466 - Emma
I don't get his e-mail until the next morning, having drifted off to sleep. My dreams are far from peaceful, most of them filled with Callum.
No matter how hard I try to push certain images or memories away, they still manage to find their way back into my head.
Lucien must have been able to reach his father, because the message in my inbox isn't his, but Jacques'. He is willing to at least hear me out, consider taking me on as his client. It won't be because I'm his son's girlfriend, and I'll still have to pay a normal fee, but I'm willing to go for that if it means we can end this whole Callum drama once and for all.
He offers to meet me in Glasgow, but I tell him I haven't gone into work for the past few days, and I'll be in the city. We then, through e-mail, set a time to meet as his office.
I let Lucien know, knowing full well there's an eight hour time difference and he's probably doing something important, and I get ready to meet my father in law at the office I used to work at. It's a weird thought in general, because I didn't think I'd ever return, and even if I would, I never guessed it would be as a client.
The elevator ride up feels longer than it did when I worked here, especially because I had to be screened upon entering in stead of just flashing my employee badge.
I try to avoid any eye contact as I make my way through the halls, not ready to face all of my ex-colleagues with their opinion at the ready.
Jacques office used to be empty most of the time I worked here, so I haven't been here often before, and his secretary has me wait in the uncomfortable black leather chairs I sat in too when we thought we were about to be fired.
Contrary to the last time I was here, he doesn't make me wait too long, and I'm invited in a few minutes later.
There isn't a friendly greeting, no 'how are you', he just gestures for me to sit.
"Emmeline," he starts his sentence, his right hand clicking away at his computer. "I've read the article, and I believe that with the right strategy, we can kill all of this in no time."
I have folded my hands in my lap, looking at the man others would call my father in law as his brow furrows.
"Now," he sighs, his gaze turning to me in stead of the screen. "Tell me what about this is true and what isn't. I need to know the truth, or I can't represent you."
I breathe heavily. "None of it. He twisted every single detail, even lied about how we met. It's... there's enough truth to it to make people believe it, but nothing is actually true."
"You're going to have to tell me more than that," he types away, his eyes still meeting mine from time to time. "Start at the beginning." I can tell the way he clears his throat is a way of him trying to get rid of any awkwardness. "I'm here as your lawyer, not..."
"Not as Lucien's father. Understood." I reach for my bag, taking out the folder filled with the last stuff I've kept from the relationship I had with Callum. Contracts, pictures, receipts, stupid things I found. "I met Callum... Mister Prittchard in Rome, on the same night I met your son - Lucien du Castellon, my current partner. We weren't even friendly at the time, avoided each other mostly. Callum, Mister Prittchard and I... We hit it off quite quickly, spent a lot of time together whilst we were both in Italy. He calls it me throwing myself at him, but I'm sure it was all quite consensual. There's still video's up on social media from the night we met, where we can be seen having friendly conversation. There's even.." I pull up the screenshot I've printed off. "You can see his hands on me, and there's pictures of our dates in Italy and Edinburgh. We kept in contact after we both returned, and soon enough, we started dating. There's probably files at HR still, from him admitting to our relationship. Soon after, we moved in together. It wasn't because I had given up rent on my appartment, but because he asked me to," I slide the invitation to our so-called 'house-warming' party across the table. It has both of our names on it, excitedly announcing we moved in together. I also show him my rental contract, showing exactly when my rent got cancelled.
That also reminds me Jacques might not even know about Lucien and I living together now, but I decide not to bring it up, knowing this isn't the right time nor place.
"I have no proof of the emotional abuse," I tell him in full transparancy. "The only thing I have are texts. I never recorded anything, too afraid he would find out, but he was abusive. Yelled at me, insulted me, called me names, would gaslight me any chance he got. Only once did he put his hands on me, of which I have no proof either, besides a text I sent my best friend, which I realise isn't proof whatsoever. Not long after, I found him in our shared bed with another woman. It was... the night before the Copperman case. I'm sure Lucien never told you about it, because I asked he kept his mouth shut. I was very ashamed of how I did things at the time. I had turned into a shell of myself. Your son... Lucien realised this, and even offered me a place to stay for as long as I needed it. We became friends, but not more than that for a long time, only realising our feelings in late December, officially titling our relationship on January first. I have people who can testify to this, if need be. There's probably people around the office, too, that can testify on how I've never said a single negative thing about Mister Prittchard. They saw him nearly attack me at work drinks after the mock trial, and they knew him as a colleague. I... I don't want to ruin his life, I just want this to be over, so I can move on."
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