His phone seemed heavier than his heart, and his heart seemed heavier than life. Clare's mother was one tap on his phone away, but he was scared. Scared to tap the screen, hear the phone connecting, hear Emmy pick up, probably excited because she liked it when he called. Emmy loved him. When Clare had first introduced him to her mother, she hugged him and fed him and asked him everything she could possibly ask. Perhaps it was because her husband had died so long ago, when Clare was a child. People tend to like the presence of someone of the opposite sex, even if it's not for romantic purposes.
But this could never be a good conversation. He wondered how he could ever tell a mother that her only child had died. Should he do it in the same way he told his own parents? But they weren't hers. And Ewan's parents had never had the same affection for Clare as her parents had for him. And while they were obviously shocked, and scared, and concerned, they didn't really care about her. Only Ewan mattered.
Emmy would have to worry about two people. And she would have to do it without a partner. But she would have to. Eventually.
His thumb pressed down. He put the phone to his ear. In the short moments between the phone ringing, he wished she wouldn't pick up. Ten seconds passed. Ten more. Then---
"Ewan! Emmy speaking."
"Hey, mum."
"Good morning. You're sure calling early, but that's okay, I've been up running errands since seven. You sound tired, have you slept? Oh you must have been on your flight, that's right."
"Hey Emmy, can you perhaps, sit down somewhere?"
"What's up Ewan? You're sounding really serious."
"Please sit down, mum."
"Okay, okay, I'm sitting. What's going on. You haven't proposed, have you?"
"No Emmy, listen. On our way to the airport, there was an accident..." More pain. Tears. "Clare was just getting some coffee and she was crossing the street and it was all safe, Oh god I'm so sorry mum..." More tears. Crying. He could hear Emmy crying.
"Ewan... Ewan how bad is it?" She asked after breathing in sharply.
"She's gone mum. Clare's gone."
What followed was two minutes of silence. He could nearly feel her cry.
"Ewan," she said, breaking the agonizing stillness. "Ewan how are you?"
"I don't know. I'm going home. My parents are there."
"That's good. If you need anything, just tell me honey, okay?"
"I will."
"I'm gonna go now. Is it okay if I come by tomorrow?"
"Please do. Bye Emmy. I love you."
"I love you too, darling."

The End

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