451. - Lucien
It's a little weird to be walking into the building without holding Emma's hand, to an interview that was quite literally scheduled to bring the word of us together out into the world. But the interview isn't going to be magically printed tonight, and until it does we're going to have to keep up the pretence.
In the entrance hall we're greeted by a young looking lad, dressed up smartly in a suit. "Ah, welcome, welcome! My name's Alex Larousse, I'll be conducting the interview. It's so lovely to meet you both." He shakes both our hands, and then gestures for us to follow him towards the restaurant embedded in the building. It's empty, safe some movement in the kitchen. A single table is set for three.
We chat about niceties for a while as the first glass of wine is poured, but soon enough Alex brings out a notepad and recording device and puts it in the middle of the table. After one last check, he starts.
"So, let's just start off strong: are the rumours true? Are you two back together?"
I glance at Emma and as we catch each other's eye, we both smile. "We are." I confirm. "Have been for about two months now."
"That lines up with your birthday party, does it not?"
With a chuckle, I nod. "Yes, it does."
"Is that where the spark went flying a second time?"
"Not for me, no. I think my spark went flying a couple of weeks before, as we started to hang out more. But I didn't think she'd want me, so I pushed it all down."
"And you, Emma?"
"Looking back... I'm not quite sure when my spark flew." She says, her cheeks colouring a rosy pink. "I was in denial for a long time. It went as far as my best friend saying word for word that I was still in love with him, and I would say I wasn't, when clearly... I was."
"Do you think that spark ever even left?"
To this question, Emma takes a thoughtful sip of her wine. Eailyn warned us that the question might become rather personal and encouraged them to answer as long as we felt comfortable, because that's the whole idea of this interview: to clear up any questions the audience might have. "I'm not sure. Maybe not entirely, but it stayed suppressed for a long time. There has definitely been a period of time where I hated Lucien with all my might, and I think with good reason. Yet when we started seeing each other more regularly, that spark resurfaced."
"Are you both okay with talking about the break-up as well?" Alex checks and though it lacks enthusiasm, we both nod. "Because I'm curious about what happened. I don't think anyone saw it coming."
I meet Emma's eye before letting out a lacklustre chuckle. "I don't think we did, either."
"Care to elaborate?"
I want to, but I can't quite find the words - there's still a lot of guilt in me over what happened, and it causes my throat to close up. Emma takes my hand, smiling at me. "It was a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of uncertainty." She explains. "Lucien came to Edinburgh for a job that he didn't love - the why of that isn't important, but he ended up quitting, and just like that his reason to stay in the country was gone. But what would that mean for us? Without going into too much detail, there came a point where I thought that him wanting to leave the country meant that he wanted to leave me. Because of that I thought a break-up was inevitable, and I offered is as some twisted 'solution'." She squeezes my hand, her eyes a little sad.
"I didn't want to break up." I continue. "Of all the things I wasn't sure about, I was absolutely certain I didn't want that. But when Emma suggested it, I thought it meant that she wanted to break up with me. I thought she didn't want me anymore, and I wasn't about to force the relationship on her just because I wanted it so badly. We both assumed the other didn't want to stay in a relationship, without realising that it was quite the opposite."
The first course is brought in; a light spring-onion soup that smells strongly of nutmeg and chilli. Alex catches up right where we left off when the waiter is gone again.
"So you broke up, while neither of you actually wanted that."
We nod. After that, we cover the period that Emma and I were broken up. How I overcompensated with the partying and the sleeping around, just to shut Emma out of my thoughts for short periods of time, and how Emma became almost catatonic and ended up distancing herself from just about everyone. We're both less open with the answers here, because clearly neither of us likes talking about it. I tell Alex that it's truly one of the most unhappy times of my life, despite me not really realising it until months later, and Emma tells about how she went from heartbroken to hating my guts. Lucky for us, Alex picks up on our reluctance and doesn't dwell on any of the questions, instead moving on to us reconnecting. We tell about me running into a very pregnant Kenna and how I ended up driving her to the hospital, and our first conversation since breaking up, how awkward and painful it was. How my best friend being close with her best friend kind of forced us together and how we had to learn to act normal around each other. About a mutual friend finally sitting us down and making us speak the things that have been bothering us, where we found out that neither of us had wanted to break up.
We don't share everything. Jesse isn't brought up, nor is the fact how I mad I got about somehow becoming the only villain in this all, and with Emma that she kept holding the fact of sleeping around against me, while she had gotten in a committed relationship herself. We're honest, but we still edit the story accordingly. The world doesn't need to know every little detail. Alex handles it well, a true professional.
"In the end it was so obvious to everyone around us that they were placing bets on things. Who'd kiss who first, where would that first kiss be, would it be a public place or not... A lot of money has been going around between them." Emma laughs, her hair bouncing as she does.
"They probably have bets placed on when I'm going to ask to marry her, and what kind of dress Emma is going to wear." The main course is finished and I'm stuffed and surprisingly relaxed for the fact that this is an in-depth interview. I'm leaning back in my chair, an arm slung over the back of Emma's. Alex laughs with us, but then his expression changes back to serious when he takes the last sip of his wine.
"Now, Emma, I have a few burning questions that go back to the period of you two being broken up and mostly during the time you were starting to reconnect. As with anything you're free to decline to answer, but just know it might be good to quench the rumours - avoiding the subject might make them worse, in my experience. But there's a lot of rumours saying that you were with somebody else - engaged, even! - during the time you were first seen with Lucien again. Is that true?"
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