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It had been a few weeks since Thanksgiving and Emma had been having a rough time; things were horrible at work, she’d been snapping at Michael and she cried herself to sleep most nights. Michael hadn’t taken offense even though he wasn’t sure what happened while she was away. He knew something changed between her and Nick, but he could tell, at least on her end, that whatever happened wasn’t working for her.

He mentioned as much to Addie when he called her for some advice. He didn’t know how to dig her out of this hole that she had made and there was no way she could keep living the way she was. Her life was spinning out of control and she needed to pull herself together before it got worse.

Addie waited a few days to call her friend because she knew what she was going to say would be tough but there was no way around it. She finally bit the bullet and dialed her number on a Friday night. It took a few times, but Emma finally answered; she sounded like crap and Addie was worried.

“Hey lady,” Addie said as she picked up, “how are you?”

“Just ducky.” Emma replied, not having enough energy to play along.

“Sounds like you feel like shit.”

Emma didn’t say anything because she knew her best friend was right and there was no way she was going to rehash everything again. Addie guessed that and tried to cut to the chase of why she was calling; the reasons would be good and bad.

“You know how you were going to visit us for Christmas?”

“Yeah,” Emma responded, “I haven’t bought my ticket yet though.”

“Well don’t.” Addie said bluntly. “We’re not going to have it here.”

“Why? Did something happen?”

“I’m pregnant.”

“That’s amazing Addie! I am so happy for you and Howie!”

Emma was really trying hard to be happy for her friend and Addie appreciated it; she knew, however, that the next part wouldn’t be so exciting.

“You know how we planned on moving down to Florida right? Well, the house we wanted will be available after New Year’s and we want to move down as soon as possible.”

“That’s great Addie, I get it. We can do Christmas after you move.”

“That’s actually the other reason I’m calling.” Addie said and paused. “We’re still doing Christmas this year, but it will be at Nick’s.”

She heard dead silence on Emma’s end and was wondering if her friend had hung up on her. This was a bomb that she had dropped, and she wasn’t sure what reaction her friend would have. It was a few moments before she responded.

“Have fun and tell everyone I said hi.” Emma said. “I’m sure you guys will enjoy seeing everyone.”

“Everyone’s not going to be there.” Addie replied. “It’ll just be us, AJ and his family and Nick. And you right?”

“No,” Emma spat out. “I’m not coming.”

“You can’t spend Christmas by yourself, Em. You really need to come and see everyone.”

There were some fleeting moments where she wanted to say yes but it was just too hard; she didn’t know how to face Nick and she didn’t want to have to do it with everyone around. The whole situation was difficult enough without an audience.

“No, I’m not going to make it this year.”

“You know I’m not giving in,” Addie said stubbornly, “I’m not letting this go.”

“Well, you’re going to have to.”

Emma hung up before her friend could add any more input; she knew she meant well but this was something she didn’t need. Unfortunately, she knew Addie wasn’t going to give up and not five minutes after she hung up, she got a phone call from AJ.

She spent twenty minutes going back and forth with him about what happened at Thanksgiving, attending Christmas at Nick’s and all the reasons everyone thought she should listen to. He got the response that Addie got and was equally as frustrated as she was with Emma’s insistence that she was not attending Christmas. Knowing he had to make this count, he called the one and only person who might be able to make her see reason and hoped it wouldn’t be a mistake.

Emma spent the rest of the evening in a sad mood, watching movies she knew would make her cry, until she was ready for bed. She had just washed her face, changed and returned to bed when her cell phone chirped signaling she had a text message. She couldn’t imagine who would be texting her and prayed it wasn’t Addie or AJ starting with her again.

When she flipped the phone over, she noticed who sent the message and just stared at the screen for a minute. Once the shock had worn off, she opened the text.

Please come for Christmas Em, everyone wants to see you and it wouldn’t be
the same if you weren’t there. I want you there. Please come. “ Nick

She broke down in tears and tossed the phone across her bed. Her heart wanted to soar and text him back right away that she was coming. Her head, on the other hand, was throwing up caution signs. She couldn’t decide which on she wanted to listen to so she threw caution to the wind and texted back that she would be there. All she could do at that point is hope she made the right decision.