638 - Emma
People seem to adore the video, or they've suddenly just become really good at not sharing any negative comments they come up with. I get messages upon messages of women, thanking the both of us for being so open about this. For admitting that it's absolutely shit, and that it takes a lot of courage to continue on living life after, and how hard it can be to just wake up every day.
Some of them share their own stories, and tell me that they're glad we, too, have found the light at the end of the pitch black tunnel.
After the video, life goes on. I finish this year of teaching and look forward to a couple of months without grading essays.
It feels slightly strange, the freedom I feel, not having to do a single thing, especially after having been home for weeks on end around april. It doesn't truly feel like I've deserved all of this free time, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
We celebrate my dad's sixtieth birthday at the start of August, and in true Scotland fashion it rains for most of the day, almost ruining his plans for the grand barbecue. Just before dinner time, though, the sky clears up and a little bit of sun shines through.
Lucien meets my uncles and aunt, my dad's siblings, and more of my extended family. He even meets my grandparents, which is quite a big deal because they, too, have heard about our miscarriage, and being quite oldfashioned, the idea of a child out of wedlock might cost me my relationship with them.
Grandma, however, hugs me tightly as her hands shake, removing a strand of hair from my face after, and smiles. "Your time will come, Emmeline."
I'm slightly confused, sure she was going to tell me all about how God doesn't approve of sex before marriage, and that all there's left to do now is pray and visit church every sunday.
"What, your mum told you we'd think of you as a sinner, did she? Or was it your father? Oh, Emmeline," she shakes her head, her hair in a braided updo moving with her. "We might be old, but we're not ancient. What's the most important in life is love, and I can tell that's exactly why you're together. Though I'd love for you to get married..." She smiles. "Granddad and I would love to be alive to see it."
My grandfather, of whom my father is almost an exact copy in both looks and behaviour, nods. "You'd be the first."
"It'll happen," I look over at Lucien, who's chatting away with Charlie. "Just keep your heart beating until then."
Grandma winks at me. "I'll try, Linie," she squeezes my hand. "You did good with that stunner, you are aware of that, right?"
"Oh, very much so."
My parents insisted on us staying the night, but we both insisted on going home, and it turns out that was the best plan. It's not long after we get home that my phone starts buzzing uncontrollably, even though I've put it on do not disturb in the car.
There's only a few numbers that will break through that, and one of them is Kenna's, her ringtone immediately making my heart pound.
"Kens?" I pick up within seconds as Lucien feeds a screaming Frank.
"Yeah," I can tell she's smiling, but her voice sounds strained. "I promised you I'd call, so I'm calling. It's happening."
My heart breaks at the same time it flutters. I've tried not to think about it too much, but if everything would have gone well, I'd be heavily pregnant by now. Our babies would be born weeks apart, and they'd be best friends. Now, I'm showing up their empty-bellied, and though I want to be over the moon, I'm also immediately severely panicked.
I remember the last time I got this call - it was actually Lucien on the other end of the line, and we'd broken up. It's almost as if Kenna's labour always has some kind of catch, this time the catch being a massive dilemma between being happy and sad.
"We'll meet you there," I tell her immediately. "Need anything?"
"Nothing," I hear her breathe heavily. "Just that you tell me if it's too much for you."
"I will. We'll be there as soon as we can, okay? Hold tight, I love you."
"I love you too. See you in a bit."
Lucien, who was too distracted trying to get Frank to wait in stead of digging into his hands as he fed him, turns to me when I walk into the kitchen.
"Are you okay?" He looks a little worried, and I realise my entire body must be displaying the mixture of emotions I'm currently feeling.
"No, I'm not," I breathe, my hands shaking. I take a deep breath, trying to calm myself down. "I really am not, I'm not sure how I feel right now. But it's not about me right now. Kenna's in labour, and I need to be there for her."
He catches on to how I must be feeling immediately, or at least it seems he does.
"I'll drive," he smiles, grabbing the keys he placed on the counter. "Are you sure you're okay with this? She'd understand if..."
"It's going to be really hard," I say in pure honesty. "But I'd never forgive myself if I let that stop me from being there for Kenna and the baby. I just... we'll be okay, but we need to go now."
I don't even know if I believe myself, my feet feeling like they're glued to the floor as I make my way to the door.
"Can you please," I stand still and turn around abruptly enough for Lucien to almost bump into me. "Hold me for a second before we go?"
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