When You Close Your Eyes

01: This Isn’t Working

Resting her head against her pillow, Isabelle let out a soft sniffle, her blue eyes allowing a few loose tears to fall out. She didn’t want to cry, the fight that she and Lionel had had wasn’t the first and it wasn’t the worst, but still she couldn’t will the tears away, even if she didn’t want to cry, she simply couldn’t seem to help herself.

Letting out another soft sniffle, she carefully pushed herself up a little before she moved to rest against the headboard, her blue eyes peeking towards the door which she had pulled closed behind her. It wasn’t the first time that they had fought, for a few months, their relationship had been struggling a little, but neither she nor Lionel would admit it, not wanting to give up on a relationship that, for almost 4 years, had worked so well.

Eyeing the door for a couple of seconds, she briefly contemplated heading back out towards the living room before she shook her head, quietly moving to curl up against her pillow once more.


Isabelle, who’d squeezed her eyes shut, startled a little at the sound of Lionel’s voice before she carefully sat up, her blue eyes peeking towards where he stood in the door way, a soft expression on his face. “I...I just thought that I would check on you” he noted softly “I mean, I know I am not your favourite person right now but I thought I would make sure that you were OK” he babbled, his voice soft and uncertain.

Isabelle allowed his words to linger in the quiet room for a couple of seconds before she carefully pushed herself up, her tearful blue eyes mirroring his darker ones for a second before she shook her head, peeking back down towards her hands which fiddled shyly with the bottom of her shirt.

Lionel watched the soft movement of her fingers for a couple of seconds before he shook his head, carefully moving to settle down on the bed at her side. “We need to talk, don’t we?” he mumbled, trying not to disturb the quiet which filled the bedroom. He knew that they needed to talk, for a while, things between the two of them had been off, and he knew that they couldn’t skirt around the elephant in the room forever, even if he didn’t want to be the one who called time on their relationship, he knew that they had to have a conversation eventually.

Isabelle, who’d been messing with the hem of her shirt, paused for a second before she lifted her head, offering him a soft look. “I think so” she noted softly “I mean, things between us haven’t been great for a while and I think…”

“I think it is about time that we both admitted that right now, we’re not quite working” Lionel interjected, peeking towards her softly.

Isabelle blinked a couple of times, caught a little off guard by his interruption, before she nodded her head, a weak smile on her face. “We’re not ourselves, Leo” she murmured softly “For the last couple of months, we’ve been fighting more and I think…I think we really need to think about what we do next” she added, her fingers shyly pulling at an invisible thread which poked out of the duvet.

Lionel was quiet for a moment before he shook his head, a soft sigh falling out of his mouth. “We’ve been together for 3, nearly 4 years, Isa” he protested softly.

“I know that” Isabelle replied softly “And I am not suggesting that we rush into making this decision, but…but this isn’t working right now, Leo” she added, the tone of her voice wavering a little.

Lionel noted the slight quiver in her voice and carefully leant towards her, lacing their fingers together before he offered her hand a soft squeeze. “We don’t need to decide anything right now” he mumbled, pressing a soft kiss against her temple “We can take the night, think about things, and discuss it in the morning” he added, his tone soft and reassuring. He knew that it couldn’t be avoided, sooner or later they needed to make a call on whether or not they ended their relationship, but he wanted to put it off for a little while, not wanting to rush into something they they’d end up regretting.

Isabelle closed her eyes at the feel of his lips against her temple before she nodded her head, something which caused Lionel to press another kiss against her skin. “I love you, Isa” he mumbled quietly “I know that right now, things aren’t great, but you know that, don’t you?” he added, tilting his head so that his darker eyes mirrored her blue ones.

Isabelle admired the soft expression on his face for a couple of seconds before she nodded her head, a feeble smile playing at the corner of her mouth. “I do know that” she mused softly “And you know that I feel the same way about you, right?” she posed, her fingers lightly pushing some off the blonde hair off of his forehead.

Lionel watched the movement of her fingers before he nodded his head, a small smile on his face. “I do” he confirmed softly.

Isabelle offered him another half-hearted smile before she carefully leant into him, stealing a couple of light kisses. Lionel startled a little, not quite expecting the kisses, but he quickly warmed to it, holding onto her for a couple of seconds before she pulled back, a small smile on her face. “I should go and get myself ready for bed” she mumbled softly “I love you, Leo” she added before she pushed herself to her feet, moving to pad out of the bedroom and into the bathroom.

Lionel stared after her for a couple of seconds before he shook his head, an irked sigh falling out of his mouth. He knew that they couldn’t avoid it forever, whether they wanted to admit it or not, things between the two of them hadn’t been right for a while and they needed to make a call about whether or not they ended their relationship, but still the idea unsettled Lionel. They had been together for years, not a few months, and the prospect of losing Isabelle was one that scared him, even if he knew that it was probably for the best. He didn’t quite know if he was ready to let go of what they had.