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  • Alexis A. McCoy Gonzalez

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to give and get from people, sadly, I learned that lesson first hand. No one tells you that forgiveness and trust are best friends that protect one another. While you think you’re only dealing with forgiveness, here come trust with her side of the story. Yes you can forgive someone without trust but the true question is can you trust someone and not forgiven them? My answer to this question would be no.

I am able to forgive a person that I don’t trust because it means that I have made a cautious decision to release that person from my life. But what happens when you have trusted a person for 5 years and they’ve broken that trust?. You forgive them for their actions but you still don’t trust them.

That was the interesting conversation I had with my therapist Allison, who just happens to be my best friend. Three months ago, I broke up with my girlfriend of 5 years, her name was Kayla. For the past 3 months Allison has been kind of forcing me into these therapy sessions with her. At first I found them annoying but now I see the benefits. Kayla and I met when I first moved to LA. We met at this networking event I attended. She had just moved to LA for a job with a development company, so we were both looking to meet new people. At the beginning our relationship was very platonic. We were just friends for a year and then one night while we were having a reality show binge watching night, we kissed.

That kiss fueled all the feelings that we had deep inside for one another. From that moment on we were inseparable. Our whole lives were centered around one another. I trusted Kayla with my life and she trusted me with hers. Trust is tricky though because everyone’s trust expectations and limitations are different.

When I mean I trusted Kayla with my life, I meant I trusted her with my whole life. There wasn’t a part of my life that I didn’t trust her with. My mother used to say “ Sammie don’t trust a person more than you trust God”. My mom always had a saying for every situation, but she was right, trusting any human more than God is a setup for failure because humans make mistakes. I poured my whole life into Kayla and our relationship. She was the only person I envisioned growing old with.

One day the vision suddenly changed. We had just closed on this beautiful home that Kayla wanted. I thought the house was a little too big for just the two of us, but it’s what Kayla wanted so I went with it. She was so happy which in turn made me happy. After we got settled in the house she came to me one night and said “ Babe, I’m ready to have a baby”. I really didn’t know what to say, so I just said okay. No hesitation or questioning at all because I loved her and making her the mother of my child would be an honor. Within a month after our conversation she was pregnant. It was such an exciting time for our family. If we both weren’t at work, we were at the house getting the nursery together and thinking of baby names. Everything seemed perfect.

I had planned a couples massage for Kayla and I for a night date. That morning she woke up with extreme abdominal pain, it happened for a few hours. She kept saying that it was trapped gas and that I shouldn’t worry about it. About an hour before we were supposed to leave for the spa, Kayla yelled for me from the bathroom. I rushed upstairs and she was on the toilet and there was blood on the tissue. We quickly got dressed and I rushed her to the hospital. When we arrived they rushed her to the back to run some tests. I waited in the lobby for 45 minutes, then the doctor came out to speak with me. He said “I am sorry but Kayla miscarried the baby”. Shocked by the words coming out of his mouth, I didn't even hear the rest of what he was saying. The only person I was concerned about was Kayla. I quickly cut the doctor off and said “I need to go see my girlfriend” . He said, “of course, I can take you back to her room now”.

When we arrived at her room, Kayla was laying on her side just staring at the wall. When I walked into the room she looked over at me and instantly started crying. I rushed to the side of the bed and hugged her as tears fell from her eyes. My only concern was making sure that she was okay. The day before Kayla was supposed to arrive home, I removed all of the baby stuff we had in the house and placed it in the garage. I figured it would help her process losing the baby better. When she arrived home the next day and noticed all the baby stuff gone she lost it. She said “how could you just get rid of our baby stuff like that?” She questioned if I even wanted our baby. She wouldn’t speak to me for a whole week. Kayla dealt with depression for months, all she did was lay around the house. Concerned about her behavior, I called in my best friend Allison to speak with her. Kayla met with Allison three times a week for about 5 months.

A year had passed and Kayla and I were back where we were before the miscarriage. She was ready to give us having a baby a try again. This time around we decided to go get checked out to see if everything was okay. So we both scheduled an appointment to get fertility tests. A couple days had passed and Kayla’s test results came back, everything was good. We were so excited. The following day my doctor’s office called to schedule an appointment with me to speak about my results. The call made me a little nervous but I figured it was nothing serious.

The next day we went to my appointment. We walked into my doctor's office and sat nervously in the two chairs across from her. She explained that the reason she called me in was because she found something while they were running their tests. She goes on to tell us that while running their tests, they noticed that my sperm was abnormally shaped and that I had an extremely low sperm count. As I sat there trying to digest all the information the doctor was telling us, Kayla asked the doctor “can an abnormally shaped sperm cause a miscarriage?”. The doctor responded in some cases yes. Tears quickly filled Kayla's eyes and she excused herself from the room.

The ride back home was quiet. When we got in the house, Kayla went straight up to the nursery closed the door, and cried. I sat in the living in silence all night. I was in pain but not for me, mostly for her. Weeks passed and Kayla barely said two words to me. Then one day she came to me and said we can do IVF. She went on to explain the procedure and what we had to do. After listening to her lengthy presentation I agreed. We started the process the following week.

A couple of days before the egg retrieval, I planned a romantic date night at the house. I wanted to celebrate us beginning our family. I waited for hours and she never showed up. I called everyone to see if they had seen her but the answer led to a no. At 1 am I received a text, “sorry babe my phone died, staying at Lisa’s tonight see you tomorrow”. I was relieved that I had received the message but also sensed that something was wrong. Kayla never texted me unless she knew I was in a meeting at work and she never explained why she was at Lisa’s house.

The following morning I woke up and she was still not home. I went down to the kitchen to grab something to drink and I noticed an envelope with my name on it on the refrigerator. I open the envelope and it was a letter from Kayla. She starts by saying how much she loves me, then she goes on to explain that she can't continue pretending like getting IVF is something she wants to do. She did it to please me. She went on to explain that she doesn't want to resent me for something that was out of my control. I that she wanted to have children naturally and didn’t think she could live with herself if she didn't. She ends the letter by saying I will always love you Sammie. I hope you will be able to forgive me.

I was in so much pain that day. I couldn’t forgive her because she threw our love away. She gave up on us all because of one little setback in life. For a while, I hated her for being so selfish but as time went on and I continued my sessions with Allison, she helped me realize that Kayla wasn’t selfish. She was honest and yes her honesty hurt me but it was still her truth. She might not have handled the situation well but she did free me. Unlike Kayla, I wasn't speaking my truth. I was scared of not being able to give her a child. I was also upset that she was considering injecting another man's sperm inside her to conceive our child. Instead of voicing that, I held my tongue and rolled with the punches. Kayla’s truth letter helped me face my infertility issues. Unfortunately I still I haven't quite figured out my life with this newfound information.

Have I forgiven Kayla? That is a work in progress but I do thank her for helping me discover my truth.

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  • Alexis A. McCoy Gonzalez

I never thought I would be a woman who gave herself up. Travis and I met our sophomore year of college and our love story is like any typical underdog love story. He was the captain of the basketball team and I was the unpopular girl that became his tutor that he fell in love with after months of spending time together. Sounds like something straight out of a teenage angst movie but that’s what really happened. Travis, like most college basketball stars, played at a D-1 school and his ultimate goal was to get drafted into the NBA. At the time I was super excited to just be along for the ride and to be dating a basketball player in general. Travis made me feel special in a way that I had never felt before and because of that I was willing to do anything for him. Naturally when you’re in love with someone, you are more willing to make some sacrifices.

By junior year Travis and I were madly in love, we did everything together. The summer leading into our senior year Travis and I had some big opportunities offered to us. Travis had been invited to attend an NBA pre-draft camp in LA and I had been accepted into a summer medical program at Penn State. The day I got the news about my acceptance into the school, Travis had planned this romantic dinner date for us. He’s very romantic so that’s something he did often. He had set up his dorm room really nice and ordered food from our favorite restaurant in town. When I arrived to his room I was blown away. There were candles lit all over the room and a beautiful table spread. He greeted me with kiss on the lips and a single red rose. From the moment Travis asked me to be his girlfriend he has made me feel like the most special woman in the world. That night I couldn’t stop smiling. In my mind it was the perfect night to tell him about my internship. Then it happened, he asked me to join him in LA for the summer. Without giving me a chance to respond he went on to tell me all the amazing things we would be doing. All of the things he wanted to show me and how much it would mean to him if l came along. I sat at the table with confusion and excitement running through my body. I was honored that he invited me but also confused about what I should do. He informed me that I didn’t need to let him know my decision that night. Although I was relieved by his grace period, I was still conflicted. I knew how important me going to LA meant to him but I really wanted to attend the summer program at Penn. We were a month away from the semester ending, Travis and Penn were both awaiting an answer from me. One night we were out bowling with Travis’ teammates and their girlfriends. We sat down talking and watching the guys competitively bowl. The conversation was centered around spending the summer in LA and how much fun they were going to have. They were so excited to being going to LA with their boyfriends. I just sat there listening to them make plans when Martha asked “So, Jessica are you coming to LA with us?” Still feeling conflicted I replied “I don’t know yet”. She said “well I suggest you make up your mind soon. We are all replaceable and I’ll be damned if I’m replaced by any chick”. The others girls agreed with her statement. I looked over at Travis, he looked at me and mouthed I love you. I smiled and mouthed I love you too. While we were in the car driving back to the dorm, I asked Travis if he would be upset if I couldn't go to LA with him. He took a few moments to gather his thoughts and said “yeah I’d be a little upset but I would understand you not being able to go”. After his statement Travis remained quiet for the remainder of the drive back to campus. We pulled up to my dorm and he double parked to let me out, which was shocking to me because he agreed to stay the night. I asked “are you not coming up”. He responded “no I got some homework to finish and I want to get a fresh start on it tomorrow”. He kissed me on the cheek and told me goodnight. I got out the car and walked in the building. That whole night what Martha said kept running through my head. I tossed and turned all night. The next morning I got up and rushed over to Travis’ dorm building. When I arrived to his dorm suite him and his roommates were sitting in the living room playing video games. I asked Travis to join me in his bedroom. We walked to his room and he closed the door behind us. Travis asked me if everything was okay. I said “I want to go to LA with you”. He rushed over to pick me and spun me around. Me agreeing to go to LA with Travis was the start of me losing myself. That summer in LA was amazing,Travis and I had a blast. Senior year had finally arrived and Travis was being watched by every recruiter in the league. It was a very important year for him. When he wasn’t at practice, we were spending time together. We didn’t really think about life after college which was another problem our relationship faced. It’s like we were living in this fantasy world that we thought would last forever. Graduation was approaching and I had been accepted into the neuroscience graduate program at John Hopkins University. One of the best medical programs in the country. Travis couldn’t be more excited for me. Graduation came and we both walked across the stage with our family and friends cheering us on. That night at dinner with our family, Travis got up to make a toast. He stood up and asked me to join him. I stood beside him with a confused look on my face. He said “this is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives”. He turned to me and said “I am so excited to be continuing this journey with you”. He got down on one knee and proposed to me. My eyes instantly filled with tears and I said “yes!”. It was one of the most magical moments of my life. That July, Travis became the Chicago Bulls second round draft pick. When they made the announcement we all jumped up screaming. He was going to the NBA. After draft day, things moved extremely fast. Since Travis had to be at practice, I was responsible for finding us a home and planning our wedding while also going to grad school. That fall after Travis was drafted, we got married. I was traveling between Baltimore and Chicago every week. One day Travis had a big event we needed to attend. My plan was to catch an early flight the day of the event because I had a lab assignment I needed to finish. That morning when I got to the airport, all the flights were delayed due to the weather. I called and texted Travis to give him a heads up but he wasn’t answering. By the time I got to Chicago the event was over. When I finally got home Travis was sleep. That next morning when I woke up Travis was up watching tv. I turned and kissed him on the cheek and said “good morning”. He said “good morning” back. I asked him how the event went last night. He responded “it was okay”. Feeling guilty for not being there, I couldn’t do anything but apologize for missing the event. I expressed how hard I really tried to get here in time. He responded “I understand”. We laid in silence for a while, then he said “I think you need to consider attending a school closer to home”. I asked why?. He said “because I feel like the distance will start affecting our marriage”. I asked what made him think that, he turned to me said “we see one another two days out of the week and I don’t think that’s healthy for our marriage”. I asked “and you traveling from state to state is?”. Frustrated by my statement he defensively yelled “I’m not asking you to give up your dreams, I’m asking that you compromise for our marriage!”. When he said that, all I could hear in my head was my mother saying “Jessica, marriage is all about compromise.” After my first year at John Hopkins I transferred to the University of Chicago. As much as I didn’t want to transfer, in the end it was best choice for my marriage. Travis and I were able to spend so much time together while living out our dreams. Life was good. Then tragedy struck, Travis tore his hamstring playing in an away game in LA. When the incident happened I was in the middle of taking an important test. During the test my phone started ringing, disrupting the class. It was a call from Travis’ agent Scott. I instantly declined the call and put my phone on silent. Then he sent a text that said “call me back now! Travis got injured during the game”. When I read the text I quickly gathered my things and left the class. Scott informed me that Travis had experienced a grade 3 tear and that it would probably take him three to eight weeks, depending on how diligent his therapy is. The teams medical staff had arranged for a physical therapist to visit the house everyday. They provided me with everything that was needed for me to help Travis remain in great shape during his recovery. For eight weeks life was centered around get Travis better. Being Travis’ full time care giver made it hard to balance home and school, but I did what I needed to do to get him back on his feet. By Travis’ fifth week of therapy he was ready to join his team in practice. The same day he returned back to the court was the same day I found out I was pregnant with our daughter Jada. It was a joyous moment for our family. When I got pregnant, life seemed to kick up a notch. Travis was becoming this big star and I was preparing to be a mother so school had to be placed on hold. When I informed my mother that I was stepping away from school, She said “that’s good, now you can focus on your daughter and your husband”. In my mother’s eyes my life was made. She being a woman who has based her whole life around my father. She didn’t understand a woman who had a dream. So her advice was always one dimensional. After Jada was born Travis was so emotional. Jada was perfect. I never knew I could love someone so much. She is the biggest blessing that has ever happened to our lives. When I looked in my little girls eyes I saw hope. I saw that I had allowed myself to live up to other people’s expectations and standards. In that moment I realized I was more concerned about everyone else that forgot about me. When Jada turned 1 I decided to reenroll in the John Hopkins medical graduate program. That same year Travis was working on getting traded to the Knicks. One night we were having our weekly dinner date when He said “so the Knicks have agreed to sign me to a 4 year contract”. I said “that’s amazing babe, congratulations!”. He said “looks like we’re moving to the big Apple”. I said “actually Jada and I will be moving to Baltimore”. Confused by my response he asked “what?”. I told him that I reenrolled into the John Hopkins medical graduate program and it began that fall. He said “Jess, you should have discussed that with me first. Did you think about how this was going to effect Jada?” “I said yes, I did think about how this was going to effect her. I’m doing this for her”. I explained to him that before we got together I had dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon. Then we met, life happened and I found myself becoming consumed in your dreams. I don’t want to look back over my life and regret not following my dreams. As I said those words, tears filled my eyes. Travis face went from angry to sympathetic. He got up from the table and pulled me up from my chair into a big hug. He said “I’m sorry for not supporting your dreams”. That night at dinner we sat down and made a plan. That fall Jada and I moved to Baltimore and Travis moved to New York. I was so excited to be beginning my next chapter in my life. My mother was completely against the agreement but I didn’t care because the day that I looked into my little girl's eyes was when I decided that I was no longer going to live my life through someone else’s eyes.


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  • Alexis A. McCoy Gonzalez

We all have that one friend that is always looking for love in all the wrong places. No matter how many times they get their heartbroken by the same type of guy they still date them. That friend in my life is my fabulous best friend Leslie “the bad guy magnet”, her words not mine. Although, no matter the amount of bad guys that have crossed her path, she never stops looking for love. Even if that means settling for a “friend with benefits” relationship for two year’s. She just wanted to be loved.


Leslie and I met our sophomore year of high school. I had just moved to town and she was my school tour guide on my first day. From that day on we have been friends. Being an only child, I have always looked at Leslie as my sister and so did my parents. Leslie lived with her mother and 8 other siblings. She never complained about the struggles happening at home but it showed. As our friendship grew Leslie became an honorary member of our family. Whatever my parents did for me, they would also do for her, with Leslie's mother's permission of course. We made a pact that we would have one another's back through thick and thin. Our pact is the reason I am always her shoulder to cry on when she gets her heart broken by another guy.


Four years ago Leslie and I took a girl's trip to Miami with a couple of our friends from college. We were celebrating my new position as the Director Of Photography for the Chicago Magazine. Leslie rented this nice beach house that came with in-house staff and a chef. I was looking forward to letting loose and enjoying time with my girls. The first night there we decided to attend this beach party. We pulled out our sexiest swim suits, put on a little makeup, styled our hair, and headed down to the party.

The party was filled with liquor, food, and many shirtless hot guys. We decided to post up at the bar. We had one goal in mind, to get completely wasted. As we were drinking, these three guys approached us. One guy asked, “what are you ladies drinking?”. Leslie responded “whatever you’re buying”. The guy smiled at Leslie and said “I'm Johnathan, this is my twin Jackson and my best friend Nick”. Leslie said “I'm Leslie, this is my sister Tia, and our best friends Melissa and Kayla. She went on to say “now that we’ve gotten introductions out the way, let's order those drinks.” She turned to the bartender and said “can I get 7 patron shots, please”.


The bartender lined the shot glasses on the bar and poured the patron. We all picked up our shot glasses and threw the drinks back. That night we partied until the wee hours of the morning. We enjoyed hanging with the guys so much that we decided to hang out with them for the remainder of the trip. This made Leslie very happy because she was so into Johnathan, which was good in my book because he was totally different from any of the other guys she's dated in the past. Pulse he had a twin brother that I was kind of into. After that weekend in Miami, Johnathan and Leslie continued to get to know one another. Johnathan was an architect and was working on a big project in California. For their first date he flew Leslie out to California so they could spend the weekend together. When Leslie returned home after her weekend with Jonathan, she kept repeating “sis he is the one”. As excited as I was for her I also had to remind her about taking her time to get to know him. Like most people who don’t want to hear the reality of things, she quickly agreed so we could change the subject. As mush as I wanted to protect her, at the end of the day it was her life and her decisions.

By the end of the year, Leslie and Jonathan were in a full on relationship. I knew they were serious when she decided to have Sunday dinner at her home and invited my parents. Leslie considered my father as her dad and he considered her his daughter, so Johnathan winning over my father was very important to Leslie. My father is a man who believes in action. Regardless of the promises Jonathan was going to make Leslie and our family, my dad wanted him to back that up in his actions. When we arrived to Leslie’s house for dinner, to my surprise, Jackson, Johnathan’s twin brother, was present. We were dating at the time but weren’t to ready to tell our family and friends, so we did the pretend long time no see greeting.

During dinner everyone was chatting and having a good time, then it happened. Leslie made the announcement that she and Johnathan were moving in together in their new home in California. The table got completely quiet. Johnathan went on say he knows that it might seem like they are moving fast but they are in love. Leslie jumped in to say “you guys know I always wanted move to California and UCLA has a great Education graduate program. I have already received my teaching certification in LA, so I will still be able to teach. Johnathan added on by saying “I promise to take care of Leslie”. My mother took a deep breathe and said “well it seems like you guys have it all mapped out. Leslie if this is what you want to do then sweetie you have our support”. My dad and I sat in a disappointed agreement with my mother. Although I was hurt she didn’t share the news of her moving with me, I was also happy that she was starting a new chapter in her life.

On June 8th, 2019, I helped my sister load her last box into the moving truck. It was a very emotional moment for the both of us because this was the first time in our 20 year sistership that we would be worlds apart. As we hugged I said “please take care of yourself and if you need anything don’t hesitate to call me”. She said “you know I will”. She hopped into the front seat of the truck with Johnathan and they drove off. When Leslie first moved to California we would talk everyday or multiple times throughout the day. But as the months went on our conversations got shorter and shorter. I would call her and she would reject my calls and text me “I’ll call you back later”. Whenever we did, talk she didn’t sound like herself. When I asked her if everything was okay. She would just say that she was tired. Not wanting to pry I just changed the subject.

That August I had to go to California for work. As soon as I got the news I called Leslie to let her know. She was so excited. When I landed in town Leslie came to pick me up from the airport. She got out of the car to help me with my bags and she looked completely different. She was so thin, I almost didn’t recognize who she was. We greeted one another with a hug and got into her car. The ride was very awkward we really didn’t speak much. When we arrived to her house I was blown away, it was absolutely beautiful. When we entered the house, everything was spotless. I was so shocked because Leslie wasn’t the most organized person in the world. She took me on a tour of the house and showed me where I would be staying for the week.

After the tour we decided to sit by the pool and have a glass of wine to catch up. I jumped right in and said “girl! so you’re living the complete California lifestyle?. What are you now a size 2?”.She laughed and said “I knew you were going to say something about my weight”. I said “girl, you know I had to, you out here looking like a bobblehead”. We both laughed so hard that tears came to our eyes.

We sat by the pool for hours catching up on life. We didn’t know how much time had passed until Jonathan came home yelling Leslie’s name through the house. When he finally came outside Leslie quickly popped up. She nervously said “hey babe look who’s here”. He turned and looked at me with a smile on to his face and said hey “T you finally made it out to the West Coast”. I got up and greeted him with a hug. I said “of course I had to come see this beautiful house my sis kept raving about”. He walked over to Leslie, put his arm around her shoulder, kissed her the cheek and said “she has definitely made it a home”. As I stood there listening to Johnathan rave about Leslie I couldn’t help but notice the fearful nervousness in her eyes. I could tell something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

That night Jackson wanted to take me out to dinner. After 6 months of dating we had finally decided to tell our family and friends we were together. When Leslie heard the news she was so excited. As I was getting ready for my date with Jackson, Leslie walks into my room smiling. She said “you and Jackson are so cute together”. I said “who would’ve thought that we would be dating twin brothers”. She said “our sister vision board. I put that I wanted our husbands to be best friends so we could spend time together everyday”. I said “well I guess you spoke things into existence”. She took a deep breathe and said “I really missed you sis”. I turned away from the mirror to face her. I looked at her and she looked so sad. I hugged her and said “I missed you sis”. We hugged for a moment and then separated. She said “well let me go down here and make dinner. Have fun on your date with Jackson”.

That night at dinner with Jackson was magical. After we finished eating, we went back to his place. I said “I wish we could have dinner like that together every night”. He said “that might be happening sooner than you think”. Completely caught off guard, I asked “how?” He picks his phone up from the cocktail table, clicked a few buttons and handed it to me. He told me to push play on the voice message. I pushed play and the recording said that he had received the position as Attending Physician in Advanced General Pediatrics and Primary Care at the Children’s Hospital of Chicago. When I heard the message I screamed and jumped on him. He laughed and said “I figured that would make you happy”. I was overjoyed. He said “very soon we will get to be together everyday”. I said “yeah”, with a little less excitement. He asked me what was wrong. I took a deep breathe and said “I want to make sure you’re doing this for you and not just so you can be closer to me”. He said “I’m doing it for the both of us I always planned on leaving Cali. Chicago has always been a place I enjoyed visiting so when the opportunity for this job came along I applied. You are just the added bonus”. I smiled and said “whatever sweet talker”.

That night Jackson returned me back to Leslie and Johnathan's house at 1am. When we pulled up there was an ambulance and police cars in front of the house. As soon as Jackson stopped the car, I noticed Leslie unconscious on a stretcher being put in the ambulance. I quickly got out the car and ran in the house as Jackson followed. When we got in the house Johnathan was standing their talking to the police with tears in his eyes. Franticly I asked Johnathan “what happened!?”. When he saw me he hugged me and said “I found Leslie laying unconscious in the bathroom. They think she overdosed on her sleeping pills”. I said “what!?”. He said the ambulance was able to revive her but she still wasn’t responding. Jackson asked “what hospital are they taking her to?” One of the cops responded Cedars-Sinai Emergency. Without even asking Johnathan if he was coming, Jackson and I ran to the car and drove to the hospital.

I held onto Jackson hand super tight, trying to hold back tears while he sped to the hospital. When we arrived, Leslie’s ambulance had just pulled up and they were rushing her inside. Jackson and I rushed in behind them. Both of us asking the EMT’s if she would be okay, the doctors rushed in between us and took her to the back. I just broke down crying. No longer able to hold it in, I just screamed “somebody please tell me something!” Jackson just held me in his arms as he escorted me to a seat while he went to check in with front desk. While Jackson was at the front desk Johnathan arrived. He asked “Tia, how is she doing?” Crying through my words I said “I don’t know”. Jackson returned to us and said “the doctor will come out to speak with us soon”. With tears in my eyes I said “that’s not telling us if she’s okay”. Jackson hugged me and said “babe she is going to be okay”. Soon as Jackson said those words the doctor came out looking for Leslie Scott’s family. We rushed to him. Johnathan said to the doctor, “please tell us she’s okay”. The doctor said “she is in stable conditions and resting. I asked “can we please see her?” The doctor said “yes of course, I will have someone escort you to her room”.

When we walked into the room she opened her eyes and looked at us with tears rolling down her face. Johnathan quickly rushed over to Leslie and started kissing and hugging her as she continued to cry. Over and over he continuously said “I’m sorry” and she kept repeating “I know”. The doctors wanted to keep Leslie under 24 hour suicide watch, So Johnathan stayed behind to with her while Jackson and I went home to get some rest. With so much going on, I couldn’t sleep. That moment between Leslie and Johnathan kept running through mind. What would he be apologizing for unless he did something to her? I tossed and turned all night. That morning I woke up to Jackson bringing me breakfast in bed. I said “thank you babe, for everything”. He said “it was not a problem. How are you holding up?” I said “I’m holding on”. He said “yeah me too. Johnathan texted this morning and said they will be discharging her this afternoon”. I loudly let out a big thank God!. Jackson thought it would be a good idea for us to prepare lunch for Leslie and Johnathan. So, we went over to the house, set the table really nicely and made lunch.

When Leslie walked in the door I said “hey sis!”. I ran over and hugged her. Tears instantly came to our eyes. I whispered to her “I love you so much”. She responded “I love you too sis”. Jackson said “Leslie you won’t believe who prepared lunch today”. Leslie and I separated and we walked to the table. She asked “who?”Jackson pointed to me. She laughed and said “Tia didn’t cook this!” I said “yes I did!”. Jackson said and it really good I tired it. Johnathan teased Jackson and said “everything taste good when you’re in love.” Jackson said “at least give it a try”. I said “if it’s not up to your liking, we will order something.” Leslie said okay. She and Johnathan tried a couple of the sweet potato fries and were impressed. After lunch, Leslie and I went up to her room. We laid in the bed and watched movies together. She asked “have you called mom and dad yet”. I said “no, I didn’t want to worry them”. She said “T, I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I’ve been having a hard time sleeping lately so I had my doctor Prescribe me some sleeping pills. The other night I accidentally took a double dose”.?I asked her”are you sure their isn’t anything else you need to tell me?”. She quickly responded “no!”. I knew she was lying but I decided to let it go for the night.

During my trip Jackson made it his business to take me on a date every night while I was in California. That Friday, he planned for us to visit a wine Vineyard and stay the night. I was so excited because I always wanted to visit a vineyard in California. The plan was for us to leave after his last appointment. I had decided to work from home because Leslie was going to braid my hair. That morning we all woke up and everything was fine. Leslie and I left the house early to go pickup something for my trip. When we returned back to the house, Johnathan came running down the steps towards us yelling “where the fuck have you been!?” Shocked by his delivery I said “excuse you!?”. He said “Tia I’m not talking to you”. I asked him “who are you speaking to!? because shouldn’t be speaking to her that way either”. Johnathan looked at me with a rage in his eyes that I had never seen before. Leslie broke his eye contact with me and said “Babe, I didn’t mean to worry you. My phone died and I forgot my charger here at the house. Johnathan grabbed the bags from Leslie hands and took them upstairs.

I looked at Leslie and asked “what the hell was that all about?” Embarrassed, she said “he’s just been worried about me that’s all”. I said “that doesn’t give him the right to speak to you like that”. She said “I know, he was worried”. She went on to say that she was going to speak to him for a moment and that she would be back down shortly to do my hair.. I asked “are you sure?”She said “yes, I’ll be fine”. She quickly runs upstairs to their bedroom and closed the door. I walked to the bottom of the stairs and I hear Johnathan’s voice, but it was hard to make out what he was saying because the door was closed. While I was standing there trying to listen, my phone rings and it’s Jackson. I picked up with an annoyed tone and said “hello”. He said “hello to you too!. Are you okay? Quickly understanding that my annoyance wasn’t with him it was with his brother, I changed my tone to something more pleasant and said “yeah just waiting for Leslie to start on my hair”. He said “aww look at you trying to get extra cute for me”. I smiled and said “whatever”. He asked me if I was excited about this weekend and before I could respond, I hear a loud crash and Leslie screaming my name. I dropped the phone and ran up the steps. Before I could get down the hall to the bedroom door, Johnathan rushed passed me down the stairs and out the front door.


When I entered the room, Leslie was sitting in the corner curled up crying with a busted lip, a black eye and one of the end table lamps was broken on the floor. I helped Leslie off the floor and sat her on the bed. Then I rushed in the bathroom and got a cold wet towel for her to place on her lip. I said “stay right here, I’m going to call the police”. She quickly grabbed me by the arm said “No T! no please!. He didn’t mean to do it”. I said “Leslie look at your face! he did mean to do this”. She said “I’m okay I promise. Just don’t call the police please”. At that moment I had to make a decision that was going to change the faith of Leslie’s life forever. So I did. I went down stairs and called the police.

That night Johnathan was arrested for domestic abuse. When I abruptly got off the phone, Jackson rushed over to the house to see if I was okay. When he arrived the cops were leaving. Jackson asked “what’s going on? Leslie said “your girlfriend called the cops your brother”. Jackson looked at me and said “Tia why would you do that?” Out of anger, I screamed “look at her face!” pointing to Leslie. Jackson looked at Leslie and saw the black eye and busted lip. He said “what happened to your face?” I told him “your brother beat the hell out of her because her phone went dead while we were out this morning”. Leslie shouted “Tia shut up! you don’t know what your talking about”. Jackson asked Leslie “did Johnathan do this to you?” She said “yes, we got into a fight and he accidentally hit me”. Out of pure confusion, I asked “he accidentally hit you!?. Leslie have you lost your mind?”. She responded “Tia shut up, I’m talking to Jackson. You should’ve never called the police, you didn’t have that right. I asked “are you serious?” She said “yes, I’m serious. I asked you not to call the police and you did anyway. You’ve always butted in my relationships. I don’t know if it was out of jealousy or what, But now you have finally found a man who can put up with your bougie ass. How about you focus on keeping your relationship together and stay out of my fucking life!”. She grabbed her purse, along with her keys and walked out of the front door slamming it behind her.


That night was the last time Leslie and I saw one another. As much as I loved my sister, I couldn’t force her to understand that Johnathan needed help. Two years after that night Jackson received a phone call in the middle of the night from his mother. Johnathan and Leslie were found dead in their home. He had killed her and then committed suicide. I blamed myself for years for Leslie’s death. We were sisters and we promised to always be there for one another through thick and thin. Sadly I wasn’t there when she needed me. Could I have changed this outcome? We would never know. I miss my sister so very much but I know she’s in a better place.


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