Nick was feeling confident as he woke up the next morning and took a shower. He stood under the water, letting the heat run over his back and stomach. Nick loved to take baths usually, they relaxed him….but he felt today was a shower day. He heard his house phone ring after he got dressed and it was AJ.
“What’s up, dude? Brian said I should check up on you…” AJ said almost instantaneously. Nick laughed.
“You’re a dumbass, Jay. If Rok told you to check on me, you’re not supposed to let me know. I’m fine, how are you?” he asked. He knew that Brian must have told the other guys about their conversation in the airport the other day, and asked them to keep an ear out.
“I’m okay, Bone.” Nick added after AJ had felt the need to ask again.
“Okay, are you sure….because Brian was a little freaked out by the love letters.” AJ said.
“Look, if it makes you feel any better, the Lucy situation doesn’t even exist because Lauren came back last night.” Nick explained, sighing with content.
“Wow, that’s awesome news! What made her change her mind?”
“I dunno, she said she did some thinking and decided that she was not being fair to me for leaving like that. She said she wanted to give it another shot, and I agreed.” Nick said as his BlackBerry buzzed in his pocket. He had a new text message in the inbox.
“Meet me at my place tonight…I want to pick things up where we left off.” Nick mouthed with a smile.
“AJ, I will call you later…looks like I got a date tonight.” he chuckled. Nick felt like a million dollars that day as he went out to buy Lauren flowers, dressed up nice for her and drove over to her apartment that night. Whistling cheerfully, he walked up to the door and buzzed, but she didn’t answer. He waited outside for a long time….and texted her again…tried calling her, but the phone was going to voicemail. Nick fished in his pocket for his keys, remembering he had a spare key to the place and let himself inside.
“Lauren?” he called out into the darkness. It was very dark in the apartment, and he found it odd that all the lights were off.
“L-Lauren?” he said, feeling a lump in his throat as he moved towards the kitchen, his hands starting to shake. The paper covering the roses rustled under his shaking hands.
“This isn’t funny….” he whispered. He stumbled over something in the dark and fell flat on his face, banging his head on the coffee table and dropping the flowers. Nick crawled and groped in the dark until he felt something on the floor. It was cold as ice and gave him the shivers. Feeling a sense of dread washing over him, Nick finally made his way to a light switch and turned the kitchen lights on. A small scream escaped his lips…he had tripped over a body.
“L-Lauren….” he said shakily, crawling towards her. His eyes watered as he looked down at her sprawled on the floor, her face drained of color, her black hair laying haphazardly over her eyes. Nick whimpered as he knelt on the hardwood floor next to her, she was clearly dead. He shook his head repeatedly, not wanting to believe it.
“No….no…..please…” he whispered, shaking her gently, but Lauren was dead. She was wearing the outfit he had seen her in last night and appeared to have been dead for hours, he guessed since last night.
“Oh…oh god…..no….please, no…” Nick pleaded again, wiping his eyes while he looked her over, hoping there was some sign she might be alive. A pink envelope lay on the floor next to the kitchen counter.
“I’m here…” Nick read, his eyes wide. This person leaving him notes had gotten to Lauren. Nick slumped against the wall, his body shaking more still. He let the tears fall finally, sobbing into his knees. Lauren’s body lay not far away from him, motionless. He shakily dialed 911 and sat there crying, his head buried in his hands as he did. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion as paramedics showed up…police arrived. He felt his eyes water again as an officer walked over towards him and they asked him questions.
“Would you like us to call someone for you? Do you need a cab?” someone asked. Nick just stood there in disbelief. He had just seen her last night….she wanted to get back together…and now she was gone. Nothing he could do would bring her back. Nick was led to his car and he sat inside…too scared to turn on the ignition. It was then that he felt something on the seat underneath him, and he reached under his backside to pull it out. It was another envelope, as pink as the others. This time it was scented with perfume.