The Space Between Us

11: I Thought You Would Say That

“How was dinner at your mother’s?”

Amelia, who’d been sipping from the mug of tea that she had made herself, smiled around the top of it, her stare settling on the phone which was sat next to her on the sofa. It had started to happen often. With a few weeks having past since she and Lionel had first had dinner together in her apartment, their relationship had started to grow, and it meant that the idea of him calling her, something that only a couple of months previous would have felt impossible, didn’t feel like a surprise.

They spoke a lot. Whether it was through texts and phone calls, or in person on Lionel’s weekly visits to her apartment, they seemed to always be talking, and conversations with Lionel were something Amelia looked forwards to, even if they could still be stilted and awkward. He didn’t always want to talk about how she was, or if Fernando had crossed her mind. He seemed to just like talking to her, and Amelia knew that she liked talking to him.

“It was good, actually” Amelia answered “Alexa normally comes by herself, but today, she had Asier and Charlie with her. It’s been a little while since I saw the kid, and so it was nice to see him” she added.

“And your brother-in-law?” Lionel chirped.

“I suppose it was nice to see him, too” Amelia played along “But I was happier to see Charlie. He’s learning how to write his letters, and Lexi helped him to write my name. It is adorable” she added happily.

“You’ll have to show it to me on Thursday” Lionel said.

Amelia smiled to herself. She looked forwards to it. Even though they were still a little awkward around one another and a little wary of getting too close and accidentally hurting one another, she often found herself counting down until she saw him again. “I might just do that” she quipped.

“Might?” Lionel teased, his smile audible in his voice.

“Yeah, might” Amelia played along “I might have lots of important things to talk to you about” she added.

Lionel scoffed out a laugh, something which caused Amelia's smile to soften a little. She hadn’t realised how much she had liked hearing his laugh until she had stopped hearing it. Shaking her head slightly, she listened to Lionel talk about the match that he had played earlier in the day, before the sound of knocking filled the air, causing her to exhale a quiet sigh. “Can you give me a second?” she prodded “Someone’s at the door” she added.

“You don’t just want me to let you go?” Lionel asked.

“No” Amelia answered “It should only take a second. I am not expecting anyone. They probably just knocked on the wrong door” she added.

“Alright” Lionel quipped “I won’t hang up” he added.

“Good” Amelia chirped “I’ll be right back” she added before she pushed herself off of the sofa. Quickly moving up the hall, she placed a hand on the door handle and pulled it open, the polite redirection she had been expecting to deliver stalling on the tip of her tongue when she caught sight of who was on the other side of the door.

Fernando’s lips quirked upwards into a smile that was part apology, and part hopeful. “It’s late, I know” he said “I just...I was nearby, and I have some more of your things. I just want to drop them off. I mean, it’s unlikely that you need them, given that you’ve been without them for this long, but...” he trailed off, tapping the cardboard box that sat in front of him with a foot.

Amelia stared down at the box for a moment before she looked up at Fernando again. “You came all the way here to drop this off?” she asked

“I was nearby” Fernando repeated “I was having dinner with my brother and his wife, and I knew that the restaurant was near you, so I thought I’d drop it off on my way back through” he added, shrugging in an attempt to appear nonchalant.

Amelia glanced down at the box again before she made a move to lift it across the threshold.

Fernando followed, stepping into the hall before Amelia had the chance to close the door in his face. “I actually need to talk to you about something” he quipped, trailing after her as she walked back into the living room.

Amelia settled the box down in front of the sofa before she turned to look at Fernando again, her arms crossed over her chest. “What?” she asked.

“The house” Fernando replied “I’m going to sell it. I don’t need that much space for just me, and I want to get a place that’s closer to Gianna so that seeing Penny is a little easier. I know that you were really adamant that you didn’t want it when we were trying to reach a settlement, but I thought I would offer again” he added.

Amelia shook her head without hesitating. She didn’t want it. No matter how much she had loved the house, she knew that she couldn’t go back to it. It was home to too many ghosts. “I don’t want it” she said.

Fernando’s answering smile was pained. “I thought you would say that” he quipped “But I just thought that I would ask. I know how much you love that place” he added.

“Is that it?” Amelia pressed.

“No” Fernando mused “You’re going to have to come and meet with my lawyer. Your name is on a bunch of the paperwork and you’ll need to sign some stuff so that I can sell the house” he added.

“Fine” Amelia said “I’ll call him, set it up” she added.

Fernando opened his mouth to say something to try and encourage Amelia to soften a little, but before he could get a word out, his attention was caught by the sound of another voice filling the room. Looking around, he half expected to watch someone walk out of Amelia's bedroom, but Amelia's gaze didn’t move towards the door, instead moving towards the sofa.

Fernando moved too quickly for Amelia to intercept him, picking up her phone before he turned to her, a bitter smirk on his face as he pressed the phone against his ear. “Hello” he quipped “Who’s this?” he added.

“Fernando” Amelia hissed, trying to pull his hand away from his ear.

“No, I want to talk to them” Fernando retorted, pulling out of her grasp “I want to know who you’re speaking to these days” he added.


“Is it your new boyfriend?” Fernando chirped bitterly “How long has it been going on?” he added.

Amelia swiped the phone out of his hand and disconnected the call, tossing it onto the couch whilst she glared up at him.

Fernando shook his head, a bitter smile on his face. “You didn’t waste much time, did you?” he asked “I mean, the divorce hasn’t even been final for six months yet, and here you are, with a new man in your life” he added.

“I’m not doing this with you” Amelia muttered.

“Doing what?” Fernando pressed.

“Fighting with you about any of this” Amelia replied “You’re not my husband any more, Nando. Nothing I do has anything to do with you any more, so get the hell out of my apartment” she added.

Fernando scoffed, but he didn’t say anything more. Instead, he stormed through the apartment and slammed the door after himself.

Amelia stayed where she was for a moment, the air reverberating with the slam of the front door, before she looked back down at the phone in her hand. Shaking her head, she redialled Lionel’s number and pressed it against her ear, closing her eyes when his voice, gentle and concerned filled her ears. “I’m fine” she said gently “But if you wanted to come over, I wouldn’t turn down the company” she added.

“I’ll be right there” Lionel replied.