If It Gave Us Time

05: We Can’t Just Pick Up Where We Left Off

Allowing the material of her skirt to slip between her fingers, Isla shook her head gently to herself, her blue eyes peeking cautiously towards the mirror which stood ahead of her. She knew that she didn’t have much longer to get ready, despite her having not taken a step outside of her bedroom, she’d heard the front door open and close a few minutes earlier and she knew it would only be a matter of time before Luna appeared at her bedroom door, something which had a few knots in her stomach, even if she was expecting it. She didn’t quite know what the night ahead of her was going to be like.

It wasn’t like it was the first time that she and Gerard had been out together, when they’d been younger, they’d often spent evenings together, but she worried that things would feel uncomfortable, even if she knew that Gerard would try his hardest to distract her when things got awkward. She worried that they’d struggle to keep things comfortable for long.

Staring at the mirror for a second, she gently adjusted the waist of her dress slightly before she let out a quiet sigh, pushing her glasses back up her nose.

“What are you sighing for?”

Isla, who’d moved to slip her feet into the boots that she’d left beside her bed, jumped at the sound of Gerard’s voice before she quickly turned around, her stare landing on where he stood in the doorway, his expression warm and teasing. “You’re not Luna” she pointed out as she turned away from him, gently readjusting her dress once more.

Gerard smirked, briefly contemplating making a joke, before he shook his head. “She said that she had somewhere she needed to be” he noted “She let me in on her way out. Did you need her for something?” he asked.

Isla shook her head, but didn’t look up at him, instead fiddling with the bottom of her skirt. “No” she mused “I guess I was just hoping for a second opinion. I mean, I think it’s cute, but Luna normally helps me. I’ve never really had a good sense of fashion” she added sheepishly.

Gerard smiled a little, not missing the shyness in her voice, before he tilted his head slightly, looking her up and down. “I think you look beautiful” he mumbled after a few seconds.

Isla, who’d moved to run a brush through her hair, stopped for a split second at the sound of his voice before she shook her head, trying to hide the soft blush which had spread across her cheeks. “You...uh...you think so?” she stumbled out.

Gerard nodded. “I do” he confirmed “And that means that you don’t have to get changed, which means that we can get out of here before we’re late for our reservation” he added with a grin as he moved to hand her the jacket that she had laid out on her bed.

Isla rolled her eyes and took the jacket out of his hand, gently wrapping it around her shoulders. “You’d say anything to make sure that we didn’t miss our reservation” she commented.

Gerard’s grin softened slightly. “Maybe” he quipped “But honestly? You look great, Isla” he added earnestly.

Isla offered him a small smile. “Gracias” she murmured before she moved to collect her bag, stepping out of the room with Gerard following close behind.

Resting back in his seat slightly, Gerard quirked a small smile to himself, watching as Isla pushed the last of her meal around her plate. They hadn’t said a lot, since they’d sat down at the table that he’d booked for them, the conversation had almost been non-existent between them, but still Gerard was glad that she was there, even if she had spent most of the night staring down at her lap. A small part of him was proud that he’d at least managed to convince her to spend a little time with him.

He knew that she was still upset with him, even though she hadn’t said anything, he could see it in some of the looks that passed over her face and hear it in some of the comments that she made to him, but he wanted to at least start making some kind of amends, even if he was sure that it was something that was going to take time. Despite the fact that it’d been years, the idea that Isla was upset with him was still something which made him uncomfortable.

Watching her for a moment, he took a sip of his drink before he lightly cleared his throat, something which caused Isla to startle before she looked up, shaking her head slightly. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“Nothing” Gerard replied “I just...I thought maybe you’d want to talk? I mean, I thought that’s why we were having dinner together” he added, his voice caught between playful and soft.

Isla glanced at him, allowing his words to hang between them, before she gently shook her head, reaching up to fiddle with her glasses. “What do you want to talk about?” she asked.

Gerard shrugged. “I don’t know” he mused “I mean, how are your parents? Rodrigo?” he pressed, merely trying to start a conversation.

Isla shrugged in reply. “They’re fine” she mused “I mean, my parents retired a few years ago, and Rodrigo’s fine” she added simply.

Gerard quirked a half-hearted smile. “That’s all I am going to get?” he quipped.

“What were you expecting?” Isla replied quietly, her eyes fixed on the table “Gerard, this isn’t...we’re not...we’re not the same anymore” she stumbled out gently.

Gerard let out a quiet sigh, leaning forwards in his seat slightly. “Isla...”

“I’ve missed you” Isla interrupted quietly, her eyes not even making an attempt to look up at him “God, I’ve missed you, but did you really think that we could just sit here and have dinner and pretend that you didn’t ditch me at the first opportunity?” she added, reaching up to mess with her glasses again.

Gerard stayed quiet, affording Isla the chance to keep talking. “You haven’t even tried to tell me why, Gerard” she murmured “I mean, what did I do to deserve that?” she muttered, peeking up at him for a split second before she dropped her stare again, fixing it on her empty plate.

Gerard’s expression softened. “It wasn’t you” he mumbled.

Isla waited a few seconds, half expecting him to add something more, something which allowed an uncomfortable silence to settle over the two of them. Sitting quietly for a few seconds, she let out a soft sigh before she lifted her head, lifting her eyes to mirror his briefly. “This isn’t the same as it was, Gerard” she murmured quietly “We can’t just pick up where we left off like nothing’s changed. You hurt me, you know that?” she asked.

Gerard nodded his head, but didn’t speak, affording Isla the chance to gently push herself back to her feet before she leant over, pressing a light kiss against his cheek. “I really missed you” she mumbled against his skin before she pulled back, collecting her bag and coat before she stepped away.

Gerard turned in his seat, watching her across the restaurant, before he turned back towards the table, a quiet sigh falling out of his mouth. “I missed you too” he mumbled to himself, tossing his napkin down onto the table.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)