“I’ll be fine,” Emma assured her friend, “I have plenty of things I can do here.”
Addie knew her friend was lying through her teeth but she couldn’t postpone this trip. It was Howie’s friend’s birthday and they were traveling to Connecticut for the party. They had planned to stay for a few days but Addie was unsure about leaving Emma for that long. She knew that her friend didn’t have many friends up there and most of her old colleagues were away for the summer. Emma was literally going to be by herself for days.
“I know what you’re thinking Ad and I will be fine. Michael leaves constantly for vacations and conferences and I haven’t fallen apart yet.”
“Yeah but you have friends down there,” Addie reminded her, “and there are places you like to visit. Massachusetts doesn’t have that same hold for you anymore.”
Emma was touched by her friend’s concern for her but these few days were actually going to be good for her. As much as she pretended she wasn’t, Emma had always been a little introverted. She enjoyed quiet time by herself and, with everything that had happened lately, she could really use those moments alone. There had been enough excitement since she’d arrived and she was thrilled that she might be able to relax with no problems to worry about.
“Are you absolutely sure?”
“Yes Mom,” Emma replied with a chuckle, “you can leave the nest for a few days and I promise that I will still be standing when you return.”
At that point, Howie showed up in the living room and let his wife know that he had packed the car, they were ready to leave. Addie gave Emma once last look at she made her way to the door.
“Are you pos…”
“Howie!” Emma yelled causing her friend’s husband to come back. “Please make her leave or I’m gonna push her out the door!”
“Alright, alright.” Howie laughed. “Come on Mrs. Dorough.”
Howie dragged Addie to the car and left Emma waving at them from the porch. He knew, maybe more than his wife, that Emma needed a break from everyone. It would be good for her to have some time to think and process what had been happening. He and Addie sticking around would just have made it harder.
The couple left and Emma headed back into the house. She decided that she would lay out by the pool for a while and then think about dinner. All she wanted was a little rest and the day was beautiful; she was finally going to get some alone time.
Nick was pissed. He had gone to the studio to do some work and the producer left, forgetting that he needed to give him a lift home. As he locked up the door and cursed the guy for taking off, he dialed Howie’s number; maybe he could give him a lift back to the hotel.
“Hey D.” Nick blurted out as soon as his friend answered. “I got stranded by this idiot and I was hoping you could give me a lift home.”
“I wish I could but I’m halfway to Connecticut right now.” Howie answered. “We have that party remember?”
Damn, Nick thought; of course he forgot that Howie was leaving and it left him thinking of ideas about how he could get back to the hotel. Worse thing that could happen is he could always call a cab. He reached into his pocket and couldn’t find his wallet.
“This is bullshit!” Nick yelled.
“No, not you Howie. I just realized that my wallet is with that idiot that was supposed to give me a ride. I’ll just have to figure something else out.”
Howie paused for a minute, thinking about whether or not he wanted to actually suggest what he was contemplating. He knew his brother was stranded and didn’t have too many options. This was probably the best one but he hesitated for a moment.
“I have one suggestion.”
“I’m all ears.” Nick said. “I’m stuck and there really aren’t a whole lot of options left.”
“Emma’s at the house and maybe you could call her and ask for a ride.”
Howie spit his thoughts out and his wife stared at him. It made him question whether he should have said it at all.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
Addie grabbed the phone from her husband and took over the conversation. Nick needed to be forced into it and she was just the person to do it. There was really no other option for him and he was just going to have to suck it up.
“He’s right Nick, you have to call her. If you need her number, I can give it to you.”
“I don’t think she’ll….”
“She’ll come.” Addie answered his concern. “She won’t leave you stranded. It might be a little while for her to get there but she’ll come, I know it.”
Nick was concerned that Emma would either refuse to come get him, make an excuse or feel too uncomfortable. The way he behaved towards her when she got there made him think that her coming for him was just not going to happen.
“Do you have a pen to write down the number?”
Nick didn’t say anything and Addie realized that she didn’t need to give it to him. His silence spoke volumes and she realized that he still had the number; he had never deleted it from his phone.
He knew that Addie had guessed that he had it and she was right. For some reason, no matter how angry or how hurt he was, he couldn’t bring himself to take her out of his contacts.
“Call her Nick; I promise she’ll come.”
Addie hung up leaving Nick at the end of the conversation. He couldn’t debate it anymore and he knew that he had no other options since he didn’t even have a wallet. Pressing the button for contacts, he scrolled through until he found Emma’s number. It took a few seconds for him to make the decision and he finally just hit dial; he could only hope that she didn’t hang up on him.