My Happy Ending – Chapter 13

“How far did you get, Nick?” Ashleigh screeched into the phone two days later. Boredom had overcome her, and she’d visited some of the old message boards she used to frequent. Apparently, Nick had been sighted with some college students the night he’d got back to Florida, and there was photo evidence to back it up.

Including one of him kissing another girl.

Nick cringed. He had really hoped Ashleigh wouldn’t find out about that. “Not that far.”

Ashleigh seethed with rage. What the hell was the matter with him? She sent him home to think about things, and all he did was sleep with some random girl? “How far is not that far? With you, that could mean anything. God, you and your stupid groupies. I really thought you were past that Nick, we’re supposed to be working on things, not fooling around with other people!”

Again he sighed. He knew Ashleigh was right. “Ash, I’m sorry okay? It was a really shitty thing of me to do and as soon as I came to my senses I got the fuck out of there.”

“How far?” She challenged. Not that she particularly wanted to know, but she wouldn’t be able to begin thinking about forgiving him until she knew the whole truth.

“Like… I kissed her and stuff…” He trailed off.

“What stuff?” Ashleigh asked, starting to get angry all over again. “God Nick just fucking tell me.”

“Nothing!” Nick nearly shouted. “Really Ash, we were just kissing.”

“You make me sick.” She said angrily. “You were going to have sex with her. You shouldn’t even be thinking about other girls that way!”

“I was stupid and drunk. I made a mistake, I’m only human. Christ.” Nick replied. “Seriously Ash… I would never do that do you. I thought of you and left, even if you’re being kind of bitchy to me lately.”

It took everything Ashleigh had not to throw her cell phone against Joey’s wall. “Fuck off Nick, you know you’re the one who’s being completely irrational. You need to come to terms with this pregnancy thing. Hell, you were ready to marry me a few months ago! Don’t call back here until you’ve decided what you want, and no we are not on a break.” She said bitterly, hanging up on him.

“You were the one that called me.” Nick said to the dead line.

Three weeks later, Nick was still sitting in his Florida home, alone. He hadn’t bothered to phone Ashleigh, because he had yet to decide how he really felt. Or rather, he had yet to feel happy about their child. The fact of the matter was, Ashleigh didn’t want Nick to call her with the news of “I don’t want to do this.” The only answer she would accept at this point was his approval of the situation.

She hadn’t made any attempt to get into contact with him. Instead, she was still back at Joey’s place. Probably having quite a few Nick bashing sessions. He sighed to himself. All that work to get Joey to finally like him, shattered in only a matter of minutes. Why did there have to be someone there with a camera?

Because you deserved to get caught. He thought bitterly to himself.

Over the time he’d spent in Florida, he’d tried to do the thinking that he’d promised Ashleigh he would do. Instead however, he found himself agonizing over the pain he was causing her and wasting time by watching TV and playing video games. After the incident with Chris at the pub he hadn’t dared go out with any of his friends for fear of getting himself into such a situation once again.

However, staying inside the house for the most part was starting to get the better of him. So, he decided it might be a good idea to go for a walk. There were some things he needed to pick up anyway.

An hour later, Nick parked his truck at the local mall and began to leisurely walk around, occasionally going into a store. It definitely felt awkward to go to the mall alone, he was used to Ashleigh pulling him into every store that she liked, and forcing him to look at things he really didn’t care about.

One store that particularly interested him was TJ’s Kids. After staring at the store for a moment, he decided to go inside.

Walking around the store, he saw all sorts of things he knew he needed to buy. Yet, he couldn’t bring himself to actually pick out anything. For one, he didn’t know anything about what he should get, and he really did want Ashleigh there with him when they did shopping for the nursery.

So he just walked around, looking at the different products and eyeing the other customers in the store. He smiled as he watched one couple shopping together. They looked to be in their early twenties. They looked as though they were genuinely excited and happy to be picking out things for their nursery.

Nick sighed. He wished more than anything that at that moment Ashleigh could have been with him. Why couldn’t they be happy like that? Because he had been too afraid of messing things up, that he had somewhat turned into a self fulfilling prophecy?

Suddenly overrun with guilt, Nick quickly walked out of the store. He felt guilty for arguing with Ashleigh and not being excited right along with her. He felt guilty for nearly sleeping with someone else. Most of all he felt guilty for being so selfish and not giving Ashleigh the support she needed. As he drove home in silence, he began to fully understand everything that Ashleigh had been saying to him for the past few months. They were in this together, and nothing was going to change that.

“You really should call him.” Joey said as Ashleigh walked into the living room and flopped down onto the couch.

“No.” Ashleigh replied firmly.

“Ash, you guys need to work this out.” Joey prodded. While she wasn’t exactly pleased with the way Nick had been acting lately, this really wasn’t the best way to deal with it. Despite the fact that he’d been off kissing another girl, Joey knew that Nick really wasn’t a bad guy. If anything, he was just confused and stressed. It wasn’t an excuse for his actions, but it was a little bit of an explanation.

“He’ll call when he’s ready to talk about it.” She said simply, staring at the TV.

“How do you know that Ash?” Joey asked, getting frustrated with her friend’s stubbornness. “Maybe he’s giving up on you, thinking that you’re never going to forgive him.”

“He knows I have to come back. My stuff is all there.” Ashleigh replied. She really didn’t want to give in to Nick, she wanted him to call her. She wanted him to prove that he really was serious about wanting to fix things. The fact that he hadn’t called yet was a good sign. It meant that he was taking the time to think, and not just absentmindedly begging for her to forgive him.

Joey sighed. As much as Ashleigh tried to put up a strong front, she knew that she was upset. She’d heard her friend crying into her pillow more than one time over the course of the last couple of weeks. “Just phone him.”

“He needs to be the one to take the first step.” Ashleigh explained. “I need to know he’s really serious. Besides, it’s not like I’m impatiently waiting for his phone call.”

Baby I don’t wanna waste another day
Keepin’ it inside is killin’ me
Cause all I ever wanted comes right down to you

Joey rolled her eyes upon hearing Ashleigh’s ringtone. “Right. That’s why you keep your phone with you everywhere you go.” She laughed. “I can’t believe you still have that as your ringer.”

“Only for Nick…” Ashleigh replied, staring down at the screen of her cell. Sure enough, Nick was calling her. She took a deep breath. He was either going to tell her that he’d changed his mind and that he was ready to fix things, or that he couldn’t handle it and she was on her own.

Either way, there was only one way to find out.

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