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Why is there always an alarm set when I find myself with Nick? This morning my alarm was set for 5. I had an important job to do. I dressed quickly and was about to leave when I heard Nick stir. He rubbed his eyes and sat up when he realised the bed next to him was empty, catching me with my hand on the door handle.


'Where are you going?' He demanded.


'I've got something I need to do this morning, I promise I'll be back as soon as I can'


He looked at me as if I were an absolute piece of shit.


'You were walking out on me again, where's the note this time Abbi? Or have you run out of excuses?' He jumped out of bed and walked towards me.


'Nick its honestly not what it looks like and I didn't think I needed to leave a note when I'd be back so soon' 


'Really? I guess some people never change, so what was that last night? An act? A sob story to make me feel sorry for you when all through this it's been me who's taken all of the shit?' He was right in front of me, his face red with anger, I'd never seen him like this.


'I told you the truth last night I swear'


'So tell me where are you going now?' 


'I can't, I'm sorry' 


'Why can't you, are you going to him? Are you choosing Sean over me?' 


'I just can't, please understand I'm not up to anything but I can't tell you right now. When I can, I promise I will. I just need you to trust me right now, anyway Carmen is coming with me. If I was up to something would she be there? Nick I have to go, I promise I'll come straight back and we can talk some more'


He took a minute, looking down at the patterns on the carpet as if they were telling him what to do.


'Abbi, if you walk out that door right now then don't come back, don't come back ever again. If you want a divorce, you can have it' he reached past me and opened the door.


'Nick please' I begged as he all but pushed me out the door.


'I'm done with you and your lies, now you either get out or I call security and get you removed' I'd never seen him like this. 


I walked away without another word, I didn't have a choice. I heard the door slam behind me. I Downstairs I caught a cab back to my hotel and made my way to Sean's room where I'd left my clothes for the day since it was such an early start. I used my key and let myself in. He was still asleep so I woke him up and told him to get ready while I showered. I came back out from the bathroom, dressed and good to go. Sean took his case and I grabbed my overnight bag. 


'Shall we do this?' I asked and he nodded solemnly. 


In the tiny hire car we made small talk, but most of all Sean wanted to know if I'd kept my side of the bargain. 


'So did you keep your promise and fix things with Nick?' He asked.


'Well we talked and then we spent the night together if that's what you mean' I blushed, it felt strange us being able to talk like this again.


'He's a lucky man, I hope he knows it' he smiled at me. ‘In fact, I know what spending the night with you is like, he definitely knows’ he laughed 


I smiled back at him and hoped Sean wouldn't see through my lie, he needed to think I was happy. 'Yeah of course he is, and so are you being able to make it here alive with my not so awesome driving' 


We pulled into the rehab facility, it was a ranch high in the Sierra Nevada mountains and the weather was hot hot hot. It was a top of the range facility with lots of different kinds of therapies and high success rate. Sean was going to stay for at least 10 weeks and try to face his demons, I just prayed for him that it would work before he ended up dead.


We were met by the manager of the facility

'Hello Sean, and welcome to 'New Horizons', first off, well done in coming today. You've already taken one of the biggest steps towards sobriety. And is this your wife?'


'No, this is my best friend' replied Sean, patting me on my back to let me know how much he cared. It made me feel very emotional and goodbye was so hard too. 


'I promise I'll come back and collect you' I said to him.


'You don't have to, I can fly home myself' he smiled. 


'What kind of best friend would I be to let that happen?' I asked. 




Nick POV


I was pacing the floor, I'd just slammed the door on her for the last time, anger and hurt sleeping out of my every pore. I can't believe she was about to walk out on me like that again, just as well I woke up this time and held her accountable. She's an absolute mind fuck, last night telling me she loves me and then the next thing we were making love to each other and then this morning she's running out on me again, well that's the last time I'm trying with her. I'm leaving tonight to start the tour again in New Orleans so I won't need to see her again until the divorce. Bring it on. Except if I'm truly honest, I'm crushed, that last bit of hope left with her this morning.


I put a brave face on and dragged myself down to breakfast where everyone had arranged to meet and surprise surprise Carmen was there, so yet another lie from Abbi.


'Good night Nick?' She smiled at me. I felt all eyes on me. 


'It was, are you not going out with Abbi today?' I asked her


'No, so she's all yours' she winked suggestively.


'Funny, when she tried to sneak out of my room first thing this morning, and I woke up and caught her, she told me you had something important to do together and she'd be back soon' I explained, watching the colour drain out of her face, realising that her friend had just been busted.


The table fell quiet.


'Erm maybe we'd planned something and I forgot' she tried to cover.


'Carmen, it's ok, you don't have to lie for her. I told her she can have the divorce now can we all just eat breakfast and forget the name Abbi'


'But Nick...' she tried and I raised my hand to stop her. 


'There's no ifs or buts this time. We're done for good this time. I've already instructed my lawyers. Conversation closed' 


I watched as everyone at the table looked at each other in shock. Believe me, they weren't as shocked as me, but true to their word, Abbi wasn't mentioned again. If only she was that easy to forget. I listened on and off to their conversation about how good the night before was and I couldn't help but think of how good my night before with Abbi was. Why would she do that to me? Was it just sex? It had felt so much more than that. 



Carmen's POV


When Nick appeared at breakfast, we'd all been hoping for news of a reunion. We'd all been so confident the night before that our meddling had worked, but what the hell was she playing at leaving him like that? Again? I was so angry with her, she'd ruined things with the love of her life forever.


Sender: me

Where are you? Nick told us what you did. How could you walk out on him AGAIN. He looks broken. 


I pressed send but the message didn't deliver. She must have turned her phone off, she must know I'm going to kill her. When I get back to the hotel she's in big trouble. 


After breakfast I excused myself and made my way back to go crazy at her but she wasn't there. I also realised her bag was missing. She hadn't taken off and left me too, surely? I'm her best friend. I decided to check Seans room for her but reception told me he'd checked out already and when I asked if he was alone she told me no, he was with a woman and described Abbi. What the hell was she playing at and where the hell had they gone. She was a bit past the running away from home stage but nothing else made sense.


Abbi's POV


I can't believe it, my plan was to be back from dropping Sean before Carmen and Nick woke up so they wouldn't know I'd gone. That plan went to shit when he woke up and now here I am now stuck in the middle of a mountain range in a broken down shitty hire car and I can't even get a mobile signal to call for help. It's so hot and I have one tiny bottle of water. What the hell am I supposed to do now? Do I walk and try to find a village or do I stay put and hope someone passes? This was definitely not my day. 


The night before I was walking on air, I thought Nick and I were going to sort things but yet again I'd messed that up. I completely understood what he was thinking when he saw me go but I'd never intended on spending the night with him when I'd gone to his hotel. I'd promised Sean complete confidentiality and I wasn't going to break it by telling Nick, even if he was my so-called husband. My husband who had just thrown me out of his room and his life. Looks like the divorce will be happening, that's if I make it off this bloody mountain alive. 


Three hours later I managed to wave down a passing farmer in his tractor and in my best Spanglish ask for help. He towed me to the next village and I managed to find a pay phone  and called the hire company who promised to send out a truck in the next 4 hours. Bloody fantastic, it was now 1pm and I wouldn't be back at the hotel for hours yet, hopefully Nick wouldn't have already left for the airport when I got back and I could try and talk to him again.


Waiting around with nothing to do especially now my phone, still with no signal and a low battery to boot, was torture. I didn't even have candy crush to take my mind off everything. I found the village shop and bought some more water, a sandwich and a magazine and made my way back to the car to wait for the stupid truck. I flicked through the magazines and found an article on Nick and I and managed to half understand the words. It was about our separation but had pictures of us from throughout our whirlwind relationship. All the memories flooded back, we'd been so good together and now Sean was getting help we would have stood a chance. I knew Nick better than that though. He'd made up his mind it was over. I ran my finger over his face in our wedding picture that they’d printed. The face that I loved with all my heart.


The truck eventually arrived 6 hours later, I could have walked back faster, and even then the guy went so slowly it was ridiculous. I eventually got back to the hotel 12 hours after I'd left; sweaty, starving and exhausted. When I walked into the room Carmen was sat on the bed with her arms crossed. 


'Where in Gods name have you been and why the hell do you look like that?'


'I hired a shitty car that broke down in the mountains and had to wait for hours to be rescued. What time does Nick fly out, I need to see him before he goes'


'Too late. They left ages ago, and he doesn't want to hear anymore bullshit from you. I hear you messed up again, running off on him like that. Anything to do with Seans early check out?' She was like Mrs Flipping Marple.


'Yes but it's not what it looks like'


'So you left Nick there broken hearted for Sean and it's not what it looked like? So enlighten me' She looked like she wanted to punch me.  


'Look, I promised Sean I wouldn't tell anyone but I know you'll keep it to yourself. This morning I took Sean to rehab up in the mountains. He had to be there early so I thought that I'd be back in time before anyone realised but after my unexpected night with Nick he caught me sneaking out and based upon past experiences thought the worst. I said I was going to be with you and he still didn't believe me'


'I kind of know that last part, I was at breakfast with the guys when he came down and I didn't realise you'd used me as a cover story, so he knew you'd lied. Abbi, he's instructed his lawyers'


'So that's that then. No point in me even trying anymore. I give up'


'Why are you pretending that you don't care?'


'I do fucking care ok, I care a lot. I want my husband back but I've fucked it up royally. If I don't try and play it cool I'll be in rehab with Sean. When I woke up this morning in Nicks arms I knew that's where I'm meant to be and now this....'


With my phone finally charged, I listened to my voicemails, praying there was one from Nick but there wasn't. Instead there was one from my boss at the record company asking me to see him on Monday morning. FML. What next? 


Well apparently what was next was an offer of a recording contract. I had thought my boss was joking but he was deadly serious. I didn't even need to take time to think about it. It wasn't for me at all! What was for me however was the divorce papers I had delivered to me later that afternoon. Nick didn't mess about when he'd made his mind up. A hearing had been scheduled for February. I read them over and over. Now I realised how hopeless he must have felt when I filed for separation. It was clear there was no going back now.


Christmas was awful, Sean was still in rehab, Carmen spent it with her parents, and despite invitations from her parents and my mum. I stayed in London and moped around by myself. My Christmas dinner was a noodle dish from our local Chinese take away. Of course the Jonas Brothers released a cheesy Christmas song and I watched the video over and over just to see Nick. He looked well, a damn sight better than me anyway, I looked like death. 


Carmen came home for New Year and we spent it at home for the first time ever, I just didn't have it in me to go out. She soon got sick of my mood rather quickly and on the 1st of January she laid down the law. 


'Right you, it's 2020. Let's leave 2019 in the past and make this our year. We're going to book a girls holiday for the summer and have many many adventures but first you need to pull yourself together. Has he been in touch since Seville?'


'You know he hasn't' I replied, why was she making me state the obvious.


'In that case, fuck him. Now let's go and spend £50 on joining a gym that we'll never go to after this month like everyone else in this city. You've put weight on with all the shit you keep eating' 


'It's only a few pounds' 


'Hmm, keep telling yourself that. Tough love Abbi, come on let's go' 


The cheek of her, I actually did enjoy the gym though and when we got home we looked online for a holiday. 


'Where shall we go?' She asked me


'Anywhere except the USA!!!!' I replied. 


'Okay, the Maldives it is!' She said booking us a luxury swim up lodge thing. '2020 is going to be a good year for us Abbi, I can feel it'

Chapter End Notes:

So we're now in 2020, it's going to be their year. 

Or is it? Let's face it, we've got the benefit of knowing about COVID-19!!!

Hope you've all been well through this tough time.

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