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“Thanks for coming tonight.” Addie said as she dropped Emma off.

“I had a good time and I’m glad you finally got to hug Howie!” she replied with a wink.

“I know.” Addie giggled. “Say hi to Jessie for me.”

“Will do.”

Emma waved to her friend as she drove off. She unlocked her front door and noticed the pile of mail by the door.


She waited for an answer but none came.

“Anyone home?”

Shaking her head, she started down the basement stairs.


She got to the bottom of the stairs and looked around. There were beer bottles and pizza boxes everywhere. Sitting on the only furniture in the room, sat her boyfriend of 3 years and a couple of his friends.

“Hello!” Emma shouted.

“Hey.” Jessie called back. “I’m trying to finish this level. Can you wait a few minutes if you’re gonna talk to me?”

Emma sighed. This is what her life was turning in to. She made her way back upstairs and found Della, her golden retriever, waiting for her at the back door. Pulling it open, she watched as Della shot out into the backyard. To pass the time, Emma loaded the dishwasher, started it and cleaned up the mess that used to be her kitchen.

Della started barking at the door to be let back in. Emma fed her and then she climbed the stairs to her bedroom. After changing her clothes and brushing her teeth, she climbed into bed and smiled as Della
nudged her way under Emma’s arm. At least someone wants to sleep with me tonight, she thought to herself.

Her relationship with Jessie hadn’t started this way. He used to be the one who was trying to get her out of the house. Now all he did was work and then come home and play video games for hours on end. It was almost as though Emma didn’t even exist. She had tried everything to get his attention and it just seemed like they had become more like roommates than a couple. No amount of pleading or begging on her part changed anything and she knew that at some point, they were going to have to decide what to do about the whole situation.

“What do you think girl?” Emma asked stroking Della’s head. “What should we do?”

Della just looked up at her with loving eyes and rested her snout of Emma’s chest.

“I agree.” she said with a laugh. “Let’s sleep on it.”

Emma pulled the covers up and closed her eyes.

Nick opened Face Time on his IPad and smiled as Lauren’s image came through. “Hey babe.”

“Hey sweetie. How was the show?”

“It was good. The fans were terrific and the meet and greet went well. There was this fan……”

Nick got cut off by Lauren’s cell ringing.

“Can you hold on?” Lauren asked him while she got up and answered the call.

“Sure.” he said with a sigh. “No problem. It’s not that important.”

That last comment was meant more for himself than Lauren since she had already disappeared. It seemed to be going this way for a while between them. They loved each other but they were always in different places at different times and Nick felt like they were losing that connection that had been such a big reason that he fell for her in the first place.

“Hi honey.” Lauren said coming back.

“I missed you tonight.” Nick said gently.

“I know but we’ve been through this before. You take care of the tour stuff and then you’ll be back and we can spend some time together then.”

“I hope so. It feels like forever since…..”

Lauren’s cellphone rang again.

“Sorry Nick, but I have to take this one. Have fun tomorrow and call me when you’re done.”

Lauren blew a kiss at the screen and broke the connection.

“Yeah, sure, I’ll have a blast.” Nick shouted and stared at the dead signal. “You might have time for me then.”

Someone knocked on the door and Nick walked quickly over to it.

“I hope this is why your phone…” Nick stopped talking when he saw Howie standing on the other side. “Oh, it’s you.”

He left his brother by the door and flopped himself onto the couch.

“Thanks for the welcome.” Howie said closing the door. “I take it you had another conversation with Lauren.”

“I don’t know if you could actually call it a conversation. I talked to her while she talked on her cell phone.”

Howie shook his head. “I’m sorry Nick. I know you miss her.”

“I do but I’m not so sure she misses me!”

“C’mon, you two love each other. It’s just a bump in the road.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“Oh course I am. I’m always right.” Howie replied with a smile.

Nick laughed. “Thanks D.”

“You’re welcome.”

Nick got up and walked over to the TV. “Interested in playing some Call of Duty?”

“No way. Those things kill your brain cells.”

“Suit yourself.” Nick said with a shrug and settled himself into the couch.

“I’ll sit here though and tell you what you’re doing wrong.”

Howie threw his arms up to deflect the pillow heading his way.

“You’re such a good big brother!”