A few weeks after giving birth, Emilie was itching to get some alone time as Eliza clung on, her mother’s blonde hair wrapped in needy fingers, and a hungry mouth, Emilie sat exhausted. She loved the smile, the wide-eyed curiosity, Eliza knew what she wanted and how to get the attention. Emilie could watch her sleep, knowing she would be walking, talking, time was an illusion, moments that would be fleeting, soon enough Eliza would be bounding through the door taking an adventure by herself. Eliza seemed in a rush to grow, Emilie had several onesies she would be quick to outgrow, funny her daughter was still so tiny.
Emilie, fed up of lazying in sweat pants borrowed from Rylan, eyed her wardrobe dreaming of the pre-pregnancy body. A garden pool, plus warm summer days meant plenty of time to reclaim her figure and unwind after nursing her crying newborn. The cool water soothed her aching breasts; the exercise helped her make the most of the sleep she could achieve.
Emilie’s swim session gave Rylan a chance to bond with his daughter; he held her awkwardly, arm’s extending, cringing at the nappy, and puffy red cheeks. Eliza screamed, impatient for him to deal with her messy problem. She wriggled, the contents leaked, Rylan jumped back frantic, wiping his hand, retching, how could such a small creature be so foul. He loved her when she slept; facial twitches that suggested dreams; Rylan would love to have shared in one.
Enlisting a babysitter, Rylan decided to treat Emilie to the bright city lights, and glamour of the fashion district. Petals covered the floor, benches await guests, a journey that begins under a flower-adorned arch, perfect for those in the romantic mood. Rylan spied the sakura tea, fountains of pink liquid, an aphrodisiac, heart beating faster, the flutter of lust for the girl on his arm. His wife sipped the tea, warm, fuzzy, bubbling, bursting into a giggle, for the first time in a while feeling like her old self. They settled on the picnic benches, Rylan gathered inspiration for his novel, watching others succumb to the pleasures induced by the tea. A woman with multicoloured hair spoke loving poems to the roses blossoming. Emilie imagined Rylan writing small spin-offs within the book, as though his lead character could see deeper; the incidental lives of people passing through.
An older gentleman, white tunic with gold thread stood waiting beneath silk curtains cascading, catching the light as they caught the breeze. In Rylan, the Guru saw a conflicting destiny, wealth, fame, these were the desirables, at odds with the family Rylan had supporting him. A wife and daughter, filled with promise, if Rylan continued down his current path, he would live without that love, he needed to decide which was worth living.
His eyes drifted over Emilie, a reading dependant on Rylan, placing her hand in that of her husband. She had married a man who could give her everything she was dreaming of, one that would last a lifetime, Emilie’s part was to remind him of this, loud and constant.