Chapter 9

"Ahhhh," he inhaled and exhaled deeply as he took in the fresh European air. Michael was in Ireland to look for a new home and to take his kids on a mini-vacation. Last year, while working on the Thriller25 album, Michael decided to stay there for five months. While Neverland would remain his home in the states, he needed a change, and the L.A. smog was getting to him.


While Michael was happy to get away and relax, he was sad that August wouldn't join him. "It's much too soon," he recited her last words back to himself. It reminded him of a song he wrote in the 80s. Who knew it would have meaning in his present life? He then began humming the songs melody, reflecting on the lyrics:


"She was there just sitting at the table

Thinking now that things won't be the same. And wouldn't you like to go with me? And she answered 'No' to me but

I guess I learned my lesson much too soon. I never thought she'd leave me here forever. But who knows just what the future brings? And wouldn't you like to go with me? And she answered 'No' to me, but I guess I learned my lesson much too soon. Take away this never-ending sorrow. Take this lonely feeling from my soul. If only I knew what things bring tomorrow, She'd be sitting here beside me, And my heart would then be whole. I hope to make a change now for the better. Never letting fate control my soul And I'm hoping that my prayers will see the

Day that you'll come back to me

But I guess I learned my lesson much too soon. Oh, oh, Yes, I think I learned my lesson much too soon".


***

"Mr. Jackson, Mr. Jackson! Welcome to the Ballinacurra House!" A lively voiced boomed, snapping Michael out of his daze. After gathering Prince, Paris, and Blanket, Michael greeted the property’s host kindly and set out on a tour of the house.


The Ballinacurra House was a magnificent mansion located in Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland. It's 40 acres of land were set within a walled garden that boasted ten-foot-high stone walls and security gates.


Eyeing a bright red ball in the garden, the kids screamed, "let's go play daddy."


Michael obliged & enjoyed the day playing a game of ball with his kids. "Run blanket. Run! Prince is catching up with you," he screamed with laughter. Being that Blanket was the youngest out of his siblings, he had to work extra hard at winning games. Michael intercepted the ball from Prince & lightly tossed it to Blanket. He wanted each of his kids to feel like a winner and to always believe in themselves.


After a long day of playing games with the kids, Michael settled into his room. Turning on the television, he landed on a program about himself. After 2 minutes he shut the TV off, reminding himself of why he didn't watch regular TV. "Stupid fucking tabloids," he cursed!


"Buzzz, buzzz," Michael's phone vibrated on the lampstand.


"Hello, may I speak to Michael?" The voice asked nervously.


"This is he. August baby, is that you?"


Feeling surprised, she'd call so soon, a new sense of hope washed over him. "What time is it in Newyork?" he asked.


"It's about 5 pm here, but it's 10 pm in Ireland, right? Did I wake you?" she said apologetically.


"No, no. You didn't wake me. What's going on? I'm just happy to hear your beautiful voice," he said gently.


Just as Michael laid on the bed, he heard a soft knock on his bedroom door. "Who is it?" he asked grudgingly.


"I'm scared, daddy," a little voice replied. Michael's attitude quickly changed, knowing that it was Blanket on the other side of the door.


"What's wrong, sweetie?" he asked as he opened the door quickly.


"I'm scared daddy, I'm scared," Blanket cried as he ran and jumped into Michael's bed. Staying in new places always frighten him, but he would soon adjust to his new surroundings in a day or two.


"Come here, Blanket. it's ok," Michael said as he held Blanket in his arms. "Um, should I call you back?"


"You better not Daddy," she chuckled. "But seriously... I can call you back if you want. I don't want to keep you."


"No, no, please stay on the phone, he usually falls asleep quickly when I'm talking. I'm boring I guess," Michael said jokingly.


"Yeah, you used to put me to sleep all the time. Your voice is soooo boring," she quipped, as she fake yawned.


"Oh! You have jokes," he retorted, feeling insulted.


"I'm teasing, honey. I've missed talking to you," she said tenderly.


"Me too, me too. Yes, Blanket?" He said, turning to the touch of his son tapping him on the shoulder.


Gesturing for the phone, Blanket asked if he could talk. Even though he was shy, he had his moments of being outgoing.


"Well this is a new one, Blanket wants to talk to you," Michael giggled as he gave the phone over to Blanket.


"Hi! What's your name? Are you my daddies friend?" Blanket asked excitedly.


"Hi, Blanket! My name is August, and yes! Your daddy is my friend," she replied, matching his enthusiasm.


"Do you like crayons? Daddy got me new ones," he informed her.


"Wow! Your daddy is the best!"


Just as she was enjoying her conversation with the 4-year-old, Michael asked for the phone back. "Ok, Blanket. Give the phone back to daddy."


"Bye-bye August. Daddy wants the phone back."


As Michael regained control of the phone, he cuddled Blanket in his arms. "I think he likes you. I've never seen him so excited talking on the phone, you're amazing," Michael spoke softly.


"Oh, stop it. I'm not! He's just an inquisitive little kid," she replied humbly.


"Your voice has stayed the same after all these years. "I wished for this when I saw your picture in a magazine some months ago," he told her.


Feeling tired from the day, Michael's eyelids started to close. Unknowingly, he began to sing sleepily to Blanket: "There's nothing wrong; don't be bothered, they said. It's just childish fantasies turning your head. No need to worry. It's really too soon. But there he lies shivering, Scared of the moon."


A soft snore was the next sound August heard. "Michael, honey. Wake-up." She giggled.


Opening his eyelids slowly, he realized he and Blanket had fallen asleep.


"Goodnight, Michael, get some rest, please." August then recalled that those were the very last words she spoke to Michael in 1984. Reliving the painful memory, she closed her eyes as tears began to fall.


"Goodnight, August. I'll call you tomorrow," Michael spoke peacefully through heavy laden eyes. 

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