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20 Questions for Characters – Part 1 – Pre-Contessa

This post WILL contain spoilers for Emi Lost & Found, but it will also provide some insight into the characters’ lives. Each character will be answering his or her own questions, including one character who speaks to us from beyond the grave. These answers would come after Never Look Back, but before Contessa.

1. Nate – What was going through your mind when Emi got hurt? – Emi (that’s her real name)

I wasn’t worried for her life. I knew she’d live. I hoped for her sake that the baby would, too. Once she miscarried, but started to heal, I realized that going on with her life would seem insurmountable to her. Hell, she was afraid of what her life would be like without me if we gave a relationship a chance and it didn’t work out… if we broke up, and went our separate ways. This was permanent, though. There was no mending fences. There was no chance of distance making the heart grow fonder. It was over. We were over, and I could only hope that she would someday return to the vibrant woman I knew and loved.

2. Emi – If you could be so kind to share more details of your thoughts/worries when Jack walked away from you at the hospital, (after you slapped him). – JoAnn

Oh, shit. That was my first thought, just… oh, shit! What did I do? I thought it was over. I thought my response to his question might have come off as hurtful, but it was never meant to be, and I never doubted how I felt about Jack. I think Chris’ reaction made me worry even more. He sat in stunned silence after Jack walked out, and then he told me he’d never seen him like that. In a way, I thought I’d broken him. I’d broken his heart, and I’d broken this man who always seemed so strong and solid. It wasn’t that I didn’t love Jack more than Nate, though. In my heart, I knew that what Jack and I had was different than anything I’d ever experienced before. Saying it out loud, though… I was already hurting, feeling betrayed and inadequate, and I think it was a way to protect myself. My last defense. I think I was using my love for Nate as a shield to protect myself from rejection. If I came out and told Jack I loved him the most, the best, and he walked away because I couldn’t have his children, it would have devastated me. It was stupid, though. It was stupid of me to think Jack would ever walk away, and it was stupid of me to not just tell him how I felt up front.

3. Steven Holland – What made you change your opinion about Emi? You were basically on the attack before you even met her, and said some very nasty and rude things to her. I was also wondering if you ever apologized to her, and if you did, did it include any groveling? – Jeannie

I blame Jack’s ex, Caroline, for my treatment of Emi. I mean, sure, I wasn’t trusting of her, but who could blame me? Jack seemed instantly in love with this girl – and Jack has never instantly fallen in love with a woman. That’s not my brother. All of Jack’s relationships have been slow-developing, tentative and safe. He had to be those things because of who he is, to make sure people like him for the right reasons. So, yeah, when Emi showed up on our family vacation, out of the blue, I didn’t know what to think. I really thought she’d tricked Jacks or something.

Honestly, Renee made me change my opinion of Emi. She was pissed at me. She was angry at me at a time when she should have been perfectly happy with me, just days after we got engaged. I felt like shit. We talked that night after Jacks thought he could ‘beat me up.’ Renee didn’t know Emi, either, so she couldn’t really vouch for her reasons for being with Jack, but she felt there was something ‘honest’ about Emi, and something pure about their relationship. I wasn’t convinced, but I decided to sit back and watch them for the rest of the trip. After Matty and Lucas and Kelly weighed in, voicing their approval of Jacks’ new girlfriend, I decided to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.

When Jack told me that Emi couldn’t have children, and he still voiced his desire to be with her, I knew he was in love and that there was no turning back. I apologized profusely – with lots of groveling – when Emi showed up at my house in Texas. I’ll never forget when she told my parents she was sorry that she wouldn’t be able to give Jacks any children. My mom and dad couldn’t hide their disappointment as tears streamed from her eyes, but all I wanted to do was pull her in a tight hug and offer immediate forgiveness (which she didn’t ask for, and would never need to), and also to thank her for recognizing my brother’s lifelong dream to be a father. She knew this was important – that it was a huge sacrifice on Jack’s part. She respected that, and I respected her for caring enough to recognize it.

4. Donna – What happened the night Nate’s father died to cause him to go to a bar to drink rather then drink at home as per usual? – Tiffany

There was no incident, no fight. I’d been asking him to stop, and so he stopped drinking around the house as often. He’d go out. I had pleaded with him that going out wasn’t a solution, and more than once I’d told him I’d rather him drink at home than be at a bar. He was ashamed, though, because he couldn’t stop. He wanted to stop for me, for Nathan, but he couldn’t… and Charles was not a failure. He was successful at everything else in his life.

He had called me earlier in the day to tell me about some contracts he’d finally gotten signed with some new clients. He was so happy. When he went out that night, I’m sure it was to celebrate. In his car, they found a fresh bouquet of flowers. He liked to bring me flowers every so often – not often enough for it to become expected, but just enough to remind me that he was thinking of me; that he was still in love with me.

We were very much in love. I like to think his final thoughts were of me and our son.

5. Samantha – Did you actually love Nathan or did he represent the “Golden Ticket”… The cute guy with all the money that the prom queen is supposed to end up with? – Phyllis

You had to know Nate. He made it so easy to fall in love with him.  When I had his attention, I felt like I was the only person in the world to him. And let’s face it, on the surface, he was perfect. He was gorgeous and really creative, and he just had this… I don’t know, this easy way about him. He was confident, and he made me feel comfortable, and more than anything, he was romantic. So romantic. As I got to know him better, I saw how vulnerable he could be, and he saw things differently than I did. He had a lot more layers than I was expecting. I’d dated attractive guys before who really had nothing else to offer, but he did. He was different.

It didn’t take long to see how other girls looked at him, though, and my roommates were so jealous of me. We had multiple fights about him, about what he saw in me. I became really insecure, and I just wanted to make sure he didn’t leave me for any of these other women. He could have had anyone. I knew that. But I didn’t just fall in love with him; I fell in love with the idea of being with him, forever. Once that was in my head, I didn’t want anything to threaten it. Honestly, I wanted to trust Emi, but I saw how she got under Nate’s skin when we all went out to eat together… and I saw how she savored his attention. I reacted out of desperation. I’m not proud.

I wasn’t pregnant, but I wanted to be, and I was purposefully careless and tried to convince him to be, too. I thought if I told him I was, he’d stick around long enough so that I could get pregnant. I know it was wrong, but at the time, I just wanted him to stay with me.

My insecurity and immaturity ruined our relationship. Now I know he loved Emi, but I really think I could have made it work with him. I think – if he was still here and knew me now – he could love me. I’ve changed.

6. Kiersten – Did you really intend for Nate to stop seeing Emi only temporarily, or did you intend to put an end to that relationship entirely? – Phyllis

I didn’t trust Nate with Emi. I didn’t trust her, either. You could tell she didn’t know what she wanted from him, and I was afraid if she ever decided she wanted him, he’d be gone. Maybe after she found a serious boyfriend or something, or got married somewhere down the line – maybe then I would have allowed for more contact between them. I knew my instincts were right, though.

7. Nate – As you stood in the doorway and watched as Emi slept in Jack’s arms, you were smiling at her and nodding your head.  Why did you choose that moment to tell her goodbye? – Annie

In that moment, I knew she would be taken care of. She’d spent so much time wavering over her own feelings, but I could see that she loved Jack, and that he loved her, in return. She’d held on to hope – on to me – but she didn’t need me anymore. Likewise, I knew I didn’t need to keep a constant watch on her, either. I felt confident when I checked in on her in the future that I’d see her smiling.

8. Jack – What would you have done if Emi never made it back into your life?  Do you think you could have gone on without her? – MJ

There was life after Emi the first time around. I dated other women, and even proposed to one that I once loved. It wasn’t the same feeling that I have with Emi, but I was committed and suitably happy for a time. Although things didn’t work out with Caroline, I do think I would have found someone over time who would fill that void in my life. Would I be anywhere near as happy as I am with Emi? No, but I also wouldn’t have known what this happiness feels like.

9. Emi – What was your attraction to Colin? Was it because he was the exact opposite of Nate, or were you tired of Teresa bringing guys home all the time and being the 3rd wheel? Or were you at the stage of loneliness where you felt like any guy is better than no guy? – Phyllis

The night I met him, yes, I was feeling particularly lonely. He was different than any man I’d ever dated… and he was incredibly sexy. I was drinking (a little too much, I’ll admit), and he spent half the evening watching me from across the room with this smoldering look that made me a little squishy inside (or that may have been the wine). And then everything just happened so quickly. I’ve never really hopped into a relationship like that before, and after that first night, I didn’t even expect a relationship. I was surprised to see him a second time, and to see he was still interested in me. I just went with it. Nate and I were going through some things then, too. I sensed he was jealous, and at the time, I wanted him to be… because I was starting to get jealous of his girlfriends, too. I knew something was changing in our relationship, but I was as afraid of it as I was excited about it.

I let things get out of hand with Colin. I really wasn’t being myself at all; Nate was right. Of course Nate was right, he knew me like no one else did, or could. I’d tried to end things with Colin more than once, but he was the kind of guy who didn’t take no for an answer. I knew it was a completely unhealthy ‘thing’ we had going on.

10. Nate – Was it easy to be with other women when you know your heart belonged to Emi?  Did you picture her when you were with them? – MJ

In the heat of passion, it was always easy to be with other women. It was afterward – when I realized how fleeting those moments were and how temporary my feelings for these other women were – that was most difficult. I would envision how much better it could be with Emi, and it lessened my experience with them every time. I was constantly disappointed, and never truly satisfied.  There were times when I pictured Emi, typically after I’d been with a particular woman for awhile, and the ‘newness’ of our relationship was wearing off.

11. Emi – Please elaborate more of your exact thoughts/feelings when Jack kissed you for the second time realizing that “magic” moment didn’t belong with Nate but Jack. – JoAnn

I had hope. I had confidence in my feelings for Jack for what they were. I didn’t want to fall in love with him just because he was there, you know? Just because I had no other options. I mean, I think Jack’s the kind of guy most women could easily fall in love with, but I was unsure of my own motives at the time. It was a difficult year and a confusing time for me. I felt things for him, but I didn’t know if it was right, or okay, or even real. When he kissed me for that second time, it was an awakening for me. That was the kiss that trumped all other kisses. He was made for me. I’d always believed that a kiss truly was more than just a kiss, and his was the one I’d been lucky to find the first time, and the one I was meant to find the second time.

I’ve said it before, it was bittersweet, because while it cemented my affections for Jack, it also chipped away at what I’d had with Nate… like it wasn’t real or meant to be. It took a few years to reconcile that. Of course it was real; of course it was love I’d felt for Nate, and of course what happened with Nate was meant to be. I don’t believe I would have found true and lasting happiness had my life taken any other less traumatic turns. I have lots of other thoughts and feelings about that, but I prefer to keep those to myself to honor my best friend. He was an amazing man, and I will always love him.

Bonus question 1. Emi – Do you still have the stuffed giraffe toy from Nate? – Kelli

Of course I do… we’ve put it in a safety deposit box, but I haven’t listened to it since the day we picked it up from the loft. I can remember it with perfect clarity, anyway: what he said, his tone and timing. I can still hear the smile in his voice. He couldn’t have been happier than he was in that moment.

Bonus question 2. Emi – You took a huge leap of faith visiting Nate in Los Angeles. It seems you finally accepted that you wanted to be closer to Nate and away from the insanity of your past in New York. What was going through your mind when you made your decision? Do you wish you have made this decision sooner (maybe in high school), any regrets? – Veronica

I didn’t want to lose him as a friend. That was my motivation at the beginning. It wasn’t until after I spoke to Donna that I got the courage to pursue him. My feelings for him had been developing over a few months. There was a lot of doubt that he really cared for me in that way, but Donna more than hinted that he was being honest. I doubted I could change him, or change his ways, but she firmly believed his behavior wasn’t reflective of who he was, as a man. She thought he’d be the person he was meant to be once he was with the person he was meant to be with.

I have no regrets from high school. We were exactly what we needed in one another, and it set a foundation of support that would last many years after that. A part of me does wish I’d given him a chance earlier… maybe when we were both in college. I don’t really think things would have turned out much differently, though. I honestly didn’t feel like I really knew myself until I was in my late twenties. Even then, I had moments of insecurity. I know he did, too. It wasn’t just me not giving him a chance, though. He didn’t admit his feelings for me back then. I know he had doubts, too.

5 thoughts on “20 Questions for Characters – Part 1 – Pre-Contessa

  1. I love these questions and answers!!!♥Thank you for sharing them, Lori.

    I especially love one answer. The first time I read Emi Series abd I was so sad about Nate that I couldn’t handle that kiss with Jack (the first one). I wanted her to be ok and to be with someone eventually but I was questioning her. I wanted her love for Nate to be real, what they shared was so beautiful but then as I kept reading, I realized that it was real and it was true but it was not meant to last forever. I love Jack too, I’m on his #Team but I just needed time to recover like Emi did. So that was favorite answer.♥

  2. This was like reading another part of the story!!! Once again I was transported back to the world of Emi, Nate and Jack to learn more. I don’t think I will ever get enough. Thank you Lori for sharing your incredible talent with your fans.

  3. And you did it again; you have never disappointed me Lori! The insights into each of the character’s frame of mind were exactly what I had anticipated and much more. Thank you for including my “last minute” question…Happy Writing❤!

  4. The most awesome thing about this, aside from the wonderful insight you’ve given us into each of these characters, is how each absolutely has their own voice. That’s a fantastic gift you have there missy!

  5. Ooh! Lori you are the best!! Thank you so so so much for touching our lives with this incredible story!!
    That’s it you have ruined me for other authors!!

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