Love Like Her (Against All Odds #3) - Claudia Y. Burgoa

Chapter One


We don’t meet people by accident. Every relationship we have has a cause.

Mom always says people come into our lives to teach us a lesson, to learn from us, or to love. Love isn’t necessarily romantic love, though.

It’s love of your friends, coworkers, and, well, yes, lovers.

Some people stay for a season. Others might remain for a lifetime. Nurturing relationships can be daunting when people come and go in your life like a revolving door.

But see, the nature of life is constant change.

It’s ironic when we, as humans, are social by nature. We seek company, comfort, and security from each other. We all want to be loved and to have a sense of permanency.

To be loved by our parents, our families, our friends, but the one love we all seek is the romantic, head over heels, I can’t live without my soulmate kind of love.

Are soulmates real? Some swear by them. Others are still alone, searching the four corners of the world for something that might be a fantasy. Do I believe in them? I do, but I’m certainly not looking for anyone. I’m way too young to even think about a serious relationship. At some point, I hope to have what Dad does and be less like Mom.

Mom doesn’t believe in love or soulmates. She’s practical—or maybe cynical.

She says you love; you release them when your time is over, and you move on to the next person. Dad swears there’s one person for you. Of course he does. He’s been with his husband since I was seven. I love Dan as a second father, but my parents’ divorce and their relationship kind of ruined my life.

I sound selfish, but I’m not. Their custody agreement has been daunting for me.

After the divorce, Mom moved back to Canada, where she’s from. Since it was the middle of the school year, I stayed with Dad and Dan. The next school year, I moved with Mom. That should’ve been the end of it. Olivia stays with her mother. She sees her father every other holiday and lives bitterly ever after.

Things are never that easy when it comes to my life. Since then, I have moved between countries every other year. I’m not kidding here. They decided it’d be best for me to be with them one full year at a time.

If a psychologist got a hold of me, they’d have a field day. I’m sure they could write a paper or even a book called Child from an Amicable Nonsense Divorce. If my parents had had a typical divorce and custody agreement, I wouldn’t be stranded in JFK, begging Dad to pay for a hotel room.

“You made your choice, Olivia Evelyn. You should’ve been here yesterday.”

Ouch, he’s throwing the middle name.

“My last final was earlier today. I couldn’t just skip it because my dad thought it’d be best if I made it home by Sunday,” I remind him, keeping my voice under control. He is infuriating. I’m not in charge of my school’s schedule.

“Well, I don’t understand why you flew to New York instead of Toronto.”

To save three hundred dollars, I don’t answer. I used the money to buy him and Dan their Christmas presents. And I bought a cute pair of boots I found on sale.

“I like to be thrifty, Dad,” I defend myself. “Going through New York seemed like a good idea.”

“What did you say last summer?” he pauses, “Right, you’re an adult. I should respect your decisions. Well, as an adult, figure out what you’re going to do.”

“You want me to loiter around the airport like that Tom Hanks movie? Let me remind you that this is real life. The stores and restaurants aren’t even open. Do you want me to starve?”

Okay, I’m laying it thick on the drama, but he’s being unreasonable.

“Liv, I love you, but this was your decision, not mine. You’re going to have to figure out what to do for the next day.”

“Couple of days,” I correct him. “They didn’t find any seats for me until Wednesday.”

“There aren’t any rooms available in any hotel. Even the suites are booked,” I hear Dan’s voice. “Can we do anything else?”

“I told you we weren’t paying for a room, Danny boy,” Dad says.

“We can’t leave her stranded,” Dan, who is the voice of reason between the two, argues.

“Well, you just said it. There aren’t any rooms available.”

“Fine, I’ll die of hypothermia,” I claim. It’s time to pull the ultimate weapon: Guilt trip. “Just remember this is on you. I