“Lana, it’s not your fault at all, I simply fell out of love with you.” My now ex-boyfriend Marcus Cunningham tried to explain to me as I moved all of his things out of my apartment.
“Why did you have to lie about cheating on me?” I asked wanting to know the truth.
“Don’t do this to yourself.”
“Just take your shit and go Marcus.”
“Lana, I’m sorry.”
“You’re right you are sorry, I gave you 4 years of my life and you just throw it away for some ho you met at work. If you were unhappy you should’ve told me and not gone behind my back and cheated.”
“I know I went about it the wrong way and I’m sorry for that but you were being so distant.”
“Just leave Marcus.”
“I hope we can still be friends?”
“Go!” I slammed the door behind him and leaned on it. Finally letting all the tears I had been holding in fall down my face. 4 years, I was loyal and took care of that man for 4 years and he cheats on me with some chick he met at work. I saw the signs, I knew something was wrong but I ignored it because I loved him and thought we could work it out. He was right about me being distant but after the 6 months I had just went through I was entitled to have some time to myself. What he should’ve done was talk to me instead looking for refuge in another woman.
But I wasn’t going to let my failed relationship bother me, if there is one thing my grandmother taught me is that you can’t dwell on the past but focus on the future. And that’s what I’m going to do, my job has this big promotion coming up, so I’m going to focus on that. Working at a magazine was fun I got to do the one thing that I loved doing. Taking pictures of beautiful things. And I didn’t photograph your typical size 2 model, I took pictures of all sizes and races. Both male and female, I called it seeing the beauty in someone that the normal eye could not see.
I was packing up from my last photoshoot of the day when my phone started to ring.
“Alana Knight speaking.”
“Always business with you.” My best friend of 12 years, Leana said when I answered.
“Never know when business opportunities arise and you know my work schedule. So what’s up?”
“I was calling to see if you and Marcus wanted to hang out with me and the crew tonight?”
“Marcus and I broke up.”
“Lana, what happened?”
“What do you think happened, you were right. He was getting close with that new hoe at his office, Selene”
“I’m sorry babe. Tonight we are having a girls night, I’ll tell Aiden to hang out with friends and let all the girls come over to your place.”
“I don’t feel like a girls night, can I just chill by myself?”
“No trust me. You’ll thank me tomorrow.”
“I guess you’re right, I’ll see you tonight.”
“See you tonight.” I hang up with Leana and finished packing up my stuff so that I could head home.
Before I went to my apartment I did a little grocery shopping so that the girls wouldn’t be hungry. I got home earlier than I normally would have after a shoot, which is weird considering how bad traffic is in Atlanta. I put the groceries away and decided to change into something a bit more comfortable for tonight. After a shower and two glasses of wine Leanna showed up with ice cream, chocolate, a box of tissue, and our other friends.
Olivia, was the oldest of us all and married to a wonderful guy named Alonzo. We’d known each other since high school when I was a sophomore and she was a senior.
They were high school sweethearts and married right after they finished college and have two beautiful daughters Penelope and Alina, who I am the godmother to.
Next was Jade, she was your typical blonde bombshell that had a heart of pure gold. Unless you piss her off or hurt one of her friends that’s when you don’t want to mess with her.
She’s dating one of the NFL’s hottest athletes and receives a lot of hate for it, being the fact that she’s white and he’s black. Most think she’s after his money but she makes just as much as he does having her own law firm.
Then there’s Kimberley, she’s the doctor and mediator of the group. When ever there is conflict she’s the first to defuse any situation and try to make us see common ground. She doesn’t date much because she’s to busy taking care of her four year old son, Titan. But we think she uses Titan as an excuse to not get back out there.
And finally there was Leana, the loud and bossy one. She works as a teacher because she adores kids. She’s currently engaged to one of the most eligible bachelors in Atlanta, my older brother Aiden Knight.
We were all shocked when they started dating because they simply hated each other when we were growing up but I guess something changed over time.
After eating almost an entire carton of ice cream, Leana suggested we go out.
“We’re not asking you to go out with the first guy that asks you to dance. We just want you to forget about Marcus.” Kim said giving me a small smile
“And if you happen to go home with a guy, we won’t be mad either.” Leana said with a smirk
I rolled my eyes at her but agreed to go because it’d been a long time since we had our last girls night out. We all started getting ready to go out at my place and just spending that time with my girls really helped cheer me up. We went to our usual hangout spot and got a table near the dance floor.
“Aiden and the guys are going meet up with us here.” Leana looking up from her phone.
“I thought this was supposed to be girls night.”
“I haven’t seen my man in 3 days, and I look to good for him not to see me like this.” She said, flipping her hair over her shoulder.
“She’s got a point, the kids are with my parents for the weekend so you know it’s about to go down.” Olivia said smiling
“Damn right, it’s the off season so you know me and bae are going to be making up for missed time.” Jade said reaching over to give Olivia a high five
“Y’all sicken me.” Kim mumbled taking a sip of her drink
“Girl if you would let loose and stop thinking every guy is like your ain’t shit baby daddy for once you would see that Brandon wants to take you out and show you how he invented sex.”
“I agree.” I said nodding my head.
“Don’t think your off the hook missy.”
“I just went through a break up I need time to focus on me, four years is a long time to spend with someone.”
“I’m sorry to interrupt you ladies but I overheard your conversation and I would gladly help youforgetyou past relationship.” Some guy that looked like he could be Boris Kodjoe’s twin brother said giving me a smile.
“No thanks, but thanks for the offer.”
“Okay, but if you change your mind I’ll be at the bar.”
I felt someone hit my shoulder.
“You literally had to put in no effort and a guy wanted to take you home.” I looked to my right and glared at Leanna
“So, I don’t want pity sex, hell I don’t need sex at all.”
“Well that’s nice to hear, you should just be celibate or maybe become a nun. Either way I’m happy knowing that no guy is touching my sister.”
“Hello to you to Aiden.” I gave my brother a hug and he went to sit next to Leanna making me cringe when he kissed her. Even though they were getting married it was still weird seeing my best friend and brother kiss.
“If you need me to beat the shit out of Marcus, just tell me when and where.” Alonso said giving me a head nod after taking a seat next to Liv.
“That won’t be necessary.”
“You sure, because I don’t mind. I never liked his scrawny ass.” Brandon said with a serious look on his face.
“We all know you didn’t and can you give me some room, damn.” Kimberly said glaring at him when he sat next to her and put his arm around her.
“Did Elijah make in to town yet babe?” Leana asked Aiden. Elijah was my brothers best friend and roommate in college, they both played soccer together until Aiden had an injury that didn’t allow him to play again. He was a cool guy and was fun to hang out with.
“Yes, I told him after he got settled to meet us here.”
“I wonder what he’s been up to these past few years?”
“He’s been playing soccer professionally in London since we graduated from college.”
“That’s close to home for him isn’t it?”
“It is, he really loves it there and has been doing pretty good for himself.”
“And I heard he’s single Alana.”
“Nope, not happening.”
“Aiden you seriously can’t tell me you wouldn’t want Alana to date your best friend when you’re marrying hers.”
“Although she has a good point, I’m not ready to date again. And Elijah’s more like a brother to me anyway.” Leanna looked at me as if I didn’t tell her how much I wanted Elijah to ask me out, at one point I did but I’m older and have moved on from my crush.
At least I thought I did until I saw the most beautiful man I’d ever seen walk up to where we were sitting. He seemed to have just as many tattoos as my brother if not more and a lot taller than I remember him being. His cheek bones were strong and his voice was much deeper than what I remembered, when he smiled at me I couldn’t help but revert to the shy teenager I was whenever he was around. His accent had gotten thicker thanks to his time in London, something I had always liked about him. I was taken out of my trance when I heard my brother say my name.
“Elijah, you remember my younger sister Alana.”
“It’s good to see you again, you’ve grown into a beautiful young woman.”
“Thank you, London has been very nice to you.” We shook hands and smiled at one another. My brother coughed ending our moment of flirting.
As much as I wanted to jump his bones when he shook my hand, I with held myself and went back to making sure that Kimberly didn’t strangle Brandon. I had gone off to use the bathroom, when I ran into the guy that talked to me earlier.
“So did you think about my offer cutie?” Don’t get me wrong he was good looking and seemed like a nice guy but I didn’t want to be bothered.
“The answer is still no.”
“Come on, I’m known to help ladies forget about their exes.” I took another look at him and noticed a ring on his finger.
“Oh really, does your wife know about that?”
“What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.” He had this look on his face that let me know something was going to happen if I didn’t leave right then. I tried to walk past him but he moved in front of me blocking my path.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“Back to my friends, ow let go of me.” I said as he grabbed my arm
“You are coming with me.”
“No I am not.” I said trying to use some of the self defense training my brother gave me.
“Shut up, you’re all the same thinking you can wear sexy outfits and dance with a guy and not expect us to want something in return.”
Every time I tried to get out of his grip it would get tighter, I started to think of other ways to escape when some one said. “What’s going on here?” I looked up and saw that it was Elijah. I mouthed the words “Help me.” and he nodded his head.
“Babe I’ve been looking all over for you.”
“Babe? I thought she was single.”
“You thought wrong, now if you would let go of my girl before I have to beat your ass it would be greatly appreciated.”
“You can have her.” the guy said finally letting me go roughly if I might add. When he did let me go I smacked him hard in the face and kneed him in the balls.
“Are you okay?” Elijah asked when we walked away from the guy.
“I just want to go home, and can we not tell my brother about this. He’s protective enough.”
“Okay, here put on my jacket your arm is bruising.” I put on his jacket and we went to tell my brother that we were leaving. My brother gave Elijah a speech about no funny business and to call him when we got to my apartment.
The ride to my apartment was quiet except for the music playing on the radio.
“You should put some ice on that and take an Ibuprofen, it should help with the swelling.” he said as he walked me to my apartment door.
“I guess I’ll see you tomorrow at the brunch.”
“Yeah, see you tomorrow.” I smiled and walked into my apartment.
I texted my brother and told him that I made it home safe and that he wouldn’t have to kill Elijah. He texted back saying ok and we would talk about why I was wearing Elijah’s jacket. I sent him the middle finger emoji. After icing my arm for a bit, I started getting ready for bed. I finished putting on my pajamas when my phone went off. I rolled my eyes thinking that it was my brother but it was actually Elijah.
Hey, I got your number from Leana. I hope you don’t mind, just wanted to make sure that you were okay.
I smiled and responded.
I don’t mind and thank you, I’m fine. I was actually about to fall asleep.
Well sweet dreams beautiful, see you tomorrow.
I went to bed excited to see him tomorrow.