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Alissa noticed that the clock on the stove said it was 6, so she got changed and headed to work. She had decided not to get a job in education. Her passion just wasn’t there anymore. If she had to be completely honest with herself, her passion for everything was gone. 


She debated what to apply for and then decided to do something she already knew how to. She had put herself through school as a waitress so she figured that was something that she already had experience with. The first place she went to hired her and she was working most of the week.


The bar/restaurant was already busy when she got there. Hopefully, she would make some good tips tonight.  She was in the middle of placing a large drink order when she looked up and saw AJ and the guys on the TV.


She dropped the glass that she was holding and it shattered all over the floor.


“Hey Alissa, are you ok?” Sam, the older bartender, asked her.


“Um, yeah, I’m fine. Just klutzy tonight I guess.” Alissa said wiping her hands on her apron.  She walked over to the TV so she could hear what they were saying.


“The Backstreet Boys will be heading on a press tour for the next few weeks. It’s been rumored that they’ve already started a new album and will be working on it from the road.”


They were leaving? Her mind started racing. Maybe she should call Brooke and try to see her while they were gone.  She hated herself for not calling or writing to tell her cousin she was ok. But was she really ok? Her heart was still in a million pieces and she was afraid that she would never be able to put it together again. She knew she should have told her cousin where she went but she just couldn’t face it.


Denise showed up at Brooke’s house the next day.


“Hi Denise.” Brooke said giving AJ’s mom a hug. “If you’re here to find out about Alissa, I don’t know anything. She still hasn’t called or even written. I have no idea where she is.”


Denise sighed. “I was afraid of that. AJ is falling apart trying to deal with this and I don’t know how to help him.”


Brooke started to tear up. “I feel horrible. I wish Alissa didn’t just pack up and leave before AJ could talk to her. She should have talked to one of us!”


“I wish she did too but I can see it from her point of view. She’s in love with my son and this woman shows up on his doorstep with the same necklace and paternity test results. I’m not sure I wouldn’t have run if I was in her position.”


Brooke smiled sadly. “Don’t let your son hear you say that. He probably won’t speak to you either.”


“He’s already barely speaking to me. I went over to his house last night and it was completely destroyed. I thought I could talk to him and convince him to at least leave the house for a bit but he’s determined to stay there.”


“Really? I saw on the news last night that the guys were leaving on some press tour or something.”


“What?” Denise yelled. She picked up her phone and called AJ. He picked up after the third ring.


“AJ, are you guys leaving?”


“Yeah we are. I’m taking everyone’s advice and moving on. Management wants us to go back to the studio before too long and they figured we could do a press tour to keep up interest. We leave in two days.”


Denise paused. There was no way her son was moving on. He was just burying all of this and throwing himself into another album.


“Promise me you’ll be careful ok?” she asked her son.


“I will Ma. Gotta go pack. Love you.” he said and hung up the phone.


Denise looked over at Brooke. “We have to do something.”