“Hey.” Emma answered and unlocked the front door.
Addie watched as Emma walked past her and down the hall. She heard the backdoor open and close and knew that Emma would be coming back down in a minute. Following her friend into the living room, she took a seat on the sofa and started right in.
“How come you’re avoiding me at work?”
“I’m not. I’ve just been busy.”
Emma was surprised that Addie swore but she was even more surprised by the look on her face.
“I know all about the thing with Nick.”
“How did you….”
“Howie told me. Nick went back to the hotel that night and told Howie everything. I was kind of hoping you’d do the same but since you didn’t, I’m here.”
“Don’t tell me not to worry. I’m your best friend, you’re ignoring me and you’re making yourself miserable.”
Addie held up her hand. “Stop trying to deny it. Ever since that night, you’ve been moody. Maybe what Nick said was wrong but you need to stop behaving this way.”
“What if he wasn’t wrong?”
Emma whispered the question so softly that Addie had to ask her to repeat herself.
“I said what if he isn’t wrong?”
Emma looked up stunned.
“Don’t look so surprised. I’ve told you countless times that this whole thing with Jessie is a mess. I love you and you’re a terrific woman. You need to find a man who’s going to appreciate it. And unfortunately, Jessie isn’t the guy.”
“We’ve been together for six years.”
“I know. This makes it five and a half years too long.” Addie paused for a minute. “I’m sorry that this is coming out like a lecture but I think it’s come to the point where you need to do some serious thinking.”
“I have been. I just don’t have a decision.”
“Then let me suggest one for you. Leave.” Emma started to protest but Addie cut her off. “I know you care for Jessie but I know for a fact you’re not in love with him anymore. I’m not saying you don’t love him but he’s not the one you really want.”
“I don’t know what I want.”
“I know you don’t want to spend the next six years wondering if you made a mistake.”
“I understand that but what am I supposed to do about it? This is Jessie’s house, not mine. I’d have to find a new place that would allow me to keep Della and buy new furniture. It means moving and turning my whole world upside down.”
“That’s not really the problem is it?”
“Yes it is.”
“No it’s not. You can’t lie to me Em. You don’t want to admit you made a mistake and you don’t want to look like you’re giving up.”
Emma just sat there.
“See, I knew I was right. You can’t spend the rest of your life this way just so you can say that you didn’t give up. This isn’t a failure; it’s a fact of life.”
“But it is a failure. I failed.”
“No, Jessie failed. He failed at being a good boyfriend.”
“But what if it’s my fault?”
“It’s not Em. You’ve made him a priority and he hasn’t returned the favor. You can’t keep living as roommates.”
Emma stood up and walked down to the kitchen. Addie followed her; she was not going to let it go that easy.
“You can come and stay with me until you find a place.”
“I can’t do that. You and Howie are getting closer and I don’t want to get in the way.”
“Don’t worry, he’ll understand. He even said that he might rent a place here so he can record his album locally.”
“I’m happy for you.” Emma smiled and tried to change the subject. “You’re gonna love having him around more often.”
“I’m glad you’re happy for me but I’d like to be happy for you.”
Emma sighed. “I’ll think about it. That’s the best answer I can give you right now.”
“I guess I’ll have to take that for now, but this conversation isn’t over. And speaking of things not over, are you gonna talk to Nick anytime soon?”
“I kind of threw him out the other night. I don’t think he’s in a rush to talk to me.”
“That’s not true. He was upset when he talked to Howie. You guys were getting along great and he felt like he made a huge mistake by saying that to you. He’s really sorry Em. I think you need to talk to him.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“How about sorry I kicked you out?”
Emma laughed. “I guess that’s a start.”
“I’m glad to see you smile.”
“Thanks Addie. I’ll figure something out.”
“Well you’d better do it before the party since you’re both going and it’s in a couple of days.”
“He’s still going?”
“Yeah. He wants to talk to you but I told Howie I would try first. This way, if you were still mad, you could yell at me instead.”
“You’re sure he really wants to talk to me?”
“I know it for a fact. He promised Howie that he wouldn’t say anything else about the whole Jessie thing.”
“One more thing. He’s having a really rough time with Lauren and I think he needs all the friends he can get. You two were getting along so well and it was good for him. Howie says he’s back to moping around since the fight with you and it’s driving everyone crazy. Actually, AJ said those words in a more colorful fashion. I’m just paraphrasing.”
Emma chuckled and shook her head. “Good old AJ, always has a way with words.”
“Can I tell Nick that you’re still going to the party?”
Emma nodded. “I’ll go.”
“Good.” Addie replied and hugged her friend. “You’d better have a costume.”
“I already do.”
“Alright. Do you want to ride with us?”
“Ok. I’ll call you to pick a time.”
Emma walked Addie out and then went out back to spend some time with Della. Hopefully the party wouldn’t be too awkward and she and Nick could get things cleared up.