All This Time

33: You Make It Sound Easy

“Amelia!”

Amelia, who had hidden her face in her pillow to avoid the too bright sunlight that was spilling into the room, flinched at the shrill sound of her sister’s voice before she gripped the duvet, pulling it over her head in an attempt to ward off the noise. She had let Thea stay for the night. When they had left the club the night before, they had both been a little worse for wear, and when they’d climbed into the taxi, Thea had almost instantly fallen asleep, something which had encouraged her older sister to offer her the sofa for the night, both wanting to look after her sister, and to have someone around to break the stifling silence that otherwise filled the apartment.

A lot of the time it didn’t bother her. She was busy, she had things to occupy her time and her mind, but often, mostly first thing in the morning or last thing at night, she found herself listening to the silence and missing the noise that had filled her home with Fernando. He had always been noisy. He was clumsy, and Amelia had never known him to do anything quietly or carefully, and whilst it had bothered her when they were together, it was one of the things she had first missed about him. His noise had been a comfort, a reminder that the person she adored was close by, and it was something her new home was missing. Despite having her furniture, her decorations, at times, her apartment was the last place she wanted to be.

“Amelia, get your ass up!” Thea called “If you don’t, I am going to eat the lovely breakfast that Leo bought for you” she added.

At the sound of Lionel’s name, Amelia shoved the duvet off of her head, only to grimace when the sunlight flooded into her eyes. With a groan, she pushed herself to her feet, pausing only to run a brush through her hair and collect a hoodie from the hook on the back of her bedroom door before she padded out into the living room, drawing both Thea and Lionel’s attention towards her.

Thea’s face lit up with an amused smirk, her eyes flitting between her sister and Lionel, before she settled on her sister. “You look good, Lia” she chirped impishly.

Amelia's cheeks flushed pink, but she didn’t glance over at Thea. Instead, she offered Lionel a shy smile. “I didn’t think you’d come back after yesterday” she quipped.

Lionel’s answering smile was sheepish. “It wasn’t that embarrassing” he retorted “Besides, I thought we could have the breakfast we never got to have. I didn’t think you’d have company” he added, tilting his head towards Thea who was sat on the sofa, grinning up at the two of them.

Amelia spared a glance at her sister, feeling the heat in her cheeks grow, before she shook her head. “We went out last night” she said “Thea needed somewhere to spend the night, and I needed the company” she added.

“I was just about to leave” Thea contributed quickly “I have plans with my boyfriend and I need a shower and a change of clothes. It was a lovely surprise to see you, Leo” she gushed as she jumped up to her feet.

Lionel offered Thea a small bashful smile before he padded towards the kitchen, allowing Thea to step closer to her sister. “Is he the guy?” she asked quietly.

Amelia didn’t hesitate to nod, but her expression was still cautious, like she was just waiting for Thea to warn her off.

Thea’s teasing expression softened when she saw the nervousness in Amelia's eyes, turning into something warmer and more reassuring. “He’s a good guy” she enthused “Just remember what I said last night. Be honest. You’re going to make mistakes, everyone does, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. If you think it’s the right time, then that’s all that matters” she added.

Amelia huffed out a reluctant laugh. “You make it sound so simple” she quipped.

Thea just offered her a small shrug before she pulled her into a quick hug. “Last night was great” she enthused “Let’s do it again sometime soon. See you soon, Leo” she added as she pulled away and moved towards the door, pulling it shut behind her with a soft thud.

For a moment after Thea had left, the apartment was silent. Amelia turned away from the door slowly, her stare landing on Lionel who was stood in the kitchen, plating up the food he’d bought with him. She just watched him for a moment, slightly dazed by the confused thoughts in her mind, before she padded towards the sofa, settling cross-legged at one end of it. Fiddling with the sleeves of her sweater, she tried to think of the right thing to say, before she let out a quiet sigh, frustrated that she couldn’t find the right words. She wanted to talk about it. She wanted to tell him what her mother had said after he’d left them alone, and what Thea had said when they’d gone out the previous night, but she couldn’t find the right words to express it. She knew that he understood her caution. He’d reassured her enough times for her to know that he was prepared to be patient, and move things at her pace, but she didn’t know that he knew how much she cared about him, and that, out all of the things that terrified her, them being together wasn’t one of them.

“You OK?”

Amelia’s head snapped up, something which made Lionel offer her a slightly bemused smile as he placed a plate down ahead of her. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“You seem to be thinking about something pretty hard” Lionel commented, sipping on his glass of juice “Is everything alright?” he asked.

Amelia hesitated for a moment, looking between the two of them, before she quirked a small, genuine smile and nodded her head. “Yeah” she confirmed “Everything’s fine. I am just a little worse for wear after last night. Thea and I might have had a little too much tequila” she added.

Lionel laughed, a sound that made Amelia’s soft smile widen a little more. “When are you going to lean that you and tequila are not a good combination?” he prodded.

Amelia just offered him a shrug, her expression warm and happy as she listened to him talk. She knew that there were reasons to be cautious, and that they probably needed to talk about how worried her mother was now that she knew that they were seeing one another, but Amelia couldn’t bring herself to broach the subject then. She felt happy. Listening to him talk, and seeing him smile, she felt content, and it made her believe what Thea had told her even more. She was going to make mistakes. She was going to still have days where the absence of Fernando stung, and when she hated being alone in her apartment. She was going to say the wrong thing, and start fights, but the fear of ruining it wasn’t enough of a reason not to try. Amelia adored Lionel, and she wanted to try, even if she didn’t know where it would go.