Emma rolled out of bed, picking up her phone in the process. Feet slapped on the wooden staircase as she nearly ran to the kettle, the lure of coffee too strong to warrant a long lay in.
The house was empty, the distant buzz of the traffic outside could be heard through the gaps in the front door.
Emma pulled her jacket from the back of the dining room chair, put it on and snuggled into the warm woolen fabric. It was cold this morning, and an unwanted chill sent a shiver running up her spine.
Placing the phone on the counter Emma simultaneously pressed the call button for her mother and poured out the freshly boiled water into her favourite “Queen Bitch” mug. The call rang three times before a chirpy voice sounded on the other end of the line.
“Emma, I’m glad you called. I-”
“Mum I will not hear any more about it, I am going on this trip regardless.” She interrupted. Emma had wanted to hear another human voice but her mother was determined not to let her live her life.
“I know darling, I just wish you would take someone with you, it’s not safe to go travelling by yourself. It scares me, what if something happens?”
“It’s Paris mum, it’s not like I’m travelling to the middle east by myself.”
“I know, but with all the attacks recently…” she trailed off, “I just worry about you, I’m allowed to, you’re my daughter.”
“There were stabbings in London last week, some guy was attacked just up the road from where I live. I am just as safe in my home as I am abroad.”
Her Mother made a small disapproving sound, one that confirmed that she had accepted Emma’s opinion and had no further argument to add.
“Just be safe darling, and bring me back a souvenir.”
Emma chuckled, “of course. I’ll bring you back the extra stinky blue cheese.”
The phone call ended and the silence slapped Emma in the face once more.
Sipping at the coffee, she raided her wardrobe, looking for her comfiest pair of black jeans and her coral chiffon shirt. She wasn’t travelling until later in the afternoon but she could still fill the time with a bit of last minute packing.
In all honesty, Emma felt lonely. She had wanted someone with drive, enthusiasm and bursting with passion and Ethan had not been that man.
Emma was starting to realise that maybe she hadn’t been the woman that everyone had expected her to be and was going through a minor quarter life crisis.
After Ethan had packed his bags and left, the house had felt wrong, it had become too big for just one person.
Her job had her in an office filing paperwork. It had been a good stepping stone, a decent paycheck every month and it had allowed her to save for this holiday. Her trip to Paris had been a calculated plan ever since Ethan had left, her dream to see the Eiffel Tower ignited by a tour guide poster at her local bus station.
Not being able to handle any more silence, Emma pressed play on some playlist, not really caring or even listening to the tracks. There were guitars, a soft mellow voice, and lyrics that didn’t really mean anything.
It was a good void filler.