Slow Dancing in the Darkness

03: I Guess It Is

“Come on, Noah” Gabriela mused as she padded into the little boy’s bedroom, offering him a little smile. It was still early, thanks to the long nap that he had taken the day before, Noah had only wanted to sleep for a few more hours before he had bounced into his mother’s bedroom, and Gabriela was a little glad. Noah being up early meant that they could find a supermarket before he had the chance to get too hungry. Padding over to him, she dropped a little kiss onto his forehead before she knelt ahead of him, tying the shoelaces which were still undone. “I will teach you how to do these” she commented, looking up at him.

“Papa said that I didn’t need to” Noah replied “He said that you’d do it” he added.

“Papa was wrong” Gabriela noted. It wasn’t the first time, since Noah had learned to walk and talk, Elliot had been quick to shy away from some of his responsibilities, but Gabriela didn’t have it in her to fight him on it again. She didn’t know why he did it, Elliot had never been the most hands on parent, but she wished he could make a little more of an effort. Noah idolized his father, to the little boy, Elliot was the most fascinating and amazing person in the world, and Gabriela could only see her son getting hurt as he got older. Elliot had taken less and less interest in their son as he got older and she had little doubt that eventually the weekly visits he insisted upon would dwindle.

Ensuring that the laces were tied, Gabriela lifted Noah onto her hip before she padded into the living room, collecting her bag before she spotted the piece of paper which sat ahead of the door, clearly having been slipped under it whilst she had been checking on her son. Tilting her head, she gently lowered Noah to his feet before she padded over to it, noting her name, which had been spelt wrong, scrawled onto it in a loopy and barely readable handwriting. Shaking her head a little, she picked it up and unfolded it, smiling softly at the content. It was short and sweet, other than her name, the paper bore only one word, and Gabriela couldn’t help but smile.

“Mama?” Noah posed.

Gabriela startled a little at the sound of the toddler voice before she stowed the note in her pocket, moving to take his hand. “What do you want me to get you for breakfast, baby?” she posed as they wandered out of the apartment, making their way down the hall.

“Can we have eggs?” Noah posed, looking up at her with his brown eyes soft and wide.

Gabriela nodded her head. “Of course we can” she smiled.

“And toast?” Noah added, smiling up at her.

“If that’s what you want” Gabriela returned, moving to lift him up.

Noah grinned and hugged his mother tightly, something which made Gabriela smile a little. She knew that Elliot was waiting to let him down, it was the one skill she knew that her ex-husband excelled in, but she knew that she wasn’t going to let Noah down, no matter what happened. She was going to ensure that he could at least count on her.

“Don’t get too far ahead, Noah” Gabriela called as they wandered back into their building, 4 bags of groceries precariously balanced in her arms. It had been a quick trip, Gabriela knew that her son tended to get fussy when it came to going shopping, but she was glad that they had made it back fairly quickly. She had the day to spend with Noah and didn’t particularly want to spend the entirety of the day selecting breakfast cereals or ensuring that everything she had chosen was healthy. Shifting the bags slightly, she pushed the button for the elevator and waited outside, ushering the toddler inside before she hit the number for their floor.

“Hold it”

Gabriela looked up at the sound of the familiar voice and nodded, pressing the hold button until he stepped inside, greeting her with his usual light smile. “Buenos dias, Gabriela” he noted.

“Buenos dias, Lionel” she replied, shifting the shopping bags once more.

“Do you want me to get one of those?” he posed.

“I can handle it” she replied.

“You don’t look like it” Lionel noted, reaching out to take a couple of the bags “Besides, we’re practically going to the same place. It’s not like I am going out of my way” he added.

Gabriela shook her head. “Thank you” she noted.

Lionel offered her a nonchalant shrug.

“I got your note” Gabriela quipped, her blue eyes peeking at him gently.

“How did you know it was me?” he replied, smiling.

“Because you’re the only person in the building I have spoken to. By the way, Gabriela only has one ‘l’ in it” she commented.

“I will remember that for the next time” Lionel teased.

“Next time?” Gabriela teased, gently moving to pull Noah away from the series of buttons that he looked like he was about to push.

Lionel nodded. “I was going to keep leaving them until you agreed to come and get coffee with me” he explained “I’d text, but we’re not exactly at the exchanging numbers point yet” he explained.

“Why do you want to get coffee with me?” Gabriela noted as the doors of the elevator opened.

“You seem nice” Lionel replied, shrugging his shoulders once more “Do you not want to get coffee with me?” he posed.

“I never said that” Gabriela defended.

Lionel smiled. He kind of liked the way they could spar off of one another.

“So, that’s a yes right?” he commented, allowing her to lead the way towards her apartment, Noah toddling alongside her.

“I guess that it is” she replied.

“You guess?” he laughed.

Gabriela rolled her eyes softly before they reached her door. “I have Noah all week” she noted gently “But on Friday, his papa comes to take him for the weekend. Are you free this weekend?” she posed softly.

Lionel nodded his head. Thanks to his involvement in Argentina’s unsuccessful Copa America campaign, he was free for the next couple of weeks.

“I am” he confirmed.

“Then I will see you on Saturday for coffee” Gabriela noted, pushing the door open.

“I will see you then” he confirmed with a grin.

Gabriela flashed him a little smile before she took the shopping bags out of his hands and padded inside, closing the door behind her.

Lionel chuckled. He was a little impressed that he had managed to get a date with her.
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Thanks to Jayme112234, Luuuc_19 and FootieJo for the comments :)