167. - Lucien
After Emma lets me know that we'll be going to her family for dinner this weekend and I tell her that I have no restrictions except haggis, we each decide to go to our own place tonight. Today's been hectic and draining and while Emma's presence doesn't necessarily take out any energy, it'll be good to spend some time by myself. She does step into the car with me for a moment, because the tinted windows allow us to steal an embrace and a kiss.
"Careful," I mutter against her lips. "Or we'll find ourselves atop the copier."
Emma lets out a brief laugh, shoving me against my shoulder. "It'll be a while before you're getting on top of anything."
"Don't tempt me to try it anyway, Middleton."
She laughs again, putting a palm against my cheek to kiss me once more. "We'll talk tomorrow. Enjoy your alone-time."
I'm a little sad to see her go, and also a little frustrated because she still has to look around to make sure no one is going to harrass her, but the moment the door closes I feel a strange sense of calm. I drive home, enjoying the fact that it's still light out. I lived in Scotland in the late summer and though it didn't compare to France in any way, I do hope spring will make me more appreciative of this country again. The last few dark months have been hard on me, making me home sick.
Back home in my apartment I change into my sweatpants first thing. While I truly admire a well-made suit, spending five out of seven days in the stiff material isn't ideal. I turn on some music, humming along as I warm up yesterday's curry's leftovers. I water my plants, because Emma installed a reminder on my phone so they won't die from neglect. I try calling my sister, but she doesn't pick up, so instead I leave her a text asking her how's she's doing in Wales. I'm not expecting a reply and I realise that subconciously I might be doing it to please father, but it can't hurt, right?
I call Matthew to check on him - he's still staying at Gabriel's, because with his two broken and three bruised ribs moving is kind of out of the question. He begs me to pick him up because, even though he owns two consoles, Gabriel sucks at gaming and it's taking the fun out of it. I promise him Friday night. Afterwards he hands to phone to Gabriel, who immediately gets to the point.
"So, have you been back online yet after posting that video? What did you think, go big or go home?"
I chuckle, collapsing on the couch and letting out a pained groan of regret after all the cuts and bruises remind me of their presence. Gabriel takes a second to be calmed down, but at last he accepts that I'm doing fine and that am not in need of a nurse.
"I have in fact not been online yet." I say, steering the conversation back to the original subject. "Today's been exhausting enough, dealing with HR and the workplace." I brief him the conversation we had with Bethany and I can just picture him looking horrified with his jaw hanging open. It's also when I find out I've been put on speaker, because Matthew joins back in.
"I'm down for another fight, you know. I'll tackle her in a second, just say the word."
I can't help but laugh, declining. Soon after I hang up, promising that I'll come by again tomorrow night to make sure they're both still okay. While we've spend copious amounts of time together, this living arrangement of a different caliber. I'd hate for it to go awry.
The silence returns around me and suddenly, I feel a little lost. I'm exhausted, but it's barely ten so I don't want to go to bed yet. I can't find anything I want to watch and I don't feel like playing games. I'm restless, I find, which isn't so strange after today's events. A smoke doesn't help and the mere idea of standing up for a shower is demotivating. I still make myself get ready for one, in the hopes to trick myself of taking one anyway, but the moment I step over the threshold of the bathroom I feel the strength slip out of me. I let my head fall back, grunting in frustration.
Okay, maybe I haven't been handling this week as much as I thought I did. I've just been avoiding dealing with it, probably, and now that I'm alone my wall seems to be crumbling. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Now that I'm in the bathroom though, my eyes falls on something that should have been so obvious from the start. I roll my eyes at my own stupidity as I turn on the tap before going of to collect my means of entertainment - a good glass of strong whiskey, a small pile of tabloids - my guilty pleasure - and some more whiskey. That should take the edge of my spiraling mind, too. To complete the ambiance I even light some candles and dim the bathroom lighting. And then, to truly finish it all of, I take one of the bath bombs Eschieve left during her stay. It smells citrus-y and colours the water a beautiful golden yellow with a ton of glitter. Before I even get in I down the first glass of whiskey, so I refill it before finally shedding my clothes and stepping into the hot water. It's uncomfortable at first, the water and the oils from the bath bomb stinging in my wounds, but when that subsides I allow the hot water to slowly relax my muscles. I snap a quick picture of my set up, which turns out to be quite the risque image, and send it to Emma.
Must admit that I quite miss your therapy sessions. Hope you're having a wonderful night.
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