There was silence on the other end and she wasn’t sure what to make of it. Why would he call me, how would he have even had her number? She waited a moment and was almost hanging up when she heard his voice.
There were another few seconds of dead air. Nick was trying to get the nerve to ask her to help him. He had a pretty good idea that he was going to get a no after everything that had happened.
“I was hoping I could ask you a favor.”
Emma was stunned that he was calling to ask her to help him; he really must need something in order for him to call her.
“What is it?”
“My idiot producer left me at the studio. He was supposed to give me a ride back to the hotel and he must not have remembered. I wouldn’t have called but he also left with my wallet so I have no money for a cab.”
When she didn’t say anything, he assumed that he had been correct about her not willing to help him.
“Never mind,” Nick told her, “I’ll figure something else out.”
“I’ll come get you.”
She had said it so quietly that he almost didn’t hear it. It took him a moment to realize that she was willing to help him out.
“You’re sure? I would understand if you didn’t want to.”
“It’s ok. Can you give me the address to the studio so I can plug it into my GPS?”
Nick told her the address and what the studio was near. She told him she would be leaving in a few minutes and that it might be a little bit till she got there. He questioned whether that meant she wasn’t coming but he surprised him by pulling into the lot behind the studio about an hour later.
“Sorry,” Emma said as he climbed in, “this stupid GPS got me lost and I had to use my phone.”
Once Nick was settled, she used her phone to set directions for his hotel and pulled out of the parking lot. It was an uncomfortable situation for both of them; there wasn’t a word spoken for the first twenty minutes of the drive. Neither of them knew what to say and they couldn’t figure out how to start a random conversation. After the twenty-five minute mark, Emma had gotten so uncomfortable that she blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
“So you were there to record a new album?”
She felt like a moron when she realized what she had asked. Of course he was at the studio to record, what else would he be doing?
“No,” Nick answered, “I was looking to make some pizzas.”
He had meant it as a joke but the way he said it came out as more as a statement than what he had planned.
“I’m sorry, that was rude. I came here to work on my solo stuff. I figured that since we were almost done with our album, I could focus more on my music. I worked with this guy the last time I was here and he’s pretty good.”
“How’s it going?”
“I don’t know, something’s not quite right and I can’t figure it out. This guy’s been giving me great suggestions but it still feels like something is off.”
Emma knew nothing about Nick’s latest music so she didn’t feel comfortable giving an opinion or making any suggestions. The conversation died for about ten minutes before Nick started asking her questions.
“How’s North Carolina?”
“Doesn’t sound like it.”
Emma thought for a moment before responding. She didn’t know if he cared or he was just looking for something to say. It was better than no talking so she just decided to answer him honestly.
“My boss hates me.” Emma told him. “It makes life a little difficult.”
As mad as he had been at her, he couldn’t understand how someone could dislike her. Yes, she had broken his heart into a million pieces but she had never been outwardly cruel to anyone.
“Why does she hate you?”
“She’s sleeping with one of the other teachers and she thinks he’d be better for the position than me.”
Nick was surprised by her honesty and he really didn’t know what to say. He thought he’d try to make another joke.
“Too bad you aren’t a guy.”
Before she could stop it, Emma chuckled at his statement.
“I probably still wouldn’t be her type.”
This last part of the conversation made it a little easier to get through the rest of the ride. Neither one asked any difficult questions, but kept it light talking about music and travelling. Before long, Emma pulled up in front of Nick’s hotel and he got out.
“Thanks Emma, I appreciate it.”
Emma smiled and Nick shut the door; he waved as she drove away and then made it up to his room. He was really grateful for his ex’s help and he hoped she had understood that. Maybe this was a step towards being able to be more friendly.