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Chapter 24

I banged on the front door to Jermaine's house. Hazel has lost her mind! Never would she be so upset with me for breaking away from the group the way I did. I know it's not really just that either. She's just a messy ass person. I told Jermaine he shouldn't have married her. That woman is sheer evil. Just as I was about to bang on the door again Hazel opened the door.

"Michael, why are you banging on the door like that?" She scowled.

"Where's Jermaine?" I looked over her shoulder. I didn't even want to look at her. I never liked this woman. For her to think she can just try to ruin my marriage like this is beyond me.

"Excuse me! Why are you banging on our door at this time of night? Are you crazy?"

"Go get Jermaine, Hazel."

"Not until you tell me why the hell you're banging on our door like this." Finally, Jermaine came up behind her.

"I need to talk to you for a minute." I pointed at him and instructed him to follow me.

"Go back to bed, Hazel. We have a lot to discuss anyway." He instructed his wife. I made my way to the park across from his house and waited as he came over to me.

"You need to get a hold of your wife and her mouth!" I told him.

"First off, who the hell do you think you are banging on my door like the goddamn police?"

"Your wife is trying to ruin my marriage. I've done nothing but good for that woman you call a wife and she's over here trying to sabotage everything."

"No one is trying to ruin your marriage, but you. Don't come over here thinking you can disrespect my wife."

"Don't let her disrespect mine! Shayla didn't need to know I slept with Ola or anyone else."

"Maybe it was time for her to know. Speaking of which, it would have helped if you had told us that you didn't want to be with the group anymore instead of embarrassing us in front of everyone!"

"I'm not here to talk about that, Jermaine." I shook my head.

"Well, it's time to talk about it anyway."

"I just want to know why you sided with Hazel when she asked if I had been with anyone."

"Because clearly, you felt like it was a good fucking idea to embarrass me and the guys in front of the whole world."

"So you and your wife conspired this entire plan for all the wives to get together to embarrass Shayla? That's so juvenile." I rolled my eyes.

"No, Michael. I didn't conspire anything with Hazel. Frankly, I don't think Hazel could give a fuck about making you or Shayla angry."

"YOUR WIFE IS MESSY! SHE PLANNED TO TELL SHAYLA FROM THE JUMP!" I shouted. I could no longer contain myself. "That's the whole reason she invited Shayla in the first place, not because she wanted to get to know her. If she wanted to get to know her, she would have tried that a long time ago. But now all of a sudden after I make my announcement, she wants to invite the wives out for a spa retreat? Bullshit. Since she didn't have any infidelity dirt on me after we came home for the tour, she had to dig up shit from years ago. I told you from the get go that woman was trouble!"

"Look, my wife may have her problems-"

I scoffed, "'may?' Your wife has serious issues. You need to get a hold of her."

"So now what? Do you feel all big and bad now, Mike? Did this solve your problem with Shayla? No. And you know why? Because you're over here bickering with me about it."

"Handle your wife, Jermaine."

"Have you apologized to any of us, yet? Have you apologized to Joseph? Until then, I'm not handling anything. You fix your problem with Shayla yourself. Maybe you should have told her you slept with other women in the first place or none of this would have happened."

"There is nothing to tell when you never did wrong in the first place."

"Michael, Shayla asked you if Ola was your girlfriend. That's not wrong that you lied to her?"

"I didn't lie to her. Having sex with someone and being in a romantic relationship with someone are two totally different things. As soon as I got that phone call from Shayla, you realize I dropped Ola like a bad habit, right? I wasn't about to continue with her when Shayla was back in my life."

"You know what? I'm sick of talking to you about this. Once you apologize to me, the guys and Joseph, then I'll consider talking to my wife. Until then, you can forget it." Jermaine waved me off as he walked back to his house. I can't believe Hazel did this. I can't believe Jermaine is taking this so lightly. I can't believe my brother is being just as childish as his wife right now. I just.... I don't even know if I'm even allowed to go back home right now.


I woke up and reached over to Michael's side of the bed. That was a reflex. At the feel of nothing but sheets, I opened my eyes to find him not there. I rolled my eyes. That's right. I made him sleep in the guest room last night. I still can't decide if I should be upset with him or not. Part of me wants to be upset because he didn't tell me he and Ola slept together. Now it's going to be forever burned in my mind that Ola Ray had a fling with my husband. I don't think I can watch the short film to "Thriller" anymore now. Just to imagine her touching him and kissing him. Just to even think of him with her in that way kills me already, so to watch her in that video with him and only imagine that? I cannot torture myself in such a way. This short film is going to go down in history too. I just know it will. And I will be one of the only people on this planet who can no longer watch it. As of right now I can't, at least.

I went downstairs to make myself a cup of coffee. Just as I got downstairs, I peeked into the guest room only to find Michael not there... I guess he didn't return last night. Where could he have gone? My mind raced as I started to prepare my coffee. Michael would kill me if he saw I was getting coffee. Byron is the one who got me hooked to this mess. I still cannot believe Byron acted the way he did towards me. The way he stared at me was creepy. What could he have been thinking? The phone rang.

"Hello?" I answered.

"Shayla, you need to get a hold on your husband. He is out of his mind!" The person on the other end responded.

"Excuse me? Who is this?"

"Hazel. Did you send him over here last night to confront me or something?"

"What? No! He did that?" As shocked as I was to hear that, I was slightly irritated that Hazel decided to even give me a call.

"Girl, banged on our door at eleven at night. Jermaine had to tell him off."

"Well, why did he come over?"

"He was upset with me for telling you his business. Jermaine wants me to apologize to you or something." She paused. I waited for an apology that probably was not going to come. "You needed to know! I would want to know if my husband cheated on me at some point!"

I rolled my eyes. I knew she wasn't going to apologize. "Well, there's no point in telling someone what they already know." I sighed.

"I would still want someone to tell me whether I know or not."

"You do owe me an apology though, Hazel. For you and Dee Dee to take a shot at me like that was not fair, nor was it funny. If Michael wanted me to know that information, he certainly would have told me."

"You really believe that?" She laughed. "Honey, he was never going to tell you. He even told Jermaine that last night. You were never going to know. Believe that if you want to. Girl, you ought to be glad I told you. You should be thanking me right now."

I sighed, "okay, Hazel. Is there anything else you want to talk about right now?"

"Oh, so you're still upset about last night?" She scoffed.

"I have to begin my day."

"Whatever." Hazel hung up. I don't care if she's irritated. Quite frankly, I couldn't care less if she's upset at all. I knew I wasn't going to get that apology. Wow. She's an extremely self-centered person.

The front door opened. I'm assuming it's Michael, but then again it could just be Alice. I turned the corner and bumped into Michael. He looked at me. I looked at him.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"How are you feeling?" He responded.

"Michael," I sighed. "Why did you go to Jermaine's house last night?"

"To straighten everything out. Did Hazel apologize to you?"

I rolled my eyes, "you really thought Hazel was going to apologize to me?"

"I take it she didn't then..."

"Where did you go after that?"

"I went to see Mother."


"And...she wants us to have a family meeting."

"Over this?"

"It's more than just this."

"It's about your announcement, isn't it?"

"More than likely."

I sighed, "what time?"

"Five..." he paused. "Look, Shayla, I'm sorry I didn't tell you about what happened between me and Ola. You have to understand though, Ola meant nothing to me. She was just a co-star that I had a fling with. Other than that, she was nothing to me. To be honest, even if I hadn't gotten back in contact with you I still would have dropped her like a bad habit. She really didn't mean anything to me, Shayla. She was just someone to pass time with. I know that sounds cruel, but it's the honest to God truth."

"You weren't a virgin when you were with me..."

"I wasn't a virgin when we first met. I wasn't a virgin when we got married. The only women I've been with since we got married is you. You're going to be the only woman I'm with for the rest of my life."

I smiled a little, "you promise?"

"Baby, I promise," he sighed a breath of relief as he pulled me in for a hug. "I'm so sorry. I literally had to put myself in your shoes. Like, how would I feel if someone from your side of the family told me you had messed with someone else and I never learned it from you first? I understand it now. I'm sorry, baby. Do you forgive me?"

"I forgive you, Michael. Hey," I looked up at him.


"No more secrets, okay?"

"No more secrets."

"I mean everything, Michael. No secrets when it comes to your music. No more secrets that could potentially alter our marriage. No secrets."

"I promise, baby. No more secrets." He kissed my forehead.

God, I hope this meeting with the family won't be problematic.

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