Like You Did Before

23: I’ve Always Been The One To Encourage Your Bad Ideas


Matilda let out a soft sigh at the sound of her name, her eyes glancing at Naomi who stood a small distance from her. She never called her Matilda. Anyone who knew her, knew how much she hated to be addressed by her full name, and she knew that it was a sign of how upset Naomi was. It wasn’t what they’d intended to do. Matilda and Iker had merely wanted a little time to get things straight between themselves before they’d shared the news of their reconciliation, but she knew that Naomi was upset. After Arthur, Naomi was the person that Matilda spoke most to, and the idea that she had hidden something from her, something as big as her and Iker, was something which had hurt her friend more than she had intended.

“I’m sorry” Matilda said quietly.

Naomi shook her head, the expression on her face softening a little. “Mattie, I’m not upset” she said “I’m just…I don’t know, surprised? You and Iker…?” she trailed off.

Matilda blinked a couple of times, her cheeks flushing pink as she lifted her shoulders in a slightly shy shrug.

“Are you guys back together?” Naomi asked, her voice caught between curious and tentative.

Matilda kept her stare on her feet, allowing the question to hang around them for a moment, before she lifted her shoulders, offering Naomi another shy shrug. “I…I don’t really know” she admitted quietly “We talked. It was a really good talk, Mimi. We spoke about a lot of things we’d not talked about before, that I’d been too scared to broach before, and it left us…in a better place” she added.

Naomi’s lips quirked upwards, her eyes drifting towards the blanket and the paused film which still filled the television screen.

Matilda followed her stare, the blush on her cheeks darkening a shade. “We spend time together” she continued softly “A lot of time, but to answer your previous question, I don’t know that we’re…back together. That’s why I hadn’t told you. I don’t know what it is, Mimi, what it could be, and we were taking our time, trying to figure that out before we told other people. We just wanted to be sure that we weren’t just wasting time” she added.

Naomi nodded slowly as she turned back to look at her, a soft expression on her face. “Do you think you are?” she asked “Wasting time, I mean” she clarified.

Matilda’s face brightened for the first time, a soft smile spreading across her face. “I don’t think so” she replied “I mean, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but it seems to be going OK. I like him, Mimi, I always have, but it was sort of lost before. We both had our issues, they got the better of us in the end, but in the last few weeks…it’s simple and I love that. I am anxious about it. I worry that people will point out how things ended before, that they’ll think we’re just doing it because we’ve got Lola together, but it’s not that. I like him, Mimi. I really, really like him” she added, her eyes mirroring hers friend’s.

She knew what people would think. She knew that they’d have doubts that she and Iker could make things work after the way it’d blown up on them before, but she needed someone to see that they weren’t just trying for the sake of trying. There’d always been feelings, even when they’d been lost amongst her and Iker’s anxieties and uncertainties, and she needed to know that someone knew that other than her or Iker. She needed someone else to tell her that they believed that they could make it work.

Naomi’s eyes searched her face, mulling the words over for a few moments, before she nodded. “I know you do” she mused “You always have done, and I am glad that you are…that you’re trying to figure something else. I hope it works for you, Mattie. I really, really do” she insisted.

Matilda’s slightly anxious expression brightened. “You’re not going to tell me it’s a terrible idea?” she asked, her voice caught somewhere between playful and shy.

“I’ve always been the one to encourage your terrible ideas” Naomi replied with a smirk “Arthur would be the one…” she trailed off, noticing the slight flinch that passed over Matilda’s face at the mention of their other friend. Letting out a soft sigh, she gently moved to wrap Matilda in a hug, her hand gently rubbing her back.

Matilda hugged her back tentatively.

“If he makes you happy, then that’s what matters” Naomi said gently “Yeah, your parents probably aren’t going to love the idea. And Arthur…we both know why he’s going to hate it, but you shouldn’t put their happiness above yours or Iker’s. If you want this, then go for it, Mattie. Just…just remember that it’s not just you and him that you need to think about anymore” she added as she pulled back, her head tipping towards the door which led into Matilda’s bedroom.

Matilda followed the gesture before she nodded. “I know, Mimi” she mused “And that’s why it is what it is now” she added.

Naomi nodded her head, allowing a moment of quiet of pass between the two of them, before a slightly teasing smile brightened her features. “Do I need to make another amendment to our seating chart?” she prodded.

Matilda laughed, but shook her head. “I don’t think so” she mused “I mean, we’ve only gone out together a couple of times, and that’s without mentioning that Art’s going to be there. I think it might come a little too soon. Besides, are you still going to need the seating chart? What are you doing here, Mimi?” she added, her voice softening a little.

Naomi shook her head, a forced laugh falling out of her mouth. “We’ve been getting on each other’s nerves lately” she admitted “And now, with Micah’s parents staying with us, it’s like every little thing is magnified. His mother is always chiming in, protecting him, and I just…I just needed to not be there tonight. I’m sorry I scared Iker off. Looks like it was a cosy night” she added.

Matilda shook her head, trying, and failing, to hide the pink on her cheeks. “It’s fine” she mused “He’ll be back in the morning, anyway. It just means you can have the brownie that I was going to give him” she added.

Naomi, who’d moved towards the couch, grinned. “Your papa’s?” she prodded.

Matilda nodded her head. “I take it you want it” she mused.

“Like you have to ask” Naomi scoffed “Can I restart this film, or are you and Iker going to finish it tomorrow night?” she prodded impishly.

Matilda just scoffed, padding out of the room towards the kitchen with a soft, slightly relieved smile on her face.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comments :)