Burn Us Down

19: I’ve Got This


Olivia, who’d been staring at her phone which was sat on the table ahead of her, didn’t look up at the sound of Gerard’s voice, instead keeping her focus on the phone. She had been staring at it for a while. After she had finished work for the day, she had headed out to lunch with her sister, and the conversation that they’d shared had reminded her that there were phone calls that Olivia still needed to make, ones she had been trying to put off for as long as she could.

The decision was made. As painful as it was, both she and Gerard were aware that their original wedding date was an impossible target, and it meant that someone had to call their vendors, a job Olivia knew would fall on her shoulders. She had been the one to make the plans, even if she and Gerard had talked about them, she had been the one who had forged ahead and booked them, and she knew that cancelling them would sting. As much as Olivia knew that there was little to no chance that they were going to make it up the aisle when they’d planned to, the calls still seemed a little too hard to make.

“You are here” Gerard chirped as he stepped into the kitchen, stopping on his way past to drop a kiss on the top of her head.

Olivia reached up, squeezing the hand he’d placed onto her shoulder. “Sorry” she replied quietly.

Gerard squeezed her hand back, frowning slightly. He could hear that there was something off in her voice. “You OK?” he asked “Was lunch with Melissa that bad?” he added with a playful smirk as pulled out the chair beside her, falling into it.

Olivia tried to be playful, to roll her eyes and laugh like she had done countless times before, but it came out as a slightly pained grimace, something which caused Gerard’s expression to soften before he reached across the table, gently twining his fingers through Olivia’s. “What’d she do?” he asked softly.

Olivia shook her head. “Mel didn’t do anything” she replied “She just…reminded me that there’s something I’ve still got to do” she added, sparing a significant look towards the phone on the table before she looked down at the hand that Gerard held, the one that carried her engagement ring.

Gerard watched her eyes before he made the connection, something which caused his grip on her hand to slacken ever so slightly. He knew that it wasn’t going to happen. As much as he wanted Olivia to be walking up the aisle towards him in a handful of months, he wasn’t naïve enough to believe that things would have healed over between them so quickly, but it didn’t mean that the thought of Olivia cancelling their plans, plans she had been so excited to make, didn’t hurt. They had fought about them, it was a part of the reason that things between them were as they were, but it didn’t mean that Gerard was ready to seen them cancelled, even if they had felt a little more like Olivia’s wedding plans and a little less like their wedding plans. It was still a day he’d been counting down to.

“Oh” he breathed out quietly.

Olivia’s thumb traced the back of his hand, but she didn’t say anything, allowing the silence to hang between them for a few long moments before Gerard squeezed her hand again. “My charming presence hasn’t won you round then?” he joked feebly.

Olivia smiled sadly, but still shook her head, causing Gerard to exhale another soft sigh as he nodded his head slowly. “Is there a chance it still could?” he asked, more in hope than expectation.

“In the next few months? Probably not” Olivia replied softly.

Gerard tried to cover his flinch with a playful smile, but failed miserably.

Olivia just gripped his hand tighter. “It’s not never, Geri” she whispered “It’s…It’s not when we thought it would be” she added.

“I know” Gerard replied “Doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still suck, Livy. I mean, I know we fought about these plans, but…” he trailed off, offering her a shrug in place of the end of his sentence.

“But?” Olivia pressed.

“But I was looking forwards to seeing how they came together, Livy” Gerard replied as though it was the most obvious thing in the world “Ok, maybe I didn’t really know what they were exactly and I know we fought about them…that night, but it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t looking forwards to you being my wife. I know that the last few weeks have given you cause to doubt this, but you have to know that I adore you and that I was, and am, looking forwards to the day that I get to look at you and call you my wife” he explained.

He knew that she doubted it. Even before the kiss and the pictures, he knew that there was a part of Olivia that didn’t quite believe that their getting married was actually something he wanted, and he wanted to assure her that it was. He had bought the ring almost a year before he had asked her. He’d agonized for months over where would be the right place to ask, and how Olivia would want the proposal to be, and he’d done that because he wanted it to be perfect. He had wanted it to be the perfect first and hopefully last proposal that Olivia was presented with.

Olivia kept her eyes on their hands. “Still?” she asked.

“Always” Gerard replied without hesitation.

“Even if I make these calls?” Olivia prodded, nodding towards her phone.

Gerard’s face paled, but he got through it with a nod. “I should be asking you that” he quipped “I’m the jerk, the problem. Can you really see yourself making wedding plans with me again?” he asked.

Olivia lifted her eyes slowly to meet his. “I can’t imagine making them with anyone else” she replied.

Gerard’s face lit up, but he tried to hide it, clearing his throat as he ducked his head. Olivia had every reason to change her mind, but the idea that she hadn’t, it meant more to him than he could put into words.

Olivia caught his smile, but didn’t comment on it, instead reaching out her other towards her phone. “I should…” she trailed off.

Gerard swallowed, but nodded his head. “Do you want me to stick around?” he asked.

Olivia smiled sadly and nodded, dialling a number into her phone. Lifting it against her ear, she listened to the dial tone before a voice reached her ears, causing her to squeeze her eyes closed. “I…uh…I need to speak to Andrea” she said quietly “I’m Olivia Mendes. I…I need to talk her about the Piqué-Mendes wedding. About a…a cancellation” she added, the tears she had been trying so hard to stop slipping down her cheeks.

Taking a couple of deep breaths, she listened to the hold music before she felt the phone being pulled out of her hand, something which caused her to blink her eyes open, frowning up at Gerard who’d moved to press the phone to his ear. “Geri…”

“I’ve got this” Gerard cut in, a smile on his face despite the slight shine of tears in his eyes. Holding the phone against his ear, he tugged his other hand out from beneath hers and used it brush her tears away, hoping that that moment marked the end of their past and the start of their future.