358 - Emma
Of course he knows about Frank, because I can imagine Gabriel hasn’t shut up about him. Those two have become the best of friends, and he visits as often as he can.
It causes me to chuckle lightly, only to stop myself when I notice I do it. This situation doesn’t deserve my laughter. “Yeah, he’s... good. Very needy, but he’s a nice companion.”
I needed him when Lucien left me, because without him everything felt empty and lonely. If it weren’t for Lucien breaking my heart, I would have never adopted Frank.
I can’t tell him that though, because I don’t want to cause a scene or pick a fight. Now's not the right time or place, no matter how badly I want to scream at him, tell him all of the things he's done to me.
There’s so many questions floating around in my brain. Like how he’s doing, like, really doing. If he misses me the way I miss him, the way that makes your heart ache, still after these months. If he’s moved on, or at least has pretended to like I have.
I don’t ask any of them. I just stand there in silence, smoking the second cigarette he’s given me.
In the mean time, Jesse’s texting me asking how I’m doing. God, Jesse. Safe, kind, predictable Jesse. A good man who doesn’t make my heart race in the slightest, but someone who does make me feel appreciated and seen. That should be enough, but standing here with Lucien brings up so many memories I can’t think straight.
“I’d better head up again,” I tell him, trying my best not to make eye contact. I just know that if I do, I’m lost. As soon as I look into those eyes, it’s all over - all of the time I’ve spent getting over him will be for nothing.
“Sure, sure,” he mumbles, taking another drag. “Will you let Brie know I’ve left, and wish Kenna good luck?”
I nod. “Will do. Take care,” it feels way too distant to say goodbye like this. I want to scream at him, punch him, then tell him to hold me and to never let me go.
In stead, I leave him behind as I walk into the hospital again.
Kenna and Tom’s baby is born on Christmas day, at the ripe hour of eighteen past two.
She’s a gorgeous baby girl, crying loudly as she first meets the world. Crying about as heavily as she is is me, wiping away tears slower than they show up.
My best friend has a baby, and I got to be there for it. It’s beautiful, and wonderful, and also so painful.
I remember what she said when she told me she was pregnant - how I should also get pregnant, so we could have our kids be friends and possibly lovers. How gorgeous a mixture between me and Lucien would be.
Now I’m just staring at Kenna, who in her turn is staring at her daughter mesmerised. She's been alive for a little over half an hour now, all cleaned up and rosy.
"She's gorgeous," I whisper, taking the handkerchief Gabriel has handed me to wipe away more of my tears. "Goodness, you two, you have a baby now!"
I spot Brie also teary-eyed, and I put my arm around him smiling.
"I want one," he chokes, his voice a combination between a sob and a chuckle. He squeezes my shoulder softly.
"Oh, me too," I laugh, watching Tom take their daughter from Kenna, who's looking gorgeous as ever, even after a nearly twelve hour labour.
"We're so happy you guys are here," she smiles, tear stained cheeks, staring at her husband with their first born child. "It means the world."
"Can I...?" I'm almost too afraid to ask, but Tom immediately walks over to me. She's light as a feather, and I almost forget to breathe as soon as Tom gently puts her in my arms, afraid to break her.
"Auntie Emma," Kenna smiles, "meet your goddaughter, Emilia."
I look at her wide eyed as she just smiles wider. "After Tom's grandmother Odilia, and after my best friend and the best godmother in the world..."
I can't seem to find the words to say, just staring from Kenna and Tom back to baby Emilia, careful not to let my tears drop onto her tiny little face. Brie notices, and takes the handkerchief I've put down to wipe my tears away, visibly touched as well.
"It's a beautiful name," he whispers, doing the same staring thing I'm doing. "Although I must say I'm a little disappointed I wasn't part of the whole naming thing... Gabrielle would've been good."
It causes laughter in the room, a necessary transition from all of the crying.
Looking around at the people here with me, I feel so grateful. We're our own little family, now even more connected by the birth of little Christmas miracle Emilia.
There's someone missing, and we all know it, but no one says it, because we won't let today be about that.
Seeing him again hasn't made the feelings I had any different, they've just been brought back up to the surface. Hearing his voice, seeing his face, smelling the same perfume he always wore... I just wish things would've gone differently, so he could have been here for this. He would've bought the baby some ridiculously expensive stroller, or something else new parents really need, and he would've treated us all to food because hospital food sucks. Then, when we finally got home, he would've held me as I gushed about how happy I am for Kenna and Tom, and how I'm going to spoil Emilia rotten.
"I should text Matthew," Brie says, taking his phone out of his pocket. "And afterwards, I want to hold her."
"I'll take her from you," Tom tells me, "so you can text Jesse. He's probably starting to wonder if you're ever coming home."
In all of the fuss, I'd almost forgotten about that. He's hopefully fast asleep by now, but Tom is right - I should text him.
"Right, right, yeah," I mumble. "Gotta text my boyfriend."
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