566 - Emma
With work keeping me busy, days should fly by. Yet, every day closer to Lucien's return feels like it's slowing down, and I'm getting tired of being alone.
Days are all spent in the exact same manner, and I feel like I'm in my own version of Groundhog Day.
Lucien's shoots are slowly being wrapped up, meaning his days only get longer, and we hardly talk. It's mostly texts, replied to hours later, or short calls when either of us finds the time, until we get interrupted by work or other obligations. There are days where I cry myself to sleep, filled with self-pity or even desperation. Not knowing if I can do this, though I've done it so many times before.
Thinking of how much I miss Lucien makes me physically sick, the stomach bug having returned in an even worse form. It seems to be ignited each morning, when I wake up in an empty bed. Reaching next to me and feeling nothing, maybe a black and white cat if I'm lucky, makes my stomach turn and it won't calm down until I've puked out every last drop of sadness.
The constant fatigue and nausea make days of work feel even longer, and I dread having to get up in the morning as soon as I lay down in bed.
In my mind, I've painted some kind of calendar, crossing off each day in the mental image, waiting for Lucien to come home again.
I've even caught myself crying over pictures of us scattered around the house, frequently enough to make it feel like putting them all in a box and removing them out of my sight was the only option for me to live a slightly less emotional life day to day. It's almost like my brain is mourning someone who's still very much alive, and no matter how many times I tell myself everything is fine, I can't help but sob.
It gets bad enough that people around me start noticing. Colleagues ask me if I'm alright, people on the street smile at me extra friendly when I walk past them teary-eyed because I've just thought about something that made me sad, and finally, my therapist catches on.
I'm in her office for our bi-weekly meeting, and I've been sobbing for the past five minutes, telling her about Kenna's baby, work and my contract possibly ending, having to make a decision about whether or not I want to keep my position or resign.
"Usually, I'd encourage the way you're experiencing and accepting your emotions," she tells me when I've stopped shaking, and hands me a box of tissue. "But it seems like a big change from, say, a few months ago whenever Lucien was out of town. Is there something that worries you about his absence this time? Are you afraid something might happen?"
I shake my head, wiping away the tears with a kleenex. "Nothing. I asked myself that, too, when we talked about it the last time. Like - what am I so sad about? I know he's coming back, and there's no reason for me to miss him this much."
"In that case, it's probably good for us to explore where all of these emotions come from," she smiles at me. "Because though it's very healthy to miss someone, the level of sadness you experience right now seems to be impacting you very negatively. I'm aware Lucien returns before our next session, but we should figure this out for the next time he's away for a longer period of time." She flicks through her notes, suddenly stopping when she hits a certain sentence or word, her eyes meeting mine. "Last time, you mentioned physical symptoms, too. Nausea, fatigue. Are you still experiencing that?"
I nod. "God, every day. I'm exhausted, especially after a day of work, and I'm sick to my stomach nearly every morning."
She closes the notebook, looking at me with a certain expression I haven't seen from her before. "Emmeline," she places her hands on the cover of the notebook. "I'm aware that I am a therapist and not a medical professional, but to me, these seem like more than just emotional issues. Have you considered that maybe you are pregnant?"
I let out a laugh, even the idea sounding ridiculous to me. "I'm not."
"Do you have good reason to believe you're not?" she asks, and I shake my head.
"I'm just.. not. I'm on the pill, and..," my throat feels dry, and there's a weird kind of dizzyness going on in my head. "I'm not."
She smiles at me, and I now recognise the look as empathy, maybe a little bit of pity. "I'd advice for you to be on the safe side and take a test. Just to be sure."
The realisation doesn't hit me, no matter how many times I look. From the moment I left the office to coming home, everything has been a blur. I remember buying pregnancy tests, without even counting how many I threw in my basket. I have taken them, though I don't know how I did it with my vision blurry and a ringing in my ears.
Some of them show lines, others a face, one just words. Somehow, they all say the exact same. My hands are shaking and my heart races. My coffee table looks like a pharmacy on its own, five tests lined up.
Two lines, smiley faces. Pregnant. 7-8 weeks.
I feel sick, though I can't physically get myself to get up, let alone puke. Frank has been wandering around, screaming at me loudly, a sound that mixes with the ringing in my ears.
There's so many feelings floating through my brain at once I can't pinpoint just one. It's a chaotic mess in my head, worries making their way to every corner they can find.
I can't form a single coherent thought, all I feel is the panic racing through my system. With hands shaking, I find my phone, planted on the table right next to the tests.
February twenty-eighth. Lucien returns March first, though my brain can't fathom in how many days that is. I knew, but it seems like there's a line drawn between my thoughts and my emotions, the latter having taken the wheel.
All I manage to text Lucien are three words. Please come home.
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