380 - Emma
"You did what?" My voice breaks mid sentence as I look at Jesse wide eyed.
"It just slipped out! We were talking about life things, work, Glasgow, and I just mentioned it without thinking twice about it," he genuinely seems apologetic about it, which is good because I feel like I could murder him right now.
Jesse has just told me that he told Matthew about our engagement, and even though he has made him promise to stay quiet about it, I doubt that will work out the way he planned it to, because even though Matthew may be very trust worthy, I also know the group of people surrounding him.
"Babe, I know you wanted to keep it a secret for a while, because... well, it's a sensitive subject, but don't you think they'd be happy for you? For us? I'm sorry you didn't get to surprise everyone, but... well, at least it's out now!"
I've gone back to pacing back and forth, the panicky feeling that came up every time I even thought about our engagement now taking over my entire body.
"Your friends aren't going to be mad when you tell them, babe, and if they are, they're no good friends anyway," he states simply, shrugging.
I can't believe this. I can't believe how easy this is for him, just dropping this bomb on me with no way of me fixing things.
"I'm...," I'm twisting and turning the ring around my finger, it almost feeling like it's getting tighter and tighter every second. "Going to call Matthew. Do some damage control, if possible."
I can tell Jesse is about to say something, probably to discourage me from doing so, but I'm out of the room before he can speak.
The line rings quite a few times until Matthew picks up.
"Hey," he doesn't say my name, just simply mumbles a greeting.
"Hey, Matt, I just... Jesse told me, about your conversation, and I wanted to.. I don't know what I wanted to do, I just.. I guess I wanted you to hear it from me in stead of him, so I'm a little caught off guard right now."
"Understandably so," I can't tell anything from his tone of voice, which frustrates me even more. "But I guess congratulations are in order, yes?"
Right, because I should be happy and excited right now, even though that's the furthest from how I'm feeling right this moment. "Do... have you told them?"
An awkward sound of him clearing his throat. "I haven't told them, but they found out themselves."
That's what I was scared of. Matthew knowing is one thing, and could be fine because I know he's trustworthy, but now that other people know, I feel like the walls are caving in on me and there's no way out anymore.
"Luce... Lucien? Does he know?"
I don't even have to hear the words, just hearing his tone of voice is enough. "Yes, he knows."
I've bit my lip until it bled, apparently, because I can taste blood on my tongue. "Can you.. tell him I'll call him about it?"
"I really don't think I should. If you want to talk to him about it, it's probably best you contact him yourself, and you should probably do it in person,"
I know he's right, which frustrates me. I don't want to talk to Lucien about it, because that would make it even more real.
"How is he?"
"Again, it's not my place, Emma. I know you two are broken up and you don't owe him, or us, anything, but... well, you know, it's a weird situation."
"Yeah, I guess..," I only find out I'm holding back tears when I feel my eyes stinging. "Sorry."
"No need to apologise... and congrats, again." And with that, he hangs up and I'm left with the beeping on the other end of the line until I hang up too.
I realise I haven't felt this alone and lost in a long time. I thought starting over would make me happy. That by finding a new job, a new city, a new lover, I'd refind myself and I'd be happier than I was before it all went to shit.
Turns out I have only lost myself more and more, and I don't know what to do about it.
The ring feels like it weighs a million pounds, and taking it off feels unevitable, but I simply can't. I've said yes, because being with Jesse seems like the best plan. It's safe, and I know he'll love me forever. He's promised me forever, and the least I can do is promise him the same.
Even though that means I'll be anxious, and doubt myself every waking moment.
I stare out the window, Glasgow suddenly not looking as charming as it did before. The window looks out over the yard, the swings on the swing set slowly being blown back and forth by the cold winter winds.
Without even wanting to, I think back to the view from Lucien's old appartment. To waking up to the smell of fresh baked goods and coffee, or the scent of Lucien's shampoo as I heard the shower running. To French music playing softly as we ate, or to another Friends rerun on tv as I laid in his arms.
To all of those things and more, thing that have come and gone and will never be again.
"Emma?" A knock on the door takes me back to Glasgow, although it feels like part of me was still left in the penthouse. "You okay?"
Jesse comes in, and in the reflection of the window I spot a cup of tea in his hands. I nod, breathing deeply and making sure the tears are gone from my face before I fully turn around.
"I made you some tea," he smiles, wrapping an arm around me. "To say sorry for spilling our secret, I guess."
The smile I return is definitely fake, but he doesn't seem to notice.
"Apology accepted," I lie. "It had to come out at one point..."
He kisses my cheek.
"I just have to make one more phone call and I'll be back out," I tell him. I have to call Kenna before she finds out through Brie, I've decided. Jesse leaves, and I realise that before calling Kenna, there's something else I should do.
The message is a sharp contrast between the joking texts shared days before, but it has to be sent.
Hey, guess we should have a little chat. I'll be in Glasgow until Thursday night. Let me know if you're free at any point this week.
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