So… They did the sex.
Now they need to do the talking.
Emily is not a fan of the talking.
Alas, it needs to be done.
Before more sexy times…
Richie heard the message tone and when he checked his phone he found that Maddie had sent him a funny photo of her and Tamara at the big corrugated iron elephant at the zoo. It made him smile and he showed Emily who was sitting next to him on the couch, eating her Teriyaki chicken on rice.
After the pharmacy they’d decided to get some sushi on the way to her house so they didn’t have to go out again. They’d also stopped at the supermarket to get condoms, following a brief, not-as-awkward-as-he-had-imagined chat. They were on the verge of fixing things between them, it seemed counterproductive to tempt fate for a second (or third) time.
Emily had taken the first of the two emergency contraceptive pill and set up her alarm for 11.30pm that night to take the second one as it needed to be taken twelve hours later.
They were sitting on her couch eating their lunch and as much as he wanted to reach over, pull her against him and forget about the rest of the world, he knew that some serious talking needed to be had.
Another message arrived from Maddie.
“Having hot chips by the playground. TamTam keeps asking if Emily has said sorry yet.”
“Minimal talking so far but we’re good. At Em’s house now. Bec should be home around 4pm. Zoo looks fun x”
He put his phone down on the coffee table and glanced up to find Emily looking at him.
“That was Maddie. She’s having a lot of fun at the zoo with Tamara.”
Emily looked away. “Tamara hates me, doesn’t she?”
“Why would you say that? She doesn’t even know you. Last time she saw you she was two.”
“Maddie told her I’d come to say sorry, clearly she’s been told something.”
Richie put his arm around her shoulder and smiled when she leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder. “Tamtam asked Maddie last week how we knew each other. Maddie explained our… situation in simple terms a four-year old would understand.”
“In other words she knows I’m a horrible bitch who broke your heart.”
“I am a horrible bitch and I did break your heart. I know it. You know it. I read your emails, you know, you can’t pretend I didn’t do what I did or that I didn’t hurt you. It’s been making me miserable and I know that saying ‘oh I’m so sorry’ is never going to be enough and I bet your whole family hates me too after what I did to you.”
Before Richie had a chance to react Emily had got off the couch and was pacing back and forth in front of the coffee table. “This was a bad idea,” Emily said as she stopped pacing to look at him, anguish all over her beautiful face, which made his heart hurt. “You should go. This is never going to work. I know I said I love you before, when we…”
She made a hand gesture and he had to stop his mind wandering back to that recent memory because he needed to pay attention to what she was saying. “I meant it, with all my heart, but what if it’s not enough? What if I am not enough?”
She started pacing again. “You deserve someone who can give you what you want, marriage, and babies. All I have is work. Maddie said I need to tell you about my parents, that it will explain everything. I know she is usually right and I know I can’t blame them for all the bad stuff that happened in my life, but fuck! They are horrible selfish people, and I’m pretty sure they hate each other. They should have divorced years ago but no, instead they had me and they used me in their little power games, trying to constantly beat the other one at being the best parent, the best provider, the best whatever. I had nanny after nanny, au pair after au pair because as soon as I got attached, one of my parents would fire them and get another one. When I was a teenager I did some shit I’m not proud off, hung out with people I shouldn’t have and when I was eighteen I left and never looked back.”
Richie was trying to absorb the flow of new information and, feeling that she needed to get it all out, he kept his mouth shut until she was done.
“I worked really hard and started my own business and it’s doing really well and I don’t want to stop. I love what I do and that’s why I freaked out when I felt you were about to propose. I saw what marriage did to my parents and I was scared to death it would happen to us. Marriage changes people. Kids… well that just makes things a billion times worse. If we have a baby and I go back to work, because I love my career, I’m a horrible mother, but if I decide to stay home instead and sell the business I’ve worked so hard to create, I might end up feeling dead inside and resenting you and I can’t… I just… I can’t do it. Not to me. Not to you. I just…”
Richie decided she’d done enough rambling so he stood up and stopped her in her tracks by wrapping her in his arms. She put her arms around his middle and looked up at him. He could see more unshed tears making her eyes shiny.
“I love you.” As he said the words, he realised he hadn’t said them to her yet that day. He’d told her he was in love with her, earlier, before the sex had happened, but he hadn’t said those three words.
She gave him a watery smile. “I love you too.”
“Right then, what do you say we finish our lunch then go lie down on your bed. It will be more comfortable than the couch and to be completely honest I’d quite like to get naked with you.”
Emily went on tip toes so she was more or less eye level with him. “Why wait?” Her voice was low and raspy in the silence of the house and she breached the gap between them, wasting no time sliding her tongue in his mouth. The taste of her flicked some switch inside him and he found that he couldn’t get enough of her. He pulled her closer, deepening the kiss, loving the way she was pressing her whole body to his, moaning in approval when she moved her hips side to side against his groin.
He stopped kissing her only long enough to ask which was the way to her bedroom and, after a short detour by the dining table to get the box of condoms from her handbag, he followed her down the hallway to her room. Richie barely had time to take in the decor before Emily was pressing him against the wall by the door and kissing him with renewed fervor. After a few minutes the kiss ended. Emily moved away a little and started taking off her clothes, her eyes never leaving his.