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When I got back home Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon, Randy, La Toya, Rebbie and Janet were all in the living room waiting for me to arrive home.

“Hi guys,” I greeted.

“Cut with the chit-chat. Let’s get to the chase...” La Toya said. I was taken aback.

“What are you guys talking-“

“Who’s the girl Mike?” Marlon asked. I rolled my eyes. I should have known.

“Guys, it’s nothing. Seriously!” I lied. They didn’t buy it.

“When do we get to meet her?” Rebbie asked.

“Why do you want to meet her?!”

“Because she’s your girlfriend! And we’re your family! You owe it to us to let us meet her!” Jermaine replied. I rolled my eyes.

“C’mon Michael!” Janet whined.

“I don’t even know how to reach her!” I fibbed as I threw my hands in the air. Tito gave me a how-dumb-do-you-think-we-are look as he walked up to me and snatched the slip of paper that Nikki had given to me. Whoops. I forgot I was holding that.

“Hey! That’s mine!” I said as I tried to snatch it back but couldn’t manage. Tito examined the piece of paper.

“Her names Nikki!” Tito announced.

“Oooh! That sounds like a nice name!” Jackie commented.

“This is her number,” Tito said.

“Ha! Liar Michael! Call her c’mon!” Jermaine pleaded.

“No! I don’t want to seem desperate!” I debated.

“You won’t! Trust me, girls like it when the guy calls them! Just do it Michael!” La Toya told me.

“No!” I shouted angrily.

“Fine, than I guess I’ll call her,” Tito said as he picked up the nearest phone.

“Tito don’t! Don’t you dare! Don’t do it!” I warned. Tito chuckled as he started dialling Nikki’s number. I reached for the phone but my siblings held me back.

“Don’t fight it Mike! This is a good thing!” Randy told me. I ignored him. I continued reaching for the phone. Tito brought the phone to his ear and a wide grin crossed his face.

“Tito stop! Hang up! Hang up!” I yelled. Tito didn’t listen to me. Tito’s grin disappeared and he put the phone down. Yes! Thank God!

“Why’d you do that Tito?” Jermaine asked. Tito had a very serious facial expression. He didn’t reply. He slowly turned to face me.

“What?” I asked bitterly.

“The number is out of service,” Tito informed me. I was no longer mad. I was sad. I was disappointed. Maybe Tito punched in the wrong numbers. Maybe he thought that the 7 was a 1. She couldn’t have given me a fake number! She seemed so real and innocent! But than again... she didn’t look like she was enjoying herself. But why would she break my heart and give me a fake number instead of just walking away? I slumped to the ground and buried myself in my knees.

“I’m such a fool,” I sobbed. Rebbie rested her hand on my back in an effort to comfort me.

“Oh Michael, we’re sorry,” Rebbie apologized.

“It ain’t your fault Mike,” Randy assured me.

“Yeah! It’s her loss!” Jermaine told me. As much as I wanted to believe them, it wasn’t her loss. It was mine. She was beautiful, nice, funny and she listened to me! I was so convinced that she was the girl for me! God... I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it. At that moment Joseph came into the room.

“What’s going on?” Joe asked. Everyone turned to face him.

“Michael’s girlfriend dumped him,”

“She wasn’t my girlfriend!” I protested.

“Oh suck it up Michael! You can get bus loads of girls! Who cares if one didn’t want you? A million other girls want you!” Joseph tried to persuade me.

“No, they’re after my money,” I corrected. Joseph didn’t say anything. He just huffed and then walked off.

“Mike? Are you gunna be okay?” Jackie asked me. I nodded my head even though I knew that I wouldn’t be okay.

“Are you sure?” La Toya asked me.

“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” I lied as I got up and brushed myself off.

“Alright Michael, we’re sorry,”

“It’s not your fault. Look, I’ll be okay. I’m just going to go up to my room for a bit,” I said. They started following me up the stairs.

“Alone,” I finished. They all stopped dead in their tracks and stopped following me. I continued up to my room and I slammed the door shut. I flopped down on my bed and sighed.

How could she do this to me? She played me like a violin? What did I do? I must have done something wrong! But what? I was friendly wasn’t I? Maybe she was looking for something else... oh well.

Well, there are plenty of fish in the sea right? Yeah, but there’s only one Nemo. Nikki was my Nemo.

I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep, thinking of Nikki.

The following morning I was in the recording studio with Quincy Jones and we had just finished the track that was stressing me out so much! The track was called; Don’t stop ‘til you get enough. Now we were working on a new one called; Rock with you.

“I wanna rock with you, all night,” I sang. I noticed Quincy Jones grooving to the song and I couldn’t help but smile. I started grooving myself and Quincy Jones laughed. I loved that. I loved how we totally understood each other and he doesn’t mind if we fool around a little bit on the job.

When I had finished laying down the vocals I exited the recording area.

“What did you think Q?” I asked. He applauded.

“I loved it Michael. Damn! You’ve got one hell of a voice!” Quincy complimented. I blushed.

“Thank you,”

“Don’t sweat it man,” Q told me. There was a bit of a silence before Quincy started up a new conversation.

“Hey, how was your day off yesterday?” Q asked me. My smile faded as an image of Nikki flashed before my eyes.

“Nice I guess,” I shrugged. Q noticed my unease.

“You wanna talk about it Mike? You don’t look too well,” he told me. I let out a sigh and spilled everything! He was shocked by all of my emotion.

“Mike, you’ve known that girl for two days...” Q told me.

“I know, I know, but I was sure she was the one! I was sure of it!” I told him. Quincy patted my back.

“Look Mike, they’ll be others,” Q assured me.

“But there won’t be another Nikki,” I whimpered.

“C’mon Mike, snap out of it! Let’s continue with the track to get your mind off of her! Sorry I even brought it up,” Q told me as he got up out of his seat. I followed his suit and we continued working on the album.

When all of our work was done I exited the studio.

“See you later Q!”

“Bye Mike!” Quincy called back to me. I turned and headed out of the door. It was a dark night, but something (rather someone) stood out. It was Nikki. I recognized her immediately. Her pale skin seemed to glow in the darkness of the night. She wore a sad expression across her face. She slowly moved up to me until she was practically on top of me.

There’s my Nemo.

Chapter End Notes:

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