Sunday, June 25, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.
Verb and noun, informal
Kiss and caress amorously; an act or spell of amorous kissing and caressing. BRITISH for make-out.
“Anthony’s smile is soft and tender, gazing down at his wife, and hers is brilliant: all white teeth and gums and crinkled eye. His must stretch as he realises their daughter takes after Nathalie because his wife’s hand reaches to cup his jaw, thumb stroking his cheekbone.
‘I am so lucky,’ she murmurs. ‘So blessed to have found you and to be given Zoey.’
‘I think you’re stealing my lines, Thalia,’ he chuckles softly and mirrors her movement. ‘Because I’m the lucky bastard.’
Her smile is indulgent now and she scoots closer, their knees already knocked together and now her chest brushes his bicep. Slowly, she leans up to kiss his lips chastely. ‘I’m uncertain I can agree with you, dearest.’ She answers after pulling away. ‘Though,’ her tone is sing-song and teasing, ‘Zoey is the luckiest babe.’
Anthony laughs. Nathalie snuggles into his chest, beaming, and relishes her husband’s quaking that surrounds her. They do not fear waking their daughter as little Zoey Noelle is tucked away upstairs. Now that Zoey sleeps through the night, Nathalie doesn’t fret the distance between downstairs master bedroom and the nursery upstairs. It only took nearly fourteens months.
‘Zo’s gonna grow up looking just like you,’ states Anthony once his laughter dies out.
Nathalie quirks a well-kempt brow. She’s slightly taken aback from her husband’s observation, but knows she shouldn’t be. He’s been sprouting similar statements since the moment he held Zoey in hospital all those months ago. She’s more reserved, in any case, though she sees characteristics of her and Anthony in their daughter. She’s only too aware of how quickly the babe will continue to develop and change. Anthony thinks their petite fille is the spitting image of her; but Nathalie sees so much of Anthony and his mother in the girl, she can’t agree. Sure, Zoey may have inherited her hair colour, curls, and similar eyes. But aren’t all babies mostly born with generic blue orbs? She really wanted Zoey to inherit Anthony’s hazel ones.
She’s taken too long to reply and Anthony tips her chin for their gazes to lock. He’s inquisitive and her affection slams into her.
‘Allow her to grow up first, dearest.’ She settles on.
He doesn’t reply.
A shudder slips down her spine from his intense staring. She’s missing something, Nathalie realises all of a sudden. He’s trying to have one of those conversations with her and she’s missed all the cues. Ah, bloody hell. He won’t open up to her now, she knows, and she’s going to have to be insanely clever to weasel it out.
So she goes back into his arms more securely and decides a good snog never hurt anybody. After all, it’s basically what they’ve been doing since Zoey fell asleep round an hour ago. It’s a good distraction for both of them, she muse with the few active brain cells still functioning. Though, she’s undecided if the snogging is more beneficial to her cause or Anthony’s.
Somewhere between her brilliant snogging idea and the actual act, though it was definitely after Anthony nipped her top lip, Nathalie has an epiphany. In fact, the thought comes to her out of nowhere and hits harder than the first startling crack of thunder that she startles in her husband’s arms. Startles so spectacularly, in fact, that Anthony immediately ends the kiss and looks at her worriedly, swollen lips not truly ruining the effect.
But she’s blindsided. Non.
‘Hey, Thalia, love, what’s wrong?’ Anthony is crowding her space as he attempts to break into her fog.
She hears him, but he sounds as if he’s upstairs in the nursery and speaking through the baby monitor. So she continues to boogle over the epiphany. The second his hand cradles her cheek again, Nathalie jumps and spooks herself back to reality.
‘What is up with you, Nathalie?’ Anthony quizzes, tone bursting with concern and perhaps a tinge of anger.
It comes to her attention she abruptly ended their snog session and ignored him for some time afterward. She flushes and fights off the urge to avert her gaze like a naughty puppy. ‘Oh, Anthony, I’m so sorry,’ she breathes out instead.
Her husband is absolutely befuddled at her contrite behaviour. If she wasn’t so swept away in her own realisations, then she’d normally giggle at her fish-out-of-water husband. Alternatively, Nathalie is focussed on how to broach the subject she’s only uncovered and Anthony stares at her hoping something will happen.
‘You’re worried,’ she blurts out and then picks up on her cutting off her husband and the ambiguous proclamation. She slaps her forehead.
‘I am,’ he avers.
‘You’re worried that if something happens to me or both of us,’ she hurries on, especially once she catches the horrified-scandalised-astonished mien Anthony’s wearing, ‘that Zoey will…what, exactly, I haven’t quite figured out. Mon amour. But I know you, Anthony; you want her to look like me if I somehow die.’
He opens his mouth, either to dispute her claim or correct her, Nathalie will never discover because she pleads with him and doesn’t allow him to speak. If she doesn’t finish now, she’ll never articulate it. He concedes.
‘This is part of the reason we chose godparents for her, dearest. But heaven forbid if you go first, I certainly won’t be yearning for our daughter to look like you just because we cannot have you.’ She barrels through her thoughts. Anthony still looks like he’s been emotionally slain, so Nathalie cradles his face between her hands somewhat awkwardly but suffers through the angle to comfort him. ‘I know discussing these events before we had her is one thing; I don’t enjoy contemplating your death any more than you do, Anthony. But we’ve obviously been putting off this conversation for some time.
‘Zoey will end up looking like a combination of both of us, dearest, because of genetics. Okay, I’ll concede that she has inherited the majority of my colouring and features. You need to acknowledge she’s going to have your stubborn disposition and curious intellect and no doubt a combination of both our fiery temper. That’s life and that’s our life we created. I’m not certain why this is still plaguing you. But she’s going to be so strong, my love.’ She inhales deeply and blinks rapidly. ‘I swear to you, Anthony, I’m not breaking my vows. Till death do us part. I’ll even come back to haunt you, if you’d like; only if you promise the same.’
He snorts and some of the heightened emotional atmosphere simmers.
Silence blankets them. Their hands clasps and Nathalie keeps her free palm cupped to Anthony’s cheek, refusing to be separated. His eyes roam her face quietly.
‘I don’t ever want her to lose you,’ his voice is hoarse by the time he answers her. ‘I know how difficult it’s been for you, my love, losing your parents at eleven. And your godmother right before we had Zo.’ His hand squeezes hers tightly. ‘I don’t ever want her to experience that.’
‘I don’t either,’ she affirms. ‘But it’s not our choice, Anthony. So long as I’m here, she’s never going to have to know. Anthony, I won’t let Zoey lose me as long as it’s in my power. I’m not going to be reckless. Hopefully, Zoey will have to deal with us until you’re wrinkly and white-haired and me hovering until she gives us grandchildren.’
He mouths okay and Nathalie’s heart constricts.
‘Snog me,’ she demands.
He doesn’t even question her one-eighty. His grin is wolfish, if a bit misty-eyed; she doesn’t comment and ends up giggling profusely when he refuses to kiss her properly but tickles her mercilessly.”
*French translations: (also, fair warning, my French is very basic and I am not fluent. Apologies for any blunders.)
petite fille: little girl
Mon amour: my love
Here is the follow up: Childminder