Like You Did Before

31: Maybe For A Moment

Turning onto her other side, Matilda let out a quiet sigh, her eyes drifting towards the clock which sat on the nightstand. She knew that it wouldn’t be long before the doorbell sounded. When she had called Iker the night before and told him that she and Lola were going to be back late and that it would probably be too late for him to visit, he’d insisted that he’d be over a little earlier to see the two of them that morning, and Matilda hadn’t quite found the heart to turn him down, even if her parents’ words were still swimming in her mind. The warmth with which he’d spoken had won her over.

She felt bad for lying to him. When she’d called him, she had intended to tell him that she and Lola were home and that he’d be more than welcome to come over for his nightly visit, but when his voice had travelled down the line, bright and cheerful at the prospect, she had backed out, knowing that she needed a little more time to digest what her parents had suggested before she saw him. She knew that it hadn’t been their intention. Whilst they’d been slightly sceptical of Iker, they weren’t the kind of people who’d try and ruin things for her deliberately, but regardless of whether or not they’d meant to, they’d put a thought in her mind, one she wanted to try and work through before she saw Iker again. He’d sense that there was something amiss. As soon as he saw her, he’d know there was something bothering her and Matilda wanted to be able to communicate it, something she doubted she would have been able to do the night before.

Blinking her eyes sleepily, she watched the second hand around the face of the clock for a couple of minutes before knocking filled the air, causing her to close her eyes for a moment before she shuffled out of bed. Pulling a sweatshirt over her head, she spared a brief look towards Lola who was still sound asleep in her cot before she made her way towards the front door, pulling it open.

Iker, who waited on the other side, watched it swing open before he quirked a small shy smile, his hand holding up a bag. “I bought breakfast” he announced sheepishly “I figured it might help make up for getting you out of bed earlier than normal” he added.

“You didn’t have to do that” Matilda replied, stepping out of the doorway.

Iker moved into the apartment, stopping only to touch a gentle kiss to her cheek, before he progressed towards the kitchen. Matilda closed the door gently before she trailed after him. Stopping in the kitchen doorway, she watched him easily locate everything he needed to serve up breakfast for the two of them before he glanced over his shoulder, offering her a slightly impish smile. “You know it was only one night, right?” he prodded.

“Huh?” Matilda spluttered.

“You didn’t see me for one night” Iker clarified “And now you’re staring at me like it’s been weeks. I left you here yesterday morning, Mattie” he teased happily.

Matilda blinked a couple of times before she shook her head, laughing weakly down at her feet. “Sorry” she apologised gently “I’m not really awake yet” she added.

If Iker heard something off in her voice, he didn’t let it show. He placed food on their plates before he turned and set them on the table, offering Matilda the empty seat opposite him. “Lola’s still asleep, isn’t she?” he asked as he sat down.

“She is” Matilda confirmed “I can wake her if you want me to” she added.

Iker shook his head. “It’s OK” he mused “I’m not in a hurry. I’ll see when she wakes up” he added.

Matilda nodded her head wordlessly, pushing her food around the plate with her fork.

Iker didn’t say anything for a few minutes. He ate in silence, occasionally glancing over at Matilda who poked at her food, before he let his fork fall out of his hand, hitting the plate with a clatter that caused Matilda to startle, her eyes snapping back up to his face. Taking in a breath, she allowed them to search his features for a moment before she shook her head. “I...I am trying to find the right way to put it” she said quietly.

“Put what?” Iker asked.

“The thing that’s bothering me” Matilda replied “That’s what you were going to ask, right?” she prodded.

Iker nodded his head. “Right” he mused.

Matilda brushed her hair out of her face, tucking it behind her ear before she let out a gentle sigh. “I told my parents about you, about us” she announced carefully “And they...I don’t know. I guess they saw it a way I hadn’t and knocked me slightly. That’s why I didn’t want you here last night. The idea had overwhelmed me slightly and I knew if you were here, I’d say the wrong thing and upset you and then we’ve have another one of those stupid fights we get ourselves into and I didn’t want that. I’m sorry I lied on the phone” she explained.

Iker was quiet for a second before he looked up at her face. “How’d they see it?” he asked.


“Mattie” Iker cut her off “How’d they see it?” he repeated.

Matilda wanted to object, to tell him that it didn’t matter, but one look at his face convinced her that it probably wouldn’t be wise. Fiddling with her fork, she prodded her food as she spoke. “They think we don’t really want this” she replied quietly “They think we’ve just convinced ourselves that we do because we’re around one another because of Lola. They think I am still overwhelmed by how everything is different now and that I want you because...”

“Because I understand how different things are” Iker finished for her.

Matilda nodded her head wordlessly.

Iker leant back in his seat slightly, mulling the idea over. “Do you think they’re right?” he asked after a few moments of quiet.

Matilda hesitated, something which caused the corner of Iker’s mouth to quirk upwards into a slightly sharp smile. “You think that I just say I love you because you’re here?” he asked.

“I didn’t say that” Matilda retorted “I didn’t say anything” she added, her voice rising in frustration.

“You hesitated” Iker replied, his voice just as frustrated as hers.

“What do you want from me, Iker?” Matilda shot back “I try and talk to you, you jump down my throat. I don’t say anything, you do the same thing. I am really struggling to understand what it is you want me to do. It overwhelmed me for a night, OK? When my papa suggested that maybe we didn’t fully understand what we were doing, it got to me because for a moment, I thought he could be right. We didn’t try and fix things when I was pregnant and I thought that he might have a point. We see each other all of the time, and all of our feelings could have gotten a little blurred in the last few months, but then you showed up at my door, breakfast in hand, and I just...I remembered that this is good. I was scared, OK? They put an idea in my head, and it scared me, but just seeing you at that door, or seeing how well you know the layout of my kitchen...that made me feel better” she added, the anger and frustration bleeding out of her voice.

Iker blinked, his dark eyes wide.

“I know what I feel for you” Matilda continued softly “And maybe I doubted it for a moment, but that’s just me, Iker. It’s not about not trusting you, it’s about not trusting myself sometimes” she added.

Iker didn’t know what to say to that, but he was saved from having to say anything when Lola’s crying filled the slightly uncomfortable silence. Matilda was the quickest to move, pushing her chair back so quickly that it screeched as it scraped across the floor before she padded out of the room, returning moments later with a slightly calmer Lola sniffling gently in her arms. Keeping her stare down, she gently placed Lola into Iker’s arms before she tipped her head towards the fridge. “She’s got a bottle in there” she said “I am going to go and take a shower” she added.

Iker kept his eyes on Lola as he nodded. “Alright” he replied.

Matilda nodded her head before she turned and walked out of the room again, something Iker watched out of the corner of his eye, not quite sure what he could say or do to make her see that there really was something between them. It was damaged, and it was complicated and it wasn’t going to be fixed for a while, but he was adamant that it was there. He felt it when he looked at her, when she smiled up at him or when they touched, and he wished he had a way to prove it to her.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)