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Chapter 11

Michael and I walked up the front door of the Hayvenhurst residence. He seemed so out of it. Like, he was hurt and I could completely understand why. Just last year, he and his brothers were doing that Pepsi commercial and his hair gets burned. Four years prior, when he and Diana were rehearsing for The Wiz, he broke his nose. It's like stuff keeps happening left and right. But I'm going to be here for him through and through. He'll be able to get through this much stronger than anything else he has had to go through.

"Mother!" Michael called as he went straight for the kitchen and got him and myself something to drink.

"Michael! Shayla! What a pleasant surprise!" Katherine smiled as she pulled me in for a hug. "What brings you all here so early?"

"I have an appointment with Dr. Klein here in about thirty minutes." Michael told her as he kissed her on the cheek.

"Oh? What for?" She asked curiously.

"The random spots on my body..." He sighed.

"Michael, I know it's nothing serious. You know, Joe's family had it. It can't be bad. Nothing that a little cure can't fix." She tried assuring him.

"Yeah, but Mother, it is something serious. Dr. Klein said it's vitiligo, which is a skin disease... We're going to talk more about it today."

"A skin disease?" Katherine seemed to be a little taken aback.

"Yeah... Like I said, we're going to be talking about it more in a little bit. If you want to sit in on it, you can. I would really like it if you would."

"You know I will... How's everything going on with you Shayla-Elizabeth? I know you're so glad that Michael is back." She smiled.

"Everything is going great now. You know I've been missing him." I blushed.

"We all knew!" Katherine laughed. I kissed Michael on the cheek. "Well, have you all had any breakfast?" She asked.

"I made us something quick at the house before we left to come over."

"Alright, well, I'm about to cook up something for myself since I have yet to eat. Let me know if you want any." Michael and I headed for the living room and sat on the couch.

"Everything is going to be okay," I assured Michael. "Dr. Klein will tell us about a cure and everything will be okay." I smiled a bit. Hopefully there really is a cure.

"Thing is, babe, I don't know if there is. I've had these spots on my body since I was a kid. Doctors told me it was nothing to worry about, just to put makeup on it. Of course they'd tell that to a child and self-conscious teenager. But now, as an adult, I'm getting word that it is a skin disease. What if there isn't a cure for it?" He questioned.

"We'll just do our absolute best. Keep using makeup and try any other measures that we possibly can." Michael sighed. He was not liking this at all. Just then someone knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. "I'll get it." I said as I got up and headed for the door. "I got the door, Mother!" I called as I opened the door. "Dr. Klein, how are you this morning?" I smiled as I let him in.

"Never better," He smiled. "How are you?" He asked.

"Much better, now that Michael is back home."

"How's Michael?"

"I've seen better days..." I sighed. I led him to the living room. Michael stood up and greeted him. I went to the kitchen to let Mother know that the doctor was here. She followed me to the living room and sat in the seat adjacent of Dr. Klein's.

"So, I have vitiligo..." Michael started.

Dr. Klein sighed, "it's a skin disease that causes the loss of melanin in blotches on the skin. Vitiligo happens when the cells that produce melanin begin to die off or stop functioning. It's most visible on people who have darker skin. Unfortunately, there is not much about the disease out there. It is so rare and talked about so little, that I only see so much on the books about it."

"Obviously, I'm not the only one who has had this. Joseph's side of the family has had it and many other people have probably had it-"

"Yet, it's a rare case." Dr. Klein interrupted.

"Exactly..." Michael finished.

"So there's nothing else that doctors know about it?" Mother asked.

"I can honestly say there hasn't been much research done about it. When it is brought up, people who have had it either tough it out or use makeup."

"There isn't a cure?" Michael asked.

"Unfortunately, there isn't, Michael. I'm sorry." Dr. Klein shook his head. I looked up at Michael only to find confusion and dismay on his face. I looked at Mother to find that she was just as confused as the rest of us. "I can say that you've been doing a great job taking care of it though, Michael. That glove thing was genius too." Dr. Klein tried shedding some light on the situation.

"The makeup is all thanks to Karen." Michael managed to laugh. I wanted to know what he was thinking. I wanted to know what was on his mind. Knowing Michael, I just know he wouldn't dare go out without the makeup... "Well, I have no other questions, Dr. Klein." Michael forced a smile.

"Are you sure?" Dr. Klein asked.

"Yes, sir." Michael nodded.

"Well, how's the tour going? I've heard so many great things."

"The tour is great. I'm just glad to be back home with my wife." Michael kissed my forehead. "Being on the road without her for so long begins to take a toll on me after a while." I blushed. "We have a show coming up this Friday. Would you and your family like tickets? We've got a sold out show, but I'll get you the best seats in the house." It kind of irritated me that Dr. Klein was invited to the concert, but I wasn't...

"Sure thing! I'll make sure to mark that on my calendar."

"I'll have the tickets mailed out to you later on today." Michael promised.

"Thank you so much." Dr. Klein stood up and shook Michael's hand. He gave Mother and I a hug and headed for the door. "Michael, if there is anything you need, you call me, okay?"

"Will do." Michael managed another smile and walked Dr. Klein out.

"What'd you think of that?" I asked Mother.

"Michael is crushed." She shook her head. She and I both knew it. "You know he's already coming up with ideas on how to take care of it, right?" She asked me. I nodded. Michael is the master of combating things and the master of disguise. I know he'd think of something...

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