The e-mails and letters sent by all the fans made a huge difference. The fans in the UK managed to convince the CEO and producers at Grenada Television to not air the Living with Michael Jackson biography unless it would be shown without selective editing. There was an announcement on the Grenada Television website that read: The airing of the Living with Michael Jackson documentary will be postponed until further notice. This made the fans very happy. They were slightly afraid that they would have had to send the television station a bunch of angry e-mails for airing the cow dung of a film. The other fans were pleased about this. It meant they were making some headway in spreading their message. So far, so good. All they could do was cross their fingers and hope that the television stations everywhere else would honor their requests.
Unfortunately, the press hype about this had spiraled out of control, in the USA. Thanks to Martin Bashir's appearance on ABC just two days prior, the media knew about what was featured in the documentary. They realized the snippet that was shown was just the story they had been waiting for. It would help their ratings immensely. In just a matter of minutes, the clip of the scene with Gavin resting his head on Michael's shoulder and Martin's interview was shown on every tabloid show and media news show. The Santa Barbara District Attorney saw it and thought he might be able to use that against the pop singer. For a decade he had wanted to file charges against Michael for child molestation. However, he decided to bide his time, since the law in California did say that sleeping in the same room as someone is not illegal as long as no offensive conduct occurred, and that would have had to be proven. The picture of Gavin resting his head on Michael's shoulder was also on the cover of every rag magazine and tabloid. The headlines read things like: "THE DARKER SIDE OF JACKO'S RELATIONSHIP WITH CANCER SURVIVOR", "JACKSON IS OBSESSED WITH SEX", and "NEVERLAND IS A DANGEROUS PLACE FOR CHILDREN," a quote from Bashir's interview with Barbara Walters the previous night." Some late night comedy shows made obscene jokes about what those headlines insinuated. Bill, one of Michael's bodyguards saw the tabloids while paying for a box of detergent, and he could only imagine how his boss would feel if he saw them. ‘Not this again. Mr. Jackson isn't going to like this at all.'
Michael was resting in his bedroom. He was in extreme pain that day. He had been bitten by a brown recluse spider multiple times the night before, while asleep. His hand and left foot were swollen, and there was a large wound on his right leg that looked quite gruesome. It stung so viciously that he couldn't walk on it at all. His personal physician had given him some antibiotics for it, but it still hurt immensely. He wasn't entirely sure how it happened since he never saw the spider, but his ranch had undergone a routine fumigation earlier, so he figured that the spider must have found its way in then. Besides dealing with the siege of his biography, he had decided to put together an interview that would show some of his home movies so that the misconceptions of his true character would stop. He was supposed to start in a few hours, but he decided maybe it would be best to relax since he wasn't feeling very well. He thought maybe he would do it the next day or the day after if the pain subsided. He had his crutches, so he would be able to move around. That was not the issue. He was worried about how he would explain his condition to his children. Although the wound was covered with a bandage, he wouldn't be able to hide the crutches from them. It was much too painful for him to walk on it regularly.
Just then, Bill came back, holding a large bag that contained the detergent. He handed the detergent to Michael's maid. She took it and proceeded to sort the clothing.
Ring, ring. It was the telephone in Michael's bedroom. He was so glad it was right next to him because he didn't feel like trying to move. He wanted to rest. Not like he could get around even if he wanted to anyway. He answered the phone. "Hello?" His voice sounded so tired and pain filled.
"Mr. Jackson, this is Raymone."
Michael became a bit worried. He usually didn't hear from her unless she had something important to say or wanted to tell him about some garbage the papers and press wrote about him. He wondered what was up this time. "Hi Raymone. How are you?"
"I'm great. How about you? You sound terrible."
Leave it to Raymone to note that something was wrong. "I'm in pain. I've been bitten by spiders. If I showed you how it looks right now, you'd be surprised. It's really hurting," he told her.
"My goodness! How did that happen?"
"I'm not entirely sure. I never saw the spider. But it must have gotten in while my ranch was being fumigated yesterday and I was bitten while asleep. Called my personal doctor and he took some cultures and told me it is a bite from a brown recluse. "
The publicist couldn't help but shudder. She had heard about the effects of that particular spider bite. She could only imagine the sight, even though she didn't particularly want to. "I hope you feel better soon."
"Thank you." He was so caught up in telling Raymone about the incident that he nearly forgot to ask her what was the call about. "Is something wrong?" He was prepared to hear just about any negative news.
"Well, yes. There are some rumors about you in the press."
Michael gave a sad sigh. There were always crazy, ridiculous stories written about him. So what else was new? "What are they about this time?"
Raymone told him about everything from the salacious stories of his relationships with young people and Martin Bashir's interview with Barbara Walters.
‘Oh great,' thought Michael. This was just what he was afraid of. And it was all because Martin had showed that particular scene. He had gone too far. But Michael wasn't worried. He would use that as more evidence to support his complaint that the journalist had slandered him. He was sure that he would succeed. "Thank you for telling me."
"Of course. Feel better soon, Mr. Jackson."
"Thank you so much."
"I'll let you go now. You need to rest. Goodbye."
"Goodbye." The pop crooner hung up. He decided that if he was feeling better later, he would get to work filing this law suit. Enough was enough.
Nikki and Kerri were sitting in their Biology class, reading the chapter that would have been covered in class. Nearly an hour had passed, and the professor had not arrived yet. The students wondered what was going on. It wasn't like her to be late without calling. Considering that it was the final class of the day, they would have liked it very much if they could have left even earlier. It didn't make any sense being there if the instructor wasn't going to show up. It would be a wasted day in class and there was only half an hour left. And they couldn't just leave the campus without permission.
All of a sudden, in walked the campus director. He was an older gentleman with graying hair that was balding in the front. The students wondered what he had to say.
"Nice to see that you all took the initiative and did not waste such valuable time." Kerri nearly rolled her eyes, but she knew better.
"Well, I have come to tell you that your class has been cancelled due to your lecturer suffering a massive heart attack and being rushed to the hospital. So for the remainder of your class time, you may find another classroom to wait," the director continued.
A part of Nikki and Kerri were relieved that something was finally said about their lecturer's tardiness. But they did feel bad that she was in the hospital. The other students were a bit annoyed that the director didn't make this announcement sooner and they came to class for nothing, especially considering the fact that they could have been doing other things.
"Thank you for telling us. Give her our get well wishes, please," Nikki spoke up. Some of the students gave her funny looks, but she didn't care. Someone had to say it. And there was such an uncomfortable silence in the classroom.
"I will. You students are dismissed."
Kerri and Nikki gathered their belongings and left with their classmates.
"Hey, you want to see if the computer lab is free?" Rebecca, one of Nikki's friends asked.
"Sure! Sounds good to me!" answered Kerri. Nikki nodded her approval as well.
Kerri, Nikki, Rebecca and a couple of other girls headed over to the campus' computer lab. Luckily, it was free. They entered, and found their usual seats. The computers had been left on.
Nikki decided to start the research paper that was assigned in English class that day. She wanted to have some of it done before the weekend. She found a website that was about racism, which was what her paper would be based on. She skimmed over the information and made notes as she went along. She was writing very busily. The other girls were checking e-mail and doing other internet related activities.
Miranda came across a news site and saw that there was an article on Michael. She couldn't help but groan. Lately it seemed like he could never get a break from the press. It was as if they had him under a magnifying glass. She was almost horrified to see what this particular article was about. She had a gut feeling it wasn't good, considering that in the recent months the media coverage was becoming increasingly negative. She held her breath as she proceeded to read. What she read was utterly appalling. ‘It figures. Just when I think the tabloid articles can't get any worse, I see one that proves me wrong.'
"Hey Nikki and Kerri come look at what they're saying about your adopted father this time! You'll be pissed off!" said Miranda a bit frantically.
It was nothing new for the two sisters since they were always angered by the tabloids and stuff. Nikki was sitting right next to the orange haired girl. She looked up from where she was writing and took a look at the article her friend was reading. Kerri was sitting on the other side of Nikki, so she had to get up from her seat in order to read what was being said. Neither of them were surprised that the latest turn of events ended up in the news, since news travelled extremely fast. The content of the news didn't surprise them, either. After the stunt Bashir pulled with the documentary, they resolved to stop letting the tabloid news affect them so much. The tabloids and most media outlets were nothing but trash. So they were not even fazed by Martin leaking the potentially controversial portion of the documentary to the press...not by much, anyway. Martin would get his just desserts all in good time.
"So, what do you think about that?" asked Miranda. The two sisters' facial expressions looked so blank; it was hard to tell what was on their mind.
"Big surprise," answered Kerri sarcastically.
"I don't think I need to say anything about the inaccuracies because they pretty much speak for themselves," added Nikki.
Miranda was pleasantly surprised to hear that. She was so used to hearing the sisters vent about the tabloid garbage and although she couldn't say she blamed them, she felt they should not dwell on that kind of idiocy.
"How is Mr. Jackson doing anyway?" asked Sierra, a girl who wore her strawberry blonde hair in wild ringlets loose around her face.
"He's not well today. He's in pain," answered Nikki.
Uh oh. Neither Sierra nor Miranda liked the sound of that. Of course they both knew it could have been worse. It could have been that the stress of the media news gave him a heart attack. If that had happened, they would have made the tabloid reporters pay dearly.
"What happened?" Sierra wanted to know.
"He was bitten by a brown recluse last night while he was asleep," Kerri answered.
"Ouch," commented Sierra sympathetically.
"Yeah. It is very bad. If you saw how the bite looks...well, let's just say you'll wonder if the spider skipped dinner or something." That was all she was going to say without getting too gory, since she knew what a weak stomach Sierra had.
"Oh, I can imagine! Don't remind me," said Miranda, holding her nose. Kerri could tell that her friend was thinking about the time when she was bitten by a brown recluse on her thigh a year ago. She had to miss 2 weeks' worth of classes because since she had allergies to venom, she was really sick from the bite. It was not something she ever wanted to repeat again, given all the work she had to catch up on that time. All of her friends and loved ones were so afraid that she was not going to make it. They were so glad that she did.
Nikki took a look at her watch. Class was officially over. She couldn't believe they were in the lab for that long. It certainly didn't feel that way. "Well, you guys, we'd better get out of here before someone locks us in or throws us out or something."
"Okay, let's go." Kerri, Nikki and their friends shut down the computers they were using and packed up. They exited the campus together.
"So you think it'll be okay to visit?" Rebecca asked.
"Of course. He'd love that, I'm sure," said Kerri. She turned to Miranda and Sierra. "You two coming?"
"Would love to, but I have to pick up my little brother from the dentist soon. He gets mad when his ride is late for him," answered Sierra.
Miranda said she couldn't come either because she had to look after her great grandmother, but promised that she would see if she could get a gift for Michael while her parents came to visit.
"Okay. I understand." Nikki turned to Rebecca. "I guess it's just you, then." It was fine with her since chances were that Michael would be worn out by the extra visitors. "Let's get out of here."
"You got it." She and the two sisters said bye to Miranda and Sierra and left.
Mariann had just gotten home from a gathering that she had with some members of her anorexia and bulimia support groups. This gathering was a going away party for her. It turned out that she would be moving to California much sooner than she thought. The day after Michael received her letter and flowers, she had gotten an e-mail from the employer at the spa asking her to come to the United States as soon as possible. She was so pleasantly surprised about this; she had told Michael in her letter that she expected to be there for an interview within a few days. Secretly she was thinking that it could have taken a week. Now it looked like she would be living there permanently even sooner than she originally thought. She had also gotten a call from immigration saying her papers and application had been approved. She could just imagine the look on Michael's face when she went to see him. But then again, it would be fun to surprise him. And she happened to be counting the days and hours before she saw him in person. She couldn't wait.
The forty-two year old was finishing off the last bit of her packing. She had gotten most of it done thanks to a couple of her friends helping her the day before. She was due to catch the first flight the next day. She would be in for a long one.
Just then, she heard a loud banging on her door. She couldn't help but feel slightly annoyed. It could only belong to one person. Her former fiancé. Two weeks ago she had broken off her engagement with him after seeing how he abused his mother and sisters, and he was extremely bitter about it. Ever since that day, he had been stalking her and begging her to come back to him. It was almost as if he was obsessed with her. Either that or he didn't understand the word "no." She wondered what he wanted.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK! "Hey you hussy! I know you're in there! You'd better open up or you'll be sorry!"
Generally Mariann was not intimidated by his threats at all. But she knew if she didn't let him in, he would just keep on knocking until she got tired of it. She gave an exasperated sigh and opened the door. She knew enough to not invite him in. "Yes? What can I do for you?" She tried to sound as if he had rudely interrupted her, which he did.
"Don't play dumb with me. You know that I want for us to get back together. You know I love you."
Just the sight of this man made Mariann feel utterly sick to her stomach. She was fighting the urge to regurgitate...right on his expensive shoes, too. "Esteban, you don't give up, do you? My decision is final. Now get lost."
Esteban leaned forward as if he were going to kiss her, and put his arm around her shoulders. The dark haired woman was stunned, but quickly realized what was going on. He was trying to force himself on her. She slapped him and kicked him in his crotch. Though she was still slightly underweight, that didn't mean she didn't know how to defend herself.
This made Esteban furious. How could she manage to inflict such blows on him when he was much bigger than her? He also was filled with jealousy.
"Why you little...I knew it! You were having a secret affair while we were still engaged, weren't you?!"
Mariann was appalled by how ridiculously he was acting...but at the same time it didn't surprise her. After all, she saw how violent he was with his sisters. "What makes you say that? But then again, if it had happened, it would have been because you were not doing your job!" she retorted.
Esteban took that as a yes. This anger gave him the strength to get up. "Just you wait! One of these days you will be sorry! I will kill you and this little punk you're with, whoever he is!"
By this time, Mariann was a bit terrified, but she wasn't going to give him the satisfaction in seeing that.
"You'll do nothing of the sort."
"Well, try me. You are a fool to underestimate me."
Mariann insulted Estèban in Spanish and slammed the door in his face. Her night had turned sour. She wondered what if he did follow through in his threats. Although she was leaving soon, she still wasn't sure he wouldn't try to come after her. This made her wish she was with Michael this very moment. If she told him about this, she was sure he would be outraged at the way she was treated. Knowing that there was only one thing left to do, she got her cordless phone and dialed 911. It was about time the low life got arrested.