All This Time

27: Every Single Day

Hanging her coat up beside the front door, Amelia lingered by the hook for a moment, trying to figure out why she had invited Fernando inside with her. She should have turned him away. As soon as he had told her that something had gone wrong between him and Gianna, Amelia knew she should have insisted that he go elsewhere for someone to console him, but instead she had invited him in, something she already knew she was going to regret. They had never been able to talk about Gianna. Any conversation that they had tried to have about the other woman had quickly given way to the two of them yelling at one another, and Amelia doubted that their divorce was going to have changed it. She was still hurting. The fact that Fernando had cheated hurt, the way that Amelia had discovered his affair had hurt, and it wasn’t a feeling that had disappeared. It hit her every time she looked at him.

“Amelia?”

Amelia blinked a couple of times, pulling her stare away from the coat hook before she turned around, looking over at Fernando who stood hesitantly beside the sofa. “Sorry” she spluttered.

Fernando’s lips quirked into a half-hearted smile before he sunk down onto the sofa, rubbing his forehead uncomfortably.

For a second, all Amelia could do was stare at him, trying to get her head around the sight of him sat on her couch, before she slowly walked towards it, settling in the spot further away from where Fernando sat. Letting out a quiet sigh, she smoothed out the material of her top, determined to keep her focus away from Fernando’s face. She knew that if she saw pain in his eyes, she’d let herself melt a little. “What happened with Gianna?” she asked quietly.

Fernando, who’d been watching her, exhaled a quiet sigh before he leant back into the couch, covering his face with his hands. “I had Penelope for the night” he murmured, letting his hands drop back to his side “It’s been...It’s been going well. I see her pretty regularly now, and me and Gianna are on pretty OK terms. But this morning...” he trailed off with a shake of his head.

“Fernando...”

“She’s moving” Fernando interrupted, hearing the frustration in Amelia's voice “She’s got a boyfriend. They’ve been together for a long time, but he’s not from here. He’s American, and now that Gianna’s found a good job out there, they’re going to go. She just dropped that on me when she came to pick Penelope up” he added, shaking his head in disbelief.

Amelia just stared at him, not sure what she could, or should, say. His relationship with Gianna was complicated. Gianna had known that it was a fling, that Fernando had Amelia and that there was very little chance that they would make something more of it, but everything had become a lot more complicated when Penelope had arrived, and Amelia couldn’t pretend to know anything about it. She didn’t want to know.

“I know what you’re thinking” Fernando quipped, flashing her a tired smile.

“What?” Amelia asked.

“That I tried to walk away” Fernando said “When we got married, I stopped going to Gianna’s, I stopped visiting with Penelope, and this is probably what I deserve for it. I tried to cut ties with my daughter, and now Gianna’s cutting Penelope’s ties with me” he added.

“Gianna loves that little girl too much to just cut you out, Nando” Amelia muttered, pulling at a loose thread on the sofa “She showed up at our home, thinking she was going to have to really fight to have you in Penny’s life. I don’t think a few months would change her mind” she added, her voice as calm as she could make it.

Fernando flinched, something which made Amelia shake her head, determined not to get sucked in by the regret on his face. She knew that he regretted what happened, but that wasn’t enough. Him regretting hurting her wasn’t going to change the fact that he had, and Amelia knew that she had to keep reminding herself of it. Whatever they had been, they weren’t any more. “I’m sorry that Penelope’s leaving” she murmured “I know that you’ve been working hard at being better for her. I know how much you adore her. Is Gianna’s boyfriend a good guy?” she asked.

Fernando didn’t hesitate to nod his head. “He’s great” he said “He’s good with Penelope, and he’s never tried to push me out” he added.

Amelia nodded her head slowly. “That’s good, then” she mused “And you’ve always wanted to go to America” she added, the faintest of smiles tickling the corner of her lips.

Fernando let out a slightly surprised laugh. “Only you could find a silver lining to this” he quipped.

“I’m just trying to make you see that it isn’t so bad” Amelia replied.

Fernando smiled at her softly, something Amelia returned for a second before she quickly diverted her stare away. Fernando’s smile dimmed a little, but it didn’t stop him from reaching out and placing a hand on her arm, squeezing it gently. “Thank you” he muttered “For listening to me. For not just slamming the door in my face” he added, letting out a slightly sad laugh.

Amelia’s eyes focused on the hand on her arm for a long moment, trying to ignore all of the memories that were wrapped up in Fernando’s touch, before she slowly slid it out of his grasp. “I...I can’t keep doing this” she whispered “I can’t keep letting you appear, and act like all of the things that happened between us didn’t. I...I can’t be the one you come to for stuff like this, Nando” she protested softly.

Fernando blew out a soft sigh before he nodded his head. “I know” he murmured.

“Then why are you here?” Amelia pressed “Why would you come to me with this?” she asked.

“Because you are...were my wife” Fernando replied “Because I thought I’d be figuring out my problems with you for the rest of my life, and because I can’t let go of that idea yet, no matter how hard I try to. You’re my first thought, Amelia. You have been for a long time” he added.

“Except for when you were cheating on me” Amelia shot back.

Fernando stared at her for a long moment, letting the sting from her comment dissipate, before he looked down at the floor. “I don’t know what I was doing” he murmured “I can’t even offer you excuses. I was attracted to Gianna, and you and I were still figuring things out, and I let it go on too long, but I loved you. Always. From the moment we met in that bar and every single day after” he added.

Amelia stared at him, unable to say anything for a beat, before she shook her head. “That’s not enough” she murmured.

“Amelia...” Fernando’s voice trailed off at the sound of the doorbell, something which made Amelia spring to her feet. Quickly wiping at her eyes, she smoothed down her shirt before she threw the door open.

Lionel, who was on the other side of it, frowned at the sight of Amelia's tearful eyes before his stare drifted over her shoulder, settling on Fernando who was already glaring at him. Slowly dragging his stare back to Amelia, he tilted his head slightly. “Am I interrupting?” he asked.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)