I splashed some cold water over my face, cleaning each and every corner of my face.
Dark circles under my eyes were still visible, and I was worried if my mom saw me in freaking ugly condition like this, with my hairs sticking like a birdnest from my bun and my face looking like a distorted mushroom after all those sleepless depressing nights, then she would certainly throw a huge fit over it.
Mom was waiting in the drawing room after I excused myself to go to washroom and let Miranda open the door for her.
Quickly applying some foundation and cream under my eyes, which I stored in my makeup-kit for emergency makeup required often in conditions like these, I tied my hairs in a high ponytail and rushed downstairs to meet my mom.
She looked so innocent and heartwarming, sitting on the sofa and waiting for me impatiently. I smiled genuinely at her, and went behind her to scare her like old times.
Mom stood up immediately from the sofa and shrieked out loudly like a choked bird and I doubled up in laughter, seeing her immediate reaction. She raised her purse at me, thinking of me as some unexpeceted intruder or a thief.
"Relax Mom! It's just me!"
"Emily! You're gonna get a good beating from me if you pulled such pranks on me again!"
I raised my hands in defence, grinning like an idiot. "Okay! Okay! Guilty!"
"You really will never change, will you!?" She smiled back at me and hugged me tightly. I hugged her back, inhaling that motherly scent I missed all this time.
I really wanted to talk to her about everything I went through supporting this fake marriage with Edward all alone by myself but I knew that if she knew anything about our facade and pretend relationship, it might be possible that she might never let me be friends with Edward anymore, maybe going as far as breaking every relationship which we Willows have with Jones family all these years!
"How is my sweety these days!?"
I smiled. "Your sweety is doing fine as always! How about you tell me how have you been, my dear mom!?"
"Oh dear, why so formal now!? After getting married in a rich family, you sure have accquired some traits of ignorance and authority ,I guess!"
"Mom! Seriously! It was just to trigger your temper, you know!" I placed a cup of tea on the table, sliding plate of snacks beside it. "Here! It'll help your headache a little! How many times do I have to tell you not to travel in this hot weather when you can't tolerate all this scorching heat!?"
Mom made a face at me. "You seriously thought I would miss a chance to meet my own daughter after staying away from her all this time!?"
"But still Mom! It's not heatlhy for your migraine and besides, you could've visited me at night. Its not that I am going anywhere and Dad could also have come with you then! But tell me, how is Dad though!? Man, I really miss talking with him!"
"You missed your dad but not me!"
"Well well, I am the daddy's girl so am the selfish one here..." I trailed off, huge grin forming on my face seeing my mom frown sadly at my words.
When she didn't say anything for a minute, I sighed and hugged her from behind, resting my head on her shoulders. "Oh Mom! You know I missed you more than anyone else so why make this ugly octopus face! Make that chubby puppy face for me that you used to make whenever I would fall into a big trouble and came back home crying loudly after breaking my nose or jaw everytime I would go out to play!"
"You really have a weired way of showing emotions, Emily!"
I shrugged. "After all, fruits doesn't fall too far from their trees and I happen to resemble you in one way or another."
"You make me so worried sometimes, Emily, when you don't call or text me for weeks but I shrug it off thinking it is indeed tough to manage marriage life so you might be busy somewhere else!"
I grinned. "I love it when you worry over me for nothing Mom!"
"But you know I don't really worry much for you now, 'cause I know Edward is taking good care of you and I have witnessed a lot of his love for you these past years of your friendship with him so I am sure you must be very happy after marrying him, Emily!"
I looked down at my lap, fiddling with my fingers. "Yes, Mom. I am. Edward is a very good husband any women could ever ask for!"
"Of course he is! After all, he's your first love and first loves, when reciprocated, always give you every happiness of this world and a lovely happy ending!"
Mom was right in her each and every word but the problem was that...
I didn't have any happy ending in my life..
Or maybe I don't deserve to have any of it..
And I knew it from the moment I started loving Edward that my first love would always remain uncompleted and unreciprocated, even if for a moment I might get my hopes up for nothing.
He loved someone else and I was glad I never actually confessed to him.
After all, that would make me a complete idiot to confess to someone who already had a girlfriend, wouldn't it!?
"How is Dad doing!? Is he taking his medicine properly!? Is he in his office right now!?" I asked her, trying to change the topic of the conversation without making it too obvious.
"Yes! Your dad is planning to get a new car this time!"
"Why!? What happened to the old one though!?"
Mom sighed. "He got into another accident some days ago and this time, it's broken beyond repair-"
"Oh my god Mom! Is he okay!? Why didn't you tell me!? I would have come over to visit him properly then!? It's really scary and did he fracture anything-"
"Relax, Emily! He is fine! That's why I didn't call you! You would have thrown a useless fit over it then-"
"But what if he suffered a major injury!? Did you get an X-Ray!? A proper MRI!? What about a CT-Scan? Any minor injuries speculations!? Any blood clot adhering to the skin and muscles-"
"Oh dear, I told you he's fine! We got a proper examination and satisfactory results from the hospital already! If it was anything dangerous, I would've called you myself but since it wasn't, I didn't think it necessary to inform you!"
"I want to talk to Dad!"
"You can, dear, once he reaches home after his meeting! Don't worry Emily! Here. Take this!" Mom placed a red coloured box on my lap. "Your dad especially chose it for you! Send him the picture after you wear it! He wanted to see how you would look in it!"
I opened the box, unlacing the ribbons in a mild curiousity and my mood got a lot better after seeing a new pair of jeans and a shirt. I ransacked the whole box for further gifts and lifted my hand to see red floral dress entangled in my fingers.
"What's this, mom!?" I turned the dress around to take a better look at it.
Mom shrugged. "I don't know. It's supposed to be a dress girls wear to show off these days, you know!"
"I know what it is Mom. I just don't understand why Dad would send me something like this though, when he clearly knows I don't wear these frilly things!"
"Maybe this time, he wishes to see you in these frilly things!"
I narrowed my eyes suspiciously at her. "Are you sure that's what he wanted to send me!?"
"I don't know! Maybe he might have another reason in his mind to send you this dress, but see it properly Emily! Isn't this dress just gorgeous!? This colour will suit your complexion and if you would just open your hairs" She pointed at my bun, running her fingers down my hairs. "Your hairstyle will compliment these ribbons and I think red or maybe muticolored earrings will go better with it and-"
I raised my hand, chuckling at her words dripping with excitement. "I'll keep it Mom. Give it to me!"
She looked at me, a look of surprise and admiration adorning her fair face. "You won't throw it away after I am gone, won't you!?"
I waved. "No Mom. I won't, I swear I'll wear it and send you a pic soon!"
"Really!? Oh God, I am so happy for you, Emily! My daughter is making a progress, much better progress to dress like a women now! How blessed I am to have Edward as my son-in-law who changed her completely in mere few months, when even I wasn't sucessful in doing so!"
I opened my mouth to speak but found it better not to reply her back after all. It would be better to let her think what she wants as long as she is happy thinking I am happy.
I walked towards the kitchen and placed empty cups and plates on the sink. Opening the tap water, I started to wash them off one by one.
"Are you pregnant, Emily!?"
Cup slipped out of my hand and fell on the puddle of water, and I turned my head abruptly to look at my mom in confusion.
"No Mom! I am not pregnant! Why would you think that!?
She pointed her finger at the kitchen counter. "Then what about all these used lemons?"
I chuckled. "I just made some lemon water for myself. These days I am not feeling quite well and fresh." I looked at my mom and smiled a little. "How about we continue the rest of our conversation in my room!? It's quite comfortable there, and besides, you need to take a little rest after traveling in your sick condition also! I'll make you another cup of tea so take a little nap in my room until then."
"Then I can take these to your room!" She took the dress and placed it carefully inside the box. "I'll keep it in your closet then."
"And yes mom, if you want to wash up, there are some fresh towels inside my closet or you can find some on that black cupboard inside the washroom as well."
I busied myself in making tea and some proper lunch for both of us after Mom left to take a proper bath. Making myself another glass of lemon water, I drank it down in one go and resumed my cooking.
After half an hour, everything was ready and I started to plate snacks on a tray, placing glass of water beside them.
I heard a distinct shuffle of a carpet and turned my head around to see Mom standing on the stairs, looking at me with sadness and confusion.
"Mom? Why are you here!? Weren't you taking a bath!?"
"I didn't took it. Suddenly, I got some other things to take care of." She stared at me with some unknown emotion in her eyes.
"Oh never mind then. Let's go to my room to talk. I made you your favourite cutlets though I think I put a little too much flour in there. Or maybe I didn't! It's all to judge by taste now." I broke the cutlet in two pieces and taking one piece, I lifted my hand to her mouth. "Here! Taste it and tell me how it is? It's been a long time since I last made it so maybe it really isn't so-"
"Are you really happy with this marriage, Emily?"