490 - Emma
Matt and Brie stick around for hours. In that time, Brie even manages to tire Frank out, so he's now in an exhausted pile on the carpet, and I've had to touch him to make sure he wasn't dead.
We've ordered take-out pizza, and are still on our favourite spot on the couch, sipping wine and talking shit about everything and anything.
"That's child abuse," Brie states, slamming his last bit of wine back and immediately pouring another glass. "You legally shouldn't be allowed to name your child that."
"Celebrities literally call their children River Rocket and Petal Blossom Rainbow, and you're offended by the name Alcott? It's a very normal British name, babes."
He takes a bite out of his slice of pizza, rolling his eyes. "Please tell me what celebrities name their children River and Petal."
"Jamie Oliver," I tell him, causing him to chuckle.
"That man should just stick to cooking healthy school meals," Matthew chips in, picking a piece of onion off of his pizza. "Those names are horrible. Doesn't make Alcott any less horrible, though."
I scoff, putting a piece of tomato onto Lucien's slice. "Can we stop roasting the poor dude? All he did was deliver our pizza."
"It's not his fault his parents named him that," Lucien defends me.
"Parents should just... stop trying to be so original with their names. Keep it simple. Emma, Matt, Gabriel, Lucien... all fairly normal names," Brie steals one of his boyfriend's slices, smiling as he does it.
"Emma's full name is Emmeline, though, which is quite quirky," Matthew teases, in his turn stealing a slice of pepperoni pizza from Brie.
"I didn't know this would turn into roasting me now, dear God," I lean my head against Lucien's shoulder. "Back me up here."
Lucien smiles, then shrugs, almost nudging my head off of its resting place. "He's got a point."
"It's a nice name though, Em, don't worry. A little creative, but nice," Brie assures me, flinging a piece of stringy cheese at Lucien, who in his turn catches it and eats it immediately. "So what are you naming your kids?"
I look up at Lucien, then back at Brie. "Bold of you to assume we're having kids."
"Oh come on," he chuckles. "You two are a gorgeous couple, and you'd make beautiful babies. It'd be a shame for you not to. So, fess up. You must have some names in mind, Em, you're a girl."
"First of all, that's gender stereotyping and I thought we didn't do that," I sigh, "but sure. For a boy... I've always really liked the name Jack, but that's off the table now, because it would look too much like an homage. I used to also like Luke, but again, that's off the table now. I want to do something with my brother's name, but I'd never fully name my child Louis. When I was younger, I really liked Greek mythology, but it's also kind of sad to name your kid Atticus or Hercules, so I'm genuinely not too sure what I'd go with for a boy. For a girl... we've never talked about this, but I'd like to go with a diminutive or variant for Madeleine." When I look at Lucien, he has a look in his eye I haven't seen before. The only time we've ever talked about kids was in Bamburgh, and jokingly when my mother brought it up. This isn't a typical conversation for us, and I'm not sure where it is going. "As an homage. But that'd be years from now, because no way in hell are we having babies right now."
It may have something to do with the recent controversy, but Lucien and I were invited to do some charity work at one of Edinburgh's leading LGBT organisations. It's a housing situation for LGBT youth, most of them with troubled backgrounds that have been kicked out of their home because of their sexuality. At first we were worried this, too, would be seen as some kind of publicity stunt, but with Eailyn's blessing, we've decided it'd be good for us to go. To do something besides sitting behind a computer for hours on end, to actually mean something to society.
I watch Lucien play a game of soccer with a group of young men, having fled their home country because of their sexuality. They discovered Lucien spoke French just like they did, and they got along immediately.
I've been talking to some people, hearing their story or just chatting. Some of their stories are heart breaking, and I've had to hold back tears multiple times.
Girls escaping abusive situations at home, being kicked out, even disowned, simply because they love someone of the same sexe. Women that finally get to live their truth after coming out as trans, fully supported within the center. I help one girl paint her nails, apologising profusely when I spill some of the polish because I get distracted by Lucien's excitement on the grass outside.
"So how long have you two been together?" I'm applying another layer as she smiles. "The chemistry is insane."
"It's a long story, honestly," I answer, still focussed on not spilling. "January of last year, technically, but we broke up for a few months. We got back together in april, and we're living together now."
"Seeing you two together," she takes the hand I'm already done with and waves it around, "you'd think you've been together for years. It's super natural. And you're both absolutely gorgeous, so that helps."
I smile at her as she puts both of her hands in her lap. "That's very nice, thank you. But hey, look at you, you're gorgeous, too! You really have to teach me how you do your eyeliner like that, because I can't do it for the life of me."
She chuckles. "Sounds like a deal."
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