I think under any other circumstance, I’d be so excited that Xander decided to come and spend an entire week with me.
Except instead of romantic and spontaneous, it basically feels like I’m harboring a fugitive or something.
Lola was supposed to arrive in Paris last night. No matter how many times Xander told her not to come, she kept insisting. And apparently it got about ten times worse after she called and talked to Papa. She just wasn’t backing down — especially about how adamantly she wants to keep the two of us apart. It’s so fucking ridiculous.
So last night at like eleven o’clock, Xander showed up at my door asking if he could ‘hide out’ here for a while until she either calms down or goes back home. And how in the world could I say no to that?
It was really hard for him to be able to get away from his classes though. He had to lie about a “family emergency” and agree to do a ton of extra work from his professors to make up for missing a whole week of school. So he’s sitting in the living room working on some homework while I sit here and try to make sense about what the hell’s going on.
Things aren’t going much better with my parents either, unfortunately. Can you believe that Papa, of all people, decided to basically pull a Lola after that dumb phone call?
I’ve gotta admit, I was pretty scared at first. He was so pale when he came back upstairs after he got off the phone. And I could tell he’d been crying too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him cry before. What the hell could that woman have said to him?!
Then he sat me down and basically gave me a slightly-less-hysterical version of the lecture Xander’s mom gave him. That he ‘knows I care about Xander’, but that I ‘need to stop seeing him’. Then he was going on about how there are some ‘things we need to discuss’ but ‘we can’t yet’. And he used that same line Lola did — that I need to trust him.
Yeah, Papa. Sure. I’m gonna sit there and trust somebody who can’t even give me a straight answer about WHY this is such a big freaking deal!
I gave him a pretty big earful before I left. He’s tried calling me a few times since then, but I haven’t been answering. Because I know he’s not gonna actually give me any answers. It’ll just be more of the crap he and Lola have been spewing.
Tristan says things are really bad at home now, and of course he has no freaking clue what’s going on either. He just said Mama and Papa locked themselves in their bedroom for a long time the next morning. Lots of crying, not as much screaming or yelling as usual, he says. Not their typical type of fight.
And now they basically aren’t speaking to each other. They both just mope around the house all day avoiding each other like the plague, according to Tristan. Even Oma and Opa don’t seem to have any idea what could be going on. Mama and Papa won’t talk to anybody. Not even at dinner.
And okay… On one hand, I really am kind of worried about them. This sounds BAD. Tristan says he’s never seen anything like it.
But on the other hand, are they like twelve years old or something? What ever happened to all that stuff Papa always says about “communication” and being “open and honest”? How come that doesn’t apply to HIM? Especially when it involves his own kid!
What the hell is going on? It’s starting to sound like we’re never gonna get a straight answer from any of them. And it’s ridiculous! I don’t even —
Emberlynn put down her pencil at the feeling of her phone buzzing in her dress pocket. It was just two short bursts — which meant someone was texting her. Probably Papa AGAIN, she thought in annoyance as she pulled out her phone to check.
And, sure enough, she was right.
Emberlynn’s brow furrowed slightly at her father’s latest message. How did he know Xander was there with her? And did he really mean it when he said he’d explain? Or was this some kind of trick?
“What do you think, baby?” She asked Gucci softly as he continued playing with his catnip toy beside her desk. “Should we believe him?”
The cat, of course, made no reply. It made Emberlynn so sad to realize that she couldn’t even be sure if she could trust her own father anymore.
Alright, Papa. You’re gonna have to give me more than that before I’ll believe you. She started to type a message in reply, but she’d barely gotten halfway through it before the faint sound of Xander’s ringtone reached her ears from the other room.
Aw shit, I bet that’s his mom. With one last glance down at Gucci, Emberlynn leapt from her chair and crossed through the kitchen to join Xander in the living room.
She found him still focused on the assignment he had open on his tablet. He seemed to be completely ignoring the ringing of the phone on the coffee table in front of him.
“It’s just Mom.” Xander explained with a shrug, not even bothering to lift his eyes from his school work. “Again.”
As Xander’s phone continued to ring, Emberlynn felt another vibration from her pocket. She picked it up and glanced down at the screen. It was her father again.
“Answer it.” Emberlynn told him, the words spilling from her lips before she even realized what she was saying.
This time, Xander put down the tablet. “What?”
“You should answer it.” She repeated. Her curiosity had suddenly gotten the better of her. If Lola was really with her parents… Maybe they were serious about this whole ‘explanation’ thing after all?
Despite the look of skepticism on his face, Xander took a deep breath and did what he was told. “Hi, Mom.”
Their conversation was very brief, and Emberlynn was only able to hear one side of it… But she was pretty sure she got the gist.
“I know. I love you too. I’m just really confused right now. And pretty fucking pissed too.” … “Wait, seriously?” … “You are? Right now?” … “I… I don’t know. I guess? I’ll talk to Ember…” … “Yeah. I’ll let you know… God, Mom. This is just so messed up.” …”Yeah, okay. I’ll call you back or something. Bye.”
Xander turned to face Emberlynn as soon as he hung up the phone. “She’s at your parents’ house?!”
She nodded. “My Papa just texted me…Jesus, this thing just went to the next level.”
“Yeah, no kidding…” Xander paused for a moment to let out a soft sigh. “So what should we do?”
Emberlynn considered his question for a few moments. There really didn’t seem to be an easy answer… But she knew that there was only one that made sense. “They’re our parents.” She said at last. “We can’t avoid them forever, right?”
“Guess we can’t.”
“So how about this? We go over, we give them a chance to explain themselves, and if they try spewing more of their bullshit, we leave.” She suggested. “What do you think?”
“I think… That this is NOT the way I imagined either of us meeting the parents.” Xander replied with a small chuckle.
Emberlynn couldn’t help but laugh too. It was all so absurd. “Yeah, me neither.”
“But… I’m in if you are?” Xander offered, his laughter dying away.
She nodded slowly. “I feel like we don’t really have a choice… But hey, what’s the worst that could happen?” She asked, trying to sound positive. “Like I said before, there’s nothing any of them can say that will change how I feel about you, I promise.” Emberlynn leaned forward to brush her lips against his.
“Me neither.” Xander replied softly as she pulled away. “I lo-ike you so much, Emberlynn. No matter what.”
She pretended to miss his near-slip, though her cheeks grew warm at his words. “Alright… Ready to get this over with?”
A soft sigh passed Xander’s lips as he slowly rose to his feet. “Guess so. Let’s go.”