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The Meaning Of Dust

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Chapter Two

For the last hour, Matt and Emilia been enjoying the comfort of each other when unexpectedly their intimacy was shattered by the entrance security system buzzing into life.

“What the hell was that?” Matt questioned as he suddenly paused from stroking Emilia’s back to stare at the bedside clock which illuminated 8 am in the muted morning light. Emilia continued to tease Matt’s neck with kisses having either not heard the sound or had chosen to ignore the interruption.

When the buzzer sounded again Matt knew he hadn’t been mistaken.

“Emilia, that was the door!”

“No, it wasn’t, ignore it.” She peered curiously up at him whilst kissing his torso with a glint in her eye which Matt knew meant only one thing.

“No baby it was. I definitely heard the door. What time did you say your parents were coming?”

She stopped kissing Matt and stared at him annoyingly, realising the implication of his question! The one thing she needed was to feel him this morning she didn’t like the fact that he was so easily distracted from her obvious intent.

“Ten thirty or thereabouts!” She replied in a dismissive manner hoping it would put a stop to his questioning and allow her to continue her teasing. She was just starting to kiss his neck again when the buzzer went for the third time. Even Emilia could not disregard it this time and sat up abruptly.

“You must be fucking joking me!” She looked at Matt irritated, before they both broke into laughter, realising she’d aroused Matt to the point it would be very difficult to now hide if someone was indeed at the door.

“Well if that’s them it’s going to be an interesting first introduction!” She noted with amusement looking down at his waist proud at her apparent accomplishment.

“That’s not funny!” Matt smiled back. “Are they the type of people who like to turn up early just to fuck with you.

“Yep!” Emilia replied as she begrudgingly slid from under the sheets leaving Matt to only watch as she brazenly walked naked into the hallway to answer the entry system.

“Hello!” She abruptly stated as she pressed the speaker button just as the system buzzed for the fourth time.

“Emilia, it’s Pater and Mamma. What kept you?” The reply came back in Swedish.

Emilia paused before replying and looked back down the hallway and longingly into the bedroom, wishing she still had time to persuade Matt that her idea of hiding was not too farfetched and could still be done.

“You’re early!”

“Well if it’s inconvenient we can go!” She heard her mother saying in the background to her father. “I said we shouldn’t arrive early. I told you she wouldn’t appreciate it.

“No-no, it’s fine. Come on up.” She reluctantly pressed the button to open the entry door already dreading what was about to come.

By the time Emilia came back into the bedroom, Matt had already grabbed a towel and slipped into the shower. She hurriedly put on a t-shirt and jogging pants and had just managed to fill the kettle when she heard the front doorbell ring. She took a deep sigh before opening the door as all she could think of was how her blissful life was about to be destroyed by her parents crashing in on her party.

When she opened the door and greeted her parents, two sullen faces greeted her back impatiently as if they’d already had their precious time wasted in the few minutes it had taken their daughter to let them in.

“Did we wake you, Emilia? Her father’s first words were said in a manner that resembled more of a statement of fact than a question, as he examined disapprovingly her dishevelled appearance.

“In a manner of speaking yes, Pater! You are nearly two hours early.”

“Well like most reasonable people we were up at 6.30 this morning, and with nothing better to do before the flight, we thought we would just come over.

Emilia ignored her father’s jibe understanding that her parents had never in all probability enjoyed the delight of a simple lie in, and instead ushered her parents through into the open plan living area. Given that before their arrival she’d been experiencing doubts about their visit, now with only the cursory greetings completed she was internally cursing herself for being so foolish to allow this to happen. All she desperately desired was for Matt to be by her side giving her that extra moral support but knew for the time being she’d have to hold the fort on her own.

“Coffee?” Emilia asked as she invited them to take a seat on the sofa and watched despondently as her parents immediately started taking in a critical eye of the space.

“Yes please.” Her father replied once they’d settled, answering for the two of them.

“Where’s Matt? Her mother abruptly asked in what could be only be described as an accusatory tone as Emilia made her way through to the kitchen area to start making coffee for her parents Up until now the woman hadn’t said a word apart from, “hello,” as she’d passed Emilia into the flat. “We thought he would have been here with you?”

The bluntness in which this question had been asked stumped Emilia for a second, causing her to pause before answering.

“Of course, he’s here Mamma. He’s just showering. As I just told you, you caught us unexpectedly.” Emilia replied emphasising the ’I just told you’ for dramatic effect.

“No need to speak to your mother like that, Emilia!” Her father interposed, instantly coming to his wife’s defence although she clearly did not need it.

“Mmhmm!” Her mother simply replied but made no follow-up comment. It was a long-standing strategy of Emilia’s mother, leaving her daughter with a constant sense of trepidation as to whether she’d been believed. Emilia could now sense those same feelings of her childhood rising up inside her, that awareness of being a constant disappointment to her mother. Only now she hated herself for being so weak and unable to stand up to the woman who still wielded such power over her life.

The kettle finally boiled as if sensing the need to rescue Emilia from the uncomfortable silence. As she stared into the kitchen cupboard deciding between the instant or fresh coffee, Emilia considered the cafetière for only a second before she remembered something Matt always said; ‘it’s the small victories that always count the greatest.’ Smiling to herself she reached up for the jar of instant coffee momentarily delighting in her mischievousness, appreciating her parents never drank instant comparing the taste to ‘dishwater’ as she recalled them once stating. ‘I can do this!’ she thought to herself, ‘I have the strength to get through this.’

“You will have to forgive us, Mamma and Pater.” Emilia reiterated calmly as she brought two mugs of coffee through to her parents and placed them down on the table in front of them, determined not to allow her true feelings to show. “As I said we weren’t expecting you till a little later.”

“I told you, Nils, that they’d not be ready for us, but would you listen to me?” Her mother barked the rhetorical question to Emilia’s father, whose only response was to shrug his shoulders. Emilia interpreted his gesture as either not caring or he’d given up trying to justify his decision knowing he would be on the losing end of his wife’s displeasure no matter how he responded.

“It’s fine, Mamma, I just need to take a shower. Give Matt and me ten minutes and we will be ready for you. Enjoy your coffee and relax. Have you had breakfast? If not, there are some croissants in the bread bin Please, help yourself.”

Without even waiting for a reply Emilia turned to hurriedly walk down the hallway and back into the bedroom ensuring the door was fully closed before letting out a silent scream of frustration.

“Hey, everything will be okay, I promise,” Matt said as he came through to the bedroom immediately observing Emilia’s distress.

“That’s fine for you to say. You have these amazing parents who are the most relaxed people in the world and don’t treat every interaction as either an inconvenience, disappointment or some life lesson to be expressed. You have parents that love you for who you are.”

“Yeah, my parents are relaxed.” He agreed. “Some might say almost horizontal but I’m sure that’s partly to do with the amount of weed they smoke as much as their general attitude to life. I’m sure your parents love you; they just happen to show it differently.”

He smiled at her and at the same time came over to give her a hug, to which she immediately relaxed into his arms absorbing his energy for a few seconds before she reluctantly released his hold.

“I’d better get in the shower before ‘the witch’ wonders what we’re up to in here.”

“Well, I’m sure we have a few minutes!” Matt giggled at the thought of being tempted back into the shower with Emilia.

“Not a chance big boy! Awkward enough that my parents are just the other side of the door.” With that, she picked up a towel and provokingly made her way into the bathroom, and just before she closed the door, blew him a kiss through the air and giggled.

Ten minutes later Emilia had showered and chucked on some clothes, choosing to forgo the makeup believing that to leave her parents alone for too long in their flat had potential disaster written all over it.

“Ready to face ‘the witch’?” Matt asked as he got up from the bed where he’d patiently been waiting for Emilia and came over to put his arms around her waist as she made the final adjustments to her hair.

“Yeah, I think so. Even though I know up till now I’ve not wanted you to meet them I’m glad you’re here. I just want everything to be perfect and for them to like you!” Emilia replied turning to face him and stretching up to place her arms around his neck. “I just don’t want her to treat you as she treats me. Promise you won’t hate me if she does?”

Matt laughed.

“Honestly if she treats me like crap that’s her problem. I cannot help how other people are to me, I can only try to understand why they are like that. Don’t worry about me. I am a big boy and can handle myself. Anyway, I plan to kill her with charm. She will be like putty in my hands before the hour has ended.”

“I will remind you of that in two hours when you are strangling both of them.”

“Ha-ha fair enough. Anyway Miss Jakobsson, just remember one thing! I love you.”

“Really, you promise, even after meeting ‘the witch’?”

“Yes, my gorgeous, I promise, even after meeting ‘the witch’.” He replied as he kissed her shoulder. “Come on, let’s do this.”

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