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Chapter 133

Nick reached out, grabbing the phone, blindly flipping it open, not bothering to check the caller ID.


“Hey,” came the soft reply.

His whole face lit up, “Veronica!”

Nick had been hoping she’d call, every time his cell had rung, he’d anxiously checked the id to see if it was her, he’d finally given up checking, resigned to the fact that she wasn’t going to call.

But she had.

“Hey you.”

“Hi! Merry Christmas.”

“Thanks, same to you. How was your day?”

“It was really nice, we all exchanged gifts and had dinner, it was just nice ya know? Nice to have the day off and to be able to just chill and relax.”

“Ahh, that’s good. Glad you were able to enjoy it and have it off.”

“Me too, so how bout you? How was your day? How’s your Mom doing?”

“It was very nice, my oldest brother came over later in the day and Mom’s doing fine, she told me to tell you hi and merry Christmas as well.”

“Great, I was hoping you’d call, I figured you’d be busy with your family and all though.”

“Nick I told you, I always have time for you and if I don’t, I’ll make time, that’s not even a problem.”


He smiled, she had no idea that she’d made his day by calling. His brother and sisters had come down with him, and that had been nice. He’d called his parents and that had been not so nice, but being with the guys and his siblings for some reason didn’t even come close to how it felt to talk to Veronica, to hear her voice. He’d been waiting all day for this moment.

“Nick…there’s…I got your gifts.”

“Oh yeah? What’d ya think? I hope those are the right pens. It’s hard to go by a description, but I think those are the right ones.”

“No no, they are, they’re right, it’s perfect all of it…everything…perfect…”

Nick blinked, she’d stopped suddenly, her voice wavering.

“Veronica? You ok?”

“Yeah, I’m fine a bit overwhelmed I guess, I feel like such a loser. Anyway, I wanted to call you and thank you for the gifts. The CD and DVD are awesome and God, the stationary and the journal, they’re beautiful, I love them.”

“The CD and DVD are no big deal, Kenny was happy to do it. I’m glad you like the writing supplies, you haven’t mentioned writing in a while, so I didn’t know if you still were, but I know that a lot of the time writers have special paper and pens and all that they use or that kind of…I dunno, gets them in the mood or something.”

She chuckled, “I don’t know if certain paper gets me in the mood as you say.”

“Well you know what I mean. But yeah, I was at this art supply store and this lady was real helpful ya know? She was showing me all this different paper an shit, talkin’ about the kind that really takes the ink well and a certain type that is made for writers and keeps the ink from fading and something about…umm…keeping for a long time if it’s stored.”

“Geeze Nick, ya didn’t have to go through all that, really.”

“Nah it’s alright, it was kinda fun actually. I picked up some paper and pens for song writing and all, so I got something outta it and learned too, which is like…wow.”

Veronica laughed again.

“So cause of you, I learned something.”

“Well I’m glad I was able to help you albeit indirectly.”

“You rock girl.”

She chuckled again, “Nick…I also want to thank you…for the song. It was beautiful.”

“Oh…yeah well I just…I dunno. I’d be up at night and these lyrics just came to me, and it always happened when I’d be thinking about you and it just flowed. You inspire me, which is nice cause, I don’t get inspired often, at least not by people and when I do, it’s often negative.”


“But yeah, so I thought ya know, a song would be a cool gift. It’s personal, it’s not a song that’s been released, so it’s all yours. You don’t have to share it with a million people and that’s ok, cause I don’t want a million people to hear it, it’s your song.”

Nick distinctly heard sniffling on the other end and frowned. “Veronica?”

“Y-yeah, I’m here. God Nick…I’m a mess over here, knock it off.”

He grinned when he heard the sound of her blowing her nose.

“Well thank you, it seems so inadequate, but thank you Nick. Trust me when I say you have absolutely no idea what it means to me.”

Nick smiled a bit, “Really? Ya liked it that much?”

“I loved it, my Mom was there listening, I hope you don’t mind. Anyway, Mom was listening and she was crying and…it’s beautiful Nick, thank you so much. I’ve never had anyone write me a song before. This is so special.”

Blushing, he could actually feel himself blushing.

“It’s no big deal.”

“It’s a very big deal. I’m sure people have songs written for them all the time and that…you’ve probably done it before for someone else. I’m sure they didn’t get all emotional over it like I am, and…well that’s kind of sad because it’s such a gift, it’s so…personal and private, how can you not be? How do you become so unaffected? Well I can’t be and I don’t want to be. So yes, it is a big deal Nick and I want you to know I don’t take it for granted and I appreciate it very much.”

Nick slowly sat on the edge of his bunk, staring out. No one had ever said that to him before. He’d written songs for his girlfriends before and none of them had ever been so touched or so vehement about their appreciation for it as Veronica had been and she wasn’t even his girlfriend. He’d always felt a bit silly even a bit pissed because they never seemed to really be excited about it.

“Well…you’re very welcome and thank you, for saying that. To be honest, no one has ever really thanked me for writing a song for them, certainly never any of my girlfriends.”

“That sucks, I guess they didn’t know how lucky they were.”

He hesitated a moment before blurting out, “I wished you were here today.”


“I did, all day. I just kept thinking, it would be even better if Veronica were here, or, god I wish I was with Veronica right now so that I could open gifts with her, so that…so that I could just be with her.”

There was dead silence on the line and Nick felt like the biggest ass there ever was.

“You…you did?”

He blinked, “Well yeah I mean…it just didn’t seem right to be celebrating Christmas without you.”


“I know it’s not right, I mean I had my family with me and you were with your family and I guess it’s kind of selfish of me to want that…to want you with me or for me to be with you but, I couldn’t help it.”

“It’s not…I wanted you with me too, I wanted to be with you too Nick. I know it has to be hard, being away from home on Christmas.”

“Even harder to be away from you.”

His heart was racing, he couldn’t believe he’d just said that, it’d just slipped out, it’d been exactly what he’d been thinking, and before he could stop himself, he said it. He didn’t give her a chance to respond.

“You wanted to be with me too huh? Well…maybe sometime, we can spend Christmas together.”

Veronica smiled, “Yeah, maybe someday.”

“Yeah. Well I wish I didn’t have to but…I’ve gotta go honey.”


“I’m beat and now that I’ve talked to you, I can go to bed.”

“You were waiting to go to bed until you talked to me?”

“Well I was hoping I would, I was trying to stay up as late as possible.”

“Damn, I’m sorry I waited so long, I figured you’d be with your family and stuff and I didn’t wanna bother you.”



“Bother me. I don’t care what it is, or when it is just…bother me. Ok?”


“Well I guess I’ll let you go. Merry Christmas Veronica.”

“Merry Christmas Nick, night.”


He flipped the phone closed, staring hard at it. Slowly he slid back into the bunk, pulling the curtain closed, a blanket of darkness filling the small area. Reaching out, he pushed the curtain back from the small window and peered out, a beam of moonlight illuminating the area. Staring up, he watched the stars go by, sighing heavily he closed his eyes, wishing that she was there for him to hold as he drifted off to sleep.