845. - Lucien
Eschieve does a good job at avoiding me, though every morning there is breakfast and coffee and the pantry is suspiciously full with all of my favourite snacks. She's not going to come to me unless I show her I've forgiven her, but the feeling that is almost heartbreak is still to fresh.
Emma and I, we call through most of our days, and fall asleep with one another on video call. We text each other details of our days that would have gone unmentioned if we'd been together, but now every sliver of information is latched onto in hopes to make the distance feel a little less daunting. But there's times where we simply cannot, and during those moments the silence rumbles in my ears like a hurricane.
There is little for me to. Eailyn has some things lined up for me, but not for another three weeks. School is slow and boring, even more so now that I lack the interaction with professors and classmates. I don't feel like meeting up with friends yet, still sulking in the fact that I've been seperated from Emma for three long months.
I start the love letters I promised her, but in none of them can I accurately express how I feel. About her, about our future, about the current pain that has filled my veins and clouded my wits. All of them, sooner or later, end up crumpled to a ball until our housekeeper can no longer keep up with emptying the bin.
All the while, of course, the internet runs rampant with rumours. We have broken up, fueled by the pictures of me alone in the Paris airport, of Emma crying in the airport and going places without me because her friends in Edinburgh practically force her to. They call her 'sickly-looking, as if in desperate need for a pint of ice cream'. My unusual absence is taken as another clear sign - why else would I go offline like this? I have shown a pattern over the years; I only disappear in moments of pain and trauma.
In a twisted sense of irony, both Emma and I enjoy the rumours, because they are so ridiculous. There are currently, barely three days since the pictures were taken, three popular theories.
One: Emma has cheated on me with no one other than Kenna Docherty, the girl who picked her up from the airport. The crowd loves this one, because it's queer and tragic. They seem to willingly overlook the fact that Kenna is very much married and has had her wedding ring, and occasionally even family life, regularly displayed on Emma's socials. The comments wildly theorize which of my friends - or her friends - I will use to exact revenge, in which Luca is somehow the most popular option. Our groupchat has a bet riding on if Pearl might take that spot. She's also popular, for the sole reason that in some of the pictures Emma posted of her birthday, I can be seen chatting with her at the bar.
Two: My family has forced me to break up with her, because of status. It's unclear where they get this from, because there is very little information about my family dynamics out there, but the internet doesn't need much. This one stems from me now living in the manor again, and Eschieve having been seen arriving anxious while my father has been seen arriving looking rather grim. They clearly have not done enough research to know that he always looks like that.
Three: I have died. This is the newest, and my instant favourite. By now, our group chat has planned my entire funeral and Matthew has gone as far as designing my obituary. It features a very unfortunate picture of me sneezing and reads finally gone, and we're happy for the inheritance.
It's nice to bring some light to the situation, although with the death-rumour going around I'm even less tempted to go outside because I don't want to disprove it, although it's not half as popular as the first two. We're on a group call, kindly arranged by Matthew to distract both me and Emma, discussing what salary she will have to make to be deemed worthy of the Du C-name, when I get a regular call. I mute the others, and pick up without hesitation, because I haven't really talked to her since Emma's birthday.
"Hey!" Selene sounds breathless, but in a good way. "I just wanted to check in on you with the whole situation going on... How are you holding up?" A lie. Or a half-truth anyway. Selene's no good at lying to her friends, as I've noticed in the year I've worked with her and the years since.
"Well, I'm dead - so splendidly. We ask for no flowers at the funeral, and only close friends and family are invited to the ceremony."
She snorts. "Shame, I'd have liked to bring you lilies."
"You might kill me again."
"Har har. Hey - so, actual reason that I called... I mean, I did want to check up on you, but -" Hearing her speak, I turn my laptop camera off for the time being. Selene isn't easily flustered, and it worries me. If it's anything serious, I'd like my friends to not read it off my face immediately. "We're adopting." She suddennly spurs out, and I nearly drop my phone.
"I know! Well, no - not adopting, fostering, but we want to - if evertyhing goes well - we could if we wanted to, in a year!"
"Selene!" I laugh, interrupting. "Good god, could you maybe start at the beginning? I feel like I've missed like ten chapters."
She does, telling me about Alfie and how they're going to take him in two weeks from now despite not nearly being ready. The picture she sends me reminds me vaguely of Aleran and myself, but maybe that's because all kids look alike until it's your own. She tells me of the plans for his room, and through her tears I can hear her sheer excitement. There's a pang, sudden and brief, that they'll get what Emma and I should have had. But I lock it away, and quickly find myself being honestly and greatly excited for her.
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