069. - Lucien
As it turns out, I'm not hangover. I mean, I'm also hangover, but mostly I'm just sick. Very, very sick. I can't do much besides laying in bed, or sometimes on the couch and wallowing in misery. Gabriel sticks around to take care of me, because he's an angel and I don't deserve him. It took some effort, because I insisted on going to work on Monday and he threatened to tie me to the bed if I did. He was right. My fever runs high for days on end, causing intense fever dreams that mostly revolve around Emma and sometimes, when I'm unlucky, my father. It makes me not want to sleep, but that's an impossible task.
I think today is day theree of laying in my bed, wrapped tightly in my bed with fresh sheets, because they were soaked in sweat and Gabriel insisted on cleaning them. He's always swearing up and down that his mother, who is a nurse, hasn't influenced in any way but it's a bold faced lie.
I hear his footsteps cross my bedroom and the soft thud of a glass on my nightstand. "You have to drink, Lucien." He is also saying he's not worried, but that is also a lie. It's so obvious in his voice, even in my delirious state. "It's lukewarm. Tip from my mum."
I also don't deserve Vivienne Lavigne, Brie's mother. I force myself to sit up, the room spinning wildly as I do, and I take the glass. I barely have the strength to bring it to my lips, but I manage two sips. More than that will just come right back out. He puts the covers over me as I lay back down. I want to ask him about Emma, because last weekend haunts me. That goodbye was painful and I want nothing more than to explain it to her, to let her know, if only I could look at a screen or focus my mind for more than three seconds. Gabriel is gone before I can ask him, or maybe I've fallen asleep.
By day five, Vivienne joins Brie in taking care of me. I hate myself when I realise she flew out to spend this week with him, but now I'm ruining it. Neither of them wants to hear my protests when I tell them they should go home and enjoy each other's company. With gentle force Vivienne ensures that I get enough fluids. She says the last thing she wants is for me to end up in the hospital from dehydration and I agree. My fever is still going and so are my dreams. They are filled entirely by Emma, which inflicts both feelings of desire and regret in me. I ask Gabriel if she's messaged me. She hasn't.
Day seven is the first time I eat in a week. It's just soup and not a lot of it, but Vivienne ensures me it's an improvement. While she has washed me the first day she came around, the feeling of an actual shower is fantastic. I stay in there far longer than I have to, partly because I don't have the energy to get out. I also manage to stay awake for more than thirty minutes on end. My phone, however, is still impossible to handle and so long has passed I don't feel comfortable letting Gabriel do the explaining. Emma hasn't reached out to me either. Maybe it wasn't the goodbye. Maybe she's changed her mind. Maybe she got her fix and decided to leave it all. I can imagine she's done with rich white guy. Look what the last one put her through.
Day eight I'm starting to feel like a human again. I'm also getting itchy, because I have done nothing for so long and that's not like me. I want to go outside, get back to work and make myself useful. I just don't have the energy. My mind is slowly getting back on track, yet my body is staying behind. Vivienne has to leave, because her job in France calls, but she promises to contact me daily to check up on me. She gives me a warm hug like only mothers can and my heart aches for my own mother. In my mind, I'm drafting a message to Emma, but none of the words come out right.
On day nine I decide that day ten is the day I'm back at work. I'm far from being back at a hundred percent, but I'm fed up with sitting around. I can use my phone again, if for limited amounts of time, so I make use of that time to contact Selene to make sure I don't have any meetings and to print any of my work that can be printed. Like Gabriel she's hesitant to comply, to the level that she checks with him. At some point, the man went from being my friend to being my legal care taker, it seems. He allows it though, as long as I make it half days for at least a week. Considering it's the best I'm going to get, I agree.
On the morning of day ten I realise it's four days until Christmas. I have nothing prepared. No presents. No plans. My agenda has been wiped thanks to this virus; I had several events planned, but with my current energy level it's just not feasible. I promise myself that I'll at least think of what I want to buy for everyone this afternoon. Maybe I can buy things online, or send someone out to get it all for me. Who do I need to buy presents for? Gabriel, Vivienne, Matthew. Eschieve, of course. Emma's name is next to pop up and I realise that I'm facing her again today. It's twenty minutes before my chauffeur comes to pick me up and for ten days, Emma and I have not exchanged a single word. I've come to peace with the fact that she changed her mind about me, and though heartbroken, I can't hold it against her. I shouldn't have expected anything else. She's still healing from her relationship with Callum and that kiss probably reminded her that she's not ready for something else yet. I don't blame her. But we're going to have to be civil to each other and currently, everything is left far too open. We need to talk about this, as soon as possible. I open my email on my phone.
It seems a lifetime has passed, but I have finally crawled out of hell and took back my place along the living. Meet me in conference room 5 at three? L.
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