When We Were

Sixty Five: We Need To Sing Her Name

Frowning to himself, Lionel swiped at his phone, flicking back and forth between two pictures on the screen. He didn’t know why he was doing it, with Emilia and the baby both sleeping contentedly, he knew that the opportunity was there for him to follow suit and catch up on the sleep that he had lost when Emilia’s waters had broken, but he couldn’t quite will himself to fall asleep. A part of him, no matter how small, just couldn’t believe that the baby was here and he worried that, if he fell asleep, he’d wake up and find that she hadn’t yet arrived. It was silly, he’d held her and his phone was already brimming with pictures that he would send to his family and Emilia’s when the time was right, but he still couldn’t quite believe it. After all the months of Emilia’s pregnancy, all the worries that they’d had at the beginning, he couldn’t quite fathom the idea that their daughter was sleeping just a matter of metres away from him.

Covering his mouth, he yawned into his hand before he flicked back to the first picture, his face lighting up with a tender smile. Emilia hadn’t seen him take it, after Valeria and the other medics had disappeared from the room, she had been too distracted by the baby to even remember that he was in the room, and he was kind of glad that she hadn’t noticed, it made the picture, the first of Emilia and their daughter, all the more beautiful to him. Tapping the screen, he made the move to set the picture as the wallpaper on his phone before he heard the baby stir, something which caused him to whip his head up. Almost holding his breath, he watched her tiny feet move before her eyes blinked open, causing him to edge back to his feet, shuffling towards the bassinette she laid in. Staring down at her, he let out a slightly shaky breath before he bent down, gently gathering her in his arms.

Taking a careful step away from the bassinette, he spared a brief look over his shoulder to scout for his chair before he shuffled back into it, taking extra care not to wake the baby who’d fallen back to sleep. Settling her against his chest, he just stared at her for a few long seconds before he tipped his head forwards, carefully kissing the top of her head. The baby wriggled a little, her tiny hand flexing and gripping the material of his t-shirt.

The corner of Lionel’s mouth kicked upwards, his eyes stinging a little. “You have no idea how much I already love you” he whispered before he settled back into his seat, spending a few minutes just staring down at her in awe.


Lionel lifted his head up slightly, turning his watery smile on Emilia. “You never call me Lionel” he quipped.

“Can you come here?” Emilia asked quietly.

Lionel’s forehead furrowed slightly before he nodded, carefully standing up and moving towards her bed.

Emilia let him sit down before she reached her hand up, gently brushing a stray tear off of his cheek.

Lionel laughed quietly, ducking his head shyly. “She started to stir” he noted “That’s why I picked her up” he added.

Emilia brushed another tear off of his cheek. “You don’t need a reason for cuddles” she mused.

Lionel offered her a little smile, one Emilia returned before the sound of a light knock at the door reached their ears, causing Lionel to sit up, glancing up at Isaac who stood awkwardly in the doorway, Luca peeking out from behind his legs.

“Luca” Emilia breathed “Hola, baby” she added.

Luca shuffled out from behind Isaac, waving without a word.

Emilia tilted her head, sparing a look up at Isaac who offered her a small smile. “I might have told him that you needed him to be quiet” he noted “I didn’t know if the baby would be awake or not, so I erred on the side of caution. Luca, why don’t you go over and say hola to your mama, eh?” he prodded.

Luca offered Emilia a cautious look, something which made Emilia smile before she nodded. Luca grinned before he charged across the room, pulling himself up onto the bed. “Mama!” he squeaked “Are you OK? You’re in the hospital” he added.

Emilia, who’d been watching Isaac as he wordlessly backed out of the room, turned and pressed a kiss to his head before she nodded. “I’m OK” she mused “It was just time for the baby to come and I had to be here to make sure that she came along OK” she explained as she pushed his hair off of his forehead.

Luca furrowed his head a little. “Can I see her?” he asked.

“You really want to?” Emilia asked.

Luca’s nod was insistent. “Yeah” he confirmed.

“Ok” Emilia mused before she looked up, offering a grin to Leo who stood patiently beside the bed. Reaching her arms out, she let Lionel place the baby into them before she looked at Luca, her heart swelling at the look of awe which had appeared on his face.

For a long moment, no one said anything. Emilia and Lionel were watching Luca, and Luca was watching the baby who laid in his mother’s arms, but after what felt like forever, he looked up at his mother, a soft smile on his face. “She’s so little” he whispered.

“You were this little once” Emilia retorted.

Luca shook his head, but didn’t say anything more before he carefully shuffled up the bed, leaning over to get a better look at his sister.

Lionel padded across the room, picking up the bag that Isaac had left behind, before he pulled the cupcake out of it. Quickly finding the candle that Isaac had also brought, he pushed it into the cake before he carried it over to the bed, pulling both Emilia and Luca’s attention up to him. “Sorry we haven’t got your presents” he mused with a warm grin “But me and your mama, we’d still like to sing you happy birthday if you’ll let us” he added.

Luca grinned. “Can we sing it to baby too?” he prodded.

Lionel nodded, letting out a slightly awed laugh. “After we’ve sung to you, eh?” he mused.

Luca nodded eagerly, grinning through the entirety of the song before he leant over, blowing the candle out. “Now baby” he insisted.

“Will you blow the candle out for her?” Emilia prodded “She’s too little to do it herself and you’re her big brother” she added.

Luca preened a little, seemingly reveling in his new role, before he nodded. “OK” he agreed “But I have one more question” he added.

“What’s that?” Lionel asked.

“What’s her name?” Luca prodded “We need to sing her name” he insisted.

Lionel and Emilia shared a grin before they looked back at Luca. “Maisie” Emilia mused “We’ll sing happy birthday to Maisie” she clarified.

Luca grinned before he leant forwards, hesitating for a second before he pressed a kiss to Maisie’s little cheek. “Happy birthday, Maisie” he cooed.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)