All This Time

20: Sorry It’s So Difficult

“How are they?” Amelia asked, wrapping a blanket around her shoulders to ward off the slight chill that filled the living room early in the morning. She had spent a lot of the night watching her phone. After she had checked on Una, who’d been fast asleep when she had arrived, Amelia had settled on the couch, and despite her best efforts to get some sleep, she had found herself staring at her phone, hoping that it would ring and distract her from thinking about what had happened between her and Lionel. She knew that it was a mistake. He had been trying to look after her, just like he had done since he’d walked back into her life, and Amelia had let herself get carried away. She cared about him. She liked him being around, and for a moment her emotions had blurred. For a moment, she had allowed herself to think that he was going to be the person she moved forwards with.

“Molly’s exhausted” Stefan replied, his voice muffled by a yawn “She’s been asleep for the last couple of hours. The birth was pretty quick compared to Una, but it still took a lot out of her. She’s exhausted, but OK. She’s pretty smitten with the baby” he added.

Amelia smiled to herself. “Of course she is” she cooed “You and her make beautiful babies. I imagine the new addition is just as cute as Una” she added.

“I’ll send you a picture when I hang up” Stefan said “She’s gorgeous, Lia” he gushed.

“I can’t wait to see her” Amelia mused “Has she got a name yet?” she asked.

“Maya, with a ‘y’” Stefan replied.

Amelia let out a little squeal of excitement, something which made Stefan laugh softly. “Is Una awake yet?” he asked.

“I checked on her just before you called and she was still asleep” Amelia answered “Do you want me to bring her to hospital when she gets up? I can just drop her off with you and she can meet her new baby sister” she added.

“You can come and say hello, too” Stefan quipped “It’ll just have to be brief. If Molly’s mother catches wind of the fact you met her new grandbaby before she did then we’ll never hear the end of it” he added.

Amelia laughed, snuggling into her blanket. “I’d love that” she mused “But right now, I am going to let you go. Give my love to Molly, and congratulations, Stefan. I’ll see you later” she added before she disconnected the call.

Placing the phone down onto the sofa next to her, Amelia leant her head back against the cushions for a moment before the phone vibrated, causing her to look down at it. Tapping the screen, she opened the message she had received from Stefan before she picked the phone up, marvelling at the picture of the new baby. After typing out a quick reply, gushing about how cute the baby was, Amelia moved to put the phone down again, but stopped when it vibrated in her hand, Lionel’s name filling the screen.

For a few seconds, she just stared at it, but eventually, she slid her thumb across the screen, declining the call. She knew that she would have to talk to him eventually. As awkward as she felt about what had happened the previous night, she wasn’t prepared to just let him slip out of her life again, but she wasn’t ready to talk to him then. She was embarrassed and she was worried that if she kept making mistakes, kept blurring the lines of their friendship when she still felt so uncertain after the end of her marriage, then she was going to end up hurting him and it was the last thing she wanted to do.

“Do you want anything, Amelia?”

Amelia, who was quietly marvelling at the tiny baby in her arms, shook her head, throwing a small smile towards Stefan who was stood in the doorway with Una on his hip. “I’m fine” she mused “Besides, I will probably be gone by the time you get back. I can see Molly’s trying to come up with a polite way to ask me to go” she added.

Molly scoffed as Stefan laughed, carrying Una out of the room.

Amelia gently adjusted the hat on Maya’s head before she glanced at Molly. “I’ll go in a second” she mused “Do you need me to come and get Una later?” she asked.

Molly shook her head, snuggling a little closer to her pillow. “My mum’s going to take her” she mused “We just needed someone to sit with her last night and I thought you wouldn’t mind. I thought you’d be having a quiet night in after seeing Fernando yesterday. Was I wrong?” she added.

Amelia shook her head, not making any kind of attempt to move her stare away from Maya towards Molly. She knew that if she looked at her, then she would tell her what happened, and she knew that it wasn’t the time.

“How was it?” Molly mumbled through a yawn.

“It was Fernando” Amelia replied “How’d you think it was?” she asked.

Molly lifted a hand, patting Amelia's back gently. “Sorry it’s so difficult” she murmured.

Amelia sighed, but didn’t say anything, so it wasn’t difficult to hear the moment that her phone started to vibrate in her pocket. With another soft sigh, she carefully moved to place Maya into Molly’s arms before she pressed a kiss to her friend’s cheek. “She’s gorgeous” she cooed “And I am so happy for you, and proud of you. I love you, Mol” she murmured.

Molly let out a soft, slightly snuffly laugh. “I wasn’t expecting you to be so sentimental” she quipped.

Amelia shrugged, trying to ignore the vibrations in her pocket. “Can’t I tell my best friend that I think she’s amazing?” she said.

Molly just smiled, something which made Amelia smile back before she offered a little wave and ducked out of the door. Once the door had closed behind her, she reluctantly slipped her phone out of her pocket and pressed it against her ear, hating the way her chest tightened when Lionel’s voice filled her ears. “Hey” he greeted cautiously “I’ve finally caught you” he added. His voice wasn’t accusatory, like he knew that she had been avoiding his calls, but it still caused Amelia to close her eyes, overwhelmed by her conflicted feelings.

“It’s been a busy morning” Amelia murmured “The baby’s here” she added.

“Is she OK?” Lionel asked.

“Amazing” Amelia confirmed.

Lionel was quiet for a second, something which made Amelia sigh gently. “Leo...”

“Come over tonight” Lionel interrupted “I’ll make dinner” he added.

Amelia wanted to object, to say that she had something else that she needed to do, but Lionel didn’t let her. “I’ll come to you, otherwise” he quipped, letting out a nervous laugh “You’ll end up seeing me either way” he added.

Amelia couldn’t stop a tiny smile from pulling up one corner of her lips. “I guess I can come to your place, then” she quipped “If you’re going to be persistent about it” she added.

Lionel let out another nervous laugh, something Amelia mimicked before she shook her head. “I’ll see you then” she murmured.

“It’s a date” Lionel quipped, oblivious to the way that Amelia flinched at his words. She knew that it was going to be hard. When she had bumped into Lionel in a restaurant a couple of months previous, she had known that any friendship that they could recover would be complicated, but it felt like it was getting harder and Amelia didn’t know how much longer she could keep it going before one of them did something that ended up hurting the other.