9 December 2007 was the most magical of my life. It came at the end of what was, up to then, the most amazing year of my life. Just a few days prior, I had got a lovely surprise in the mail, a photo of Michael and me that he had signed and sent to me with sentiments of love.
It was with a heart full of gratitude that I went out and bought Christmas gifts for him and his children and wrapped them in glittery paper. Sometimes in Michael’s world it seemed that if you believed in something enough, it would happen. I knew Michael was in LA but I was in Vegas and would leave for Europe in a few days so had no time to go and see him.
I was wishing once again for the seemingly impossible, a miracle that would allow me to deliver my gifts to him, when lo and behold, I found out he had just arrived at the Green Valley Hotel (in Las Vegas). I knew he was staying low-key and didn’t want to blow his cover so decided to leave the gifts at the hotel reception desk.
As I arrived, I spotted a security guard called Bill, who had worked at the house on Monte Cristo where Michael had lived that summer and always been really nice to me. He parked his car and disappeared into the hotel before I got a chance to speak with him. So I decided to write him a note. I asked him if I could please give him my gifts for Michael and the children, told him I would be spending the day in the nearby shopping plaza, added my phone number and slipped the note under the wiper of his car.
When the stores shut, at 6pm, I decided to leave, hopeful that Bill would read the note and call me. I was walking to my car when I saw a jeep that looked like his circling the near-empty parking lot. It drove down one lane after another, then parked facing my car. I dismissed it as a coincidence and was about to drive away but something held me in place. I decided to wait until the driver got out so I could reassure myself that it wasn’t him.
Nothing happened for a few moments and finally the door opened and it WAS him. It was Bill. I was so happy. Just to be able to deliver gifts to Michael and the children was such a privilege and the best Christmas gift I could hope for. Bill told me Michael had read the note and said that he knew me. I was like, “Really? He told you he knows me? What else did he say?!” ;-) I gave him the gifts, thanking him repeatedly and reiterating how much it meant to me.
Bill returned to the car and just as I was about to leave for a second time, the horn started beeping. When I looked up, I saw a hand waving from the back window. Not just any hand. HIS HAND. IT WAS HIM! IT WAS MICHAEL!!! I leapt out of my car and ran over and the window went all the way down. Michael was there, with his three children beside him, all beaming out at me. OMGGGGgggggg!!!
This had to be a fairy tale. This couldn’t be real. The sky pierced with a million stars. The sound of Christmas carols floating through the air. And him there, his voice flowing out into the night like a perfect melody, his hand wrapped around mine, stroking my cheek at times.
I told him that I couldn’t believe I was standing in a parking lot talking to him because he didn’t belong in the real world, he belonged in the dimension of wonder and make-belief. I told him that he sparkled with magic and that even when I was far away from him, I never felt far away because he lit up my world and kept all the darkness away. I told him that he gave me hope in the future of humanity and that it was a comfort to have him on the planet because he reached out into the hearts of all those open enough to receive him.
And as much love as I poured out to him, he returned it all a thousand-fold. I remember feeling that I’d burst into a million slivers of light if he said one more word. It was too much. It was everything I had ever dreamed of - and more.
Here’s an extract from our conversation (as I wrote it down later that night):
(Speaking about the Harry Potter movies:)
Me: ...I loved all those movies too. I went to see the last one five times in the theatre.
MJ: FIVE TIMES!
Me: Yeah, I couldn't get enough of it! I love fantasy so much. Hey, have you guys seen Enchanted?
MJ and children all together: YEAAAAAAAAAAH!
MJ: Oh we loved it sooo much.
Paris: It was great.
Prince: That was a cool movie.
(All this at the same time, v. excited)
Me: I knew you would all love it. I LOVED it too. It was like stepping into a fairy tale. I wish I could live in Andalasia. Well I kind of do. I mean you're my fairy tale Michael.
Me: You are. I remember when I was little, I didn't think you were real. I thought there was Santa Claus and Peter Pan and Michael Jackson. I mean, real yes, but living in another dimension. Not like in the real world. You’re too magical to live in the real world.
MJ: Aww, do you hear that? That is so beautiful. You are very sweet.
Me: No, no, YOU are...
I often spent more time with Michael and his children than I did that evening, and in a far more intimate setting. But in my treasure chest of memories, that one shines the brightest. Because for the first time in my life, I didn’t go to him. For the first time, he came to me instead.