"Ouch! Please stop hurting," he pleaded while holding his head down on his desk. Michael was trying to read through a massive stack of contracts, but he couldn't focus. "When will this ever stop? There is only so much pain I can take," he cried out in agony.
Grabbing a bottle of medicine, he discovered that it was empty. "Shit!" he yelled and threw the bottle against the wall. "Guess I'll have to rough this one out."
Michael was still suffering from severe scalp pain due to his hair catching fire in a 1984 Pepsi Commercial shoot. Due to contrary belief, he only took pain killers when he needed them.
Sobbing uncontrollably, he got up from his desk to go lie down on his office sofa. Looking up at the ceiling, he thought back to 1984.
"Please, August! No one can help me with this and the doctors don't know if my scalp will ever heal. Listen, doesn't your recording school program start soon?" he said hastily.
"I'm not leaving you, Michael. Not like this. You're in pain! Let me help you get through this!" August spoke tenderly.
Feeling Completely exhausted, he turned his back to her and closed his eyes. "We'll see each other before you leave for school, they are releasing me in a few days. Come visit me at home on Wednesday."
"See you Wednesday, Michael. Get some rest, please," she whispered.
Before leaving his side, August kissed him on the cheek and left the hospital. After that night, neither knew that they wouldn't see each other again for the next 23 years.
A now 48-year-old Michael Jackson realized where he went wrong, but at that time, he felt hopeless. Doctors were telling him that his hair wouldn't grow back, how many surgeries he would incur, and how much pain he'd be in. It was all too much for him to handle.
But as his prognosis became clearer, he threw himself into his craft. He had worked so hard on the Thriller album, and he didn't want his achievements to go down the drain.
When August didn't visit him after his hospital release, he was deeply hurt. He tried locating her, but he had his number changed several times. He was becoming a global phenomenon and his phone wouldn't stop ringing with unwanted calls.
When he tried calling her school, they hung up on him, thinking he was someone pretending to be Michael Jackson. He left his phone number each time he called, even if it changed twice a day. Eventually, Michael gave up trying. He blamed himself for being withdrawn that night in the hospital and making her feel unwanted.
"Of course she's angry with you. You practically pushed her away, how could you be so dumb?" he argued with himself. Closing his eyes, he made a silent prayer and a vow never to lose her again; But first, he needed to regain her trust and prove himself worthy of her love.
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" August called out as someone banged on her apartment door. Looking through the door's peephole, she didn't see anyone. "Strange, I know I heard a knock," she thought to herself. As she opened the door to look down the hall, Michael appeared from around the corner.
"We need to talk," he said, pushing past her into the apartment.
"Come right on in," she said sarcastically as she shut the door behind him.
"Look, I know you're mad at me, and probably wondering why I'm here. I'm sorry for everything that's happened between us, but I was deeply hurt that you didn't visit me after I was released from the hospital in 1984. I tried calling you several times but--"
Cutting him off abruptly, August closed her eyes as hurt and pain filled her voice. "Michael, when I tried to visit you at home, you weren't there. Because of how you treated me in the hospital, I didn't think you wanted to see me again so quickly. The recording institute changed my flight to an earlier one, and I left for Newyork earlier than expected. I tried reaching you, but your number didn't work."
"I left messages at your school, but they probably thought I was a Prank caller. I was an emotional wreck and threw myself into work when I started to feel better. After a while, I figure you wanted nothing to do with me, so I stopped trying. I felt as though I did enough chasing," he said tearfully.
"I'm sorry, Michael, but I also stopped chasing you as well. You were becoming bigger than life and I felt as though you didn't want a regular boring girl anymore. Also, seeing you at the Grammy's with Brooke Shields didn't help," she laughed whilst drying her eyes.
Feeling as though a huge boulder had been lifted off their hearts, they embraced. "I'm sorry I hurt you, please forgive me," Michael apologized sincerely.
"I forgive you, Michael. Please forgive me too," she replied, stroking his shoulder gingerly.
Taking her hand in his, he placed her hand to his cheek. "Wow, so much time lost over a misunderstanding, lack of communication & pride on both our parts. How do we fix this? How can we make it right?" he said, searching her eyes for the answers.
August stroked his hair gently and whispered, "time. With time, Michael. That's the only way."
"Ahem. I should get going," he spoke while clearing his throat. "I have a trip to Ireland in the next few hours. Come with me, please?" he pleaded.
Looking at him in shock, August told him that she couldn't. "We need to get to know each other again, Michael; I can't just jet away with you. It's much too soon".
Reaching into his back pocket, Michael pulled out a piece of paper with his phone number on it. "Call me," he said, as he gently kissed her on the cheek. "I have to go now."
August walked Michael to the door, giving him a friendly hug as he departed. Deep down inside, she wanted to go with him. She wanted to rekindle what they lost. Her willpower was weakening, and she needed him, just as much as he needed her.
To move forward, they needed time to heal from many years of buried pain. So much had changed during the past 23 years. They had a lot of catching up to do.
A hell of a lot of catching up to do.