I Know I Was for a While

61: This Is How Things Are

“Are you sure that I can’t get anything for you, Isabel?” Camila asked as she stepped across the kitchen, placing a bowl of food down in front of Oscar who was sat in his highchair, babbling excitedly as his grandmother waved one of his toys in front of him. It hadn’t been long, after Isabel had arrived, only a little over an hour had passed, but the conversation that had flowed between the two of them had been even less than usual, something which made Camila a little more nervous than usual, even if she was slightly relieved that Isabel hadn’t tried to poke holes in the news of her and Lionel’s engagement. The only thing she enjoyed less than trying to force awkward small talk with the older woman was the two of them saying nothing at all.

Isabel, who was smiling gently at Oscar, looked up at Camila before she shook her head, offering her a gentle smile. “I’m alright, thank you” she mused “I’m not planning on staying too much longer” she added.

Camila, who’d slipped into the empty seat beside Oscar’s highchair, tilted her head, offering the older woman a slight frown. “You’re not?” she asked “I mean, normally, you stay longer. Is everything Ok?” she added, her voice soft and concerned.

She couldn’t deny that it relieved her, with the atmosphere being as uncomfortable as it had been, the news that Isabel didn’t intend to stick around was something which had instantly filled Camila with a sense of relief, but still she wanted to ask if everything was alright, even if she didn’t mind the older woman leaving earlier than normal. She wanted to make sure that everything was OK.

Isabel was quiet for a second, allowing the question to hang in the air, before she gently shook his head, a slightly sad smile filling her features. “Noah is staying with us” she mumbled quietly “He and Amelia...they broke up and he’s had to come back and stay with us whilst he looks for a place of his own” she clarified.

Camila, who’d started to feed Oscar, stilled a little at the mention of Noah’s name, something which made Isabel lean forwards, her hand gently patting the brunette’s shoulder. “You don’t need to hear about this” she mused kindly “Just...just know that this breakup, it’s made me more aware of how badly I have treated you, and Lionel. I know it is naïve, and maybe a little selfish, but for a while, after...after Noah ended things, I really did think he’d change his mind. I thought you’d surprised him, that maybe the shock would wear off eventually and that he’d see what he lost, but he...I was wrong about that. I’ve been wrong about a lot of things” she added.

Camila, who’d been focused on feeing Oscar, merely nodded her head, not quite sure of what else she could say or do.

Isabel watched her nod before she gently shook her head, her hand offering Camila’s shoulder another pat. “I...I just...You deserve better than Noah” she mused “I didn’t see it before, he’s my son and I wanted to think...I wanted to see the best in him, but now...it’s very clear that he’s not the best fit for you, and that I’ve not been overly welcoming to the man that is. Your being happy, Oscar’s being happy, that’s what should have mattered most to me and I know I’ve not done the best job in showing that” she added, her words careful and tentative.

Camila was quiet for a few seconds before she shook her head, sparing the older woman a brief look. “You’re not wrong” she mumbled quietly “I mean, I appreciate that it must be hard for you, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to behave as you have done at times, not only towards me, but towards Leo too. This is his home, Isabel, our home, and at times...”

“I know” Isabel noted, a rueful smile on her face.

Camila blinked a couple of times, surprised that she had been cut off, before she gently shook her head, turning her attention back towards Oscar who sat happily in his chair, babbling contently to himself.

Quirking a small smile, she watched the little boy for a few seconds before she turned, offering a sideward glance towards the older woman. “I want you to be around, Isabel” she mused “Oscar...he loves seeing you and Victor, and I don’t want to stop that, but you’re going to have to accept that things didn’t work out like you’d hoped. This is how things are now, me and Oscar, we’re happy and a lot of that...it’s on Leo. I love him, Isabel” she added, her eyes mirroring the older woman’s.

She couldn’t deny that there was a part of her that was dubious, Isabel’s change of attitude was sudden, and she couldn’t help but be a little skeptical, but she still wanted to make sure that Isabel knew that things weren’t going to change. She was happy, Oscar was happy, and a lot of that was down to Lionel, something which wasn’t likely to change any time soon.

Isabel held Camila’s stare for a moment, searching her dark eyes, before she gently nodded her head, a faint smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. “I know” she mused “I’ve known it for a while. You’re very obvious” she added, her tone caught between cautious and teasing.

Camila’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink, something which made Isabel’s timid smile widen a fraction before she shifted her hand, gently squeezing Camila’s which sat on the table. “I sincerely hope he is everything you want him to be” she mused softly.

Camila offered her a small smile, her fingers lightly tucking a loose piece of hair off of her face. “I think he is” she fussed, sparing a quick look down towards her engagement ring.

Isabel followed her stare, admiring the ring for a split second, before she gently shook her head, pushing herself quickly up to her feet. “I should be on my way” she mused “I’ll call you at some point in the week to set up next week’s visit?” she added as she leant over, pressing a careful kiss to Oscar’s cheek, trying to avoid the food that he’d managed to smear up it, clearly finding it funny.

Camila nodded, grinning dotingly at Oscar. “That’s fine” she mused.

Isabel looked between the two of them for a second, not missing just how contented and at ease Camila looked, before she gently shook her head, knowing that Camila had never quite looked so happy around Noah. She had thought that they were good together, whenever she had seen Noah and Camila together, she had thought that they were a good fit, but it was clear that whatever the younger woman had felt towards Noah bore no comparison to what she felt towards Lionel. From the look on Camila’s face, it was clearly no contest.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)