We've both been pretending to sleep for a while now, laying dead silent side by side. We both returned inside almost frozen, and after showering seperately, we decided to call it a night and crawl into bed.
It feels surreal, still, but it seems to be what we need. What Lucien needs.
I stare up at the ceiling, my eyes slowly having gotten used to the dark, and I'm now able to follow the little lines in the plaster, or the exact point where the light fixture is attached to the ceiling.
"Lucien?" The word almost gets lost in my train of thought, but I say it out loud anyway, rolling from my back onto my side. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe has been asleep after all, and I've just woken him, but from the clearness of his voice when he replies amost seconds later, it seems that he, too, was merely pretending.
"Em?"
My hand reaches for the light, my eyes tearing up as it turns on. Lucien is laid on his back, the covers pulled up to about his chest, both arms on top of it.
His eyes shortly meet mine, but there seems to be something stopping the both of us from keeping eye contact for much longer.
"I...," I draw in a deep breath, my fingers playing with the sheet. "I know this might do me more bad than good, no matter what the answer is, but I need to know. I won't... I'll never bring it up again, after this, but I can't continue torturing myself with the thought. Did you... did anything ever happen? With her, I mean?" I can't say her name out loud, for both of our sakes.
When I explained to Brie, I felt her name burn on my tongue when I pronounced it, and seeing the rage in Brie's eyes only made my chest ache more.
I'm afraid to look at his face, that asking this will start another rollercoaster whilst we're not off of this one yet. But I need to know, and it's best do find out while the wound is still fresh. In our life, nothing stays a secret, or so it seems, so I might as well ask now.
His face looks empty when I finally dare to glance at it. "No, nothing happened."
"Okay," I breathe. "I believe you. I just... I needed to know."
He nods, his eyes still staring up at the ceiling. "I understand."
"Nothing happened with me and Brie, either," I tell him, though he didn't ask. I know that the thought must have crossed his mind, because it crossed mine, too. Even if it was for just a second, it definitely popped up, like a dark cloud you'd rather avoid. "I thought about it, for a second. I was so mad at you, and I felt like... you didn't see me, at least not in the way I wanted you to see me. But I didn't. Because no matter how mad you make me," I reach out my hand, moving a strand of hair out of Lucien's face. His face tenses up a little at our first touch, but he soon relaxes when I turn to slowly playing with his hair. "I love you, and only you."

I'm not sure how much I sleep, just that I'm awake by six, my body unable to sleep any longer. Lucien does seem to be asleep, his arm draped over me as he breathes heavily.
I'm not looking forward to the mountain we now have to climb once again, to get to where we used to be before this. Then again, we've done it many times before, so we must have gotten good at it by now.
After realising sleep isn't in the cards for me anymore, I get up without disturbing Lucien. The weather is awfully grey, yet I'm tempted to go for a run.
The sound of snow crunching under my running shoes, the cold air bringing a blush to my cheeks and the decorated houses all around cause me to run further and longer than I think I ever have before, fully out of breath when I reach my destination - Brie's house.
He's a little groggy when he opens the door, his hair wild and rubbing sleep out of his eyes. As he hugs me, he shivers, feeling the cold on his warm, just out bed skin.
"God, Em, it's... early. Did you run here?" he eyes me up and down, though I don't pay much attention to him anymore.
Frank must have noticed my arrival, loudly screaming at me until I pick him up, which I do immediately.
"I did," I'm a little out of breath, letting Frank lick the sweat off of my cheek, feeling a combination of disgust and love for the gesture. "I needed to get some last frustration out, I guess."
"Are you going to do something about it?" he gestures for me to sit down on the couch, which I do with the black and white cat in my arms.
"About this whole.. Piper, Jesse, Callum mess?" I sigh, Frank finding his favourite spot on my lap. "I don't think we can. It's airtight, all of this. The only thing we have is Piper's confession, but that's... weak, to say the least. Besides, I don't know if we should even want to. The most important thing for us is to get past this, and I don't know if pursuing any form of revenge on two of my exes is part of that."
He rubs his face, nodding. "Yeah, makes sense... God, I still can't believe it. Like, it makes sense, but it's also so messed up. How's Lucien doing? He looked like hell, last night."
"It's going to take time," I sigh. "But we'll be okay. He just needs us, his friends, to remind him that we love him for who he is, and that we won't leave his side."

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