She had just arrived for her weekly session with Dr. Kelly and she felt like this was the perfect time to talk about everything.
“Not so great.”
“I thought I was getting over being angry at everything but it seems like I’m going backwards.”
“Nick is back in town and he’s been spending a lot of time with Addie and Howie.”
“How did you find out he was here?”
“I was running and I fell. He happened to be at the park and helped me out.”
“Did you let him?”
“I fought it until I couldn’t anymore and then I let him help me back to my apartment.”
“That’s a big step to let him assist you.”
“I know but then I found out he’s been staying at our old house and it made me so mad that I lashed out at everyone. I wasn’t very pleasant.”
“What bothers you about him being there?”
“The fact that he may have brought other women to the house.”
“Everyone’s told me no but I’m not sure I believe them.”
Dr. Kelly took a deep breath and waited for a minute before asking her next question. “And why do you care if any other women are there? Do you still have feelings for Nick?”
Emma didn’t answer right away. She knew that nothing she told her therapist was going to be disclosed to anyone and she may be the only person that Emma could open up to about this delicate topic.
“I don’t know.” she finally answered. “I know that I feel something but I don’t know what it is. I’m not sure if it’s feelings from the past just resurfacing or me just wanting to go back in time and pretend like nothing ever happened.”
“Have you told anyone else?”
“No.” Emma answered quickly. “I have no idea what would happen if I did.”
“Do you know how he feels?”
“I know he feels guilty and he takes the blame for what happened.”
“Does he still care about you though?”
“I honestly don’t know.”
“Have you ever thought about asking him?”
“No. I could never ask him that.”
“Because of his reply.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s bad enough I’m not sure exactly how I feel. What if I realize I do care and then I tell him? I’m afraid that he wouldn’t feel the same way. I’d be opening myself up again to be hurt and I don’t think I’m ready for that.”
“Do you think you’ll ever be ready?”
Emma didn’t say anything but she did shake her head no. The doctor asked her a few more questions but it seemed like the more the doctor pushed, the more Emma retreated into herself. They finished the session early and Emma waited till she was outside to take a deep breath. This whole thing with Nick was going to be harder than she thought but she couldn’t see a way of getting around it.
Emma waited nervously at a table by the window. She called Addie to apologize and asked if she would meet her so they could talk. Her friend seemed hesitant but she finally gave in and told Emma where she’d meet her. Hopefully, this whole thing would work out because Emma hated it when Addie was upset with her; it was the worst feeling, fighting with someone who might as well be her sister.
She was just about to order a drink when she caught sight of Addie heading her way. Asking the waitress to give them a few minutes, she stood up and gave her friend a hug; as she sat down, she felt the tears start to form in her eyes.
“I’m really sorry Addie, for everything.”
Never able to stay mad at her friend for long, Addie reached her hand across the table and placed it over Emma’s. “I know and I’m sorry for yelling at you like that.”
“I deserved it.”
“No you didn’t. Well, maybe the lecture part you did, but I should have found another way to say it.”
“I definitely deserved the lecture and you were right about what I said. If I’m going to tell you to be nice to Nick for Howie’s sake, than I need to do the same; for Howie and for you. I know that he’s family now and it’s wrong of me to make you feel like you’re stuck in the middle. You shouldn’t have to feel like you’re choosing sides and I’m going to try really hard to smooth things over with Nick so that we can at least be civil with each other. Although, I’m probably the last person he wants to be civil too.”
Addie was surprised to see this change in her friend. “What caused this epiphany?”
“A doctor’s visit and a very politely put tongue lashing from AJ. He told me to grow up and stop acting like a crazy lady in such a nice way.” Emma said with a laugh.
“That’s AJ for you.” Addie agreed with a chuckle. “He could call you every name in the book but he does it in such a way that you can’t be mad at him.”
“No I can’t.” Emma replied. “I’m really sorry again for everything. I promise you that I’m going to work on my issues with Nick a lot harder and make a serious attempt at fixing some things. I won’t put you in the middle anymore and I won’t make being in the same room with the two of us painful.”
“You can’t guarantee things like that Em, and you don’t need to promise me anything. I would just like you to try and get along with him. You guys don’t have to be best friends but it would be nice if we could have you both over for dinner at the same time without hell breaking loose.”
“Then let’s do that.” Emma blurted out without thinking.
“You want to have dinner with Nick?”
“Well not just Nick, I mean I want you and Howie there too.”
“Are you sure you’re up for this? Don’t you think taking baby steps is a good idea?”
“When have I ever done anything with baby steps? Except maybe when I was an actual baby.”
Addie laughed. “Alright. Just remember that this was your idea.”
“I will.” Emma replied. I hope it’s not a bad one, she thought to herself.