Foto bij 446 - Emma

The cold kitchen tile sends shivers throughout my entire body, but I don't think I could physically get up. All of the energy seems to have been drained from my body, and it's not even past eight yet.
My hands are shaking, and I've put the phone down on the floor so I don't drop and shatter it.
"Can I...," I've tried to calm my breathing. I'm still on the constant verge of tears, but I've accepted that that will probably be the case for the next couple of hours. Every time I think I've escaped the panic attack I'm in, I'm reminded of his face, his tone of voice.
The way he belittled me, kept on cracking jokes that only I understood were insults. How, when he put his hand on my arm, I felt like I couldn't move. "Can I see you?"
I hear a chuckle on the other end of the line. "You want to see me?"
"Yes," my voice trembles as I feverishly wipe tears away from my vision. "I think it'd help."
I've grabbed my phone tightly in both hands, afraid I'll drop it if I don't, and after our connection being stabilized, I see Lucien on my screen. It looks like he's sat on the floor, just like me, and there's a look on his face I haven't seen much of.
"Were you crying?" I ask, seeing his eyes a little bloodshot.
He shakes his head with a chuckle, smiling weakly. "You really see everything, don't you?"
I immediately feel guilty. I never meant for him to feel this way, if I'd known he'd panic too, I wouldn't have called.
"Speaking of which," he frowns lightly, "why is it you get to see me, but I don't get to see you?"
I've turned my camera off, not even sure if I'm ready to see myself, let alone for Lucien to see me.
"I'm really ugly right now," I mumble, biting my lip to stop more tears from flowing.
"Emmeline Mary Clarice Middleton," his voice sounds stern, a weakened sparkle in his eyes as I look at my screen. "You could never be ugly. Hey, come on, let me see you."
I know there's no need to fight him on this, and I don't have the energy to, so I turn my camera on.
My eyes are bloodshot, mascara running down my face, and my hair looks like a whirlwind blew through it from the force with which I pulled my bun out when I got home.
"Hey, mon amour," his smile melts my heart, and I can't help but cry once again. It starts with my lip just trembling, but soon enough tears are actually streaming down my face and I can't stop them. "That's okay, let it out."
For someone who's not good with emotions, as he'd say it himself, he's handling this quite well. Through my tears, I try and remind myself to check up on him tomorrow, possibly call Eschieve to see if he's dealing with things or if he's just letting them pile up.
"Think you're ready to make some tea?" he asks, watching me wipe away tears for the millionth time today. I nod, trying to get up from the floor without having to put my phone down. It takes a lot of balance, but I manage, and I put the phone down on the counter as I wait for the water to boil.
Lucien, as per request, tells me about his day. About his meeting with his agent, and about Eschieve's run in with one of her professors, who didn't believe she earned her high grade without cheating. Eschieve shouts some input from afar every once in a while, which is then translated by Lucien. All throughout it, he stays on the phone with me.
We chat about everything that doesn't have to do with my day, with Callum, and I slowly feel the worst of the panic float away. I still feel my heart pounding in my throat, but at least it doesn't feel like I'm running from something - or someone - anymore.
"God," I mumble, catching sight of myself in the camera after I've rinsed my cup in the sink. "I should really take a shower. I look like hell."
Lucien's walking through the house, ending up in the living room, where I hear Eschieve cheerfully greet me.
"Sounds like a plan," he smiles, "that will probably help you de-stress a little, too."
Considering we've been talking for almost an hour, it's not strange when I hear Eschieve chuckle, "Please don't tell me you'll be video calling her whilst she's in the shower, too, because I will go to bed."
It makes me laugh, something I wasn't sure I could do today. Seeing Lucien laugh, then disappear out of frame - possibly to kick or nudge his sister - makes me happy, and the laughter comes from somewhere deep down.
"I don't think we're that clingy, yet," he smiles, turning back to me. "Unless you want to continue chatting, you can just put me down somewhere."
"I think I'll be fine, thank you," I rummage through my drawers, trying to find the fluffiest and largest towel I own. "I'm not even sure I'd like for you to watch me shower."
"Ah, come on, Middleton, show me those t-" a yelp, from both Eschieve and Lucien. "Je plaisantais, tu n'avais pas à me botter!"
"Alors ne parle pas des seins de ta copine en ma compagnie!" More laughter from the three of us.
"I'll call you when I get out of the shower, okay?" I step into the bathroom. "I love you."
"I love you, too," he smiles, and I hang up.
      I've gotten into bed, wearing Lucien's shirt and having taken his pillow in stead of mine to rest my head on. It's less comfortable, but it smells like him, and it's all I need to keep the bad thoughts and feelings away.
I surpress a yawn, but not well enough for Lucien not to notice.
"You should go to sleep, Em," he smiles. "Today's been hectic, and we've got that viewing tomorrow."
"Will you stay on the phone with me?" I ask, sounding like a pre-teen. "Tell me a story, like you used to do. It'll feel like we're together."
He smiles, nodding. "Get comfortable, put the phone down, okay? I'll be here until you fall asleep."
It doesn't take long. After probably three quarters of the story, an old French fairytale, I feel myself drift off to sleep.
In my dreams, there's no Callum, just Lucien. The two of us, wandering through the rooms of our new appartment, bright and shiny smiles, happier than ever.

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