just kinda…”
“Got caught up in the moment.”
She sighed, “I understand.” She hugged her knees to her chest.
I bit my lip nervously, “have you seen the house in person yet?” I attempted to break the sudden awkward vibe in the room.
“Nope. Do you want to see it with me Monday?” Shayla rose to her feet.
“That would be fun.”
“Come downstairs with me,” I followed her downstairs. “But as I was saying earlier. Do you know what sucks?”
“Teachers don’t get paid much, so I have no idea how I’m going to get the money for rent without a loan,” she sighed. “Do you want some cranberry juice?”
“Sure. Shayla, I can give you the money,” I offered.
“Oh, no, Michael. That’s fine. I’m thinking of getting another job anyway.”
“Another job? Like, what?”
“Here you go,” Shayla handed me my juice and jumped up onto the counter. “Selling lingerie, tutoring, typing… I don’t know, nor do I care. I just need the extra money.”
“Shayla, I can help you,” I offered again.
“I know, but then how am I ever going to be able to pay you back?”
“You don’t have to.”
“Yeah, I do. I’d feel obligated to every time I see you and I don’t want that.”
“The only way you can pay me back is by being my wife and since you’ve already promised that, there’s nothing else.” Shayla smiled and started playing with her fingers. “Which reminds me, in order to make this official, I got you something. I hope you like it.” I pulled out the little black box and kneeled down in front of her.
“Didn’t you already propose to me?” She laughed nervously, as her face grew red in color at me kneeling before her.
“Yeah, but you know I had to do it the right way,” I opened the box. “Shayla-Elizabeth Johnson, will you make me the happiest man in the world and do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
She blushed, nodding, “yes.” She jumped off the counter to hug me.
I laughed, “did you want the ring?”
“Of course! I love it!” She giggled as she let me slip the ring onto her left ring finger. “It’s beautiful, Michael. I love you so much,” she kissed me. Out of nowhere, someone knocked on the door. Could it be that Byron fellow? I ignored the interruption, but the person continued to knock. “Let me go get that,” Shayla sighed and went to the door. I sat on the counter and drank my juice. “Hey, David,” I heard Shayla say.
I walked over to the front door to greet him, “hey David!”
He looked at me, “oh, Mike. When did you get here?” He went to the kitchen.
“I just got here actually.”
“Oh, I thought you and Shayla broke up.”
“There was a misunderstanding,” I informed him.
“Interesting. Shayla, did Byron come by?”
“We were supposed to kick it later on. Besides, he has my keys.”
“To the house?”
“Yeah. I don’t know how he got them. Anyway, what time did he come by?”
“Dang, alright. I’m out. See y’all later. Michael, don’t try anything on my sister.”
I nodded, “I won’t.”
“Love you, Shayla. Later, Mike,” he made his way to the front door. “Wait a minute, “Mike, where are you sleeping?”
“In Shayla’s room.”
He looked at Shayla, “so where are you sleeping?”
“On the couch. Mom always said-”
“Why didn’t you put him in my room? Mom surely wouldn’t approve of him sleeping in your room and you sleeping on the couch.”
“I know, but I didn’t want to go in your room. Who know what you have in there?”
David rolled his eyes, “come on, Mike. You can sleep in my room. I can’t believe this.”
“Well, how was I supposed to know you’d let him sleep in your room?” Shayla followed us upstairs.
David opened the door and let us in, “do you see anything suspicious in here, Shayla?”
Shayla folded her arms, “yeah.”
“Beat it, Shayla. Michael you can stay in here as long as you don’t go through my stuff. I’ll just stay with Tess.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yeah. But if you’re going to have sex, please do it in Shayla’s bed.”
“David, no one is going to be doing that!” Shayla informed him.
He shrugged, “I’ll see y’all later,” he ran downstairs. Shayla left the room and came back with my bags.
“Shayla, you didn’t have to do that. I was going to get them.”
“It’s okay. You’re the guest,” she went back to her room and shut the door. I looked around David’s room. Nothing was on the walls except for one photo of him and someone who I’ll assume is Tess. She’s pretty. She kind of looks like she’s out of David’s league though. I moved my bags beside the bed and went to Shayla’s room.
“Shayla?” I knocked.
“Give me a minute,” she called. I leaned on the wall and waited for her to come back out.
“Michael, what do you want to do today?”
“Be with you.”
“I know that, silly,” she opened the door. “Do you want to go out? Do you want to stay here?”
I shrugged, “do you have any baby pictures? I want to see those.”
“Let’s see,” she grabbed my hand and raced downstairs. When we got to the living room, she reached above a shelf and pulled down a box. I sat on the floor and she sat between my legs opening the box. “I didn’t want to take too many photos because my parents love the memories. I mostly have some high school photos I took. Maybe a couple of baby pictures are in here somewhere,” she took the photos out and lay them on the floor beside the box.
“There’s one,” I pointed out, picking up the photo of her with sunglasses on looking up at her father. She looked around two years old in this photo.
“Oh yeah. The odd photo,” she laughed.
“Why is it odd?”
“Because I don’t know who took it.”
“Maybe your mother took it.”
“She never takes pictures. She always has to be the one in them. Unfortunately, she’s not in this one.”
“Where were you in this photo?”
“I know I’m in Cincinnati visiting my grandparents. The only reason I know that is because in the photo, you see we’re in a restaurant, which just so happens to be Frisch’s Big Boy.”
“Maybe one of your grandparents took it.”
“Maybe my grandpa did. He loved taking photos.” I looked at Shayla, pushing some fallen hair behind her ear and kissed her cheek.
“I love you,” I whispered. I hugged her, pulling her closer to me.
“Hey!” She laughed as I turned over so that we were both lying on the floor. She faced me and poked my nose. “You are so handsome,” she leaned in to kiss me. It amazes me how we picked up right where we left off as if nothing happened. She looked at her ring, “I can’t believe we’re getting married. This feels like a dream and I would hate for this to be a dream.” I kissed her hand. “Does our family already know?”
“Mom, Janet, LaToya and Jermaine. I have yet to tell anyone else.”
She sighed, “unless David saw the ring, then I still have to tell everyone. Remind me why we’re laying on the floor.”
I shrugged, “I don’t know, but I actually like laying here with you.”
“Maybe we should camp out here for the night. It will be fun! We can watch movies…. Do you want to?” I nodded. I love this girl so much…