When We Were

Forty Six: Everything Is Fine

Sparing a brief glance out towards the living area of his hotel room, Lionel gently nudged the bedroom door to before he stepped back towards the bed, only stopping to collect the tablet from his open bag. It had been a while, since the end of his winter break, nearly two months had passed, and whilst it had been difficult, he and Emilia had settled into their long distance relationship again. Neither one of them was entirely happy with it, between missed calls, which had become a slightly more frequent occurrence, and the fact that they missed being with one another physically, things between them often felt tense and a little uncomfortable, but they were both determined to make it work, even if the chances were that Lionel wouldn’t have another opportunity to visit Emilia before the summer, after his international duty was over. Both he and Emilia were committed to trying to hold things together as best they could.

Settling against the headboard of his bed, he quickly started a call with Emilia before he grinned, watching as her face filled the screen. Taking a couple of seconds to just look at her, he noticed a redness around her eyes, something which caused his smile to falter slightly. “Emmy?” he prodded gently.

Emilia grinned, huffing out a playful sigh. “I knew I should have put on makeup” she quipped.

“Have you been crying?” Lionel prodded “It looks like you have. Is something wrong?” he added.

Emilia shook her head, tucking her hair back off of her face. “Everything is fine” she mused.


“Don’t use my full name. You’re not my mother, Lionel” Emilia interrupted, her voice warm and lighthearted.

Lionel fixed her with a look. He knew her well enough to know the tone of her voice which she used when she was trying to pretend that everything was OK when it wasn’t.

Emilia ducked her head, hiding her face slightly behind her hair. “Everything is fine, really” she insisted “I just...you know I have my moments when all of this is a little...” she trailed off as she looked into the camera again, offering him a softer, sadder smile.

Lionel’s expression softened. “Em...”

“It is what it is” Emilia interrupted gently “And I know it’s not going to change and I am OK with that. I just get a little overwhelmed sometimes and this...this is kind of the result. Normally, I’d have some time to put on makeup, but Isaac was late picking up Luca and this is the end result” she added, gesturing to her slightly red eyes with a halfhearted laugh.

Lionel thought about prodding, about asking if there was anything he could do, but he opted against it. He knew how the conversation would go, he’d ask and Emilia would force out a laugh and ask if there was any way he could get a flight back to Argentina, trying to play it off as a joke, but he knew that she felt the same ache in her stomach as he did, even if she did smile her way through it. Behind her joke, he knew that there was a part of her, like there was a part of him, that wished he could just drop everything and find the next flight.

“How are things with Isaac?” he asked.

Emilia shrugged, twirling a piece of her hair around her finger. “As good as ever” she noted “You know how he is” she added.

“He’s not causing you trouble, is he?” Lionel asked.

“No more than usual” Emilia retorted “I mean, I barely even see him. He shows up to collect Luca on a Friday and again to drop him back home again on a Sunday. He’s a little more distant now, but that’s not the worst thing. As long as he’s still around for Luca, we don’t exactly need to be best friends” she explained.

Lionel nodded his head. “How is Luca?” he asked.

Emilia’s expression, which had been a little distant, brightened. “He’s great” she enthused “He’s really loving his football lately. Did I send you the video of his goals last weekend?” she pressed.

Lionel laughed, nodding his head. “You did” he confirmed “He was wearing the boots I got him for Christmas” he added.

“He loves them” Emilia quipped “Although, his favourite thing was the picture you sent of his painting in your locker. He smiled so much when I showed it to him” she fussed.

“Yeah?” Lionel asked, trying, and failing, to hide the warm smile which lit up his face.

Emilia nodded. “He was worried that you didn’t like it” she mused “But then I showed him that picture. He’s already working on his next masterpiece for you” she cooed, grinning dotingly.

Lionel marveled at her smile for a few seconds before a knocking sound reached his ears, causing him to glance up, his stomach dropping at the sight of Luis who stood in the doorway, an apologetic smile on his face. Letting out a soft sigh, he nodded his head before he looked back at the camera, offering Emilia an apologetic look. “Em...”

“I know” Emilia interrupted “Your face fell. You’ve got to go?” she asked.

Lionel nodded. “I’ve got to get on the coach” he noted.

“You go and do that then” Emilia noted “I’ll be watching the game. Score me a goal?” she prodded, offering him a small smile which seemed to him to be a little put on.

Opting to ignore the little doubt in his head, he grinned and nodded. “You bet” he noted “I’ll speak to you soon, Em. I love you” he added.

“I love you, too” Emilia replied, blowing a quick kiss at the screen before Lionel ended the call, heaving himself back to his feet reluctantly.

Staring at the blank screen of her laptop, Emilia shook her head slightly before she leant forwards, gently pushing the screen closed.

“Did you tell him?”

Closing her eyes, she allowed Jordi’s question to hang in the air between them for a few long, slightly tense seconds, before she shook her head, turning to look at him over her shoulder. “I couldn’t quite get the words out” she whispered.

Jordi sighed as he sat down next to her, coaxing her into a gentle hug. “I know him, Em” he whispered, rubbing her back softly “He’ll be over the moon. You know that” he added.

Emilia gripped onto her brother tightly, squeezing her eyes closed. “If I were in Spain, yeah” she murmured “But now?” she asked as she leant back, meeting Jordi’s blue eyes.

Jordi gently pushed her hair back out of her eyes. “I can’t tell you it’s not complicated, but that’s very you, Emmy” he teased, hoping, mostly in vain, to illicit a smile from his baby sister.

Emilia just shook her head, causing Jordi to sigh gently, his eyes drifting towards the coffee table on which a piece of tissue sat, three neatly arranged, positive pregnancy tests staring back at him. Glancing at them for a second, he felt a strange sense of déjà vu pass over him before he turned back to his sister, offering her a reassuring smile. “Your appointment is soon” he mused “Do you want me to grab you some shoes?” he asked.

Emilia shook her head. “Your fashion sense is the worst” she mumbled as she stood up.

Jordi’s answering laugh was loud and bright. “You’ve seen your boyfriend, haven’t you?” he prodded.

Emilia’s expression sobered slightly but she walked away before Jordi had a chance to say anything, causing her brother to let out another sigh, his glance drifting back to the tests as he wondered what would happen next between his friend and his baby sister.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)