Foto bij 513. - Lucien

Water splatters on my feet as Emma wrings out her hair. We’re up so early that the sky is still cloaked in pastel colours, the sun barely peeping over the lowest hills.
“I can’t believe that’s the last time I’m going to be swimming in this ocean.” Emma says as she stretches her arms out above her head. I’m quick enough to snap a picture - one of the last ones on the fourth camera. About half of them are left, the other three cameras already entirely full. Timed perfectly as well, since this afternoon we’ll be boarding the plane to head back to Edinburgh. The last days of our vacation were spent back on the privacy Sao Miguel, with more snorkeling and scuba diving, just the two of us enjoying nature surrounding us.
“I know.” I dry my hair with a towel after shaking the worst out of it. “It feels like we’ve been here for months.”
With most of our packing already done, we get to enjoy one last day on the island. After our morning swim we have breakfast at a cafe nearby that we’ve frequented to the point the owners recognise us. With the charm of the locals they greet us, our regular order already waiting for us. Their daughter, a fourteen year old girl, speaks enough English to translate between us, and the entire family seems disappointed when we explain that we’ll be leaving today. I’m pretty sure I’ll be back here, but keep that to myself for now. No use in making promises I might not be able to keep.
Everything we do feels very final and surprisingly depressing. While Edinburgh is a beautiful city, there’s no way it can win it over the beauty this island or Lisbon had to offer. Emma flawlessly picks up on my plummeting mood and when we land ourselves back on the beach to wait out the final two hours before Row shows up, she takes my face in her hands. “You don’t get to be gloomy when the weather is this beautiful.” She says sternly, and I let out a light laugh.
“Excuse me?”
“You heard me. I know you’re sad to go home, and so am I, but imagine how nice it’ll be seeing our friends again. Frank is going to be all over you, we can get decent coffee again…”
I groan, letting my forehead fall against hers. “The coffeemaker in the apartment was really abysmal, wasn’t it?”
“The worst.” She agrees with a laugh. “But we’re leaving it behind."
I seize her up in my arms, and she returns the hug tightly. There are often times where I’m worried things will go awry between us, just because things have been going so right ever since we got back together. But nothing is going awry - if anything, we’re still getting closer to each other every day. “Je t’aime.” I mutter in her ear.
“I love you, too.” She pulls back just enough to kiss me, and seconds later I regret checking out of the apartment early, because this beach doesn’t offer cabanas or any other private spots. “Back home.” Emma breathes, and I bury my face in the crook of her neck with a smirk.
“We fly a private plane, Em.”

The wonderful thing about flying private is that the waiting time is almost entirely eliminated. No boarding time, no waiting for people to get off, you get your baggage right as you get off; it’s very tempting to call up Eailyn and tell her that I won’t be flying commercial anymore.
I have an arm over Emma’s shoulder as we walk out of the airport, the weather here being famously gloomy. “I think that if we go back now, Row will be able to get us to Athena before midnight.” I note, doubling over when Emma pokes my side. “Kidding, kidding. Let’s get home.”
Tomorrow we’re having everybody over for dinner, to reunite after us having been gone. ‘Everyone’ in this scenario includes Eschieve and Beth, because my sister flew out to see Emma’s. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen either of them, plus Eschieve has yet to see the apartment, so I’m actually pretty excited.
The apartment smells like Emma’s favourite scented candles and the special wax used to treat the piano. It smells like home. I find myself missing Frank’s nails in my leg as he climbs it to greet me: he’s still staying at Gabriel’s, who’s bringing him along tomorrow. That’s the plan anyway, but those two are so close Brie might just accidentally ‘forget’ the cat.
“Pizza?” Emma suggests after we’ve sorted out the laundry and put the first load in the machine.
We attempt to recreate the feeling of the holiday by setting up the table with sangria, seashells Emma collected from the beach and even the traditional music you heard on the many squares or in the family-owned cafes. Despite the cloudy weather it’s still quite hot out, so everything together it’s a pretty close copy.
“Luce!” Emma cries when I close the door after getting the pizzas delivered. “Luce, get in here!”
When I rush into the living room, I immediately see why she sounds so panicked. “Merde!” I toss the pizzas on the coffee table so that I have my hands free to help Emma take everything back inside now that a very sudden pouring of rain has started.
We take out dry plates and drink the somewhat watery sangria on the couch instead, the pizza still thoroughly enjoyable. Both exhausted from the trip and secretly very relieved to be back home, we spend the evening on the couch with a rerun of Britain’s Got Talent until we both have trouble keeping our eyes open. A quick shower later we crawl into our very large, very soft bed, and Emma lets out a moan of satisfaction. “Best part of coming home.” She announces with a smile, snuggling under the covers.
Despite being exhausted, I find myself unable to sleep. Emma is long lost in dreams, yet I get to see it become first one, and then two am. So instead, I slip out of bed to make myself a cup of tea. As I wait for the water to boil, I pull out my laptop for the first time in weeks. Ever since Emma mentioned getting two houses - one here, and one in France, something’s been nagging me, but it’s much easier to look into it on a desktop.
“Hey,” Emma’s soft voice startles me, but she just smiles a tired smile at me. “Had to pee. What are you doing?”
“Couldn’t sleep. Tea?”
She nods, peeking over my shoulder. “Law school? What are you looking into law schools for?”
My heart plummets. While it’s not a secret in the slightest, I could think of a better time to tell her this than two-thirty in the morning over I-couldn’t-sleep-tea. “I… think I might want to finish my degree.”

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