Foto bij 564 - Emma

When Lucien is gone, time seems to slow down. Every day without him is one day closer to seeing him again, but that doesn't make it any easier.
To make matters worse, today is Valentines day, the second one in a row we don't spend together. I'm reminded of last year, when I was all alone in my living room and Lucien called me out of the blue.
Tonight, we've got a little date planned. I'll be having a very late dinner, and he'll have lunch. It won't be the same, sharing food over Facetime, but it's better than nothing.
Luckily, I have Kenna, who wanted to make sure I wasn't alone on Valentines, and she has invited me over for a girls brunch, just the two of us, whilst Tom is at work.
The table is filled with pastries and fruit when I get to her appartment, her long hair up in a ponytail as she's placing Emilia in her high chair.
"Hello, my favourite girls," I chirp, having gotten through the front door with the key she's given me. I kiss Kenna's cheek, then Emilia's head. Kenna and I are no strangers to just kissing one another on the mouth in a platonic way, but the weird stomach bug still hasn't completely left my body, and I'm afraid it might be contagious.
For days on end, I'm fine, and then it'll just flare up again, making my stomach turn and causing me to be on the bathroom floor until the feeling is gone.
Kenna pours us a glass of juice, gesturing to all of the things on the table. "Feel free to grab whatever you want. There's some bubbles in the fridge as well, but I wasn't sure if you were feeling it."
We eat sweet things until our stomachs ache, sharing our fruit with Emilia who looks absolutely adorable with mushed strawberry and peach on her face. She's slowly started getting the hang of words, and Kenna proudly beams, in a moment of silence, "Wait until you hear what I've taught her!"
I remember her calling me in tears when Emilia said 'mama' for the first time, an absolutely adorable sight.
"Emilia," she smiles, catching the little girl's attention and drawing it away from colouring her entire tray table red with fruit juice. "Who's that?"
Her gaze is on me, reaching her chubby little arms out with a smile. "Em!"
It melts my heart, seeing her excitement, combined with a thing as simple as hearing her say my name.
"My goodness," I smile, grabbing the girl's hand, "you're so smart!"
"What can I say," Kenna chuckles, "she's my child."
I roll my eyes, wiping a strawberry seed off of Emilia's cheek. "I'm sure that's it."
"Intelligence is inherited through the mother," she states, though I doubt it's an actual fact and not just something she has just made up.
I'm about to fire back and make a comment on how only one of us has a university degree when she suddenly gets up, a sparkle in her eyes. "Stay here."
"I wasn't going to go anywhere," I say, the sentence getting louder the further she walks away from me. "Though now I feel like I should."
She returns with a pink envelope in her hands and a massive grin on her face. "I wanted to give you this," she hands me the envelope. "For Valentines day."
Out of the envelope comes white card with two red and pink handprints on them, obviously from Emilia's hands, considering they're small and also because there's still some paint on the girl's palm.
"Open it," she tells me after I've had maybe ten seconds to look at the front of the card.
"Is there glitter in it? Confetti?" I ask, unsure as to why she's so excited to give me a Valentines day card.
"No," she sighs, impatiently. "Just open it."
As I do so, I immediately recognise Kenna's handwriting. "I feel dumb now for not getting you anything," I say, apologetically smiling.
"Shush, just read it," she interrupts me almost immediately.
"God, what's with you, miss impatient," I tap Emilia's nose. "Your mum's an impatient little lady."
Under Kenna's watchful and forceful eye, I read the text written in beautiful black ink.
Dear auntie Emma,
Will you be our Valentine this year, and preferably also next year, so we can really celebrate all together?
Lots of love,
Emilia and Baby.

I have to read it twice, maybe even three times, before laying the card down on the table and staring at my best friend, who's staring back just as hard.
"No," is all I can state, to which she just nods.
"Yes," she smiles, "it's still early, but..."
"You're pregnant?" I stare at her in disbelief, tears welling up in my eyes. "You're really pregnant?"
She nods once again, and in come the waterworks. As a true mother, she pulls me in for a hug.
"My god, Ken, I'm so happy for you," I manage to say in between sobs. "Another baby!"
I lean back in my chair, trying to steady my breathing. "Can you believe it?" she asks, wiping away the tears she's shed herself.
"You're having another baby," I whisper, feeling ready to cry once again. "Another beautiful little human."
"It's so wild," she confirms, "we weren't even really, like, trying. It just happened."
I pick up Emilia out of her chair, who's watching the whole scene with worry on her little face, unsure why these two adults are crying but also smiling at the same time. I press a kiss to the top of her head, still smelling a little bit like babies do.
"Am I godmother again?" I ask, Emilia finding a strawberry on my plate and attempting to eat it, then wiping her dirty hands on my clean jeans, which is something I don't mind at all in this situation.
"Of course, you idiot," she laughs, chewing on a strawberry. "There's nothing else I'd want as this baby's godmother."

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