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I was so glad to hear that Emma enjoyed her time with the other moms. I had been feeling guilty for not telling her that she was free to have friend over anytime she wanted.
"You know Emma," I said as I washed the dinner dishes and handed them to her to dry,
"You should invite your friend Kristen to come and have dinner sometime."
Her whole face lit up.
"That's a great idea." She said.
"Tomorrow's Friday. Will that be ok?"
I smiled. "Of course."
She clapped her hands. "I'll call her once we're finished."
I looked at her.
"Actually, I can take it from here." I said.
She hugged me and ran to her room to call her friend.
When I was done with the dishes I went to finish some paperwork in my office. When I was done I headed to the living room to watch T.V .I was surprised to see Emma, curled up on the couch with the Wii remote in her hand, browsing Netflix.
Since she moved in she has not touched anything that was mine except to clean it. It made me feel good to see that maybe she was finally accepting this as her home.
I plopped down next to her on the couch.
"So, what are you watching?" I asked.
She blinked. "Not sure. I haven't found anything yet."
We looked through the T.V shows and movies looking for something to watch. she found one call "The wedding planner" with Jennifer Lopez.
"This looks good." I said, after reading the description. Emma giggled.
"Really?" She asked.
"Yeah." I said. "What's wrong with that?"
She laughed. "It's a total chick flick!"
I smiled. "Well now I have a woman to watch chick flicks with so it's not so embarrassing."
She started giggling uncontrollably.
"Okay. Lets watch it." She said, and pressed play.
I have to say, I really enjoyed the movie. When it was finished Emma stood up, stretched, and said, "Well, I think I'm gonna hit the sack."
"Huh?" I said.
"You know, hit the sack." She said again.
"I don't understand why you would be hitting a sack at this hour." I replied.
She laughed out loud.
I must have looked a bit hurt because she tried to control her laughter. I couldn't help but notice how her eyes laughed a long with her mouth. It was beautiful.
"It's just an expression Americans use to say they're going to bed." She said.
"Well," I replied,
"I'm going to hit the sack."
And then mumbled, "Americans and their strange sayings."
She swatted at me with the Wii remote and we both fell onto the couch laughing.
The next morning I woke up. Looking at the clock I saw that it was already 7:00.
"No!" I said. I hopped out of Ed and ran to the kitchen in my pajamas. Breakfast was already on the table and Camilla at school.
I kicked myself for waking up so late. I scrambled for clothes, only to find that they were folded neatly at the end of my bed.
I sentry thanked Emma in my head and dressed quickly.
I ran out to the kitchen where Emma was waiting with a travel mug of coffee and a donut.
"I'm so sorry. I didn't realize what time it was. I should have gotten you up." She said.
"It is not your fault Emma." I said, pulling on my shoes and then taking my breakfast from her.
"It isn't your responsibility."
I was almost at the door when Emma came next to me, stood on her tiptoes and kissed my cheek.
"Etta's here." She said, tilting her head toward the high chair.
"We have to set an example."
She turned away and I left. When I got in my car I could still feel the way her soft lips had brushed my cheek, and I wished that it could have lasted longer.
I instantly wished that I hadn't thought about that because it stirred up feelings for Emma that I had tried to swallow and shove down deep, hoping they would go away.
This was a marriage of convenience.
That's what she signed up for. Not me falling in love with her for real.
So again, I shoved the feelings down and went to work.
When he closed the door I slumped against it. I couldn't believe I had gotten the nerve to kiss his cheek.
I pressed my fingers to my lips gently, remembering the feel of his smooth cheek.
Thinking of that made me wish I had kissed his lips instead of his cheek because I was afraid I would never get the nerve again.
I slapped my forehead.
"You stupid, stupid girl." I muttered to myself.
"He hired you. You're his employee. He would never, ever fall in love with you. You're and convenience to him. That's all."
So I went on with my day. Cleaning, playing with Loretta, and the preparing dinner.
When Antonio came home Kristen still hasn't arrived.
So I set the table. When I was setting the last fork down, the doorbell rang.
I opened the door. There stood Kristen, her curly blond hair pulled into a ponytail. She hoisted her over-night bag onto her shoulder.
"So this is the place huh?" She said.
I hugged her and then led her to the dinner table.
"Antonio, Camilla! Dinners ready!" I shouted.
Camilla ran down the stairs and Antonio emerged from the living room where he had sat reading.
We all sat down and enjoyed a nice dinner together.
When we were finished I put Loretta to bed and Camilla and Antonio went to the living room.
I showed Kristen to my room.
"So..." She said, flopping down on my bed.
"Give me the scoop!"
"The scoop?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.
"On you and Antonio!" She said.
"There's nothing to tell." I said.
"Yeah right." She smirked.
"Come ON. You can tell me."
"I'm serious Kristen." I said.
"I'm sorry, but it's just a marriage of convenience."
Her smirk disappeared.
"Aw..." She pouted.
"He's really cute though. You have to at least admit that." She said.
"I guess." I said quietly.
"I guess?" She said smiling.
"Not I guess. That man is drop-dead-gorgeous."
"He is." I said.
"So since he isn't taken I guess I can-" she began.
I held up my hand defensively.
"He's still married." I said.
She rolled her eyes.
"It's not for real."
"It doesn't matter." I replied.
We watched a movie and then went to bed. But I couldn't sleep.
I tried to sleep, but my thoughts were running rampant. So I flicked on my lamp and sat up to read.
I glanced over and saw the picture of my Ex-wife.
Suddenly all the pain came flooding back in a cold and uninvited wave over my heart.
I thought then of why was having feelings for Emma.
She was taking over everything that my wife had done. She made me feel like she really cared. And even though she looked nothing like my first wife, she was still beautiful.
I think my heart is trying to put Emma in her place. I didn't really love Emma, I just missed my Ex-wife, which is absurd considering what she did to me.
Unable to lay here and be tormented by my thoughts, I got up and jogged down the hallway-running smack dab into Emma.
"I, I'm sorry." I stuttered.
"I was just..." She began.
Then we both stood there silently, staring at each other.
Then I took a step forward, cupped her face in my hands and stared in her beautiful brown eyes. Then I gathered up my courage, and kissed her.
She looked surprised.
"I'm sorry." I said.
"No," she whispered. A tear slipped down her cheek and she kissed mine.
Words weren't needed.
I wrapped her in my arms and let her rest her head on my shoulder.
A door opened and there stood Loretta, rubbing her eyes.
"Mama?" She said when she saw Emma's tearstained face.
"It's okay Honey. Go back to bed." Emma said.
I kissed the top of Emma's head and Loretta looked at me quizzically.
I grabbed Etta's hand and put her back to bed.
I couldn't stop thinking about Emma for the rest of the night.