565. - Lucien
We try to Facetime at least once a week, but with my crowded schedule and Emma's work powering through like normal, it's been tough. Not having to worry about hanging up because she's got to get up at ungodly hours or because I have places to be is a breath of fresh air. It's just us, albeit through a screen, celebrating Valentine's in this fucked up way. At least we get to celebrate it this time, neither of us wallowing in self-pity of a freshly broken off engagement or a disaster of a date.
"To us?" I offer. I'm holding a mimosa, not quite feeling wine so early on the day. Emma smiles a pixalated smile, tapping the edge of her wine glass to the camera.
"To us. And to having our next Valentine's on the same couch, instead of being five thousand miles apart."
"That seems like a hard to achieve goal, Em, I'm not sure if we're ready for that." I tease.
"Shut up, you prick. If you're not next to me next year, I'm either kidnapping you or breaking up with you."
"I'd prefer the first option. Sounds kinky."
"You're lucky I can't kick you right now."
We both laugh, but it also leaves us both feeling a little empty. The whole thing is bittersweet. "So what's for dinner?"
"Your favourite. Truffle pasta with a side of begging cat. Turn your volume up." I do, and lo and behold - I hear Frank's screaming. "He has taken ownership of your pillow."
"Tell him I miss him sleeping on my ankles, will you? I've considered just picking up a cat from the street for the time that I'm here."
"I don't want to make him more needy than he already is, so I'll refrain from that. What are you having?"
"Bruscetta. Having my regular smoothie bowl felt so unromantic."
The screen freezes momentarily when she laughs. "You were right."
We chat for a while, eating in between. We reach a point where Emma's pasta is long cold and my toasted bread soggy. Neither of us cares, really, it's been too long since we had this much time to just talk. She tells me stories about work, about her family, about her life in the apartment. I tell her about the days on set, about the other jobs I'm working here, and the crazed fans that I keep running into. She complains that I've become too tan, especially now that she's got her winter shade on. We bicker over her continuing the true crime show we'd started together, because the last episode we watched together ended on a cliffhanger and she just couldn't take the suspence. I call her a traitor. She promises to wait with the next episode, to which I make a slip up about what's to come. She calls me out on it. We find out that we've both finished the rest of the season, without the other. So then, instead of squabbling who's at fault, we discuss the episodes together and who we think the killer is. Time ticks away quickly, but for once it's not a threat. We can talk well into Emma's night if we want to.
"So, what else have you been up to?" I ask. Both our meals have been abandoned. Instead we're now playing a game of tic tac toe on a notepad I had nearby.
"Upper right." Emma says, and I cross out the section. "I hang out with Kenna earlier today! It's been a while since had some time together. You wouldn't believe how big Emilia is getting! And..." Her voice breaks, drawing my attention away from my poor strategy. Emma has covered her mouth with her hand and even through the screen I can see the tears in her eyes.
"What happened?!" My heart is immediately racing. I replay the last couple of minutes in my head. Is there something I went wrong? Something I said? I can't think of anything.
"She had some news."
"Em, I love you, but you are freaking me out right now." My voice is tense. "Did someone die? Are she and Tom getting a divorce?"
"No, no. Nothing like that." She waves my words away as she laughs. She actually laughs. If anything, I'm freaking out more. I watch how Emma takes two deep breaths before she is composed enough to actually tell me. "Kenna's pregnant again."
Oh. My first reaction is utter relief, then a wash of anger because I honest to God thought someone had died and it's just a freaking baby, and then finally... "That is amazing! God, I had no idea they were even trying!"
"They weren't." Emma wipes away her tears, letting out a shaky laugh. "It was really unexpected, but they're so happy... Can you imagine? Kenna's gonna have two babies!" And back to crying she goes. Was she this emotional when Kenna first got pregnant? I can't quite remember. A lot of the things that happened not long before the break-up have been blocked out of my memory. "I'm sorry!" Emma croaks as she once again tries to get a hold of herself. "I'm just so happy for her! And with you not being here, especially on Valentine's, I'm just a little emotional."
She laughs, just when a curious and worried Frank comes inspecting why his human is crying. He butts his head against her chin and she cradles the poor cat against her. "Did I totally ruin this remote Valentine's date?"
"It still beats last year's, so don't worry about it." I smile. My heart aches for not being there, for not being able to hold her against me and celebrate this news with her. I push it away though, knowing that Emma doesn't need the guilt trip. "Should I feel guilty for keeping you up? I know it's late."
"No!" She says immediately; her eyes widen like I've just said the most offensive thing possible. "No, you shouldn't. I'll stay up all night. I miss you so much, Luce. I can't wait for you to be back."
"Me neither, Em. Just a few more weeks."
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