My Happy Ending – Chapter 8

After an hour or so of moping around lazily in the den, the phone rang. Nick sighed, knowing that Ashleigh probably wouldn’t answer. Especially if she was tired and upset. Reaching over to the cordless device, Nick groaned. How was it that Kevin always knew when he was having a crisis?

“Hey, Kev.” Nick said shortly. “What’s up?”

“I just wanted to remind you that we’re meeting up in LA next week to map out some details for the new album.” He said. Nick rolled his eyes. It was as if nothing had changed. Kevin took a break for one album, and as soon as he’d come back things went right back to how they had been before.

“Sure.” Nick replied.

Kevin paused for a moment, Nick sounded a little off. Of course he’d spoken to Brian, who’d told him that Nick’s engagement had been called off. Could he be upset about that? “Nicky? You okay?”

Nick sighed. He figured that the gossip train had already left the station, and that everyone knew about his failed proposal. He didn’t exactly want to talk about it any more. However, he also knew that Kevin wouldn’t let it drop until Nick spilled his life story. “I guess.”

“You want to talk about it?” The older man asked.

Nick smiled a little. As if he’d have a choice. “Not really.”

“Are you sure?” Kevin asked, concerned for the youngest member. “Sometimes it can help to talk. You know, when I-”

“Okay, okay.” Nick cut him off, not interested in hearing one of Kevin’s speeches. “Ashleigh and I aren’t getting married anymore.” He started. “Though I’m sure you already know that.” He added, a touch of bitterness in his voice.

“I’m sorry about that, Nick.” Kevin said sincerely. “Don’t you think it’s for the best though? She seems like a nice enough girl, but do you really think she’s the best thing for you?”

Nick scowled a little. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I just think that she may be attracted to you for the wrong reasons.”

At that moment, Nick realized that maybe the others hadn’t really noticed Ashleigh’s change in personality. She certainly wasn’t interested in him in the way she was back then. In fact, Nick was certain that if he’d asked Ashleigh to marry him when she was 18, she wouldn’t have hesitated to accept. “She’s not like that anymore, Kev. I’m not stupid.”

Nick could almost hear Kevin smile through the phone receiver. “I never said you were. I just want you to be cautious.”

“I am! I love her, she loves me, isn’t that all you need?” Nick nearly shouted. Kevin’s attitude was starting to get on his nerves. He wasn’t a child any longer, he could make his own decisions. Nick sighed, remembering that the issues between him and Ashleigh had become much larger than the status of their relationship. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter anymore. She’s pregnant. I just found out today.”

“Oh, Nick.” Kevin sighed, not really knowing what to say. Somehow, the blonde always managed to dig himself in a deeper hole.

“Don’t ‘Oh, Nick’ me! This is serious shit, what am I going to do?” Nick nearly yelled.

Kevin thought for a moment. “You need to step up, Nicky. You were willing to marry this girl, you should be there for her; for your child.” He said wisely.

“I’m not ready to have a kid, Kev.” Nick said in a small voice, reminiscent of when he was younger. “I can’t do this.”

“You should really be talking to Ashleigh about this.” Kevin sighed yet again, he couldn’t be expected to take care of Nick forever.

“I tried. I told her she could just get an abortion, and she got angry.” Nick explained, feeling justified in his actions. After all, it would easily solve their problem.

“Of course she did! Nick, you need to have compromise in a relationship. You need to take responsibility for your actions.” Kevin nearly scolded him.

“I’m scared.” Nick replied sadly. “What if I fuck the kid up?”

“You’ll do fine, Nicky.” Kevin assured him. Nick did have the ability to be mature when he really wanted to. It was just a rare occasion. “Go talk to Ashleigh.”

“Yeah, okay.” Nick said reluctantly. He worried that Ashleigh was still angry with him, it had only been a short time since they’d fought. What if she hadn’t calmed down yet? Especially with how irritable she’d been lately. “Thanks, Kev.”

“No problem.” Kevin replied. “Let me know how it goes.”

“Yeah. Later.” Nick said, pressing the ‘end call’ button and tossing the phone onto the couch. He sighed to himself as he trudged up the two flights of stairs to the bedroom. He really didn’t want to get into another screaming match with Ashleigh. They’d argued enough over the past few weeks. All Nick wanted was for things to go back to normal.

Opening the door to the bedroom, Nick’s eyes widened at what he saw. “What are you doing?” He screeched, any though of calmly approaching her had evidently been thrown out the window.

“Packing.” Ashleigh said simply, folding a sweater and placing it inside a duffel bag. She’d given her mother’s offer a little bit of thought and had decided it wasn’t such a bad idea. Maybe it would be good for her and Nick to spend some time apart.

“Why?!” Nick asked hastily, as he walked over to her and pulled bag out of her hand. He knew that things were rough between them, but he’d never wanted her to leave him.

Ashleigh gave Nick a blank look. There was no possible way Nick couldn’t know the answer to that question. In fact, Ashleigh figured that Nick would be itching for her to leave. “I’m going home for a while.” She told him, walking back over to the closet and pulling yet another sweatshirt off of a hanger.

“This.” Nick stated, pulling the shirt out of Ashleigh’s hands and hanging it back up. “Is your home.”

Ashleigh rolled her eyes, but stopped packing. She sat on the edge of the bed an considered him. If Nick was ready to talk to her, she would talk. She also wanted to fix things between the two of them, however she really hadn’t foreseen that happening in the near future. Which was why she’d opted for a vacation back home. “I can’t do this Nick.” She admitted, putting her head in her hands. “I want to stop fighting.”

Nick sat himself down beside her. “Me too.” He agreed, taking her hand in hers. “We just don’t agree on anything lately, do we?” He said with a slight chuckle.

Ashleigh glared at him. How could he possibly be making jokes at a time like this? “No.”

“I’m sorry.” Nick said, hugging her tightly. “I shouldn’t have just suggested that we get an abortion so quickly. We can talk about it.”

“What’s the point?” Ashleigh scoffed, pulling away from him. “You aren’t going to change your mind.”

Nick shrugged. “It scares me, Ash.” He admitted, looking at his feet.

“Me too.” She replied, glancing at him.

Nick continued, not really knowing how to explain how he was feeling. “Having a kid is a huge commitment.”

She rolled her eyes. “You wanted to get married, Nick.”

Nick nodded. “I know. But if it’s just us, and we end up hating each other, then we only really ended up hurting ourselves. But if we screw up a kid, that’s huge!”

Ashleigh didn’t really know how to take that. What Nick said was true, it was a big responsibility. “I couldn’t live with myself…” She started.

Nick eyed her. “You really want to have this baby?”

“I have to!” Ashleigh shouted, hopping off the bed. “Do you think there isn’t a reason why I only live with my mom? Why I never see my father?”

“I know.” Nick said, again looking at the ground. He really had been insensitive in suggesting that to her. Ashleigh’s father had wanted her mother to have an abortion. “We really need to work on our relationship Ash.” Nick said, pulling her back down beside him. “Because I don’t want my kid to go through what I did.”

Ashleigh nodded slowly, comprehending what Nick was saying. “I think we can do it.” She replied, looking at him with hope.

“I hope so.” Nick said seriously, looking up at the ceiling. What was he getting himself into? He still wasn’t thrilled, but now realized that Kevin was right; this was his responsibility. He couldn’t just abandon her; that would hardly help things.

“I love you, Nick.” Ashleigh said, kissing his cheek lightly. Part of her worried that Nick was only saying these things to please her, and didn’t really believe them. She very much hoped that in the next few months, his feelings about their child would start to change. After all, he’d only just found out about it that day. Soon he would come around.

“I love you too.” Nick muttered, returning her kiss. Hopefully, that would be enough.

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