If it were up to me, I'd have never come back to this wretched city.

But when your parents celebrating a milestone anniversary and your bestie is getting married to the guy she's been with, like, forever, well, one can make an exception.

I won't lie. I'm not at all looking forward to it. I haven't figured out how in world I'm going to survive. I'll be stuck here for three weeks – enough time for drama to be incited, for hornet's nests to be kicked, and for pots to be stirred.

I thought going home was supposed to be a positive experience.

I guess that only happens if leaving home was a positive experience.

Sadly, I don't have that luxury.

What can I say about it? I'm sure it's a sob story that's been heard before. I'll make it short and quick. I had my whole life ahead of me, finishing my business degree with an envious G.P.A, had a great group of friends, and I had what a thought was a great fiancé. I felt like the world was my oyster.

And then what happened? Shit, that's what happened.

I found out that the bastard of an ex of mine was cheating on me, and had been cheating on me for a full six months. But that's not even worst of it. No, the worst was finding out that he cheated with the most skank-tastic woman I have ever had the displeasure of laying eyes on. I was horrified, crushed, and pissed off. All hell broke loose. I kicked serious ass.

But you know what infidelity does. It messes with your head. It shakes up your faith in people. It tears your life into shreds. It destroyed everything I held dear. It fucked things up.

I couldn't handle it. So, I chose to leave. I landed a job offer with a company in Vancouver, said my good-byes to my parents and my best friend, and left, in my mind, for good.

The best way to get over a savage betrayal was to move the hell away from the cesspool of negativity that was suddenly my life. I had no intention of ever going back to it.

And yet, I'm here at O'Hare International Airport, wheeled luggage and carry-on in tow. Even if the sun is shining and the sky is the prettiest azure hue on this day in June, I feel repressed.

I don't want to be here.

I don't want to face them. I don't want to face all the friends I left behind. We called ourselves "the Blackjacks" because we all turned twenty-one in the same year. It made for a very festive time. I shared so many happy times with them. They were basically my other family. They had so much of me…

And I pretty much abandoned them because I couldn't handle what was going on.

…Wait. That's not true.

There's more to the story but I'm not ready to face it yet. To blame it all on a cheating ex seems like an easier option.

I don't know if I can do this.

But I guess I don't have a choice.

Besides, my mom would hunt me down if I missed their big anniversary party. Nothing frightens me more than mother on a mission to kick my ass.

I definitely don't have a choice.

So, it's time to find the rental car counter and get this horrid reunion over with.