458 - Emma
I'm in the midst of painting, cursing the walls for pretty much soaking up the paint so this is the third layer I've applied with hardly any effect, as my phone rings. I recognise the ringtone as Charles', a little hesitant to pick up.
We told him about the appartment a few days ago, and thoigh he tried his best, I could tell he was not too excited about it. Kept asking me if I knew of the risks connected to having Lucien sign the lease, how if we decided to break up I'd be left without a roof over my head, and if I was sure this was a good idea.
They were all logical concerns, but also kind of bursted my happy bubble.
With paint still on my hands and now on my phone, I end up picking up anyway. "Emma."
"Hey, Linie," he sounds quite cheerful, calling me by an old nickname. "How's life?"
"Life's fine," I tell him, pressing the phone to my ear by holding my shoulder up, using the other side of my body to continue painting. "Appartment's coming along nicely, if only this bloody wall would stop drinking the paint."
"How many layers are you on?" he asks, immediately switching to building and painting expert.
"Three, and it just won't stick," I groan, the walls still a beige-like colour.
"Did you try cleaning them first?"
Frustrated, I grumble, "Of course I did, I'm not an idiot."
I'm about to hang up on him, but I don't, because he's my brother. "I don't fucking know, wall cleaning stuff?"
He chuckles, and I hear him rumbling on the other end. "Send me the address again, I'll be right over."
"You don't have to," I tell him, stopping my painting job because I've accepted that it's not going to work out. "I'll manage."
"Emma," he says sternly, "let me help out. As... a sign of, you could say, acceptance. Good intentions."
Hardly half an hour later, my brother and I are rinsing the walls with some kind of concoction Charles arrived with, smelling sour but also kind of like lavender. He hasn't been here before, and after a short tour around the shell that is currently our appartment, we started scrubbing.
The water coming off off the walls is a horendous, almost brown colour, and almost makes me gag.
"That's what happens when you smoke indoors," he just shrugs, not even slightly bothered by the disgusting substance oozing off of my walls. "The Griffin was the same. Took me days to figure out the solution, but this stuff works wonders."
I'm very happy, having Charles here. I know it's still hard for him to accept Lucien have gotten back together, let alone are moving in together, so to have him actually help out and show support means a lot.
"So where's the man of the house?" he asks, dipping his brush back into the water.
"Out running some errands," my hands feel like they could fall off from all of the cleaning I'm doing, "suppliers, and such. They apparently suck at picking up their phones, so he just went to check with them in person."
"Oh, tell me about it," he groans, "they're the actual worst. Like, you run a business, yet you can't pick up a phone? Or hire someone to do it? It's not that hard."
He's moved on to his last patch of the wall, which is good, because it's slowly getting dark out. My stomach is grumbling, which is why I'm even more frustrated about this whole wall painting stuff taking longer than I'd wanted it to. I had planned to have it done by tonight, so it could dry all night. Now, it'll either have to be moved to tomorrow, delaying the entire process, or I'll have to paint into the night to assure it being dry before our furniture comes in.
Keys jingling signal Lucien returning, and I can see Charles seemingly tense up for a second. They've buried the battle axe, but they're not quite back to the way they used to be, so I don't blame him.
"Putain, ces gens sont lents!" is the first thing I hear him say as the door closes behind him. "Took me about half an hour to get a delivery date out of those bathroom people-" as he walks into the livingroom, he's faced by both me and Charlie and the distinctive scent of lavender.
"Charles is helping out," I let him know, kissing him on the cheek, my hands still slightly wet. "The walls needed a good clean, apparently."
"It's truly a nice place you two found," he wipes his hands on his jeans. "Spacious. Must be expensive."
"Charles," I shoot him a stern look, causing him to raise his hands apologetically.
"Just sayin'," he laughs.
"I was thinking we could order some food," Lucien proposes, looking over at Charles before turning back to me, then back to Charles. "Care to join us? We don't have any furniture yet, but the floor's quite comfortable."
I can see the doubt in Charles' eyes, not sure if spending more time with Lucien is something he's very excited about, but then he nods. "Sure. Just have to let the misses know I won't be home for dinner."
To my surprise, there's no tension to be felt as we eat pizza on the dining room floor. The living room still smelled a little too intense to eat there, and the kitchen is off limits, so this was the perfect in between.
"So," Charles smiles, taking a sip off of the beer we've ordered for him, "what else is there to do?"
"Living room, mostly. It was last on our list, and especially with the whole paint fiasco, it's going to need some more time," I sigh. "So I'm not sure," I turn to Lucien, "if I'm going to be able to make it to the piano thing tomorrow. We," I turn back to Charles. "are getting a piano for the living room. Totally fancy, but Lucien loves to play, and I was thinking I might get some lessons to. Haven't touched one since Louis tried to teach me."
"Should I move the appointment?" Lucien asks, knowing how excited I was to join him. "I could.."
"Nonsense," Charles jumps in. "That wall should only take two layers, so like five hours. You two go buy your fancy piano, I'll finish the walls. As a... housewarming gift."
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