“What are you…”
Howie was interrupting by Nick pushing past him into the house and stalking down to the living room. He followed his brother after guessing what this whole situation was about.
“Is she here?” Nick asked quickly. “Where is she?”
“You might want to have a seat and cool down for a minute there; I’m not letting you loose on anyone till you’ve settled down some.”
As Nick was about to insist on Howie telling him where his ex was, he heard a door slam from up above and Addie yelling and banging on it. They sat there for a moment until the heard the door open, slam again and then they heard both women start yelling.
“What the hell is going on D?”
Howie shook his head and explained that Emma had come home just about five minutes before he did. She and Addie had gotten into it the minute she found her friend is the living room with a smile on her face. Surprised by Emma’s furious look, Addie had questioned what happened at the studio and neither she nor Howie could get a straight answer from her. She had stalked upstairs and Addie had followed as soon as the shock wore off.
“They’ve been going at it since she came back?”
“Yup.” Howie said with a nod. “What the hell happened at the studio Nick? Emma’s fuming about something. Did you two get into an argument?”
“No!” Nick answered him defensively. “For the first time since we’ve been here, it’s not my freaking fault!”
“Well then, what did happen?”
As Nick relayed the story to his friend, Emma and Addie’s voices to continue to rise from the second floor.
“I can’t believe you did that to me Addie! What the hell is wrong with you?”
Emma yelled at the top of her voice, not caring who heard her. She probably should have been a little more restrained but she was at the end of her rope; things were just starting to feel as though she was drowning. Nick hated her and had made that clear; Addie, in all her infinite wisdom, was trying to force them back together and Emma didn’t seem to have a friend around her that she could go to. Addie was always going to be her best friend but she was just too close to the situation to understand how Emma felt.
“There is nothing wrong with me!” Addie yelled back. “What the hell is wrong with you? You’re the one who came storming in here like a lunatic!”
“I’m not a lunatic,” Emma hissed, “maybe I’m just tired of everyone trying to figure out everyone else’s lives. Why can’t you just stay out of this? You’re supposed to be my friend!”
“How dare you?” Addie screamed. “I am your fucking friend, what do you think I’ve been for the last fifteen years? I can’t believe you would say that to me!”
“Then start acting like a damn friend and stop assuming that you know better than everyone else about what is good for me!”
“Well forgive me for giving a shit! Maybe you should just call Michael and tell him how mean everyone is being to you! Maybe he’ll be the one who can get you to use some fucking common sense!”
Addie stalked to the door, flung it open and ran right into someone. To both of their surprises, Nick had been waiting outside and had just raised his hand to knock when Addie started storming out. As Addie shoved him out of the way, Emma looked over and saw the confusion on Nick’s face; the confusion gave way to something that looked like anger and sadness. Knowing that she couldn’t handle any other altercations, she ran into the bathroom and slammed the door; she could hear her bedroom door slam again and started to cry. Why did she always mess stuff up?
Howie heard Emma’s door slam, then his bedroom door was shut with such force that it shook the living room. Starting to get up from his chair, he saw Nick come stalking down the stairs and watched as he whipped the slider door open. He sank back down when he realized there was probably nothing he could do to fix this mess.
“This is ridiculous,” Howie said as he put head in his hands, “We’re not going to have any doors left on this house.”
After a few moments of catching her breath, Emma made her way out of the bathroom and took a seat on the bed next to where she’d flung her phone after getting it back from Addie. She reached for it with a shaking hand, scrolled to the number she was looking for and hit call.
“Hey Feisty, how’s it going?”
Emma burst into tears at the sound of his voice and the story tumbled out of her. He listened as she told him about being stranded at the studio by Addie, Nick recording his song, her cab ride back and the fight she had just had with Addie. After some prodding, she told him about Nick being outside the door and the look on his face.
“So what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. I love Addie but she’s just too goddamned pushy, she always thinks she knows best and that her way is the right way.” Emma replied. “I’m not sure I should even stay up here for any longer; maybe I should just go home.”
“Hold up,” AJ barked, “remember the last time you ran away from problems? How’d that work out for you?”
Emma sighed at his honesty.
“Good thinking. Go call Michael and I’ll give you a call in a bit. DO NOT book any tickets until you hear from me!”
AJ hit the end button on his call and turned to Rochelle.
“What the hell is wrong with these people?”
“They love each other.” Rochelle answered with a laugh. “Whether or not they’d like to admit it.”
He just shook his head and kissed his wife on the cheek.
“I think I know who I need to call.”