You Loved Me Once

00: Just Go

Zipping up the last of his suitcases, Lionel peeked around the quiet bedroom, not liking how still and quiet it seemed. It hadn’t always been that way, usually, the room he and his girlfriend shared was full of sound and light, but that night it seemed cold, something which had a lump in his throat. He knew that it had to be done, if he left it anymore, it would be too late, but still the idea unsettled him. It was Alba, the girl he’d had in his life since he could remember, and the idea of explaining to her that he didn’t quite know if he wanted to marry her was one that stung.

It wasn’t the first time he had thought it, after he had proposed the regret of asking had been almost instantaneous, but with just 3 weeks separating them from their big day, he knew that the time for hooping that he could change his mind had passed. He wasn’t ready for it, not with Alba at least, and he wanted to end it before they were married. He didn’t want to put her through the pain of a wedding day he was almost certain that he wouldn’t show up for.

Settling the last bag beside the others, he turned towards the dresser which stood a little away from him, his eyes staring down at the blank piece of paper which rested on the wooden surface. He knew that it was cowardly, leaving a note as opposed to talking to her, but he doubted he would be able to speak to her. As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Alba was likely to cry and if there was one thing that he couldn’t handle it was watching Alba cry. Chewing on the end of the pen, he stared at the paper for a moment before the sound of the front door opening and closing caught his ears, causing his stomach to turn.


Lionel sighed a little at the sound of her voice and sat down, his dark eyes watching the bedroom door as it swung open, allowing Alba to step inside, a warm grin on her face. “What are you doing hiding in here?” she mused as she moved into the room, settling the shopping bag which she had in her hand on the top of the dresser “I thought we were supposed to be having dinner” she added.

“We were” Lionel noted softly “But…”

“Leo” Alba noted as she moved to slip her shoes off “Are you alright?” she added before she turned, her blue eyes landing on the selection of suitcases which had been lined up beside the door.

“You weren’t meant to be here yet” Lionel mumbled sheepishly “I thought you were going to be at work for a little while longer” he added.

Alba didn’t move, her eyes still transfixed on the row of neatly arranged suitcases.


“You were just going to go?” she noted, her voice flat and even.


“You weren’t even going to talk to me? You were just going to walk away?” she spat as she turned around, her eyes fixed on her boyfriend who sighed a little, his shoulders dropping.

“I don’t know what to say” he murmured softly “Alba, this is hard and I didn’t think I would be able to handle…”

“Telling me to my face” Alba finished for him.

Lionel sighed softly and took a step towards her, reaching for her hand. “Can you just listen to me for a moment?” he posed gently “I just want to say my piece and then you can do what you want, but please, let me explain” he noted gently.

Alba eyed the hand he held out to her before she shook her head, moving to sit at the end bed.

“I’m sorry” Lionel noted gently “I am sorry that I was trying to just run away, but this has been coming for a while now, Alba. I love you, you know that I do, but I just…do you know how many women I have dated?” he spluttered.

Alba merely stared up at him, her expression unmoved.

“You’re the first girl, Alba, the only girl, and as selfish as it seems, that idea scares the daylights out of me. I adore you…”

“Just not enough to marry me” Alba interjected, her eyes fixed on her hands.

“It’s my fault” Lionel admitted softly “I thought that a proposal was what you wanted, but when we started making plans…it scares me, Allie, more than I thought it would, and I don’t think I can go through with it. I don’t want to hurt you in the long run” he insisted. He knew that his words were futile, no matter what he said, the fact remained that he was breaking up with her, but he wanted to ensure that she understood. He didn’t want to hurt her, but he didn’t know that he could go through with a marriage that he was already second guessing.

Alba, who was studying her hands, shook her head. “You’re unbelievable” she spat.


“You let me make plans” she spat, moving back to her feet “You let me send invitations. You let me pick out a dress, and now you’re telling me that proposing to me was a mistake? How could you do that?” she hissed.

“I thought I could go through with it” Lionel argued “I do love you, Alba…”

Alba scoffed, shaking her head.

“Alba” Lionel murmured softly as he reached out for her “Lo siento, mi querida” he mumbled.

Alba shrugged off his touch.

“I am sorry, Alba” he murmured as he stepped a little closer to her “I wish I could do it, but I just don’t think I can, not right now at least. I hate that you’re getting hurt” he insisted as he placed a hand against her cheek, guiding the stare of her tearful blue eyes to his. Studying her expression for a moment, he ducked his head and pressed a soft kiss against her lips, smiling a little when she responded.

Alba allowed him to kiss her for a moment before she pulled back, her head shaking. “No” she spluttered “You don’t get to do that. You don’t get to get away with it” she hissed.


“Leave” Alba cut in.

“I am sorry, Alba” he protested gently.

“You can tell that to my parents, to all of my friends and family who were going to be here next week” she muttered.

“I will handle all of that for you” Lionel insisted.

Alba shook her head. “Just go, Leo” she mumbled, her arms folding across her chest.

Lionel let out a small sigh before he stepped towards her, pressing a soft kiss against her cheek. “I really didn’t mean to hurt you, Alba” he murmured gently.

Alba merely shied away from the contact, wanting nothing more than for him to leave.

“I love you, Alba Nunez” he insisted as he shouldered one of his bags.

Alba made a small sound, but didn’t say anything, something which made him shake his head.

He wanted nothing more than for things to be different, he wanted to make Alba happy, but he wasn’t sure that he could go through with it, no matter how much he wanted to make things work with her. He didn’t know if he could get his head around the idea of his first relationship being his last.