It's one of those naps that makes you forget who and where you are, and the first few seconds after I wake up I'm sure I'm on a sunny beach, just like I was in my dream. The sand I'm laying on, however, starts to feel more and more like a couch, and the sound of the ocean turns out to be a purring cat.
Lucien is missing from the couch, which means he got tired of laying around or something else caught his attention. Frank complains loudly when I get up, stealing away his comfortable spot from him, and I wander out to the balcony.
Lucien is there, as I expected, smoking a cigarette. He looks up when he hears the door open. "Hey, sleeping beauty."
"Out like a light," I smile, the sun reminding me of the little bits of sleep still in my eyes, so I rub them away before sitting down next to Lucien.
"How are you feeling?" He asks, offering me a cigarette that I happily take.
I shrug. "Happy. Sad. Angry. Jealous. All of it, really, which almost makes me feel like I don't feel anything at all."
He smiles as I lean my head against his shoulder.
"How are you feeling?"
"Still coming down from everything, I think," he sighs. "Getting the whole 'being in a hospital' thing out of my system..."
"Please let's just try not to get injured or sick any time soon," I smile. "I really don't want to set foot in a hospital any time soon."

With everything happening, we'd almost forget my parents' wedding anniversary coming up. Though they're not big on celebrating, my siblings and I have gifted them a trip for two to a destination of their wishes, which turned out to be Berlin. They went there years ago, before they were even married, and we wave our goodbyes at the airport as they leave.
It has been thirty-two years since my parents last went on a trip with just the two of them, the kids always coming first. With Phoebe around, it wasn't really possible for them to get time off, and though they'd never complain, we all knew this is what they needed.
Which is why, after saying goodbye at departures, Phoebe drives home with us. She'll be staying with Lucien and I for two nights, after which Charlie and Selene, who are unofficially living together, will take her in.
I was a little hesitant at first. Not because I don't love my sister, but because I thought it might be hard for her. I contemplated just letting her stay in my parents' house and us going over there for a bit, but mum assured us she'd be fine in Edinburgh.
"Will I have my own bed?" she asks from the backseat, her fingers twisting little curls into her dark hair.
"Of course you will," I smile, catching her eye in the rear view mirror. "And it's up to you what's for dinner tonight, because you're our guest."
"Chips!" she yelps immediately. "And... chicken nuggets!"
"A true culinary meal," I wink at Lucien, who's behind the steering wheel. "Chips and chicken nuggets it is. It does need veggies, Phoebs, or mum will get mad at me."
She groans loudly. "But she's not here."
"No, she's not," I chuckle. "But you know mum, she'll find out."
WIth her arms crossed, she sits in the backseat, pouting. "Fine."
      When we get home, her eyes go wide and she wanders around like she's in a museum, her arms behind her back as if she can't touch anything.
Frank is very interested in her presence, and she seems to be interested by him, too, but they keep a nice distance.
Lucien is making us tea in the kitchen as Phoebe stares at the photos displayed in our livingroom. She has already recognised herself in one of the pictures, and the rest of our family. Kenna has been pointed out, and so has Eschieve, though she still stumbles over her name.
"What's that?" At first I think she's pointing at one of the little pieces of art sprinkled around across the room, or a picture of someone she doesn't recognise, but I soon realise it's not quite that.
In all of our grief, we never took down the ultrasound we framed and put with our family pictures. Maybe we didn't even see it anymore, hurting too much, and it makes my stomach turn seeing it.
"That's..." In the kitchen, I hear the kettle turn off. "Do you remember when I came over to mum and dad's house, and I was really sad?"
"Yeah," she looks at me with that same confusion on her face I saw when I told her Lucien and I broke up. "You cried a lot."
"That photo is what a baby looks like when he's in someone's tummy. Like when Kenna got really big, remember?" She nods. "Lucien and I had a baby, too. But some babies don't get born, they... they go to heaven."
"Just like Louis did?" She asks, her voice clear and her eyes bright as they fixate on me.
"Yes, just like Louis did. And that's what happened to that baby, it went to heaven."
"And you were really sad?"
"Really sad. Because when you love someone, it's really sad when they go to heaven."
From the footsteps approaching, I can tell Lucien is coming in to the room, but since my back is to him, I can't quite tell how long he's been in earshot.
"But now the baby is with Louis in heaven," Phoebe smiles. "And they can play there together, with Lucky," I can't help but smile when she mentions our old family dog.
"I'm sure they're playing there, together, Phoebs," I smile, feeling her hug me as I press a kiss to the top of her head.

Er zijn nog geen reacties.

Meld je gratis aan om ook reacties te kunnen plaatsen