Nick woke the next morning to a bed that was empty besides himself. He had never heard Emma come to bed and he wondered if she ever had. Once he was showered and dressed, he made his way up to the kitchen to find AJ feeding his daughter. There was no sign of the two women, and he made a point to mention it to his friend as soon as he poured himself a cup of coffee.
“Ro took her shopping to pick up some last-minute things for the baby.” AJ replied. “I think she wanted a woman’s opinion about some clothes since she’s exhausted all of mine.”
Nick just sat there and watched his friend and his daughter having fun eating breakfast. He was so lost in his thoughts that it took AJ a few moments to break his concentration.
“Does your lack of attention have to do with something yesterday?”
Nick nodded but didn’t say anything.
“I’m pretty sure you screwed up when you told my mom that you two were just friends.”
Nick’s mind snapped back to that comment and he realized that the two of them had never really talked about what their relationship was and how it should be described. He thought that calling them friends would be the best thing until it could be discussed but, apparently, that had been the wrong call.
“I didn’t want to scare her by saying we were a couple since we literally just kissed. I don’t know if that even means we’re together.” Nick told his friend. “I’m so confused and I didn’t want to make it worse by admitting something if it wasn’t true.”
“Did you talk to Emma about it last night?”
“No,” he replied, “I fell asleep before she ever came to bed.”
“I don’t think she ever did.” AJ told him with a nod towards the couch. “I found her sleeping on the couch when I woke up this morning, but I don’t think she saw me.”
Nick was hurt that Emma had never bothered to come to bed or at least woke him up to talk. He knew he’d probably made a mistake the day before with his comment, but he wasn’t sure how to describe them; he was torn between saying they were together or saying they were friends. The two never talked about how this new relationship, if it even was one, was going to work and how they would address it with their friends. In part, it seemed like old times and in another, it was as though they just noticed each other.
He didn’t have to wait much longer as the two women came through the door with their bags while AJ was cleaning up breakfast. Emma looked at him quickly but shifted her eyes away as soon as his connected with hers.
Before he got to ask her to talk to him, AJ suggested that the couples watch a movie while Ava went back to sleep for a while. Nick took the sofa that he had been sitting on the other night and, although she sat with him, Emma kept her distance. She was uncomfortable sitting together when she was so confused about what was going on.
The four adults spent a semi quiet day together as the day was gray outside and they were all tired from the day before. Emma made everyone dinner and they had settled down to watch another movie when Ro suddenly grasped her husband’s arm and cried out.
“What’s wrong?” AJ turned to her with concern. “What’s going on?”
Through gritted teeth, his wife told him that she thought the baby was coming and they needed to head to the hospital. If there was any question about it, Rochelle’s water broke as AJ and Nick tried to help her stand.
“Will you two watch Ava?” AJ asked as he was flying around collecting all the things they would need. “It will be too much to have her at the hospital.”
“Of course,” Emma replied, “we’d be happy to.”
Nick and AJ helped Rochelle down to the car and Nick came back up as soon as he saw the taillights disappear around the corner. Since it was so late, Emma was already putting Ava down when he came in and he decided to wait on the couch for her. They needed to clear this situation up before it created a divide between them that would be too hard to cross.
Emma noticed Nick waiting for her when she came out and she knew that they would have to address what happened; part of her wanted to talk and another part wanted to just run away. She knew that would just cause problems, so she took a deep breath and sat down on the other side of the couch from him.
“How come you didn’t come to bed last night?” Nick blurted out.
She considered lying to him, but he cut her off by saying that AJ had seen her sleeping on the couch when he got up. Thinking that she should just get things out on the table, she told him how she felt.
“I was confused, and I needed some time to myself.” she admitted. “I didn’t know how I felt or what to say so I figured it would be easier to stay up here.”
“I get it,” Nick replied to her honest comment, “I don’t really know what’s going on either, but don’t you think we should try to work it out?”
Emma took a deep breath and looked Nick square in the eye.
“What is there to work out?”
Last Chance by Kyrie