If It Gave Us Time

35: It Wasn’t Like That

Subtly glancing at his phone underneath the table, Gerard quirked a half-smile to himself, amused by the teasing text that Isla had sent to him. It wasn’t the first one, after he’d followed his mother out of the house, she’d sent a series of texts, playfully teasing him, and Gerard couldn’t help but smile, something he found himself doing more and more frequently since he and Isla had agreed to start seeing one another. He knew that she had had a point, with both of them prone to running away and trying to avoid problems rather than talking about them, it was likely that they’d run into problems along the way, but there was no denying that, when it worked, it was good, something which pleased Gerard, even if he was aware that it was still relatively early days.


Gerard, who’d been typing his reply to Isla’s text, looked up at the sound of his name. “Huh?” he spluttered.

Montserrat smirked and tipped her head, gesturing to the waiter who waited patiently beside the table. “You think you can spare a few seconds to order?” she teased.

Gerard glanced at her, not missing the smirk that she wore, before he nodded his head, feeling his cheeks warm a little as he reeled off his order to the waiter. The waiter nodded his head politely before he stepped away, something which Montserrat shake her head, grinning amusedly at Gerard. “I’m assuming that it’s Isla on the other end of those texts” she mused.

Gerard, who’d turned back to his phone, nodded. “She’s got some time before an appointment” he quipped “She says hi, by the way, and that it was nice to see you this morning. It’s been a long time” he added, not even attempting to take his eyes off of the screen.

Montserrat rolled her eyes before she leant over the table, taking the phone out of his hand.

Gerard flinched, surprised when the phone was pulled from his hands, before he looked up, a sheepish smile gently spreading across his features. “Sorry” he mumbled.

“You don’t have to apologise for being smitten with her, Gerard” Montserrat replied “It would just be nice to see something other than your phone when I look across the table. I mean, we’ve been here for nearly twenty minutes, and this is the longest we’ve spoken without you trying to subtle look down at it” she added warmly.

It was something she had seen before, when they’d been younger, holding a conversation with either Gerard or Isla when the other one was around had often proved difficult, and it amused Montserrat to see that it hadn’t changed much, even if there had been a number of years when they’d been without one another. She was pleased to see that things between them, at least superficially, appeared to be very much the same.

Gerard shook his head. “I’m sorry” he repeated gently “Things are just...they’re pretty good right now” he added, breathing out a soft laugh.

Montserrat smiled at the sound of his laugh before she shook her head, her expression softening a little. “Things are that good?” she asked “I mean, I know you’ve been seeing each other for a few weeks, but it’s going well?” she pressed gently.

Gerard, who’d moved to sip on his drink, thought about her question for a few seconds before he nodded his head slowly. “There are teething problems” he admitted “I mean, there were always going to be, we hadn’t seen one another since we were teenagers, so there was always going to be a period of getting to know one another again, but I think it’s going well. Really well” he enthused, another bashful smile lighting up his features.

Montserrat couldn’t help but smile too. “How is Isla?” she asked “I mean, I only caught a glimpse of her this morning, but what does she do now? Where’s she living?” she added curiously.

“She’s a wedding photographer” Gerard replied “And if you give me my phone back, I’ll show you some of her work. She’s pretty great” he added proudly.

“You’d say she was great at anything” Montserrat chirped, placing his phone down into his hand “You’ve always been pretty biased when it comes to her” she added knowingly.

Gerard scoffed, but didn’t say anything, instead fiddling with his phone for a few seconds before he turned it around, showing off the screen to his mother. “She’s really talented” he mused softly “These are some of the pictures that she took for her brother and sister-in-law” he added.

Montserrat scanned the pictures, smiling a little at the sight of them, before she lifted her head, her eyes mirroring Gerard’s. “She really hurt you” she murmured “I mean, I am pretty sure that she didn’t mean to, but she did and I just...”

“It wasn’t like that, mama” Gerard interrupted softly “Isla...she didn’t do anything wrong. She was single, and she went out on a few dates with some guy, but she wasn’t doing it to hurt me. I’d never told her how I felt about her, and she didn’t know that I’d be that upset by it, she just...she was trying to find someone who made her happy, and I can’t be upset at her for that. I should have talked to her sooner, before her padre had the opportunity to stick his nose in. It would have saved us both a lot of hurt” he added, his expression hardening for a second.

It bothered him, the idea that Daniel had stuck his nose into things between him and Isla was something which stuck in his throat slightly, and whilst he hadn’t mentioned it to Isla, it was still something which played on his mind. It hadn’t been Daniel’s decision, whether or not he and Isla could have made something work long distance wasn’t something for Isla’s father to decide, and whilst he appreciated that the older man only had Isla’s best interests at heart, it irked him, knowing that without Daniel’s interference, there was a chance that he wouldn’t have let things between him and Isla fall apart like they had.

Montserrat blinked a couple of times, surprised by the interruption, before she shook her head. “Why didn’t you just tell her?” she asked.

Gerard was quiet for a few seconds, thinking over her question, before he gently shrugged. “I thought about it a lot” he admitted “I mean, especially before I left, I thought about just taking the plunge and getting it off my chest, but it...it scared me. There were a lot of scenarios. One, she didn’t like me that way. Two, she did feel the same way, but didn’t want to do long distance. Three, she was on board with doing long distance, but it ultimately fell apart and we broke up. I thought it over a lot and in the end, I decided that we were better as we were. At least then, all of the memories were positive and I’d still have her around, something I couldn’t guarantee if I told her” he added.

Montserrat nodded her head slowly. “You love her” she announced gently.

Gerard didn’t hesitate in nodding. “I do” he confirmed “I loved who she was, but I also love who she is now. She’s incredible, mama, really” he added, a soft smile blossoming across his features.

Montserrat stared at him, marveling at the soft smile that had brightened his features, before she leant across the table, squeezing his hand gently. “I’m happy for you” she mused “And for Isla. You’ll have to bring her around for dinner” she added.

Gerard let out a laugh, but nodded his head. “I think she’d like that” he mused “I mean, she’ll be horribly nervous beforehand, but I am sure she’ll love it” he joked.

Montserrat smiled. “I’ll look forwards to it” she mused “I can reacquaint her with your adorable baby pictures” she added.

Gerard grinned. “I’ll set it up” he insisted.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)