Tiyanda Mitchum sighed as she checked her watch for what must have been the three thousandth time since she landed. Natalie her lifetime friend was always late, so she didn’t know why she expected that this time would be any different. She envisioned the many excuses that Natalie would come up with this time to defend her tardiness; like her dog got sick (even though she didn’t have a dog), or she would say something like “omg Tiya I broke two of my favorite nails.” This made her chuckle to herself as she remembered just how vain her friend was. They had fallen out a couple of years ago and just recently rekindled their friendship. Although it was still on probation Tiya promised herself that she would work hard to let go of the past and start anew.

Tiya knew that her bestie had finally arrived at the airport when the sound of blaring music nearly blew out her ear drums. The sound of booty shaking hip hop music poured out of her brand-new Tahoe as she made her way to the pick-up zone. Natalie was always very flashy even though she didn’t need to be, because everyone in town knew that her family was loaded, and they ensured that no one ever forgot it. Natalie pulled up to the curb, jumped out of her truck and raced over to embrace her friend. “Omg Tiya you look amazing,” Natalie said as she squeezed Tiya tightly. “So, do you as always,” Tiya said sarcastically before bursting into laughter.

Natalie had always been shaped like a swim suit model with the beautiful face and long flowing hair to match. Her family was mixed with every nationality there could possibly be even though she only claimed her Caucasian and Dominican ancestry. She was gorgeous with her naturally tan complexion, warm hazel eyes, high cheek bones, plump lips, and not to mention curves that had been known to cause accidents. Tiya loved her friend but she often found herself being jealous of her, really jealous even though she was seen as equally beautiful by others, she never felt adequate in comparison to Natalie.

The two girls loaded Tiya’s bags into the truck and rode off into the sunshine towards Natalie’s extravagant condo. “I just can’t wait for you to see my new place, it’s on the beach and I think you will love it!” “I am sure that I will,” Tiya said as she stared out of her window at the passing scenery.

It was early Spring, and Mystic Cove was beautiful this time of year with all the beautiful foliage and palm trees, but the most mesmerizing attribute was the beautiful clear blue water that surrounded it’s beaches. It had been years since she had been back here it, but it still felt like home, although this place held nothing but painful memories for her. Tiya lost both of her parents here, and she always felt suffocated by their loss whenever she returned home. Her mother had been taken away by cancer and two years later her father joined her after he became a casualty of Hurricane Drew because he was too stubborn to leave the island. Her only known surviving relatives were her brother TJ who was named after their father Tirrius Mitchum Sr and their beautiful grandmother May belle Victory, both of whom still lived on the island and hoped that Tiya would return as well.

Tiya missed her family but she could not bear the memories of her parents that continued to haunt her dreams, so she traded beach life for city life in Savannah where she had just landed her first opportunity as a fashion designer. This was her dream and one of the few things that helped her step out from under Natalie’s shadow. Tiya always played up her brainy side and didn’t think that anyone ever noticed her physical beauty, but that couldn’t have been father from the truth. She was just as beautiful if not more so than Natalie Johnston she just never realized it. She fell deeper and deeper in thought until they were interrupted by Natalie yelling out “we’re here!”

Tiya took one look at the building and thought this screamed Natalie. Her taste in the lush and fabulous hadn’t changed a bit. They entered Natalie’s condo and Tiya wasn’t impressed, if you had seen one of these fancy condos you have seen them all. They all boasted the same plush carpets and overpriced décor. She was convinced that the wealthy of Mystic Cove all used the same interior decorator. Tiya rolled her eyes as Natalie bragged about her fancy dwelling and not wanting to hurt her feelings, Tiya pretended that she was in love with her new place as well. It was afterall the first thing that Natalie had ever purchased for herself, with her father’s money of course. “I can’t believe that you will actually be here for two weeks, we are going to rule this island just like back in the day,” Natalie gushed as she continued the grand tour. “I really wish that you would stay here,” Natalie said pouting. “I would love to stay with you Nat, but it would be rude not to mention hurtful if I didn’t stay with May belle." Tiya could sense Natalie growing nervous and that was so unlike her, she simply did not get unnerved, so this put Tiya on edge. “Well we had better get going Nat or May belle will be putting an APB out on me,” Tiya joked.

Natalie pretended not to hear Tiya and continued moving awkwardly through the house until someone yelled out “hey baby are you here?” Tiya knew that voice all too well and it caused her heart to sink into the pit of her stomach. It was Tiya’s high school crush, Taevion Pierre Dees, or Tae for short. She had been head over hills in love with this boy from the time that they were in the 7th grade up until her sophomore year of college, when she finally outgrew him and let the remaining feelings that she had been clinging onto fade just like the sunset on a winter evening and just like old man winter all of her thoughts of him had become cold.

Natalie quickly ran into Tae’s arms and greeted him with a long passionate kiss. He wasn’t expecting this sudden show of affection, but he welcomed it, because it had been a long time since she had greeted him in this way and he really missed those days. “Babe I have a surprise for you!” Natalie exclaimed giving him another peck on the lips before heading towards the dining room. She went in search for Tiya who had slipped out onto the balcony to get some fresh air. She had tried to calm herself down just enough to keep from killing the condo’s current occupants. The last thing that she wanted was for those two assholes to see her crack up. Tiya knew Natalie to be a selfish bitch, but she never would have imagined that she would do this to her.

Tiya had been Natalie’s only female friend for a long time because other girls couldn’t stand her spoiled and selfish ways. She recalled all the fights she had been involved in on Natalie’s behalf and how she went to bat defending her, for Natalie to turn around and stab her in the heart. She was on the verge of breaking down when she heard Natalie call out her name. “Tiya, where in the hell are you?”

Tae walked into the, dining room, hoping that he didn’t hear Natalie correctly when she called out Tiya’s name. He froze in place when the exotic beauty came in from off the balcony. After all this time, he couldn’t believe that Tiyanda Mitchum was standing only feet away from him. “Look who I found baby!” Natalie exclaimed nervously. Natalie was not sure how Tiya would react to her dating Tae, but she had hoped that she would be understanding about it and act like a grown up.

Tiya was devastated but she was too proud to let them see her sweat. “Wow so the two of you are a couple, when did this happen?” “When you decided that you didn’t want my friendship anymore” Natalie replied. “I see well I guess you needed someone to put up with all of your bullshit!" Tiya argued. Natalie could tell that Tiya was angry and this hurt her and realized that this may not have been the right way to spring her relationship with Tae on her, so she decided it was time to take her old friend where she needed to go. She quickly became annoyed at Tiya’s attitude and made her disapproval known, “I am ready to take you to May belle’s but let me be clear about something first. I am not apologizing for my relationship Tiya and it is childish of you to expect me to, so let’s just go,” Natalie said as she began to tear up. “Why would I expect you to apologize Nat you never took responsibility for your actions, no matter how much they hurt other people so why should this time be any different?” Natalie was about to respond when Taevion intervened “look, the two of you are best friends and you love each other whether you want to admit it or not so just stop it before one or both of you say something that you can’t take back,” he said as he tried to comfort Natalie. This drove the knife deeper into Tiya’s heart causing her to leave the apartment crying,

Tiya left all of her baggage behind and began to walk back towards town. Her heart was broken into two and all she wanted to do was to go home. She called Shaunnie Johnston, her future sister in law who just happened to also be Natalie’s first cousin, for a ride and asked if she could go retrieve her luggage from Natalie’s house. When Shaunnie pulled up to the diner where Tiya was waiting she could tell that Tiya had been crying and she knew better than anyone the heartache that she was experiencing. She knew that there were no comforting words that would take away her pain, but she brought a little ray of sunshine with her that would definitely brighten Tiya’s day. “Hey boo,” Shaunnie yelled out when she pulled up. “Hey Shaunnie,” Tiya said before screaming in delight at the sight of the beautiful little girl in the back seat. Tiya jumped into the back seat of the car and showered the little angel with kisses while repeatedly telling her that she loved her. The precious tot squealed with joy and returned every kiss she received. Shaunnie smiled as she witnessed this beautiful reunion and drove away towards Branchville Ln, where she knew a very inpatient May belle was awaiting the arrival of her granddaughter. 

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