Like You Did Before

39: You’d Never Tell Me Anything

Rubbing lotion into her skin, Matilda shifted back from the foot of the bed, glancing around the half-closed door which led out into the living room in an attempt to spot Iker. He had been quiet. After she had arrived at her father’s restaurant, whatever conversation that had been occurring between Iker and her mother had faded away, and Iker’s quietness hadn’t faded when they’d arrived back at her apartment, something which bothered Matilda. It wasn’t something he did. Unlike Matilda who tended to keep things to herself when she got upset, Iker was a talker, and the fact he’d been quiet was more of a worry to her than it would have been if he had just told her what was bothering him.

She wasn’t oblivious. She had seen the look on Iker’s face, on her mother’s face, when she had entered the restaurant and she knew that the conversation had been heavier than the two of them simply getting reacquainted, and it irked her that Iker had tried to play it off as nothing. He had prodded her into talking more than once and it upset her slightly that he seemed reluctant to return the favour.

Realising that she couldn’t quite see him from her vantage point, she let out a quiet sigh before she shuffled up to her feet and padded towards the door. Collecting her dressing gown, she wrapped it around herself before she edged the door open a little further.

Iker glanced up as the hinges squeaked, causing Matilda to quirk a slightly apologetic smile. “I didn’t mean to disturb you” she said “I just wondered if you were coming to bed any time soon” she added, messing with the belt of her robe.

“I’ll be in soon” Iker replied “I’m still watching this” he added, tipping his head in the general direction of the television.

Matilda followed the gesture before she glanced back at him. Shifting her hand slightly, she untied the knot at her waist before she slipped the robe off of her shoulders. “Is it more interesting that me?” she asked.

Iker’s eyes flitted up towards her, taking in the slip she wore, before he shook his head, a sigh falling out of his mouth. “Mattie” he murmured softly.

Matilda blinked, her expression falling. “Oh” she breathed softly.


Matilda didn’t give him a chance to say much more. Bending over, she picked up her dressing gown up off of the floor before she hauled it around her shoulders again, disappearing back into the bedroom. Pushing the door closed behind herself, she rested against it for a moment before she progressed towards the wardrobe, hauling the doors open. Blinking to try and keep the sting out of her eyes, she rifled through the pile of pyjamas before she felt something touch her shoulder, causing her to whip around, her eyes glaring up at Iker who’d taken a pace back from her. “What do you want?” she muttered.

Iker shifted, his eyes on his feet. “I didn’t meant to upset you” he said “You look beautiful, Mattie, really” he added.

Matilda shook her head. “Clearly, it wasn’t enough” she muttered.

“Don’t do that” Iker’s voice rose a little “Don’t put yourself down like that. You know that I find you incredible, Mattie” he added.

“Then why did you barely look at me?” Matilda shot back., her voice somewhere between sad and angry.

Iker took another step back from her. “I’m just not in the mood, Mattie” he replied.

Matilda nodded her head slowly, glaring down at the floor. “You’re a hypocrite sometimes, do you know that?” she said after a few moments..

“What?” Iker asked.

“You talk all the time about how, if this is going to work, we need to talk to one another, and then you clam up about whatever it is that my mother said to you” Matilda explained “I am not entirely oblivious, Iker. I know that you two were talking about something when I walked in, and I thought that you’d talk to me about it, like you keep encouraging me to do, but you haven’t” she added, the anger fading out of her voice to replaced by something softer and sadder.

Iker opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, caught off guard by the tone of her voice, before he let loose a soft sigh. “It’s really nothing” he said.

Matilda scoffed, her expression sharpening again. “Really?” she asked.

“You don’t need to know” Iker protested.

“Why do you get to decide that?” Matilda shot back.

“Because she has her doubts” Iker replied “And I knew if you knew that, then you’d start having them again” he added.

Matilda’s expression softened momentarily before she shook her head, her arms folding over her chest. “You can’t have this both ways” she muttered.

“I wouldn’t have to keep things from you if you didn’t keep jumping at every little thing!” Iker snapped, flinching slightly when Lola, who was sound asleep in her crib, stirred “Every little bump, and you look like you’re ready to bolt, and I...I can’t keep watching that, Mattie. I want this to work, you know that I do, but I can’t keep watching you get so worked up over everything. It makes me worry that you’re not...” he trailed off.

Matilda shifted, adjusting her slip. She knew that he had stopped himself before he had accused her of not really wanting their relationship to work. “If you think that, then I don’t think you really know me” she murmured lowly.


“You don’t get to keep things from me” Matilda snapped “Not when you’re so persistent about me being open and honest with you” she added.

“You’d never tell me anything if I wasn’t so persistent” Iker shot back “You’d go to Art and...”

“We're not doing this again!” Matilda’s shout was loud enough that it did wake Lola. The little girl’s cries filled the lingering for a moment before Matilda moved towards the crib, gently soothing her as she carefully lifted her up.

Iker watched the two of them wordlessly, his anger dissipating as he watched Matilda gently shush Lola.

Matilda could feel Iker’s eyes on her, but she didn’t glance at him, not even when she spoke. “Get out of here” she said “I...I don’t want you here right now” she added.

Iker didn’t hesitate, stepping out of the bedroom without so much as a word.

Matilda held her breath until she heard the front door slam, finally allowing it out shakily as she tried to keep the tears from slipping down her cheeks. Smoothing Lola’s hair, she cooed to her quietly, trying, and failing, to keep the occasional sniffle falling out of her mouth.