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Alissa waited at the restaurant where her cousin suggested they have lunch.  She knew her cousin was going to be furious.  Alissa had tried all morning trying to hide her black eye under concealer and a pair of sunglasses but she knew she couldn’t hide it from Brooke who saw everything.


“Hi sweetheart!” Brooke said leaning over to kiss her cousin on the cheek. As she was pulling back, she shrieked. “What happened to your eye? Forget it, I already know what happened! I’m gonna kill him!”


“No, no don’t do this now!” Alissa said quietly as her eyes filled with tears.


“What happened honey?” Brooke said softly, her heart breaking for her cousin.


“I broke it off with him and he went into a rage. He started screaming at me that I would never survive without him and that no one would ever love me the way he did.”


Brooke waited a minute and then smiled at her cousin. “I know it sucks right now but you are going to be so much better off without him, you know that, right?”


“I do. I’m happy that I did it. It just feels like I won’t find anyone again and that frustrates me. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” Alissa sighed and her eyes filled up with tears.


Brooke went over and gave her a huge hug. “You’re going to find someone that loves you just for you and will be so good to you. I know it!”




“AJ, it’s Marcus. You are never going to believe this!”




“What do you mean? She’s lives out here!” AJ yelled.


“Yeah.  Apparently, when I went to that friend of mine and asked about the best way to go about finding this woman, he mentioned that he had heard her name before. I guess one of the guys that worked in his building is dating this woman named Brooke. It seems like this woman is her cousin!” Marcus blurted out.


“What do you know about her?” AJ demanded, pounding on the table.


“She’s a teacher who used to live out near Boston, MA. She ended a relationship about 5 years ago and she moved out to Cali for a new start. Her cousin lives about 45 minutes from here and she lives in the condo next door.”


AJ started to get madder. I can’t believe that woman is even closer now he thought to himself.


“I have to meet her and end this. She has no business being invested in me and I want her out of my head!” AJ roared. “Make up some reason to meet her and let me know when and where!” AJ stormed out of the house and sped off in his car.