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Not to Hidgens

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       Emma and Paul shared their apartment.

    Ted and Henry shared their apartment.

    Bill and Alice shared an apartment.

    Melissa and Charlotte shared an apartment.

They all were at the happiest point in their lives. Emma and Paul were happy and in love as were Charlotte and Melissa. 

Then things got messy. Emma was on her managers nerves and  was close to being fired. Paul still hadn’t found another job. Hidgens was always tired and constantly working in the lab he’d turned his room into.  

Bill was trying to find a school for Alice. Alice was worried to be away from her dad again. 

They would normally try to get together at least once every month but everyone always seemed to be busy. 

Soon, they decided that it was necessary because there were too many couples to keep up with so it needed to get sorted out.

Bill volunteered to make coffee for the others.  Emma ended up helping him because he didn’t understand how her coffee machine worked.

Ted and the professor were chattering about the working boys on the couch. Next to them sat Paul, waiting for Emma to get back. 

    Melissa smacked her hand down on Emma and Paul’s coffee table. “Okay! Pay attention! I need to know who’s dating who.” 

    Henry counted on his fingers. “Paul and Emma, Alice and Deb, Char and you, and Bill and someone named Jane Fisher.”    

    “Uh, Bill, Jane Fisher’s my ex.” Emma said, taking her seat in between Paul and Henry. “I think she’s married.” 

    Bill’s face turned to one of despair. He buried his head in his hands. Emma pitied him, but Jane was a horrible human. 

    “Aw, Bill…” Paul said. “If it makes you feel any better, tomorrow is bro’s night.”

    “No girls!” Emma exclaimed. They all stared at her as if she were insane. “Jeez, okay, I’m allowed to be angry with my ex.” 

    Melissa shrugged, “Girl, you deserved better.” 

    “Emma literally always deserves better,” Hidgens said as he wrapped his arm around Emma’s shoulder and she snuggled into his chest.  

    Paul stared at Hidgens and waited for him to realize the offense in the statement. 

    “Oh, sorry, son.” He laughed. 

    Ted looked at Henry and Emma in jealousy. “Are we swapping partners today or something?” 

    “No, Henry’s just my dad.” He kissed the top of her head as she grabbed his hand. 

“Dearest, I haven’t adopted you yet.” 

 She giggled. “What? Are you gonna adopt me?” She joked.

“I wanted to. And then you left for Guatemala.” He looked like he was about to tear up. “Y’know, I thought I was never going to get to see you again. I honestly believed that you were going to let me die alone.” 

“Oh, please.” Scoffing, she lightly punched his chest. “You had Alexa.” 

“I love you more than Alexa.” 

“Aww…” The girls, and Bill, squealed. 

Paul looked heart broken. 

“Wait, no, Paul, I love you.” 

“You were actually going to adopt Emma?” Melissa asked, almost in disbelief. “She’s 30!” 

“She wasn’t 15 years ago.” Emma grinned at Hidgens. She looked happy, but her slightly turned down lips were the sign Hidgens needed. “Emma, if you’re okay with it, I can still legally adopt you.” 

“Seriously?” He nodded. “That’s amazing!”

“You guys have to do that!” Charlotte squealed.

Melissa raised her hand. “I’ll help you with the paperwork,” She volunteered.

    “That would be lovely, dear.” 

    Charlotte squeezed Melissa’s hand. “You know, the two of you are the perfect family and you guys are adorable.” 

    “But Paul and Emma are cute, too.” Melissa noticed Paul’s jealous expression.

    “Just one thing, promise me you’ll never date any of these guys. I don’t want any of them to be my parents.” 

    “Em, are you gonna change your last name?” Bill asked, grimacing at the flavor of his coffee. 

    “Maybe… but not to ‘Hidgens,’” She smiled. 

    “Did you just… did you just propose to me?” Paul asked, grinning.

    Her face dropped. “Not yet, Paul. Not quite yet.” 

 

         On their monthly girls night, the girls had some questions for Emma. While the girls were rolling out their sleeping bags on Melissa and Charlottes floor in their teenage-like manner, all Alice and Zoey could think about was how badly wanted to know what they had missed. 

    “Okay, now spill,” Zoey demanded. 

    “Uh, I don’t want to spill anything on Mel’s couch, thanks. I’d rather not get kicked out of girls night,” Emma laughed. 

    “Ugh, Emma! You’re so old. What she means is you need to spill the tea.” Melissa hit Emma with her pillow. “Like, spill the beans?” 

    “Huh?” 

    “Tell us about your boyfriend!” Alice shouted. “Please?” Emma could almost see how desperate for information they all were. 

    “Mmm… no.”