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Chapter 3

It was him.

He was here.

Right in front of me.

I really wish someone could pinch me but, why was he here and why was he standing here talking to me?


That's it? It had been a whole year and all he could say was a hi. Nothing else. Nothing about not calling, not visiting. Nothing at all.


I didn't really know what else to say. So many thoughts were running through my mind at that very moment. I wanted to jump into his arms and tell him how much I've missed him, how much I needed him, how much I wanted him but I couldn't. So, I just took a different route.

"Listen, I'm-- Hey, are you okay?" He asked moving towards her.

"I'm... I'm okay. Just waiting for a cab ride home." She said, looking around.

"Um, well I cou-- I mean, if you need a ride.. I could, you know, give you a ride back or something... if you want, that is."

A ride huh? Why is he offering me a ride home? Why is he even being nice to me? Shouldn't he be hanging out with his friends instead of worrying about me? This is getting awkward by the minute. I haven't seen him in a whole entire year and now here he is, standing here asking me if I'm okay and if I need a ride back home. Something tells me I really should've brought my car tonight... or should've just let Patrick take me back but, as always, he would've been asking me a thousand and one questions and I really didn't need or want that. What I really want is just to get home so I can crawl into my bed and sleep this whole entire night off. Instead I'm standing here, in front of a restuarant, talking to the one person who I thought I would never see again.

"I'm fine. Thank you for the offer though. I'll just wait." I said, looking away from him.

"Stubborn, as always. Figures." He whispered under his breathe.

Or what he thought was under his breathe because, I actually heard it.

"Stubborn?" I turned my head so quickly to look at him I thought it was going to snap right off. "I really don't think we should be talking about anyone being stubborn right now, Nick."

"I'm sorry, I thought you didn't--"

"Didn't hear you. I know. Maybe I just have selective hearing and only listen to the things I want to listen to. You know a few things about that, don't you?"

He sighed, "Look, I really don't want to stand here in the front of a restuarant, arguing with you or whatever it is you're trying to do. Just take my offer on the ride, I'll drop you off and we'll just go our merry ways and just forget this whole thing even happend."

"Really? Huh. That's just easy for you to say. That's so generous of you, Nick but, no thank you."

I looked at her. I really looked at her. Who was she and what had she done with my Emma? The Emma I first met. The one who was sweet to even those who were mean to her. The one who wouldn't even say "no" to anyone who said it to her. She's different now. Was it my fault? Was I the reason that she has changed so much? I haven't seen her for a year. I know it's bad but, I had my reason to stay away. Reasons that maybe she doesn't even know about. Seeing her here tonight changed alot for me. I really didn't think we'll be meeting up this way, under these circumstances. If I was another guy, I probably would've just walked by her and not even give a shit but, I do. She's standing there, alone, at night. She looked like she had been crying but when I asked her, she told me she was fine. I don't believe her though. I guess she forgot that I know her more then she probably even knows herself. I know I did wrong. I knew I should've called. I knew where she lived, I knew where she worked. I knew everything. I just couldn't find the courage to do it. I didn't want to call one day and just have her tell me that she hates me and then hang up in my face. I know it's not an excuse she wants to hear but, I just couldn't do it.

"You know, if you're just going to stand there and stare at me all night, you might as well take a picture. It'll last longer." She smiled smuggly at him, breaking his thoughts.

"I'm sorry. I was just-- you know what? I'm just being nice here. I could've just easily walked past you and not even care."

"So then why didn't you?"

"Because, I can't." He whispered softly.

"You what?"

"I said because I can't. I couldn't walk past you and just leave you here by yourself, crying."

"I wasn't crying. Who said I was crying? Why do you always assume stuff?"

"I'm not assuming and you could've fooled me. You seem to forget that I KNOW you. I'm not just some stranger you met, Em."

"DON'T call me that." She glared at him.

"What?" He asked, confused.

"I said don't call me Em."

"I'm sorry? Okay, fine. I won't call you that. Sheesh."

"Don't you have somewhere to be?" She asked, waving her hand for him to go away.

"You want to get rid of me that fast?" He smirked.

"HA. Yeah, real funny Carter."

"Look, can't you just accept the ride? Maybe we could go somewhere to talk? I really really don't want to stand here. We kind of look... stupid."

God, where the hell is this cab when I really need it? All I want to do is go home for crying out loud. She thought to herself. She looked around to see if there was a cab insight.

"He's not coming." He said, suddenly.

"What?" Now it was her turn to look at him, confused.

"Your cab. It's not going to come."

She looked around again, ignoring the blonde that was standing in front of her. She sighed. "Okay, you win. I accept your oh so kind generous offer but, your friends?"

"They're all probably shitfaced and don't even know I've been gone this long." He laughed, leading the way to his car. He opened the door to the passenger side. "Hop in."

I stood there, staring at him. Since when did he become the nice gentleman that would open the doors for a lady?

"Well?" He asked, impatiently.

Or maybe not so gentlemen.

She sighed. "Fine." She said, walking towards the opening door. "No funny business either Carter! I MEAN IT."

He glared at her. "Really? What am I gonna do? It's just a ride home. Just be grateful for it. I'm not going to try anything. Sheesh." He walked over to the driver's side and slipped into the seat.

"You seem to have forgotten that I know you and I know how your mind works."

"You seem to have forgotten that maybe I'm a different person now. Seat belt."

He really did shut me up with that comment. Maybe he was different. He seemed different or maybe this was just a little game of his and he was waiting for me to fall into his trap.

"Nick?" I turned my head towards him. His eyes were glued to the road. He didn't even dare to look at me. Now I really feel bad for saying what I had said."Yeah?"

"I'm sorry."

"Don't. It's fine. No worries." He finally turned to me and smiled.

The rest of the car ride home was silent and I really felt some weird tension between us. What was it, I have no idea but, It's really ironic how we ended up seeing eachother here tonight but, somehow...deep within me, I was hoping that we did end up seeing eachother that night and we did. Nick always knew how to show up at the right moments without him even knowing and that night...

Was the perfect moment.