Welcome Home. -Chapter 6

Read Chapter 5 HERE

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Melanie stands in line at the airport waiting to buy her ticket back to New York.

“Explain to me why you  always fly again,” Cassie says standing beside her confused.

“Because two hours of me with my thoughts, operating a vehicle? It’s not the best combination. I’d never make it to Philly. I’d chicken out a half an hour in and turn back. Flying means money is spent, and I have to get off the plane and face the mistakes I’ve made, no ifs, ands or buts.”

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“Interesting, but effective. Except for right now when I think you should be pressing pause on leaving again. You need to go talk to the man you love. You do still love him, don’t you?” Cassie says challenging her friend.

“Of course I love him. How can you even ask me that.”

“Because you have a funny way of showing it. I gotta say I think you’re making a mistake here Mel. A big one. If you leave now, without a face to face. It’ll really be over,” Cassie says.

“It’s already over, I could hear it in the sound of his voice. I’ve finally put him through enough. He’s completely given up on me and us. And I honestly can’t blame him, I’m surprised he lasted this long.”

“This just-sucks. He loves you so much. Don’t you get that? Women dream about guys like him. He’s so great. How can you let him just walk away?”

“I love him more than anything, but I know I have to be strong enough to let him go. He deserves better, so much better. He deserves the world. And he deserves a family, and that is something that I biologically can’t give him.”

“Yea but he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t know the full reason why you are so resistant to be with him again. That’s a huge part of the puzzle that you left out Mel. You owe him that much. Enough excuses- go see him. Now.”

“It’s better this way. He should hate me. It’ll be easier for him.”

“Easier for him, or easier for you? If he knows the truth, he’ll understand and he’ll be even more in love with you and wanna be there for you and that scares the crap out of you.”

“Ugh god, why do you know me so well? Sometimes I hate that. Stop analyzing me.”

“Get used to it babe. Call him. Now. You’ll always regret it if you don’t. Let him be the one to decide his future. Don’t just decide that he won’t be able to handle it. Or that he won’t want you because of it. Stop writing the tragic end to this story in your head and just talk to him. ” She says handing her a cell phone.

Melanie takes a deep breath and exhales as she dials Oliver’s number….it rings and rings and rings and rings and then his voicemail comes on.

“He didn’t answer,” She says defeated. “He always answered….I told you- he’s done.”

“It ain’t over until the curvy lady sings and I ain’t singing yet. Next stop….house call. Come on.” Cassie says starting to walk off, thinking Melanie is following.  

“Cassie I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but I have to get home,” Melanie says rooted in her place in line.

“You are home. Do not mess with me Evans, I will throw you over my shoulder or drag you by your hair kicking and screaming…”

“I can’t.”

“You know for a really strong, smart woman you are being really stupid.”

“Cassie I am so messed up. And he’s so amazing, I don’t want to ruin him.”

“Whatever. You already are by not fighting for him. But then again you never did fight for him. You only cared about yourself and what you were feeling.  Have a nice flight.” She says walking off.

Melanie sighs as she turns around stepping up to the counter to buy her ticket, tears in her eyes.

*************************************************************************

Melanie stares out of her office window, rain hitting the glass and trickling down in clear, delicate patterns.

Phones can be heard ringing, along with the slamming of fingers on keyboards and pages flipping.

Melanie has been in full work mode since she got back.

She shakes a memory and returns to the manuscript in her hands. Not wanting to think of him and what happened between them.

Her co-worker knocks on her door.

“Hey Billy? What’s up?” Melanie says looking up.

He saunters in and plops himself in the chair across from her desk, a pout playing on his lips.

“Uh oh, what’s wrong?” Melanie says concerned for her friend and grateful for the distraction.

“Nothing much, my date cancelled on me for tonight.”

“Date? Are you holding out on me! Who is he?”

“He’s just this really cute guy I found on city single.”

“Well maybe something came up. Don’t worry, if it’s meant to be, he’ll come back around.”

“I hope so, you know my rule, you only get two chances with me. Are you ready for lunch, cuz I am. The walls are closing in.”

“Yes. I hear ya, let’s go. Thai?”

“Yes please,” he says as he glides out of her office, she lets out a small laugh as she grabs her purse and follows him.

***********************************************************************

The waitress places their meals down on the table before them.

Melanie smiles her thanks.

“We should have a movie night tonight. Are you up for it?” Billy says excitedly.

“Billy you know I love you, but I am just not going to be the best company tonight.”

“Oh come on, it’s New Year’s Eve. It’s bad enough we had to work. Let’s do something tonight! I’m sure there’s a party happening somewhere. The city comes alive in a new way on New Year’s Eve. People pledging to be new versions of themselves and then failing miserably by the next morning. It’ll be a blast.”

Melanie laughs sarcastically.

“Nothing is lonelier, than New Year’s Eve in New York City,” Melanie says sadly.

Billy looks on intently.

“What happened in Philadelphia?” he says his hand on his chin, inching forward and staring at her.

Melanie stiffens.

She looks up at him.

“What makes you think something happened?”

“Because you’ve been more cynical than usual since you got back.”

Melanie frowns her heart sinking. This is not who she used to be. This is not who she wants to be.

“I don’t know, I guess I had to face some harsh realities.”

“Like?”

“There is this man…”

Billy’s eyes light up.

“Tell me everything.”

“There’s not much to tell,  he’s the absolute love of my life, but it ended in tragedy. I messed up and left and he- he loved me anyway.”

“I’m sorry, where’s bad there?”

“He deserves better.”

Billy looks confused as Melanie picks up her drink and clinks it into his-

“Happy New Year.” Melanie says sarcastically.

 

A Few Months Later

Melanie is rushing to get ready for work, she’s ready to rush out the door and rushes back in to grab her purse. She leaves once again and rushes back in to grab her car keys. A pattern of frantic lateness stirring up. She leaves again, not gone more than a second, she rushes back in and into the bathroom as she lifts the toilet seat cover up, throwing up her breakfast smoothie.

She sits on the floor in exhaustion.

Getting up carefully she splashes some cold water in her mouth and on her face.

Melanie looks at her reflection in the mirror, pale skin and perspiration stare back at her, she has a flashback of she and Oliver making love just a few months earlier.

Her eyes go wide. She rushes to her purse and pulls out a calendar. She counts.

“Oh my god.” She says covering her mouth.

There’s a knock on the door.

She looks up startled, walking over to the door she peers through the peep hole.

Letting out a sigh of relief, Melanie grips her chest leaning against her front door.

Opening it, Cassie stands there holding balloons that say I’m sorry, a pout in place.

Melanie smiles and hugs her tightly.

“I’m so sorry,” Cassie says.

“No, I’m sorry you were right. I just didn’t wanna hear it.”

Cassie smiles simply.

“Where the hell did you find I’m sorry balloons?” Melanie says laughing and opens her door to let Cassie in.

“You can find anything on amazon,” Cassie scoffs as she walks into the apartment setting her things down.

“Even pregnancy tests?”

Cassie looks up at her. Her eyes go wide.

“Are you?”

Melanie looks at her.

“I think so.”

“Wait so it would be…”

“Of course it’s Oliver’s.”

“Oh my god.”

“I know.”

“Wait so did you take a test, or see a doctor?”

“No. Not yet. But I haven’t been feeling right. I’ve been overly tired. More than usual. And I just threw my guts up, so there’s that. It all feels pretty familiar.”

“Maybe you’re just stressed?”

“I thought so too, or that maybe it was something I ate. But I checked my calendar and I’m pretty late. I guess I just hadn’t noticed because my mind has been kind of all over the place. But yea the timeline fits, Oliver and I were together about three months ago, a few times actually….and we weren’t exactly worrying about protection. Which in hindsight was pretty stupid I guess.”

“It’s not stupid, you love each other. You weren’t thinking about anything but that.”

“What am I gonna do Cassie? I can’t throw this at him, now.”

“Ok first of all, let’s take a test and see if you really have anything to tell. And then if you are, you have to tell him. Hiding it will do you no good. Stop deciding his life for him. We talked about this.”

“I know you’re right. I should get to a drug store.”

“Good, I’m coming with.”

“I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Me too,” Cassie says taking her friend’s hands in hers as Melanie smiles she looks down and notices a big sparkling rock on Cassie’s finger.

“What’s that?” Melanie says her voice a loud shriek as her eyes widen.

“Oh. Yea, I’m kind of engaged.” Cassie says smiling.

“Oh my GOD! What!”

“Dave proposed last night. That’s kind of why I’m here, I couldn’t just call you, I had to come tell you face to face. Besides, I hated how we left things, it’s been months. I couldn’t take it.  And the things I said ,were so harsh, you know how much I love you and how great of a person I think you are. I was just trying to get you to come back and talk to him…”

“I know, but you weren’t wrong. I have been selfish. I’m so sorry.”

“Water under the bridge.” Cassie says hugging her tightly.

 “I’m so happy for you,” Melanie says. “This ring is gorgeous!” she says grabbing Cassie’s hand to take a closer look at it.

“He did good, didn’t he?”

“He did,” Melanie says smiling. “Congratulations!” She hugs her again tightly. “Ugh once again here I am dragging you into my drama when you came to share your amazing good news. I’m so sorry.”

“Hey I don’t wanna hear any of that again. Best friends don’t apologize for needing each other.”

She smiles hugging Melanie.

“Let’s go get you that test.”

************************************************************************

Melanie sits in her bathroom staring at the numbers on her cell phone as they decrease.

Her heart racing.

Cassie looks on worried.

The alarm goes off.

Melanie sighs, and gets up turning her back to the pregnancy test.

“I can’t look at it, not yet.”

“Ok.” Cassie says standing next to her.

“I don’t know what to feel right now. Part of me is really terrified. But part of me is really calm. Which I don’t quite understand.”

“Well then, let’s talk about it. Maybe we can make some sense of it. In your heart right now. What do you think it says on that test?”

Melanie looks over at Cassie.

“I think it’s positive. I would almost bet that it is.”

“And if it is?”

“I’ll be really happy, because I really want it to be,” Melanie says coming to a realization and allowing her tears to fall freely.

Cassie smiles. “There it is.” She pulls Melanie into a hug.

“I love him so much.”

“I know you do…so let’s find out what you’re dealing with, either way you’re gonna have a lot of people in your corner, including Oliver. Are you ready?”

Melanie nods and turns picking up the test she looks at it and starts crying again.

Cassie hugs her tightly.

To be continued…

*I do not take credit for any images of gifs used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

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