When We Were

Thirty Seven: It’s Something I Have To Think About

Gently pushing the straw which poked out of her glass around it, Emilia quirked a faint smile to herself, her eyes landing on Luca who stood a little across the garden, laughing at something Jordi had said to him. It hadn’t been long, after she had arrived home from her trip to Barcelona, only a week had passed, and with it having been a while since they’d seen Luca, Marcella and David had insisted that they come over for the day, something Emilia had reluctantly agreed to. She knew her parents loved spending time with their grandson, from the moment that Luca had been born, both David and Marcella had been doting grandparents, but whilst she trusted that when they said they wanted to spend time with Luca, they meant it, she knew that it wouldn’t take long for the conversation to move towards her and Lionel, something which had an uncomfortable knot twisting in her stomach.

They’d smoothed things over. When Lionel had left her at the airport, he’d done it with a warm smile, a little joke and a soft kiss, but it hadn’t been enough to remove the conversation from Emilia’s mind, meaning she had spent a week worrying, trying to figure out just how things between the two of them could continue to work. It worked for them in the present, but it was clearly becoming tenser and Emilia didn’t quite know how many more times they had. Leaving was getting harder, and a small part of Emilia, no matter how much she didn’t want to think it, thought that maybe there a chance that the distance was going to prove to be too much for them.

Staring absently across the garden, she watched as Luca ran with a football at his feet, avoiding the playful tackles of his uncle and grandfather before someone took the empty glass out of her hand, causing her to look up, watching as Samia poured her another glass of the lemonade that Marcella had made. Sitting quietly, she allowed Samia to place the glass back into her hand before she sat down, something which made Emilia smile weakly. “You’ve noticed, huh?” she prodded.

Samia, who’d been sipping on her own drink, smirked a little. “Everyone’s noticed” she noted “We just had to decide who’d be the one to ask” she added.

“You drew the short straw?” Emilia asked.

“I thought you’d prefer me over your mother or Jordi” Samia replied “I mean, I love your brother, but he’s nowhere near as funny as he thinks he is and I didn’t want you punching him” she added playfully.

Emilia quirked a faint smile, but didn’t say anything.

Samia nudged Emilia’s side gently. “So?” she prodded “I thought your trip had been good. When I walked in on your video call with Jordi, you seemed to be having a great time. Did something change?” she asked.

“My trip was good” Emilia replied “I just...I don’t know. We had a bit of a...well, it wasn’t a fight, but it was kind of a tense moment and it left me a little confused. No, that’s not the right word. It left me worried” she added, frowning at how difficult it had been to get the right words out.

Samia took a sip of her drink. “Worried?” she asked.

Emilia, who’d turned back to stare across the garden, nodded. “He’s wonderful” she mused “Leo is...I really adore him, Sam, and things between us are great right now, but it’s not always going to be right now and I don’t know what is going to happen. He’s where he is, he’s not going anywhere, and I am where I am, and I am not going anywhere either. I just don’t see how it goes anywhere” she explained slowly, her words careful and unsure.

Samia’s expression softened. “Emmy...”

“I know I am getting ahead of myself” Emilia noted “I mean, it’s not even been six months yet, I highly doubt that it’s even a question that’s crossed his mind yet, but I just...I don’t know. You probably think I should have seen this coming, no?” she asked, offering her sister-in-law a shaky smile that didn’t even come close to looking believable.

Samia shook her head. “You liked a guy” she quipped “And you wanted to be with him. No one thinks about their future immediately” she added.

“But I am thinking about it now” Emilia noted “And it...it doesn’t look good, Sam” she added.

“It’s working now” Samia pointed out.

“It is” Emilia agreed “But there are already signs that it’s starting to fray around the edges. I don’t want to hurt him, but part of me thinks...” she trailed off, shrugging her shoulders.

Samia blinked a couple of times, catching onto what Emilia was saying, but before she had a chance to say anything, Luca hurried towards his mother, wrapping his arms around her neck. Emilia caught him easily, hugging him happily for a second before he pulled back, tugging on her hands. “Come and play, mama” he prodded “Uncle Jordi says you’re good. I need someone on my team” he added.

Emilia laughed. “I’ve not played in a long time, Luca” she noted.

“Please?” Luca pleaded, giving his mother his best puppy eyes.

Emilia playfully rolled her eyes before she nodded, dipping down to press a kiss against the top of his head. “Fine” she mumbled “Let me just go and find my shoes, OK?” she asked.

Luca grinned and nodded his head before he trotted back towards David and Jordi.

Emilia watched him go before she shuffled back to her feet, only to be tugged gently back into place by Samia. “You’re not seriously thinking about breaking up with Leo, are you?” she asked.

Emilia let loose a soft sigh, glancing down at her sock covered feet, before she gently shrugged her shoulders, not quite sure what the answer to that question was. “I don’t know” she murmured “I just...the longer this goes with nothing changing, and nothing will change because it can’t, the more chance there is of it ending in a more...brutal way. I don’t want to do that, Sam, I don’t want it to end with screaming and shouting and maybe it’s the best thing for us. I don’t know for sure what I want to do, but it’s something I have to think about” she added before she stood up, retreating into the house to find her shoes.

Samia briefly thought about following, but opted against it, not quite sure what she could say to reassure Emilia that things would work out for the best in the end.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)