130 - Emma
There might be a solution for every problem, but this problem is bigger than any one I’ve had to deal with.
Just as I’d come to terms with all of this, accepting that we were slowly going to get the word out, all of it just goes to shit.
I’ve seen the footage. It’s only a split second, but there’s no denying it’s us, closer than friends should ever be.
My heart is racing and I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep any time soon, maybe not even tonight.
“Did we make a mistake?”
I’m still pressed against Lucien, but he creates some space so he can look at me.
“This.” I don’t want to ask, but I have to.
Even more space in between us, frantic looks on both of our faces.
“Do you think we made a mistake?”
I shake my head, breathlessly, “The world just makes me feel like we did.”
Before all of the calls, I was slightly buzzed, happy, excited. To have two worlds collide to perfectly, to start a new chapter. Now I just feel panic, absolute and utter chaos.
“We’ll figure it out,” he just repeats, his voice not sounding completely truthful.
I want to believe him more than anything, but my mind is just making up millions of scenarios, one worse than the other.
“I tried calling my mum, but she’s already fast asleep,” all I feel is a total need for control. Now that all of that has been taken away from me, I feel like I can’t breathe. I wanted her to know about him on my own terms, not because she found out from nosy Nancy next door who’s way too into all of these gossip sites. “Texted her to call me first thing in the morning. Dad’s going to have a heart attack, my sisters are going to have a field day because I’m the fuck up of the family for once.”
Lucien has gone back to pacing back and forth, totally getting on my nerves more and more, but he deserves to get his stress out one way or another.
I don’t even have to ask Lucien what his dad said, just his face has told me enough. Good thing I still have that resignation letter from the first time I was about to get laid off, I can probably still use that. Lucien’s phone is still blowing up and I see him angrily turn it off.
I desperately want to cry some more from all of the frustration I feel in this situation that I have no control over, but I’m holding back the tears. This isn’t my pity party.
“I’m pouring us some more... of something,” I mumble, “and we’re just going to do whatever the fuck we need to do to get through the night.”
Turns our neither of us know what it is we need, because for a good amount of time we’re just staring into the air, not saying a word, just drinking and sighing.
I’ve turned on some music to at least drown out the silence, and every once in a while one of us gets up to smoke a stress-cigarette.
My heart is still pounding, as if my entire body is telling me to be scared for what’s to come. I’ve traded my clothes for one of Lucien’s shirts and my robe, causing Lucien to smile weakly as he comes back inside.
It’s good to see something else than the frown, but we’re both far from relaxed.
“I’m just going to take a shower,” he’s rubbing his temples, “to kill some time, or something.”
I nod, emptying the bottle of wine into my glass.
“Take your time, love.”
It’s pretty lonely, by myself in the dark living room as I hear the shower running.
Out of nowhere, my phone rings, which is strange because I’m sure I’ve put in on do not disturb.
The only people who can reach me are emergency contacts, which turns out to be the case when my mum’s name appears on the screen.
“Mum?” I pick up immediately, confused as to why she’s calling me past midnight.
“Hi, sweetie,” her voice immediately soothes me, “your fathers been keeping me up with his snoring and I just saw your message. What’s so urgent?”
I can’t even say the first word without breaking down, tears streaming down my face. “I’m.... I don’t know what to do.”
I can hear how she sits down in her favourite chair, the creaking giving her away. “Oh no, that doesn’t sound so good, what’s the problem?”
“I.... Don’t be angry with me, mum, but... I’ve been seeing someone, someone I really love, and we weren’t supposed to be together, and now... now everyone knows and it’s all gone to shit, it’s gone to absolute shit and I don’t know what to do.”
“Well, it can’t possible all have gone to shit because you’re still here and talking to me,” it causes me to laugh. I don’t know how mothers do it, always finding the perfect thing to say. “Do you want to tell me more about it?”
I’m sniffling, trying to dry my face. “Yeah... He’s... he’s my boss, but it’s not like that, it wasn’t... about that. He’s on the internet, you know, like, a celebrity, kind of, and now it’s out there because of a stupid video, and now I might lose my job, and...”
“Sweetie,” my mum sounds stern, but calm and loving, “listen to me for a second, yeah? No one’s going to fire you for loving someone else, this isn’t the 1950’s. You might get in trouble, but that’s human. Are you happy?”
For a second I think she means right now, and I want to tell her that, obviously, I am not, because I’m having a panic attack. Then I realise she means... in general. With Lucien.
“Very...” I blow my nose in my sleeve, the most charming thing I’ve done. “Lucien is amazing, mum. He reminds me of Lou, sometimes.”
It’s silent on the other end of the line for a bit. “He must be really good, then. As long as you’re happy, Emmeline, they can’t take that away from you.”
“Thank you, mum,” I swallow the last bit of sadness. “I’m sorry.”
“No need to be sorry, sweetie,” it’s the most emotional I’ve heard my mum be in ages, “I’m proud of you, Linie.”
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