A Change Could Do You Good

A Change Could Do You Good
Chapter 22
By Sarah Donnen
Christmas. Just looking around and seeing that it was Christmas reminded me of the first Christmas Nick and I spent together. Although I practically avoided him at all costs, I realized that I was avoiding him because I didnít know how to act around him. Now, though, Iíd give anything to see him, just once.
"Aly?"
I looked up at my mom as she entered the kitchen. It was the first day of Christmas break and Iíd just woken up. It was already eleven-thirty.
"Baby, I have to go on a small trip, but Iíll be back in two days, ok? Jane will be calling to make sure youíre ok and I donít mind if you spend the night there. I promise to be back in two days, I just hate having to do this on short notice. Be careful when you go in and out, lock the doors, and donít have any wild parties, ok?" She said, rushing around the kitchen.
I nodded and pushed away my half-eaten bowl of cereal. I was losing my already almost non-existent appetite. "Sure, Mom, have fun," I said.
My mom gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and ran out of the house. I knew her job was important to her, so I never protested when she had to leave. She knew the buttons to push with me, like I did her. We shared a strong bond and it wasnít going to ever be broken.
I got down from the stool I was sitting on and threw away the rest of my cereal. I got dressed upstairs quickly and then headed over to the Carterís house. I was supposed to be over there today, but not until about one. I decided to go early, Jane never minded if I did. I opened the front door as I always do and looked around the normally noisy house.
"Hello?" My voice echoed, thatís how empty it was. No one was there, it kinda scared me. I wondered why no one was here, but shrugged it off. Maybe thatís why she didnít want me there until one, because no one was going to be around until then. I didnít mind, I liked having the house to myself, it was never this quiet. Not even at night. I played with the dogs in the backyard and walked into the house after a while. I looked at the clock and saw that it said one-oh-five. I was starting to get worried and walked into the kitchen, hoping Jane had left a note on the counter. She had, I just didnít see it before.
"íAly, we had to go out and get some things, but weíll be back by one-thirty, make your self at home and donít leave. Love, Jane and the family,í" I read aloud.
I turned the note over and spotted something, it looked like Aaronís writing.
"Thereís a surprise for you coming!" He wrote.
I wrinkled my forehead in thought, he probably didnít mean me, and it was probably something old. I threw the note in the garbage and walked to the living room. I sat on the couch and hugged my knees, rubbing them. Even though it was warm in the winter as well as the summer, Iíd adjusted to Florida temperatures and now my standards of cold and warm were different from what they were in Jersey. A lot different.
About twenty minutes later, I heard the front door open and laughter. I knew Janeís laugh when I heard it, BJís too. But then I heard a few other voices, oneís I couldnít quite distinguish whoís they were. I walked to the hallway and saw a flood of people coming in the door. "Aly! Weíre back!" Jane called. I came out from the corner I was hiding behind and had the shock of my life.
"Aly!" Nick exclaimed as he ran to me. He picked me up and whirled me around, then hugged me close. I nearly started to cry, I missed him so much.
"Donít cry, I missed you too," Nick whispered in my ear. It was like he could read my mind, I loved it.
"Hey! Donít hog her, we missed her too!" Brian exclaimed, walking over to the two of us. I let go of Nick and gave Brian a big hug. "Hey, Kentucky Boy," I said.
"Hey, Aly-girly," he said. Heíd given me that nick-name when he saw me dress up for a dance once, heíd called me that ever since because I never dressed in anything but jeans and T-shirts.
"Donít I get some sugar too?" Kevin asked from behind me. I gave Brian a quick kiss on the cheek and reached up to hug Kevin. "Aww, its my little sis," he said, giving me a big bear hug.
I gave him a kiss on the cheek and he put me down. "Howís my little sis been doing?" He asked, bending down to look at me.
"Iím ok, Kev, Iíve just missed you all a lot," I said.
"Did you just say that you missed me?" AJ asked as he walked over. I smiled and gave him a hug.
"Yes, wild child, I even missed you," I said.
"Aly, weíve all missed you," Howie said, giving me a hug.
I hugged him back and then Aaron and Angel came running over to me. "Do you like your surprise?" Aaron asked me.
"You mean that was meant for me?" I asked.
Aaron nodded. "Yup, and we knew you would enjoy it," Angel said.
"Do you two still finish each otherís sentences?" Nick asked as he walked over to us.
"Yup, its fun," Aaron said.
"But a little confusing," Angel added.
I smiled and looked up at Nick. He was just as gorgeous as I remembered, probably even more so. I gave him another hug and just held him, I didnít want to let him go.
"I know you all are happy to see each other, but please take in your bags!" Jane called from the door.
Nick and I broke apart and helped bring in all the bags, setting them in the hallway. We all sat in the living room and talked for what seemed like eternity, catching up on everything. Nick and I sat together and, as everyone else straggled off to bed, we went outside and sat on the dock, him holding me in his arms.
"Do you know how much Iíve missed you?" He asked.
I nodded, leaning my head against his chest. "Yes, Iíve missed you just as much."
A chuckle vibrated through his body and he pulled me off his chest. "I missed you so much, Iím surprised the guys didnít all kill me Ďcause all I talked about was you," he said, brushing a few strangles of my hair out of my face.
"You talked about me? Why?" I asked.
"Because I missed you, and everything I did, I thought of something you and I did, and I had to tell them about it. But whenever I went to bed, I imagined you were singing to me again and some of the home-sickness went away," he said, kissing my forehead.
"You imagined me singing and I turned on my CD player to listen to your voice over and over again. Iíve missed you so much over the past few months, I thought the time that youíd come home would never arrive," I said, playing with his hair. It was so blond now, and cut in a nice style just above his ears, but some pieces still fell in front of his eyes. Those beautiful sea-colored eyes.
"Aly," Nick started. He leaned down and kissed me gently.
Oh God, how I missed his lips on mine. We just sat there and kissed for a while. An hour passed, then another, we were just caught up in each other. If we werenít kissing, then we were holding each other and enjoying each otherís presence. I loved being in his arms, he made me feel so safe and protected, and like nothing could ever harm the friendship we had together. We had such a strong bond, we were connected by mind and soul. He was my soul mate, I was sure of it. It got dark and we sat there, being with each other. When I was starting to fall asleep, he brought me inside, leading me to the family room. Everyone else in the house was asleep, it was nearly midnight. He sat on the couch and pulled me after him, then laid a blanket on the two of us. I was nearly asleep again when Nick nudged my arm.
"Aly? Would you sing for me, please?" He asked sleepily. I could tell he was going to fall asleep at any moment, but didnít mind. I nodded and closed my eyes, holding his hands in mine. I started singing our song, both of ours favorite.
"Lying beside you, here in the dark, feeling your heart beat with mine. Softly you whisper, youíre so sincere, how could our love be so blind? We sailed out together, we drifted apart, and here you are by my side. So now I come to you, with open arms. Nothing to hide, believe what I say. So here I am, with open arms, hoping youíll see, what your love means to me, open arms." I stopped singing for a moment to get ready for the next verse, then realized that Nick was asleep. I yawned and leaned back, feeling Nickís arms tighten around me. I closed my eyes and laced my fingers with his as I fell asleep.