You Loved Me Once

17: On My Mind

Staring at the blank screen of her laptop, Alba shook her head, stuck for anything to write. She had been at it for hours, after a taster dinner at one of the city’s newest restaurants the previous night, Alba had been working at her review for hours, but still the document remained blank, something which played on her last nerve. It wasn’t the first time, writers’ block was a common issue for her, but she had been hoping to throw herself into work, wanting to get her mind away from the past month. She didn’t like thinking about it, the mere thought of Lionel, whose face was seemingly unavoidable in Barcelona, made her stomach ache a little, and she wanted to distract herself, something which wasn’t forthcoming.

Typing the title of her article for the 5th time, Alba stared at the screen, trying her hardest to come up with the next line.

“You’re going to hurt yourself if you think too much” One of her co-workers quipped, startling Alba slightly.

“Huh?” she spluttered.

“You’ve been staring at that document for hours and I don’t think I have ever seen you so stumped before. You OK?” the ginger girl posed.

Alba nodded. “Fine” she mused “Just a hint of writers’ block. I should be fine in a moment” she insisted, trying to offer the other woman a smile.

“Are you sure?” the other woman posed.

Alba nodded her head. “I’m sure” she insisted “Did you need something?” she posed, looking around her office. It was unusual, after her promotion, Alba had been granted a private office, and she found it a little odd to find the other woman in the doorway. People tended to leave Alba alone when the door was closed.

The ginger woman nodded. “I have a delivery for you in the front office” she noted.

“I haven’t ordered anything” Alba retorted, her tone matter-of-fact.

The ginger woman smiled. “I think this delivery is probably from a friend of yours” she commented before she ducked out of the room, returning moments later with what appeared to be an expensive bouquet of flowers. “You have a boyfriend?” she posed.

Alba, who was eyeing the flowers, shook her head. “No” she noted firmly “But what I do have is an idiot who seemingly refuses to take a hint” she added, moving to pluck the small white card from the middle of bouquet.

“I wish I had an idiot who could afford flowers like these” the ginger woman commented, settling the vase down on Alba’s desk.

Alba merely offered her a polite nod, something which the other woman took as a hint to leave the room.

Alba watched the other woman out of the door before she pulled the card from its envelope, rolling her eyes slightly at the short message before she tossed it into the bin. She wasn’t surprised that Lionel had been able to find out where she worked, her articles were easily found on the internet, but she was a little irked that he had sent flowers to her place of work. She had hoped that their talk at the airport would have made her feelings towards him remarkably clear. Eyeing the flowers for a moment, Alba contemplated throwing them away before she shook her head, carrying them out into the foyer. “Jess?” she posed.

The ginger woman looked up.

“I thought you would like these” Alba mused “I have little interest in keeping them and you seemed to like them” she added.

Jess smiled. “Really?” she peeped.

Alba nodded. “I have no interest in them” she mused.

Jess grinned and skittered towards the blonde, taking the flowers gratefully out of her hand. “Gracias, Alba” she grinned.

“You’re very welcome” Alba mused before she stepped back into her office, closing the door with a thump.

She already had a feeling that it would not be the last thing that found its way into her office.

“So let me get this right” Gerard Piqué mused as he sat down beside Lionel, placing another bottle of beer into the argentine’s hand. It was a rare opportunity, with training having started up ahead of the new season and a pre-season match against Roma on the horizon, the chances were that the team were going to have little time relax, and Gerard wanted to ensure that they did, something which had led to his organizing a small get together. “You saw Alba?” he posed.

“Who’s Alba?” Neymar, who was sat opposite the defender, posed.

“Leo’s ex” Gerard noted “The best thing that ever happened to him” he added.

“Gerard” Lionel complained.

“She was” the defender noted “And you know it. The girl was good for you” he insisted.

Lionel sighed.

“Were you together long?” Luis Suarez posed.

“A while” Lionel mumbled, sipping on his drink.

Gerard scoffed. “Try 7 years” he mused “And the fact that you were childhood sweethearts and best friends before you even started to date” he pointed out.

Lionel offered the Spaniard a glare before he shook his head, a small sigh falling out of his mouth. “She was the maid of honour at my friend’s wedding” he mused softly “She looked amazing, even after 5 years, and I thought, maybe, that she would be more open to the idea of trying again, but she wasn’t and, as stupid as it is, I can’t stop thinking about her” he insisted.

Gerard snorted a little. “You dumped her 3 weeks before your wedding day” he pointed out “What did you expect?” he added.

“You did that?” Neymar squeaked.

Lionel nodded. “I messed up” he muttered.

“And you think whining about it is going to make it better?” Gerard countered, his tone a little sharp. He wasn’t surprised that Lionel wanted Alba back, for as long as the defender had known the winger, Alba had been the best thing that happened to him, but the defender was under no illusions. Lionel had broken her heart and it was going to take more than him whining to change her mind. If he knew one thing about Alba, who he’d once been close to, it was that she didn’t like to make things easy on anyone, especially not the man who’d hurt her.


“You want this girl, no?” the defender posed.

“I do” Lionel confirmed.

“Then be around her” Gerard insisted “Don’t sit back and wait for her to come to you, you and I both know that that will never happen, go to her, be around her, get on her mind. Woo her, Leo, like you did the first time” he added.

“I was 16 when I wooed her last time, Gerard, and she was my best friend. I bought her a bouquet of flowers and asked her to be my girlfriend” Lionel pointed out.

“I don’t care how you do it” Gerard insisted “You’re not the type to give up, you never have been, so why is this different? Don’t sit back, amigo, go and get her” he mused.

Lionel offered him a look before he nodded.

“Leo, she was the best thing for you then and she probably still is now. Make her fall for you” Gerard quipped before he patted the smaller man’s shoulder, excusing himself towards Shakira who held their youngest son in her arms.

Lionel watched the tall defender coo over the infant before he nodded to himself, more determined than ever.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)