When We Were

Sixteen: We’re Trying Our Best

Gently pulling her knees up towards her chest, Emilia leant her back against the couch, her eyes trained on the screen of the laptop which sat on the coffee table ahead of her. She had debated where to put it for a while, once she had texted Lionel to let him know that Isaac had picked Luca up, she had spent nearly ten minutes trying to figure out where to sit with the computer before she’d settled on the couch, but still she was tempted to move it again. She was prepared to do anything just as long as it kept her from feeling the knots twist in the pit of her stomach. It’d been a few days, after Lionel had departed back to Barcelona, aside from a few texts after he’d landed, they’d not had the chance to speak to one another, and whilst Emilia was looking forwards to it, she was also dreading it, not quite sure what they would do if it felt awkward.

Turning her head slightly, she spared a glance up at the clock, watching the second hand pass slowly around the face before her computer made a noise, something which caused her to jump forwards in her seat, slipping off the couch as she moved to answer the call. Catching herself, she sheepishly sat up again before she glanced up at the screen, offering it a shy smile. “You saw that, didn’t you?” she posed.

Lionel, who had appeared on the screen, laughed gently. “I might have done” he noted “But don’t worry, it looked a lot less awkward than you’d think” he added playfully.

Emilia shook her head, laughing gently. “I was just excited” she noted “I was looking at something else and the computer made a noise and I wanted to answer it as quickly as I could...are you laughing at me?” she asked, her ears catching the sound of Lionel’s laughter coming from the computer.

Lionel just grinned at the camera, shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly.

Emilia watched him for a few seconds, marveling at the warm smile that he wore, before she shook her head, unable to wipe her own smile off of her face. “Can we start again?” she asked.

“You want me to pretend that I didn’t see that?” Lionel prodded impishly.

“I’d very much like that” Emilia retorted.

Lionel feigned thought for a second before he nodded. “Alright” he mused “Hola, Emmy. How are you?” he asked, offering the camera a softer smile.

Emilia’s expression softened a little before she leant back into the couch, shrugging. “I’m alright” she mused “What about you? How’s it being back in Barcelona?” she asked.

“It’s very hot” Lionel replied.

Emilia laughed. “That’s it?” she asked.

“What else do you want me to say?” Lionel retorted.

“Are you glad to be back?” Emilia asked.

“Kind of” Lionel replied “I mean, I’ve missed the city and I am looking forwards to getting back into training, but I kind of wish I was still there. We’d be heading out to dinner soon, no?” he asked as he leant back slightly, his hand rubbing his jaw sheepishly.

Emilia spared a glance behind her, looking up at the clock on the wall, before she turned back towards the camera, offering it a little nod. “You’d probably be getting here in a few minutes” she mused “After you bumped into Isaac that time, you started to deliberately come around a little later” she added, flashing him an amused look.

“I didn’t want to make things awkward” Lionel replied as he ducked his head, trying, and failing, to stop Emilia from noticing that his cheeks had flushed a soft shade of pink “He didn’t exactly seem to love me” he added.

Emilia shrugged. “Isaac doesn’t tend to love anyone in my life” she mused “But that’s enough about him. I don’t want to waste this time talking to you about my ex-boyfriend. Have you told anyone about me yet?” she prodded impishly.

Lionel laughed loudly. “Have you told anyone about me?” he countered.

“Me, personally, no” Emilia replied “But you have met my brother, the notorious gossip, haven’t you?” she teased.

“What’d Jordi do now?” Lionel played along.

“I have no proof it was definitely him” Emilia mused “But my mother called earlier and suggested that me and Luca join her and my papa for dinner on Sunday night, something she never does unless she wants to stick her nose into my business so I’d suggest that Jordi spilled the beans. Nothing in my life has changed except for you” she added.

Lionel smirked. “She might just want to catch up” he noted.

Emilia lifted an eyebrow. “You really believe that?” she asked.

“No” Lionel replied without hesitation.

Emilia glared at him for a second before she shook her head, gently pushing her hair back off of her face. “I can lie” she noted after a few seconds of quiet “I mean, my mother’s nosy, but I can be a pretty good liar when I want to be. If you want me to try and keep this quiet...” she trailed off as Lionel shook his head, smiling at the camera.

“No?” Emilia asked, a slight furrow in her forehead.

“Jordi already knows” Lionel pointed out “So if you did lie, he’d rat you out in an instant, we both know that. But, I don’t want you to lie. I know that this is all pretty tentative right now, Emmy, but if someone does ask me, I’m going to tell them about you and I’d want you to do the same. We’re dating, even if right now we are in two different countries, and I don’t want to hide it” he explained.

“Even though it will mean my mother calling you?” Emilia quipped, trying, and failing, to keep the corners of her lips from quirking upwards into a warm smile.

“I’ve not spoken to Marcella in years” Lionel noted, shrugging happily.

“It might not be a nice catch up” Emilia mused “With all that happened with Isaac...” she trailed off, sparing a look towards the camera.

Lionel caught her look before he nodded his head slowly, his expression sobering a little. “I’d be happy to talk to her, Em” he noted “If she needs some reassuring, I’ll try my best to give it. I mean, I won’t make any promises, but...we’re trying our best, aren’t we?” he asked gently.

Emilia smiled gently, nodding her head. “Yeah” she mused “Yeah we are” she added.

Lionel sat quietly for a moment before Emilia looked back at the camera, still smiling at him. “I’ve really been looking forwards to this, you know” she mused “I mean, dreading it too, but looking forwards to it” she added.

“Why were you dreading it?” Lionel asked.

“I thought it would feel weird” Emilia mused “I thought we’d struggle to find something to say and just sit here, staring at each other, but...but it’s going Ok. Better than I thought it would at least” she added.

Lionel’s lips quirked upwards slightly like an amusing thought had crossed his mind, but he opted against saying it, instead leaning back into his seat slightly as he asked about Emilia’s week. Emilia shook her head and started to talk, her face illuminated by a soft smile which showed just how relieved she was about how easy it had been for them to talk. She knew it was only the first time,that the time they spent apart would start to take more of a toll the longer it got, but still it relaxed her. it made her think that there was maybe a chance, still only a small one, that it might work for them after all.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)