“Call Lauren the next time you need something.”
“Why the hell would I call Lauren?”
“Because she seems to be back in town.”
Nick was trying to figure out what she was talking about. Suddenly it occurred to him that she had seen Lauren at his house that day.
“She’s not back Emma.”
“She was the other day.”
“Well, she didn’t stay. She just wanted to…”
“You don’t need to explain. You and she were bound to get back together again.”
“She came to tell me she was engaged.”
He could tell his statement had shocked her; her cheeks turned a bright red and she refused to look him in the eye.
“Nothing is going on. She sold the house we owned in California and wanted to give me half of the profit along with telling me she’s engaged.”
Nick waited for her to say something but she remained silent.
“I care about you Em and I thought that what we had was going to last. Deep down, I’m still hoping that it’s going to. I will do whatever it takes to fix this and make it work.”
“I don’t think that’s possible.” Emma finally replied. “Too much has happened in the past and I think that there’s too much water under that bridge. I’ve had a lot of time to think and maybe I don’t feel the same way that…”
“Bullshit.” Nick said.
“Excuse me?” Emma asked as she finally turned to face him.
“If you didn’t care about me then why did you come when I needed you? Why did you drive two hours to come pick me up when I got stuck?” He paused for a moment. “Why are you wearing my sweatshirt?”
Emma looked down and realized that she hadn’t taken off the shirt before she left. She’d spent every night of the past two weeks sleeping in Nick’s sweatshirt and she had forgotten to swap it for her jacket when she headed out. Pulling it over her head, she threw it over at Nick.
“There’s your sweatshirt and now you’re home.” she said avoiding his question. “Get out and let me go home.”
Nick noticed her eyes filling with tears and he wanted to pull her into his arms and not let go. He knew that what he wanted was not going to happen tonight and at this point, maybe never. Accepting the fact that he would have to wait, he climbed out of the truck and watched as Emma sped away.
He spent the next couple of hours tossing and turning, trying desperately to get some sleep; he finally gave up. Knowing that he had to do something to tell Emma how he felt, he decided to call her again. Instead of leaving one of his regular messages, he made a choice of singing instead of talking. Hopefully she would understand.
First time it rings
I can’t help but think of the first time I saw you
That moment I knew
Holding the phone tight, I hear the tone twice
If you just pick up, swear I can fix us
Every night feels like twenty-five to life
And this sentence I’ve been living is alone and unforgiven
And I’m guilty as charged ‘cause I went and broke your heart
But even I’ve got rights, you’re always gonna be my
One, always be my one phone call
All I want, all I need is one phone call
I’m gonna leave my message at the tone
Begging, “pretty baby, please come home.”
‘Cause you’re my one
Always be my one phone call
So let me make my case
And pray you won’t erase
The message that I’m leaving for you now
But if you do
At least you knew…***
He finished that line and hoped that she would listen to the message; he added one more thing before he hung up.
“I know this may be the cheesiest, most ridiculous message you could get but I swear it’s true Em. I don’t know how else to say this.” He paused. “I love you. I know I should have said it a long time ago and I messed up. I want to fix this more than anything and I will do whatever it takes. Please call me.”
Emma listened to his message over and over again that night. She was so embarrassed that she’d been wrong about Lauren and that she accused Nick of doing something without getting all the information. The past had left her scarred and she was having trouble getting over it; she didn’t know if she ever would. She hated all the doubt that had crept back into her mind and that Nick felt like he was forced into begging for her attention. Something had to be done and it needed to be soon.
***Backstreet Boys “One Phone Call”