If It Gave Us Time

09: I Don’t Know What Would’ve Happened

Placing her phone down onto the duvet ahead of her, Isla let out a quiet sigh, her eyes fixed on the unanswered text message which filled the screen. She had sent it a while previous, after she had gotten back from her parents a few hours previous, one of the first things she had done was send a message to Gerard, asking if he was free to talk, but she had yet to hear anything from him, something which made the knot in the pit of her stomach twitch a little.

It had been there all day, after she and Gerard had spoken that morning, she hadn’t quite been able to shake the conversation from her head, and whilst she wasn’t certain of what it was that she wanted to say to him, she knew that she wanted to see him, wanting to make amends for saying nothing to him when he’d explained what’d gone wrong between them. It had surprised her, the idea that he’d thought that there was something between them, and that he was disappointed that things hadn’t quite worked out for them, was something she hadn’t quite been able to wrap her head around in the moment, but she knew that she had to say something to him, even if she hadn’t quite figured out what. She knew that she couldn’t just pretend that he’d not said a thing.

Reaching her hand up, she gently nudged her glasses back up her nose before she let out a small groan, carefully falling back against her pillow.

“You still get all annoyed when things don’t go your way, don’t you?”

Isla, who’d been staring up at the ceiling, visibly flinched at the sound of Gerard’s voice before she hurried to sit up, turning towards where he stood in the doorway, his hands stuffed awkwardly into the pockets of his jacket. “How did...?”

“Luna” Gerard interrupted, knowing what the end of her question would be “You didn’t hear the knock?” he asked, shifting on the spot uncomfortably.

Isla simply shook her head, allowing a slightly uncomfortable silence to linger between them for a moment before Gerard cleared his throat, offering her a clearly forced smile. “You said that you wanted to talk” he noted “At least, that’s what your text suggested. If we’re just going to sit around in silence...”

“You didn’t ask” Isla interrupted.

Gerard’s eyes widened slightly in surprise before he shook his head, his eyes fixed on his feet. “What?” he asked.

“You never asked if there was something between us” Isla clarified “And you never asked if I was seeing anyone else. For all your confidence, you couldn’t even bring yourself to ask a girl if she liked you too” she added, her voice caught between soft and teasing.

Gerard shook his head, smiling ironically to himself as he shuffled a little further into the bedroom, quietly knocking the door closed behind himself. “You make it sound so easy” he mused “But can you imagine how that conversation would have gone? I’d have told you that I liked you, and you would have just stared at me like I had two heads, just like you did this morning” he added.

Isla shook her head. “Maybe that is how it would have gone” she mused “But at least we could have had that conversation then, figured things out, and not resorted to you just ignoring me. You just stopped taking my calls, Gerard, one day, you just stopped answering, and whilst I accept that we were young, and that you were hurt, even you must see that that was just...it was stupid, selfish” she added sharply.

Gerard flinched a little at the tone of her voice before he shook his head. “You didn’t tell me about Jorge” he muttered.

Isla let out a scoff as she stood up, stepping a little closer to him. “I went on three dates with him” she hissed “I don’t think I ever even called him my boyfriend, and you’d have known that if you’d just asked me. I’m sorry that you got hurt, Gerard, but if you’d just...if you’d just talked to me, if you’d just told me how you felt...” she trailed off, her voice softening as she spared a look up at him, her blue eyes mirroring his for a split second before she tried to divert them away.

Gerard, however, was slightly quicker, his hand gently settling on her chin so that he could tilt her head back, keeping their eyes locked on one another. “What would have happened?” he asked “If I had talked to you, if I had told you about the crush I had on you, what would have happened, Isla?” he pressed gently.

Isla held his stare, her blue eyes searching his for a few seconds, before she stepped back slightly, evading his touch. “I don’t know” she mumbled “I mean, I always kind of thought that...that something might happen between us, but then you got your move to Manchester. I don’t know what would’ve happened, Geri, I don’t, but I do know that we’d not be standing here having this conversation” she added, shyly playing with her glasses so that she didn’t have to meet his eyes.

Gerard watched her for a second, smiling despite the situation as he watched her play with her glasses, before he shuffled a couple of paces forwards, closing the gap which existed between them slightly. “I’m sorry, Lala” he mumbled softly.

Isla let out a slightly shaky laugh. “Isla” she corrected.

Gerard’s smile grew into a teasing smirk, something which made the blonde shake her head, her cheeks flushing a light shade of pink. Gerard grinned at her, marveling at the soft hint of pink which had spread across her cheeks, before he gently lifted his hand, playfully poking the frame of her glasses back up the bridge of her nose, something which made Isla let out a squeak of laughter. “What was that for?” she squeaked.

Gerard shrugged. “You’d have done it anyway” he quipped.

Isla rolled her eyes, but didn’t say anything, something which encouraged Gerard to take another step towards her, gently wrapping his arms around her as he guided her into a soft hug. Isla stilled a little, slightly surprised by the hug, but she quickly grew into it, wrapping her arms around him as she marveled at how familiar hugging him still felt. Gerard smiled as he felt her arms wrap around him before he shifted his head, resting his chin on the top of her head. “I’ve really missed this, you know that?” he mumbled quietly. “I mean, I know it’s a mess I made, and I know I have a lot to make up for, but this...I’ve really missed this, Lala” he added

Isla, who’d been caught up in the hug, smiled a little before she nodded. “I’ve really missed you, idiot” she muttered before she closed her eyes, relishing the soft vibration of his chest as he let out a soft laugh. She knew that it was going to take time, if they were to have any kind of friendship, any kind of relationship, it was going to take them time to figure things out and grow into it, but for a moment she just wanted to enjoy their hug, wanting to take a second to appreciate how much she’d missed him in the years that had passed since his departure.