Chapter 1

“So what kind of cats do you think you’ll buy?”

Alex looked over at her best friend, rolling her eyes at the question.  She knew Cassandra meant it playfully, but that didn’t make it any less annoying..

“Cats?  Really, Cass?” Alex asked, raising an eyebrow in her direction.

“Yes, cats.  You don’t want to give dating a chance, so you’re going to need something to keep you company.” Cassandra responded, not looking up as she carefully polished her nails.

“It’s not that simple!” Alex said as she stood up from the couch and began pacing the room.

“Ummm…the hell it isn’t!  Jamal broke your heart, I get it.  But that was 3 years ago Alex.  Are you really gonna be single for the rest of your life because of what one asshole did?” Cassandra glanced up through her straight bangs, watching Alex pace the floor.  “You’ve gotta move on, chicky.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being single Cassandra, everybody isn’t meant to find a perfect guy, plan a perfect weddi-“

“There’s nothing wrong with being single if you want to be single.” Cassandra interrupted, closing her nail polish and looking up at her friend.  “I know you, Alex.  You want a husband, you want kids, and you deserve to have that.  But it’s never gonna happen if you won’t even go a damn date.”

Alex stopped in front of Cassandra, pouting for a moment before joining her on the couch.  “Why do you have to make so much sense?” She asked, resting her head on her friend’s shoulder.

“That’s what I’m here for.” Cassandra responded, smiling over at her friend.  “You’ve gotta quit it with this “forever lonely” attitude you’ve had lately girl.”

“I know, I know.” Alex said, sitting up.  “But it’s been 3 years, where do I even start?”

“That’s the easy part, doll.  I’ve got the perfect guy for you!”

 

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“Joey, I’m gonna smack the shit out of you if you don’t shut up, man.”  Drew said, glaring across the locker room at his best friend as he pulled on his shoes.

Said if I was richer, I’d still be with ya”  Joey sang, ignoring the look on Drew’s face.  “Although there’s pain in my chest, I still wish you the best, with a, Forget Youuuuu” He had started singing the song to distract Drew from the basketball game, but at this point, his third or fourth repetition of it, he was just doing it to annoy him.

“I’ll see you later dude.” Drew said, picking up his bag to walk out.

“Come on man, I told you to leave those girls alone.” Joey responded, following him out to the parking lot.  “You’re a laid-back guy, you can’t keep up with those high-maintenance chicks.”

“The women I date are not high-maintenance.” Drew insisted, putting his bag into his truck, then leaning against its smooth surface.

Joey raised an eyebrow.  “So, the last chick, who had you paying her rent, cell phone bill, manicures, pedicures, hair appointments-“

“I wasn’t paying her rent, man” Drew interrupted, defending himself.  “Besides, there’s nothing wrong with taking care of your lady.”

“Yeah, when it’s mutual.” Joey responded, putting a hand on Drew’s shoulder.  “Dude, she wasn’t doing anything.  She wouldn’t work, wouldn’t go to school , you couldn’t even get her to drop you off at work when your tire blew out and you had to get it towed.  I had to come get your ass!  Can I get some help with my bills?” He asked, laughing.  “And then what did she do, go to All Star weekend and get hooked up with some basketball dude?  Now you’re looking at the earrings, weave and shit you paid for sitting courtside, cheering for another dude.  You’ve gotta stop letting these girls get over on you, man.  I know you’re trying to be a good guy, but you need to leave these “basketball wife” type chicks alone.”

“And what type of woman do you recommend, Mr.Know-It-All?” Drew asked, knowing his friend was right.

“Somebody low-key.  I don’t know man. A woman with a job.  What about that pretty teacher at your job, what’s her name?”

“You talking about Cassandra?  Nah, man, she’s taken.  But, she has been talking about a friend of hers she wants to introduce me to. She’d be SO PERFFECCCCTTT for you!”  Drew said, mimicking Cassandra’s voice.

“There you go then!” Joey responded, raising his hands in the air for emphasis.  “Cassandra is pretty, her friend is probably pretty.  Cassandra has a job, her friend probably has a job.  Cassandra is engaged, so she’s sane enough to somebody is willing to marry her, so her friend…do you see where I’m going with this?”

“Yeah, I get it man.” Drew replied, opening the door to his truck and sitting down in the vehicle.  “I’ll talk to her about her friend tomorrow.  What do I have to lose?”

 

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“Best.Blind.Date.Ever” Alex thought as she glanced across the table at her handsome date.  Smooth, deep brown skin, beautiful teeth, perfectly groomed facial hair.  He was tall, he smelled wonderful, and he filled out his suit so deliciously well.  “Lord!”  She said to herself, remembering the feel of his muscular arms wrapping her in an unexpected hug, right after they had introduced themselves.  Hugging strangers wasn’t really her “thing”, but she had gone with the flow, and now here she was, hours into the date, enjoying herself very much.

“You’re very beautiful.” He said, the rich tone of his voice breaking her away from her thoughts.  “You seemed to be thinking about something pretty hard…I’m not boring you, am I?”  He asked, taking a sip of his wine.

“No, Drew, not at all.” She replied quickly, giving him a warm smile.  “I’m just thinking about how I owe Cassandra lunch for setting this up.  I am…pleasantly surprised.”

“Pleasantly surprised, huh?  What were you expecting?”

“Not much!” She replied with a laugh.  “Blind dates have a pretty notorious reputation for being…um…let’s say-unsuccessful.”

“You may just be on to something.  Which is why I took the liberty of googling you before hand.” He admitted, leaning back against his chair.

“Ohhh, so you cheated!”

“What can I say, I’m a busy man, can’t leave much to chance.  But I’m glad to say that the pictures I saw online don’t do you any justice.”

“Not even the nudes?” She asked curiously, fighting a keep a straight face as he choked a little on his water.   “I’m just kidding!” She told him, laughing quietly at the expression on his face.

“You got me with that one.” He admitted with a smile, flashing those perfect teeth.

“I had to, Mr. Private Investigator!”  Alex teased, raising an arched eyebrow at him.

“You’re telling me you didn’t look me up at all?” He asked skeptically.

“I sure didn’t.” She answered smugly.  “Cassandra is my best friend, like a sister to me.  I knew she wouldn’t disappoint, so, I decided I may as let myself be surprised.”

Pleasantly surprised” Drew corrected her with a wink as he passed his credit card to the waitress to pay for their meal.  Alex glanced around the restaurant, noticing that they were among the last patrons.

“Wow, it’s a lot later than I thought!” She exclaimed quietly.

“Time flies when you’re having fun, Sweetheart.” He said, signing the check with a flourish before he stood up from the table, taking her hand.  “Let me walk you out.”

Accepting his hand, she stood, stumbling a little on her platform heels.  He quickly steadied her in his arms, looking down with a smile.

“You good?” He asked, pulling her a little too close.

“Thank you, yes.” She replied, taking a step back from him.  She didn’t want to send the wrong message, that she was a too interested.

“So…” He spoke, breaking the silence as he led her to the front of the restaurant.  “I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did tonight?”

“I really did.”  She responded with a smile as she accepted her keys from the valet.

“So…does that mean I can convince you to join me for lunch later this week?”

“It means…I’ll think about it.” With a wink, she climbed into her car and closed her door, giving him a small wave as she drove away.

 

 

 

 

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