When We Were

Sixty Eight: You Worry?

“Where’s Leo gone? We wanted to say goodbye before we headed out” Marcella mused as she stepped back into the living room, her eyes landing on Emilia who was sat beside the coffee table, studying Luca’s homework over his shoulder. They had hung around for a long time, with them having already postponed their flight home once, they had wanted to make the most of the time that they had with their daughter and grandchildren before their departure home the next morning, but neither Lionel or Emilia appeared to have minded. If anything, they seemed to have reveled a little in having someone around to make a fuss.

Emilia looked up at the sound of her mother’s voice. “He took Maisie upstairs” she mused “I can go and get him though, if you want me to” she added.

Marcella shook her head, smiling warmly. “I’d hate to mess with Maisie’s routine” she mused “Just give him our best, won’t you?” she added.

“Of course, mama” Emilia replied.

Marcella fussed for a second, brushing an invisible speck of dirt off of her coat, before she shook her head, her eyes meeting Emilia’s. “You know that we love him, don’t you?” she prodded.

Emilia frowned. “Does he think otherwise?” she asked, the tone of her voice hard to place.

Marcella didn’t hesitate in shaking her head. “No” she insisted “He knows how thrilled we are to have him around, or at least, I think he does. I just...I just want to make sure that you know how good we think the two of you are together. He’s a good man, Emilia, and they’re not always easy to come by” she added with a soft, motherly smile.

She didn’t want to say too much, the way that Emilia and Lionel had been together after she and David had spoken with the forward had been enough to soothe the little butterflies of worry that the conversation had stirred, but still she wanted to say something. Emilia was happy, happier than Marcella and David had seen her in years, and she wanted Emilia to let Lionel know it.

Emilia’s forehead was creased as she nodded her head. “I know he is” she mused.

Marcella nodded, smiling gently. “Good” she mused.

Emilia offered her mother a baffled look, but before she had the chance to question it, David stepped into the room. “Our taxi is here” he announced.

“We should get out of here, then” Marcella mused “Luca, can I get a hug?” she prodded.

Luca, who’d been studying a book on the coffee table, looked up at the sound of his name before he nodded, stepping into Marcella’s arms happily.

David leant over and wrapped Emilia in a tight hug. “It’s been so good to see you” he mumbled.

“You too, papa” Emilia replied softly “Tell Jordi I can’t wait to see him and Sam at Christmas” she added.

“I will” David replied “And I’ll show him all the pictures of Maisie and Luca you’ve given us” he added.

Emilia laughed as she pulled away. “He’s going to hate that” she quipped.

David laughed too before Luca appeared at his side, allowing Marcella to move towards Emilia, hugging her gently. “Maisie is beautiful” she cooed “Luca’s clearly thriving here and you and Leo...I’m just so glad to see you so happy, honey” she added as she pulled back, gently tucking Emilia’s hair off of her face.

Emilia frowned slightly, but didn’t get the chance to push the subject before David gently grabbed a hold of his wife’s elbow, tugging her towards the door. “We’ll see you soon, Emmy” he mused “We love you all” he added before he and Marcella made their way outside.

Emilia listened for a second for the sound of the door closing before she turned to Luca. “I’m just going to go upstairs and check on Leo and Maisie” she mused “I’ll be right back” she added.

“Ok, mama” Luca chirped as he returned to his spot ahead of the coffee table.

Emilia quietly made her way up the stairs before she nudged her bedroom door open, her eyes quickly finding Lionel who was sat on the side of their bed, whispering quietly to Maisie. Slowing herself to a stop in the doorway, she just watched them for a few seconds, admiring how careful Lionel was when his fingertips brushed Maisie’s little hand, before she lightly cleared her throat.

Lionel kept his stare on Maisie, but grinned. “I heard you coming” he noted.

Emilia shifted her feet a little. “Is she asleep?” she asked quietly.

“Yeah” Lionel replied “I was just staring at her, which I know sound really sappy, but I can’t help it” he added, glancing at Emilia over his shoulder.

Emilia smiled at him gently. “She is beautiful” she fussed.

Lionel just flashed her a boyish smile before he turned back to the crib, leaning his head against the railing.

“Did you say something to my mama?” Emilia asked after a couple of seconds, disturbing the silence which had settled over the two of them.

Lionel closed his eyes, a soft sigh falling out of his mouth. “She asked how you were” he admitted.

“And what did you tell her?” Emilia asked “Because she was being a little weird just now” she added.

“I told her that I think sometimes you miss home” Lionel admitted quietly “And that sometimes...sometimes I am not entirely sure that we’re entirely on the same page. I know that you love me, Em, but sometimes...sometimes you’re not exactly straightforward with your feelings and I just...I worry sometimes” he explained carefully as he turned around to look at her, his dark eyes holding the stare of her blues.

Emilia searched his eyes, trying to make sense of his words. “You worry?” she asked.

“I came into your life, and now everything for you is different” Lionel explained “I worry that one day...one day you might resent me for it. For example, your brother, who was your rock through you first pregnancy, hardly saw you through this one. He’s not going to meet our daughter until we go over there on the winter break and I just...sometimes, I think you could...I don’t know? Blame me for it? It doesn’t feel like the right thing to say, and I am not saying you do feel it, I just...” he trailed off, clearly struggling for the right way to express himself.

Emilia just stared at him.


“You think you’re not enough for me?” Emilia whispered gently.

Lionel opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, trying to find something to say, but he couldn’t quite force anything out, something which made Emilia shift her feet, her hands tucking her hair off of her face. “Luca needs help with his homework” she whispered “I should go back down there and...” she trailed off, gesturing vaguely out of the door.

“We’ll talk later, then” Lionel mused.

“Later” Emilia noted as she stepped out of the door, not quite sure what to say to him.