The Space Between Us

30: This Just Feels More Important


Amelia rolled her eyes, focussing on smoothing out her dress. She didn’t need to look back at Nora to know that there was a smirk spread across her face. She had been expecting it. When she had called earlier in the day to ask to borrow a specific dress of Nora’s that she had always loved, she had been purposefully vague about why it was that she wanted it, but whilst she had been able to duck Nora’s questions on the phone, she knew that there was no escaping them in person. Nora would see through her if she lied, and she would call her out if she tried to deflect.

“So what?” Amelia replied.

Nora scoffed. “Really?” she prodded.

Amelia shrugged, turned to offer Nora a coy smirk. “I have dinner plans” she chirped “Fancy dinner plans, apparently” she added.

“Is it a work dinner?” Nora played along, moving to sit down on the foot of her bed.

Amelia felt her cheeks warm as she shook her head. “It’s not a work dinner” she replied “If I was going to call it anything, then I might call it a date” she added.

Nora really tried not to squeal. She knew how careful Amelia was being, and how nervous she was about trying to move on, and the last thing she wanted to do was pile pressure on a situation that she knew Amelia would almost certainly already be fretting about, but she couldn’t help herself. She was excited for her. It was a big step for Amelia, and whilst Nora had no idea how it would work out for her, she was just pleased to see her making it. Only a handful of months previous, it would have been unthinkable that Amelia could have had a date.

Amelia ducked her head at the sound of Nora’s squeal, a bashful smile on her face. “You know that I have been out on dates before, right?” she asked.

“I know” Nora confirmed “This one just feels more important, you know?” she added.

Amelia wordlessly nodded her head. She knew what Nora meant. Having dinner with Lionel wasn’t new. It wasn’t even that scary that there was a chance that their night would end with a kiss. What was scary was that it was the first date since Fernando. It was the first date that she had gone on since she had found the guy she had thought she would spend the rest of her life with. It was the first date since she had had her heart broken, and it marked the first real step that Amelia had taken out of her comfort zone since she had left her and Fernando’s home and not looked back. It was a big deal. No matter how much she reminded herself that she had had dinner with Lionel before. It felt like something big and important, no matter how much she and Lionel both insisted that it wasn’t anything yet.

“Are you OK?” Nora’s voice was soft.

Amelia blinked a couple of times, breaking out of her thoughts, before she offered Nora a faint smile. “Tell me it’s a good idea?” she prodded.

Nora smiled gently. “It’s a good idea” she said “You can’t just hide away forever. You deserve to be happy, Lia” she added.

Amelia nodded her head, taking a moment to gently smooth out her dress, before she turned around. “Well?” she asked.

“You’re gorgeous” Nora gushed “Leo’s not going to know what’s hit him” she added.

Amelia answered with a shy laugh, her cheeks pink, before the sound of voices filtered into the room, causing both her and Nora to glance towards the bedroom door.

“I thought I told Victor to stay out” Nora grumbled as she pushed herself up to her feet and stalked out of the door.

Amelia didn’t follow immediately. She knew why Nora was irked. She had heard it immediately, the voice that had accompanied Victor’s, and she knew what had scared Nora. Fernando was so good at getting to her, and Nora didn’t want him to get to her that night. She didn’t want anyone to say anything that could have scared Amelia away from moving on.

For a moment, Amelia stayed in the bedroom, listening to the sounds of raised voices from elsewhere in the house, before she finally shook her head. Stepping out of the bedroom, she made her way down stairs and into the living room, drawing the attention of Victor, Nora and Fernando up towards her.

“I was just about to come back up” Nora insisted.

Amelia shook her head. “It’s fine” she mused “I have to go anyway. I don’t want to be late” she added.

Nora smiled at her warmly. “I hope it goes well” she enthused.

“Me, too” Amelia said “I’ll see you at my mother’s for brunch tomorrow. I’ll tell you then” she added.

Nora smiled again, something which made Amelia smile tentatively before she shuffled out of the room, studiously ignoring Fernando who was sat on the sofa next to the door, his eyes fixed on her. Stopping to pick up her coat and bag, she shuffled out of the house and towards her car, only to stop when she heard footsteps approaching her quickly. Glancing up, she watched Fernando jog towards her before he stopped a couple of paces away.

Neither of them spoke for a beat before Amelia shook her head. “Just go back inside, Nando” she murmured.

“Is it a date?” Fernando pressed.

“Yes” Amelia confirmed without hesitation.

“Leo?” Fernando asked.

“Yeah” Amelia confirmed.

Fernando nodded his head slowly, a range of emotions passing over his features, before he blew out a breath. “Well, good luck” he said.

Amelia shook her head. “We both know that you don’t mean that” she quipped.

Fernando’s lips quirked into a slightly rueful smile. “I can understand why you’d think that” he said “But, I really mean it. I know I have done a really shitty job of being your ex-husband, almost as shitty a job as I did of being your husband, but I am trying to do better. We’re stuck in each other’s lives. As long as Nora and Victor are together, we’re going to keep crossing paths, and I don’t want to make things hard for them by being antagonistic. So I am going to try to be less of a pain in your ass, and that starts tonight. I hope it goes well. He’d be very lucky if it did” he added.

Amelia didn’t know what to think, let alone say. Instead, she tipped her head, offering him a soft smile before she climbed into her car and drove away.