Chapter   Five

Nick closed the door to VJ's room, locked it, then sat on the bed. He picked up the extension and heard the click as VJ hung up the other phone.

"Okay, I think VJ hung up the other phone," Nick said.

"So, how have you been?" Alisha repeated.

"I've been doin' all right," Nick answered. "I've been really busy, though, with the release of the US album and all. I was hoping you'd call me."

"I know, but I got so involved at work and the...." Alisha stopped herself from saying 'baby'. "This guy I've been seeing."

"So you're seeing someone?"

"Yeah, for about seven months." He's you're son, she thought.

"Wow, that's a long time," said Nick trying to sound normal, even though he felt like his heart just broke into a million pieces.

"What about you? You have to be seeing someone. There must be about a million girls that want to go out with you."

"I've been dating, but nobody serious. Just girls that want to have fun."

"That's good."

The two of them were quiet for a while.

"Ali, why did you leave?" Nick asked, suddenly.

"I felt like I needed to go somewhere and make a fresh start," said Alisha, softly. "I admit, part of the reason was because I was afraid I was losing you, but it had to do mostly with me. And I'm sorry if I hurt you. That was never my intention."

"I know, but I can't help but feel hurt that you didn't trust me enough to tell me where you were going. I'll also admit that I was seriously thinking of breaking it off with you, but that was just a passing phase for me. When I found out that you lost our baby and left without a word to anyone, I was so.... I don't know. I felt like a part of me was missing."

Alisha started crying quietly. Nick could barely hear her, but he knew she was.

"Can't you at least give me your number, so I could call you every once and awhile."

"I'm sorry, Nick," Alisha said, shakily. "I can't do that. I would like to hear from you, but I'm not ready to reveal my place of existance."

Nick's heart dropped even more. "Okay. I understand. Well, I better let you go. Don't want to run up your phone bill."

"Yeah, okay. I should go anyway. I have a friend over. I just called to tell BJ and AJ congratulations on their engagement."

"I'll tell the others you said 'bye'."

"All right. Thanks."

Nick decided to take a big risk. "I love you."

The tears really started flowing when Alisha heard him say this. "I love you, too, Nick. Bye."

Before Nick could say anything else, she hung up. Nick put the receiver back in place, then put his head in his hands as a few tears fell down his cheeks.


"What happened between us?" Brian asked as soon as the sliding door was closed.

"I don't know," VJ answered. "It seems that we have a real problem when it comes to trusting each other. Or at least when it comes to you trusting me."

"VJ, I saw you kissing another guy in the middle of a food court."

"No, you saw another guy kissing me."

"All I know is that it takes two sets of lips to kiss. That's four lips and two of them were yours."

"Would you like to know what happened?"

"I already know. I read that letter. Nick and AJ convinced me to call you, so I did. Low and behold, Brandon Wilkins answers the phone."

"Well, I'm not talking to him anymore." VJ crossed her arms.

"Don't do me any favors."

VJ looked at Brian in surprise. "What I meant was, I'm not talking to him already. He told that he saw you walking towards us that day in the mall, so he kissed me. Brian, you have to understand. Brandon is this incredibly cocky guy who said he was going to marry a model in high school. Ask anybody who went to school with me and they'll tell you that he tried to get with me for the longest time. When he told me he kissed me so you would see, that made me madder than hell. That was over a month ago and I haven't talk to him since. He took away the best thing I ever had when you left."

Brian looked at her. The tears that had come to her eyes was sure proof that she was telling the truth.

"I'm sorry. I was just so hurt by what I saw, I didn't know what to think. I never believed in my heart that our whole relationship was a sham, but my mind wouldn't let that vision of you and Brandon leave my head. Then when I called you and he picked up, that made it even worse. I was miserable for the next month, but the fellas made me see that I had to move on. But now I can see that the only way I can truly have my whole heart again is to have you in my life."

Those were the words that VJ had been waiting to hear for the past year. But she couldn't give him what he wanted.

"You don't know how long I've been waiting to hear those words, Brian. For the past year, I've waited to hear you say that you wanted me back. But I can't be with you."

Brian heart dropped to the ground. "VJ, please tell me you'll at least consider starting over again."

"I don't know if I can do that, Brian. I don't know you anymore. I'm not the same person I was a year ago. And I'm sure you had to have gone through some changes, too."

"Yeah, I have, but it doesn't change the way I feel. I love you."

Tear fell from VJ's eyes. "I love you, too. But I'm not ready to start over again."

Then VJ turned around and walked back inside the apartment, leaving Brian to stare into the dark night. Brian didn't know how long he stood out there, but Kevin came out and asked him he was ready to leave. Brian nodded and followed his cousin out to the car. Nick and Howie were already sitting in the backseat. AJ was just going to stay at BJ's place for the night to continue celebrating. VJ had already gone to bed, but lay there in the dark, not able to sleep. When she finally did fall asleep, she didn't have any pleasant dreams.

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