Until The Sunshine Fades

Thirty

“You know that this bag is too big, right?”

Isabella, who placing a neatly folded item of clothing into her open suitcase, rolled her eyes, glancing at Elena who stood beside her wardrobe, picking through the clothes inside. She hadn’t been her first choice. When it came to asking for someone’s help to get ready for her trip to Madrid, Isabella’s first instinct had been to call Gerard, but she had stopped herself, opting for Elena instead. She knew that he would help. If she had asked him to come over, and tell her that everything was going to go alright, then she knew that he would, but she couldn’t do it to him. He was good at hiding it, but whenever her upcoming interview came up in conversation, his usually bright smile dimmed slightly, and it made the knot in Isabella’s stomach tighten.

“It’s the only suitcase I have” Isabella replied “I didn’t really want to buy another one if this is going to be a one time thing” she added.

Elena nodded, allowing a moment of quiet to pass between the two of them, before she leant forwards, plucking a hanger out of the cupboard ahead of her. Studying the outfit for a second, she wrinkled her nose before she put it back. “How are you getting to the airport?” she asked.

“Gerard’s taking me” Isabella said “I told him I’d take a taxi, but he was pretty insistent” she added, shaking her head ruefully.

“Why didn’t you want him to take you?” Elena asked.

“I didn’t say that I didn’t want him to take me” Isabella countered.

“You didn’t have to say it” Elena quipped.

Isabella glanced over at Elena, wanting to refute it, but eventually, she just let out a soft sigh, returning her stare to the suitcase in front of her. Placing another couple of things into it, she lifted her hand to her collarbone, tracing the line of it with her fingers. “He’s been great” she said “Since I told him about what was being offered to me, he’s been really supportive, and that’s great, but I can tell that it’s hard for him, and right now, it’s only an overnight stay in Madrid. I want to do this, Lena, but I don’t want to make it harder on him that it already is” she added.

Elena moved away from the wardrobe, plopping down at the foot of the bed. “Do you really think that pretending it’s not happening is going to make it easier on him?” she asked.

“No” Isabella answered “But I don’t know what to say. It’s all hypothetical. I could get the job, but there’s an equal chance that I couldn’t, and I don’t...I don’t want to think too far ahead. I want to get it over with, and see what the outcome is, and then we can go from there” she added.

She knew that it was procrastinating. With a fifty-fifty chance of getting the job, she knew that there was no harm in thinking ahead, and trying to figure out what would be the best thing for her and for Gerard, but she couldn’t let herself do it. She dreaded the prospect of saying goodbye to him, she dreaded the prospect of staring at a screen, waiting for a call that wouldn’t come, and so she had chosen to put the thoughts off, knowing that the decision wasn’t one that needed to be made until after they knew whether or not she had the job.

Elena’s expression was sympathetic, but it was also slightly worried. “Have you not talked about it at all?” she asked.

“How do I start that conversation, Lena?” Isabella prodded “We’ve been together for a couple of months, and now there’s a chance that I am going to move to another city. I don’t know what to do, and I don’t think he knows either, so we’re just waiting. If I get the job, then we’ll have to talk, but if I don’t...” she trailed off with a small shake of her head.

“What do you want to do?” Elena asked softly.

The smile that spread across Isabella’s face was pained and hollow. “Move David to Barcelona?” she quipped.

Elena smiled indulgently, playfully rolling her eyes. “Other than that” she said.

Isabella rubbed her hand over her collarbone again. “I really care about him, Lena” she said “I know I’ve been hesitant about it since that first night at my parents’ party, but it’s...it’s been better than I thought it would be. He makes me happy” she added.

Elena didn’t say anything. She simply reached over, squeezing one of Isabella’s hands.

“I don’t know what’s going through his head, at all” Isabella kept talking, encouraged by Elena’s silence “I mean, he’s all smiles, and he keeps telling me that he thinks I am a guarantee to get it, but I...I can see it on his face that this is bothering him, but I can’t figure out what he’s thinking. I don’t ask because if I do, I have to tell him what I am thinking, and I can’t make any sense of that either” she rambled.

Elena squeezed her hand again. “I’m sorry I asked” she said.

Isabella quirked a faintly amused smile. “I should have known something like this would happen” she quipped “I mean, this is punishment for me lying to my mother. I make up one fictional boyfriend, and then when I get a real one, this happens” she added, letting out a slightly shaky laugh.

Elena laughed along with her before the doorbell chimed. Offering Isabella’s hand one last squeeze, she stood up from the bed and padded out of the bedroom, returning a few moments later with Gerard in tow. “I need to get home” she mused “Text me when you land?” she prodded.

Isabella reluctantly pulled her stare away from Gerard to offer her friend a small smile and a nod. “I have done every time I’ve flown before” she quipped.

“I’m not going to apologise for caring” Elena retorted playfully.

Isabella laughed before she offered Elena a small wave.

Gerard listened to Elena walk away. He didn’t speak until he had heard the front door close. “Are you nearly ready?” he asked quietly.

Isabella didn’t say anything. She stood up from the end of the bed and walked towards him until she could press her lips to his.

Gerard sighed softly into the kiss. “Izzy...”

“It’s one night” Isabella murmured, her lips still lightly brushing his.

“This time” Gerard countered, touching his forehead to hers.

Isabella lingered in the contact for a brief second before she drew away, returning to her suitcase. “I need a couple of minutes” she mused.

Gerard watched her for a moment, hoping that she would say something else, but when she didn’t, he nodded his head, wordlessly shuffling out of the room.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)