324 - Emma
Gabriel, Matthew, Beth, Charlie - they all tell me to watch the video. Because it might give me some closure, because it might be good for me.
Kenna is the only one who's hesistant about it, but she doesn't tell me until after.
I can't watch it fully, clicking off angrily as he starts telling people we talked about all of this, how we came to a mutual decision.
We didn't. We didn't talk about any of this, because Lucien wouldn't stop promising me he wanted to be with me, how his future would always involve me. This wasn't a mutual decision, it was fully made by him.
Yes, I might be the one who asked the final question, but all of the steps before that were taken by Lucien and Lucien alone. If it were up to me, we would still be together. He would still be in Scotland, and we'd be happy.
Seeing his face, hearing him spew these lies trying to make it look like we both wanted this, it hurts. Not only am I upset, I'm also angry. There was nothing he did to even let me know this was happening, so now my personal life is online once again without me even having a say in it.
I know it's very petty, and very unlike me, but I take out my phone and open one of the many social media apps I used to see Lucien use - Instagram.
I have an account, of course I do, but I never posted on it and my user name doesn't give away it's me. That's the first thing that changes, going from an unsignificant combination of my initials and some numbers to a loud and clear "emmaryclarice", which has a nice ring to it yet doesn't make me too easy to find. I unfollow Lucien, because again, of course I do. I don't care who sees this anymore, or who finds out about it.
I could post some sappy black and white post to let people know I'm dealing with heartache, but I don't. Lucien may have played the whole victim card, I refuse to do that anymore.
In stead, I pick a picture Kenna took of me and Frank, captioning it 'copycats', and posting it to my grand total of eightteen followers.
A follower count that goes up by the minute, which confuses me, until I realise Brie had been following me all this time and commented on the photo - something I didn't realise, and that must have sent all of the hardcore fangirls running.
It stresses me out a little too much, so I close the app and chuck my phone into a corner of the room. Frank immediately leaps up to chase it, sad when he realises it's not some kind of fun game.
I've moved the starting date of my new contract a little, so it's not even halfway through September when I make my way to the campus I've spent so much time.
I meet William King at the entrance of the law faculty, a beautiful old building, where he greets me like we're old friends.
"Emmeline, it's so good to see you," he smiles, shaking my hand. "We're so glad you're going to be joining us."
"I'm happy to be back," I tell him, nervous jitters going all the way through my body.
"Are you ready for your first day? I'll be there for all of it, and like I've e-mailed you, it's just a little introduction for the first years. What the course will be about, what they can expect from you as their professor, that kind of stuff."
"I don't even know what to expect from me as their professor, but I'm sure it'll be fine," I smile. "I've learned from the best."
It's quite intimidating, facing a big group of young adults for the first time. There's about a hundred of them, first years with fresh faces, ready to learn. A big part of them will have left by the end of the semester, even more of them before the end of the year. They always do. I just have to make sure it's not my fault.
I've prepared my powerpoint slides to the T, and the beeping of the little microphone makes me realise that it's about to get real.
"Goodmorning everyone," I smile, folding my hands on the little desk and looking around the room. I could point out exactly where I used to sit for most of the four years. In this room alone, there has to be at least one person who will turn out quite like me, if not better. There'll also be Callums, and Amy's, and Luciens. I try not to think about that.
"My name is Emmeline Middleton, and I will be teaching you Civil Procedure for this whole year, and I'll also be teaching and supervising the facultative Family Law course you will be able to sign up for by the end of this calendar year. As you may know, I myself am an alumni, and after graduating I worked for a high ranking Scottish law firm based in Edinburgh. I specialised in family law, but I'm pretty all-round, so never hesitate to ask things that are unclear to you."
I write my e-mail adress on the white board, totally feeling like a real professor suddenly.
"My work days are monday through thursday, so that means please don't e-mail me on any of those three other days, because I won't be replying," I smile, taking a sip of my coffee, that's much better than the drinks I used to get from the machines in the hallway meant for students.
"Are there any questions?"
I see a few hands raise, and I pick out the first person I see.
"Are you not working for that law firm anymore?"
"I currently am not," I answer the friendly looking girl. "I wanted to focus on this new career path, but it doesn't mean I won't go back to taking cases part-time in the future."
"And that has nothing to do with your break-up with Lucien du Castellon?"
I should have known people would know about that, and that they would ask. These people are all young adults, they're into social media way more than I am.
I can't help but feel hurt, but I can't show them.
"In any legal procedure, what I am about to do would be called evasion," I smile, trying to stabilize my breathing. "Which your future clients should never do, especially under oath. Lucky for me, I'm not under oath today, so I'll keep it simple and tell you I'm not willing to answer that question right now. Any more questions, preferably not about my personal life?"
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