All This Time

50: I’d Give Anything For A Hug


Amelia let out a quiet groan as she reached for the duvet, pulling it over her head as she listened to Thea’s footsteps rushing up the stairs. She had been awake for a little while, and since she had first blinked her eyes open, she had been anticipating the sound of her sister’s voice, calling for her to climb out of bed so that they could open the gifts that had been tucked beneath the tree the night before. Thea loved Christmas, and their mother’s insistence that both Amelia and Thea spent the night on Christmas eve meant that almost as soon as she was awake, Amelia had to be too, something that she would normally have welcomed, but she wasn’t ready for it that day.

She knew that it shouldn’t have been on her mind. Her parents and sister had gone out of their way to keep her occupied the night before, and the phone call that she and Lionel had shared before she fell asleep ought to have been enough to stave the negativity off, but when she had woken up and taken her first sleepy look around her childhood bedroom, the memories had come flooding back. She remembered waking up in the same bed the year previous. She remembered Thea bursting through the bedroom door, her hand thrown over her eyes to avoid seeing something she shouldn’t have done, but mostly, she remembered the soft, sleepy kisses that she and Fernando had shared. She could remember the feel of his smile against her lips, and the love that had been in his eyes when he’d tucked her hair away from her eyes, but what she remembered the most was thinking that she would be lucky enough to do it over and over again, a thought that had a lump in her throat. It had only been a handful of weeks before Gianna had appeared at her front door and turned her entire world upside down.

“It’s after seven” Thea’s voice was accompanied by the sound of her knocking against the bedroom door.

Amelia squeezed her eyes closed, trying for a moment longer to dislodge the lump in her throat, before she threw the duvet off of herself. Fixing the best smile she could into place, she hauled the bedroom door open, causing Thea to stumble slightly before she looked up, grinning at her older sister. “Finally” she huffed.

Amelia rolled her eyes, hoping that Thea didn’t notice that they were ever so slightly misty. “Sorry” she quipped “I was up kind of late, talking to Leo” she added.

“No excuses” Thea countered “It’s past seven, and everyone else is already downstairs” she added.

Amelia shook her head, her amused smile growing more genuine. “Let me just grab a jumper, and send a quick text to Leo, and I will join you” she mused.

“Make it quick” Thea replied, softening her a words with a bright grin before she bounced down the stairs again.

Amelia laughed softly to herself before she padded back into the bedroom, her steps faltering slightly when her stare landed on the bed. With a determined shake of her head, she tried to dispel the thought of Fernando, focussing on a more recent memory that had occurred within the same four walls. The first time that she and Lionel had kissed had been in that room. It had been brief, and cautious, but it was the first of what Amelia hoped were many, many more, and that was what she wanted to focus on, what could be, not what had been. With a little smile on her face, she swept a jumper out of her overnight bag and collected her phone before she padded towards the stairs.

“You look exhausted”

Amelia, who’d been trying to prop her phone up in front of her, glanced at the camera before she ducked her head, nodding it slightly. “Thea woke us up at seven” she mused “Which she does every year, but it’s taking it’s toll on me seeing as I was awake talking to you until the early hours” she added.

Lionel tilted his head. “You should have hung up on me” he quipped “You didn’t tell me that Thea woke you up” he added.

“I knew the risks” Amelia quipped, flashing him a tired smile “I didn’t hang up” she added.

Lionel rolled his eyes, something which made Amelia smile softly as a moment of silence passed between the two of them. “I wish you were here” she said softly “I’d give anything for a hug” she added.

Lionel nodded his head, offering her a small apologetic smile. He knew what she was talking about, even without her saying it, and he regretted that he wasn’t there with her to try and make her feel a little better. It wasn’t the first moment, nor would it be the last, where Amelia found herself missing Fernando, or at least what she thought that they had built together, and whilst they were arising less frequently, Lionel knew that they still took their toll on Amelia. She was moving on, and Lionel didn’t doubt that she was happy with him, but she was still mourning the end of her marriage, and the end of all the promises that Fernando had made to her, and it wasn’t something that would just stop because she had him.

“Has it been hard?” Lionel asked.

Amelia lifted her shoulders in a shrug, a tired smile on her face. “A little” she mused “My family have tried to keep my mind off it, but it’s a little hard when I am sat in my bedroom by myself to stop thinking about how it was last year. I’ve tried. I keep refocussing my mind on our first kiss, because that was in this room, but it’s had mixed results” she added.

“I’d have stayed if you asked me to” Lionel said.

“I know you would have done” Amelia replied “But I didn’t ask. You don’t get to visit your family too often, and I wasn’t going to ask you to skip it just because I have a few bad memories. I will be fine” she added.

Lionel offered her a slightly dubious look, something Amelia responded to with a warm smile before she heard Thea call her name. “I’ve got to go” she quipped.

“I’ll be back in a couple of days” Lionel said “We can exchange presents then. You’re going to love what I have for you” he added.

Amelia grinned at him. “You seem pretty sure of that” she teased.

“I am” Lionel quipped “It’s perfect. I thought of it ages ago, but I needed a reason to give it to you” he added.

Amelia laughed before she let out a huff, hearing Thea call for her again. “I really need to go” she said “If I I don’t, Thea’s likely to throw my phone out of the window. Christmas is a no-phone day in my family. She only made an exception because it’s you I need to speak to” she added.

“I’m honoured” Lionel teased.

Amelia brought her hand to her lips, blowing a kiss towards the camera. “I love you” she said gently “And I wish you were here, but I also know you’re having a great time where you are. I’ll see you in a couple of days” she added.

“See you then” Lionel quipped “Love you, too” he added before he ended the call.

Amelia stared at the blank screen of her phone for a few seconds before her bedroom door swung open, allowing Thea to toss a gift onto the bed ahead of them. With a soft frown, Amelia gently untied the bow on the top of the present before it unfurled, causing her head to snap upwards, finding Thea beaming down at her, tears in her eyes. “Surprise” she squeaked.

Amelia’s eyes flitted between her sister and the gift for a second before she bounded off of the bed to wrap her sister in a hug, leaving the tiny onesie with a scan photo on the bed.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)