Forty Nine.

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The pizza is half finished, the open box now sitting on the coffee table and I'm watching reruns of old Friends episodes.  It's not even been a full hour since Harry left and I'm already bored.

My mind drifts off into space, thinking about everything that's happened today.  It seems that with everyday that passes, something new comes up and forces me to worry, some new problem I have to solve.  I start to think that maybe I'm taking on too much for my own good, but a lot of what I'm doing is for other people.  I found a job for Gemma, hopefully, and now I have to arrange a meeting between her and Zayn tomorrow.  I'm dealing with the Apple thing for Zimm and Parker and to clear Harry and Zayn's names.  And I'm going to meet Terry for my family, because I know that my mum will be crushed if I stay away forever and as much as I'm not happy with them I still love them.

Wednesday.

That's a day before I leave.

I wasn't thinking straight when I was talking to Peter.  I can't make Wednesday, it's cutting it too close.  At that point Harry and I will be running around packing and making sure everything is ready for our early flight.  My stomach sinks when I realize that I have to endure another phone call with him and find a better day.  There are no better days, though.  Tomorrow I'm taking Gemma to meet Zayn and I've already established that Wednesday won't work.

Unless -

A lump rises in my throat as I reach for the phone and dial his number, my heart pounding in my ears with each ring until he finally answers.

"Hey, Skylar.  What's up?" Thankfully I'm prepared enough to hear his voice that I don't panic and I suppress the bile rising in my throat.

"Hi.  Look, I'm leaving for Washington Thursday -" I start, my voice shaky.

"Washington?" He interrupts and I roll my eyes, getting agitated that he keeps trying to have a conversation with me.  I only want one thing from him, and that one thing is not friendship or mending bonds.

"Yeah, Harry and I are going for Christmas," I rush.  "But the point is I can't meet your uncle Wednesday."

"Okay, so when did you want to do it?"

"Um," my throat tightens, annoyance gone and replaced with anxiety, "tonight?  Like, now?"

"Really, that soon?" He sounds surprised and I cringe.

"If you're busy then I can wait until I get back, it's not a big deal -"

"Of course it's a big deal.  I know you probably don't want to hear it but this man could be your stepdad very soon, so you should probably meet him," he says in a tone I don't picture coming from his mouth.  He sounds almost serious and... firm?

"But -"

"Nope, I'm coming to pick you up in ten," he says and before I can argue the line goes dead.

With the phone still pressed to my ear and my mouth hanging wide open, I try my best to remember how to breath.  I don't feel ready to meet Terry so soon, but I know it has to be done.  This is one thing that I can't put off.  In a way I'm glad Peter gave me no choice and that he's not giving me very much time to over think this since he's coming in ten minutes.  That also means I'll have a chance at getting back before Harry does.

I pull my hair into a neat ponytail and switch out my sweat pants for jeans.  I decide I'm fine in my T-shirt, I'm not trying to impress anyone.  I still have all my makeup on from work so I leave it as it makes up for my casual clothing. 

I find myself fidgeting as I wait, checking my phone every two seconds to see that no time has passed at all.  I force myself not to doubt this decision for once in my life.  I've doubted everything I've decided up until this point in life and it's not getting me anywhere.  Despite the knot in my stomach and the fact that I'm nothing more than a bundle of nerves, I try to keep to my head and keep my thoughts positive.

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