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You know that saying about being careful what you wish for? My name is Molly Pink, and I can tell you it's one hundred percent true. Ever since my husband, Charlie, died, I've been saying that I want to try flying solo. To live without having to answer to anyone. You know, I could wear sweatpants with a hole in them and eat ice cream for dinner. I'd be the captain of my own ship.

I thought I was headed right to that lifestyle. I'd gotten past my grief and had started a new chapter in my life by getting the job at Shedd & Royal Books and More as the event coordinator/community relations person. But then I met Barry Greenberg and we had a relationship. Okay, maybe he was my boyfriend. It's hard for me to say that word, even in my mind. It just sounds so ridiculous since Barry is a homicide detective in his fifties.

You might notice that I said had a relationship. Really it was off and on again and off again and on again. You get the pictures. But now it was finally off forever.

Let me offer a little catch-up on that. During all the off and on agains of our relationship, there had been the complication of my friendship with Mason Fields. Mason had always wanted it to be something more, but I had wanted it to stay the same.

Then when Barry and I had yet another hiccup, we decided we would be better off as friends. Barry had seemed to accept it, but then he showed up and said he was walking away from the whole situation. He said the friendship thing was all a sham and I was the only one who didn't know it. Then he suggested I go out with Mason because I deserved better than what he, Barry, could offer.

It reminded e of the whole King Solomon story when two women were fighting over a baby and the king offer to cut it in half. One of the women stepped forward relinquishing her claim rather than seeing the baby injured. The king knew that meant she loved the baby more and gave it to her. So, it seemed Barry was saying he cared more because he was so concerned with my happiness. But that didn't mean I was ready to resume our relationship.

I had never told Mason about Barry's gallant act. Actually, I had barely talked to Mason afer that. It was all on my part and I'm not even sure why. He left messages and I didn't return them. Then the holidays hit and I got lost in work. Mason stopped trying to contact me. I can only imagine what he thought. In the end, I had let my social life go dark..

Assorted people had been staying with me for various reasons but that had ended as well.

The final step came when my son Samuel moved out - well, in with his girlfriend. Though he didn't take his cats.

And suddenly there I was alone. At least almost alone. I had the two cats and the two dogs; my terrier mix Blondie and Cosmo, a little black dog that was supposed to be Barry and his son's dog, but that's another story. So here at last my chance to soar on my own wings. Do whatever I wanted. Answer to no one.

At first I was so busy with the holidays and everything at the bookstore, I didn't think much about being on my own. But it was January now, and as I once again looked around my cavernous living room, it all began to get to me. I made a tour of the three bedrooms on the other side of the house from mine. Only the one I used to keep all my yarn in and crochet in showed any signs of life. The other two were uncomfortably neat. My footsteps echoed as I walked into the kitchen. It was just as I'd left it when I went to bed. Just like yesterday and a lot of yesterdays before, there were no dishes in the sink, no ravaged refrigerator. No one hd come knocking at my door in the middle of the night looking for comfort after a bad night with suspects. No one hd called and suggested a fun outing. All the peace started to overwhelm me.

I made coffee for myself quickly. Did I want to sit around and reveal in all this quiet and independence? No, I couldn't wait to get to work and the problems, the confusion, and most of all the people. I'd heard the statement that silence is deafening and now I understood it. I needed some noise. I needed some upheaval in my life. Yes, I had learned my lesson about being careful what I wished for. Id gotten it in spades and absolutely hated it. I knew what I had to do to stir up the pot of my life.

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