All This Time

42: The Wrong Time

Prodding her fork into the container of food in her hand, Amelia let her stare drift towards the empty seat on the other side of her desk, trying to ignore the way her stomach dropped when she saw it. She had expected that it would stay empty. It had only been a handful of days since she had told Lionel about the kiss she had shared with Fernando, and with them having only exchanged a couple of brief texts, she had always thought that their weekly lunch date at her office would be off, but knowing that it was coming had done little to soften the blow. She had hoped that he would show up anyway. It was naive, and slightly selfish, but she had half expected to find him sat in front of her desk when she had gotten back from her last meeting, and despite reminding herself why things between them were awkward in the first place, she had been disappointed not to find him there. She was disappointed that things weren’t decided one way or the other.

Pulling her stare away from the empty chair, she poked at her food again until the she heard her office door open, something which caused her to look up quickly only to look away again, disappointed to see that it was her mother who had appeared. Staring at her food, she composed her expression before she looked up. “Mama” she greeted “This is a nice surprise” she added.

Felicity’s lips quirked upwards as she shrugged off her coat, draping it over the chair as she sat down. “Your face didn’t say that when I walked in” she quipped “Expecting someone else?” she added, arching an eyebrow playfully.

Amelia felt her cheeks grow warm before she shook her head, poking at her food again. “No” she said “I wasn’t expecting anyone. What are you doing here, mama?” she asked.

Felicity frowned a little, perturbed by Amelia’s reaction. She had been expecting a groan, a roll of her eyes or a complaint about how her mother was sticking her nose into her business, and the subdued reaction had caught Felicity by surprise. It wasn’t like Amelia, or at least, it hadn’t been like her before things with Fernando had ended. Shifting in her seat, Felicity stared at Amelia for a second before she shook her head, smiling down at her lap. “I was in the area” she mused “I was out buying some Christmas presents for Henri, and I had a thought. Seeing as I was close by, I thought I’d come and ask you about it now, whilst I remember” she added.

“You could have texted” Amelia quipped, swallowing a mouthful of her water “If I had known you were coming, I’d have bought something for you to eat” she added.

“I’m meeting a friend soon” Felicity replied “It’s just a flying visit. I was just wondering if you had any ideas for a little present I could get for your boyfriend. I’ve already got something for Charlie, and I thought it was only fair to do the same thing for Leo, but I had no ideas. I figured you’d be the best person to ask” she added with a warm grin.

Amelia, who’d been placing her food container down onto the desk, tried her hardest to keep her expression from flinching, but she knew she had failed when she saw her mother’s eyebrows draw together, forming a concerned expression that Amelia had grown all too familiar with. Closing her eyes, she was quiet for a beat before she shook her head. “I really don’t want to hear an ‘I told you so’ right now” she murmured “I know you warned me to be more cautious, and I know I ignored that, but it’s really the last thing I want to hear right now, so...”

“Do you really think that I would do that?” Felicity interrupted gently.

Amelia exhaled and deflated in her seat, shaking her head. “No” she mumbled.

“What happened?” Felicity asked.

Amelia rubbed her forehead. “I kissed Fernando” she admitted “And I told Leo as soon as it had happened, and he said that we’re not over, but he said that he needed time to think. That was days ago. I don’t want to push him. I know that if I do, it’ll probably just make things worse, but I just...I don’t know. I miss him, and I hate it, but I don’t know what to do to make it better, and I worry that if I try, and I get it wrong, then I could lose him again and I...I don’t want that” she added.

“You told him?” Felicity asked.

“Why is everyone surprised by that?” Amelia shot back “Of course I told him. I knew it meant risking what we have, but I had to tell him. I will not be the kind of person that lies to the guy I am in love with” she added.

It wasn’t until Felicity looked up, surprise on her face, that Amelia realised what she had said.

With a soft sigh, Amelia tucked her hair behind her ear before she glanced back over at her mother, taking a moment to compose her thoughts. “I love him” she murmured “I...I don’t know if I did before, but I know I do now, mama, and that scares the life out of me. I am scared that I have already messed it up because you were right. I can say I am completely over everything with Fernando until I am blue in the face, but we both know that it’s not entirely true. Even I am over him, I don’t think I am as over what he did as I’d like to be, and it means that I am going keep fucking this thing with Leo up because he showed up at the wrong time. I am a mess, and I don’t know how prepared he is to put up with that” she added.

Felicity didn’t hesitate to climb to her feet so that she could wrap Amelia in a hug. “You’re not a mess” she murmured.

Amelia scoffed. “Aren’t I?” she muttered “I left Fernando forever ago. I should be over it by now” she added.

“You can’t force yourself to get over it” Felicity said “And if you keep pretending, then you are going to do damage to whatever is happening with Leo. He can’t be expecting you to be completely fine, not if you’ve told him what happened, but if you keep pretending, then you will push him away. Is that what you want?” she asked.

Amelia wordlessly shook her head.

“I know moving on is scary” Felicity said, turning to place a kiss on Amelia’s temple “I wasn’t ready for Henri, and I had a lot more baggage than you do, but we made it work. There’s no reason that you and Leo can’t. Just stop pushing yourself to feel OK when you don’t. He’ll understand if you let him” she added, squeezing Amelia again.

Amelia sunk into the hug. “How’d Henri react when you told him about me?” she mumbled.

Felicity laughed, rubbing Amelia’s back gently. “I didn’t tell him” she mused “You barrelled into a room and introduced yourself. He adored you immediately” she added.

Amelia let out a soft laugh before she drew out of the hug, allowing Felicity to gently push her hair off of her forehead before she kissed it lightly. “You’ll be OK” she mused.

Amelia just offered her a tired smile, hoping that she was right.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)