Since I Last Saw You

01: Home

“This is it, isn’t it?”

Ava, who’d moved to place another box of her stuff down onto the floor of the empty apartment, rolled her eyes a little to herself before she turned, offering her brother a quick nod of her head. “It is” she confirmed “And seeing as that is the last box, that means you’re finally free to go and I can stop listening to you complain” she added, flashing him a playful smirk. He had been at it for a while, after he had picked her up from the airport, nearly every word out of Lucas’s mouth had been a complaint, and Ava couldn’t resist teasing him, knowing that, despite his complaints, he was glad to have her back home. He wouldn’t admit it, but Ava knew that he had missed her.

“I just don’t see why you had to change apartments” Lucas replied, settling the box he had in his arms down on the floor “You loved the old place” he added.

Ava offered him a little shrug. “It made sense” she noted.

Lucas nodded. “Do you need a hand sorting these boxes?” he asked after a couple of moments of silence.

“You want to stay and help me?” Ava quipped impishly.

Lucas shrugged, trying, and failing, to appear nonchalant. “Is it so wrong of me to want to spend the day celebrating my little sister’s coming home?” he noted “I mean, I’ve not see you in person since I left you at the airport when you left, and now you’re home and I want to make a bit of a fuss. As dorky as it is, I’ve missed you, OK?” he added.

Ava just grinned at him, something which caused Lucas to roll his eyes before he wrapped his arms around her, hugging her tightly. Ava didn’t fight it, hugging him back just as tightly for a few long seconds before she pulled away. “We should order some food or something” she mused “I mean, if you don’t have other plans, of course” she added.

Lucas shook his head. “I’ve got some time to spare” he noted “I’ll go and grab something and when I get back, we can spend some time unpacking your boxes, and you can tell me all about the last six months, eh?” he suggested. They had talked, since Ava had left, they’d made sure to catch each other at least once a week to ensure that they kept up to date with one another’s lives, but still Lucas wanted to talk, even if it was partially just an excuse to spend some time with her.

Ava, who’d moved to toe off the pair of trainers on her feet, shook her head. “There’s not really a lot to say” she muttered.

“Well, whatever little there is to say, you can tell me when I get back. I can’t wait” Lucas quipped cheerfully as he stepped out of the front door, pulling it closed with a soft thump behind himself.

Ava stood still, allowing the sound to hang around her for a few moments, before she slowly looked around the apartment, the feeling of being back in Barcelona overwhelming her for just a second. Taking in a deep breath, she let it slip it out again slowly before she steadily lifted a hand, reflexively settling it on the pocket of her jeans which held her phone.

She had done it a few times, when she had made it through security at the airport, when she had been sat in the front seat of Lucas’s car, making her way to her apartment, her hand had found her phone, but she had yet to pull it out, always finding a way to change her mind. She wanted to look at it, she wanted to know if Lionel had replied to the simple text that she had sent to him the night before, telling him that she was due back in the city, but part of her was dreading the answer, more so than she was dreading seeing an empty screen. It wasn’t the first text that she had sent to him, despite their agreement to breakup prior to her departure, they had kept in touch, sending a couple of messages back and forth every now and again, and whilst they’d not felt awkward or strange, the text she had sent to him that morning did.

It had been a long time, six months was a lot of time to pass between the moment that they’d last seen one another and the text that she had sent to him that morning, and whilst he had said things then, she knew that there was a chance that, six months later, he didn’t still feel the same way.

Tracing the shape of her phone through her pocket, she let out a quiet sigh before she pulled her hand away, moving towards a pile of boxes. Lifting the top one off, she carefully settled it down onto the floor before she brushed her hand over her phone again, letting out a small noise in frustration. She missed Lionel, she had done from the moment that she had watched him walk out of her apartment, but whilst she was dreading glancing at her phone and finding out that the feeling wasn’t reciprocated, she knew that she had to look at it eventually.

Taking in another deep, she held the phone through her pocket for another few seconds, once more debating whether or not to look at it, before she pulled it out. Hesitating for a beat, she pressed the home button, causing the screen to illuminate before she felt her stomach tighten, watching as Lionel’s name appeared at the top of her messages. Blinking a couple of times, she slowly unlocked the phone, stumbling over her passcode a couple of times, before she opened her message inbox.

Once it was open, Ava hesitated, briefly contemplating ignoring Lionel’s name which seemed brighter and bolder than those which were around it before she clicked on it, letting out a nervous breath as his words filled the screen. ‘You’re home?’ one message read ‘Can I see you?’ the one which followed added.

Ava just stared at the screen for a moment, reading and re-reading the words a couple of times, before she slowly typed out a reply, telling him that that was something she would like.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)