“Hey.” was all Emma said when she picked up.
“Hey yourself. We need to talk.”
“Do you really?”
“Yes, I know I shouldn’t have started an argument.”
“No you shouldn’t have and I don’t understand why you did.”
“Why didn’t you tell me where he was staying?” Emma asked instead of answering her question.
“Don’t turn this back on me. You were the one who said you didn’t care and then went off on him like a lunatic.”
Emma sighed; she knew Addie was right but the fact that Nick kept the beach house really bothered her. She felt like it was a special place for the two of them, not just a house that he could parade all his girlfriends through.
“You keep telling me and anyone else who’ll listen, that you don’t care about him anymore but then you get pissed when you find out about him keeping the house.”
“I just thought I meant something to him.”
“Why would you think you didn’t or that you don’t?”
“He kept the house he shared with me and probably traipsed a dozen women through it.”
“No he hasn’t.”
“How do you know Addie?”
“Because since you left, there have only been two women in that house.”
“I’m serious Emma.”
“Who were the two women then?”
“The cleaning lady and me.”
“Nick hired a cleaning woman to make sure the house doesn’t get too dusty and Howie and I check in on the place when he’s gone.”
“I’m sorry but it’s been two years Addie and I don’t believe that he’s never brought another woman, especially Lauren, there.”
“He hasn’t Emma.” Addie didn’t want to speak for Nick but it needed to be said. “I love you Em but you’re being a hypocrite.”
“Excuse me?” Emma replied, her voice getting louder.
“You called me up a month ago and told me that I had to be nice to Nick because he was Howie’s family and so was I.”
“So what, I…”
“Be quiet for a minute!” Addie yelled. “You told me that I could be mad at Nick for something he did but not for something he didn’t. You’re furious with him because you think he brought someone else to the house and I’m telling you he didn’t. You need to take your own advice and stop all this shit. I’m tired of listening to you and Nick and I’m telling you I’m not doing this anymore. I’m your friend but you need to figure some stuff out. I can’t deal with this and I’m not gonna get stuck in the middle.”
Emma was shocked when she heard the phone disconnect; Addie never got that mad at her and she never yelled like that. Turning the phone over and over in her hand, she thought about what Addie had said. Not knowing what to do, she finally dialed a familiar number and waited for him to pick up.
“Hey Feisty. You ok?”
“Did you know that Nick kept the house on Cape Cod after we broke up?” Emma asked instead of answering his question.
“Yes and I take it that you just found out.”
“And I’m guessing you didn’t take it very well.”
“Not really. So far I’ve had a fight with Nick and one with Addie.”
“Wow.” AJ replied. “You’re on a roll.”
“I need to ask you something.” Emma said ignoring his wise crack.
“Did Nick bring any other women to the house?”
“No.” AJ answered without hesitation.
“Are you sure?”
“I’m positive Em. He would never do that; he’d probably rather sell it first.” AJ paused. “Is this the reason for the fights?”
“Yeah. I know I shouldn’t care about the house…”
“Then why do you?”
“I don’t know. It’s not like I care what Nick does or…”
“Nope.” AJ said cutting her off. “I know why you called me. You wanted an honest answer and now you’re gonna get some honest advice, whether you like it or not.”
Emma didn’t say anything so AJ continued.
“I get you’re mad at Nick for everything that happened with Lauren and that you’re kind of mad at the world for everything else. But it needs to stop Em; it’s eating you up from the inside. You need to stop lying…”
“I’m not lying…”
“Zip it. You know I’m not one for coddling, even if it’s you. I know that deep down inside you still care for Nick whether you’ll admit it to yourself or not. Those feelings may or may not go away but you need to stop being a pain in the ass.”
Emma was taken aback by AJ’s words.
“I’m sorry Feisty, I don’t mean to be harsh but you need to find some way of dealing with this. Addie is Howie’s wife and you’re putting her in a bad position by essentially making her pick sides. I’m not saying that you have to be best friends with Blondie but you need to make an effort to be nice. You’re never going to move on or make peace with anything unless you can let some things go.”
Emma didn’t say anything.
“I don’t want to make you feel worse.” AJ continued his voice getting softer. “I’m concerned because you were making good progress and I feel like if you don’t let some things go, you’ll wind up shutting everyone out again. I happen to know that Nick’s gonna be in your area for a while and he’s going to be coming around to see Howie. Just try to find some way of dealing with him and the situation.”
“Excuse me? Did you just say ok?”
“Yes.” Emma laughed. “I said ok.”
“That’s it? No “you’re being a jerk AJ” or “I don’t have to listen to you” comments?”
“No. I called you for answers…”
“And you got a lecture.” AJ added.
“Yes, I got a lecture that I think I might have needed.” Emma paused. “I hate being mad all the time.”
“Then do something to stop it. You’re still gonna be mad but you can’t go from zero to sixty in two seconds. All that’ll result in is having everyone avoid you.”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologize to me; you didn’t bite my head off.”
“I’ll call Addie in the morning.”
“Are you going to apologize to a certain six foot dingbat?”
“I don’t know how to.”
“Ok. How about texting? Can you at least text him that you’re sorry?”
“I guess so.”
“Good.” AJ mumbled something to someone. “I’ve gotta go but call me if you need anything.”
“I will and thank you.”
Emma heard the dial tone and hit the clear button on her phone. She would call Addie in the morning but she decided to text Nick right away before she lost her nerve. Typing a short “I’m sorry”, she hit the send button and hoped for the best. A minute later, she heard the phone go off.
Me too was all the text said. She didn’t really know what she was expecting it to say but the two words left her feeling sad. Deciding that she was going to make a conscious effort to try and let some of the anger go, she climbed into bed and attempted to get some sleep.