For the past two years, Cassius Wynn spent New Year's Eve alone. He grew tired of bringing in another year with Dick Clark on the television screen and hit the sack minutes after midnight.
Sorry Dickie boy, you and I won't spend this New Year together.
This year, he vowed things would be different. The location and price did not matter to the thirty-year-old accountant who had been in a rut since his divorce. He lived a hum-drum life: go to work and come home, with nothing else in-between.
From his condo in Waynesboro, Miss., he surfed the web for entertainment on the last day of December. He found the Grand Casino in Gulfport re-opened on New Year's Eve with the Time's reunion.
Cassius' eyes lit up and a rush of adrenalin pumped through his body.
The legendary R&B group was his favorite. Especially the original lineup of Morris Day, Jerome Benton, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Jesse Johnson, who reunited on the Coast.
Images of Day's hand ruffling through his curly locks while Benton held the mirror danced inside Cassius' head and brought back memories of his high school days.
A smile filled the corner of his mouth during the brief visit into the past. Those guys were cool.
Cassius excitedly punched letters and numbers on the keyboard to make his hotel and ticket reservation at the Grand Casino. He also checked the weather forecast, which called for mild seventy-five degree temperatures on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
He pulled out black slacks, blue turtleneck, khaki shorts and pink izod shirt from his closet, and loaded them in a duffel bug and into the trunk of his tan Nissan Sentra.
As Cassius drove down Interstate Fifty-nine, he felt things were about to change for the better. The two-hour drive into South Mississippi was the jolt he needed to restart his life on New Year's Day weekend.