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AJ called his mother on his ride home and she met him at his front door just as he pulled in.


“What happened? You sounded so frustrated on the phone.” Denise asked heading into the house behind her son.


“Her! She’s what happened! I went by her house yesterday to apologize to her and her cousin almost killed me! Then she said she’d give me five minutes and after thirty seconds, she started yelling at me and walked away telling me I could get my four minutes some other time!”


“Ok. I get what happened yesterday but seeing you all wound up like this, I assume something happened this morning.”


“Something did!” roared AJ. “I went back to her house and I surprised her when she came out. I asked her for the four goddamn minutes she said I could have another time and she agreed. I explained why I came over and she started yelling at me again! What’s with her? I was trying to apologize!”


Denise smiled silently and realized that her son probably tried to apologize like he always did.


“Did you apologize or did you apologize and make it her fault?” Knowing her son like she did, she already knew the answer to that question.


“Are you taking her side? You don’t even know her! I’m your son! You’re supposed to be on my side!” AJ yelled.


Denise sighed and sat down at the counter in the kitchen. “I am on your side sweetheart, but I know you. You are so stubborn and even when you try apologizing, you can’t get it out without blaming the other person. Sometimes, you just need to say you’re sorry and leave it at that.”


“I tried to but..” AJ started to say.


“No buts. You need to go back over there and just get it out. You need to explain how you feel without making her feel like she committed this awful crime by sending you a card. You wouldn’t tell me the other night why you were so invested in this card. Will you tell me now?”


“Fine! Her card bothered me because it felt like she was in my head reading every thought that I’d had and everything I never said. It’s like she invaded that space that was mine and no one else’s! Things she said were things that I wasn’t planning on sharing with anyone and somehow she knew what they were!”


AJ collapsed onto the other stool and put his head down on the counter.


“I don’t think that’s the only reason that you’re so mad about this.” Denise said.


AJ looked at his mother and realized he needed to put all the cards on the table and just be done with this.


“You’re right, it’s not. Here is this woman I don’t even know telling me that it would be ok and I would get through this. Do you realize what it’s like to hear that and have no idea who’s talking to you? There was some woman saying what I wanted and needed to hear and I didn’t even know who she was. Alissa was just a name on a card.”


Denise looked at her son and felt her heart break a little. “That’s not all of it, is it?


“No, it’s not but I’m done talking right now.” AJ got up, jogged up the stairs and slammed his bedroom door.