The Space Between Us

32: You Didn’t Know How It Was Going To Go

Leaning over towards the passenger seat, Amelia snatched up the tray of drinks which sat there before she climbed out of the car, making her way up towards her mother’s house. She knew what was waiting for her on the other side of the door. In all of the months that had passed since they had started the tradition of Sunday brunch at her mother’s home, she had never been early, and she knew that that would be the first question out of Felicity’s mouth. She had been resistant to the idea. In the beginning, Felicity inviting Alexa and Nora to her home every Sunday morning had been her way of trying to coax Amelia out of the bedroom she had taken up residence in, and in the immediate aftermath of what had happened between her and Fernando, it had been the last thing that Amelia had wanted, but slowly, and reluctantly, she had warmed to the idea.

They didn’t talk about Fernando. Part of Amelia’s initial reservations about her mother’s suggestion was that all they would want to talk about was how she was holding up, or what she was going to do now that her marriage was over, but it had never been like that. It was just brunch. Alexa told stories about Charlie, Nora talked happily about her pregnancy, and then, after Antonio had arrived, how the baby was doing, and Felicity liked to tell embarrassing stories about her daughters as children. It was the closest to normal that Amelia had felt since she had walked out of her and Fernando’s home.

Balancing the tray of drinks on one arm, Amelia slipped her key into the lock of her mother’s front door before she pushed it open and stepped inside, nudging the door closed behind her. “Hello?” she chirped “Anybody home?” she added.

There was a noise from somewhere in the house before Felicity appeared at the end of the hallway, a slightly bemused smile on her face. “I thought that it was you” she quipped “But then I looked at the clock and thought I must be imagining it. You do know that it is only eleven, right?” she added.

Amelia nodded, a lopsided smile on her face. “I had noticed that” she quipped “Aren’t I allowed to be on time for once?” she added.

“You’ve never been on time before” Felicity said as she stepped forwards, prying the tray of drinks out of Amelia’s hand.

“Well, I am today” Amelia quipped.

Felicity offered her a slightly sceptical look, but didn’t press. Instead, she turned on her heel and strode back towards the kitchen.

Amelia toed off her shoes before she followed her mother, sinking into a chair beside the kitchen table. “Am I the first one here?” she asked.

“Lexi is on her way” Felicity replied “And Nora has already called to say that she’ll be a little late. Victor’s hungover, so she’s bringing little Antonio with her” she added.

Amelia nodded her head as she reached across the table, collecting one of the drinks she had bought. “That’ll be nice” she mused “I know you miss having a baby around” she added.

Felicity nodded, but didn’t say anything immediately, something which made Amelia sigh quietly, fiddling with the straw that poked out of the top of her drink. She knew that her mother was being careful. A comment like the one Amelia had made about Felicity missing having a baby in the family would have, in the past, lead to a quip about her and Fernando giving her another grandchild, and whilst Amelia appreciated her mother’s attempt to hold it back, the silence all but said the same thing.

“So, is today a special occasion?” Felicity asked, her voice warm and teasing.

Amelia, who’d been focussed on her drink, blinked a couple of times before she rolled her eyes playfully. “Is it really that big a deal that I am on time for once?” she countered.

“Honestly?” Felicity chirped.

Amelia huffed out a playful sigh before she returned her stare to her cup, shrugging her shoulders slightly. “I’m just in a good mood” she mused “I know that that’s been a pretty rare occurrence recently, but I am” she added.

Felicity smiled at her gently. “I’m glad to hear it” she mused “And who knew that all it would take would be one dinner date with Leo” she added impishly.

Amelia’s eyes widened in surprise, something which caused Felicity to roll her eyes playfully. “You know that Nora is practically my third daughter, don’t you?” she mused “I tried to call you last night, and when I couldn’t reach you, I called her, just to make sure that you were alright. I didn’t even ask that many questions. She was just so excited about it that it came spilling out” she added.

For a second, Amelia didn’t know what to say. Part of her was irked with Nora. She had deliberately avoided telling her family about the date. She didn’t know how they would react to the idea, or to the idea that it was Lionel that she was going out with, but another part of her wanted to talk about it. It was a good thing, and for a long time, all she had focussed on was the bad things that had happened.

“Are you mad that Nora told me?” Felicity asked, settling into the seat next to her daughter.

Amelia slowly shook her head. “I should have guess that she would” she mused “And I probably should have done it myself, anyway” she added.

“I get wanting to keep it to yourself” Felicity said, gently twining her fingers through Amelia’s.

“You do?” Amelia asked.

Felicity nodded. “It’s one date” she quipped “You didn’t know how it was going to go” she added.

“I was so scared, too” Amelia admitted “I didn’t tell you because a part of me was terrified that you, or Lexi, would say something to make that worse. You guys always mean well, but you’ve never been the type to pull punches. I didn’t want to hear you guys tell me that I wasn’t ready, or that Leo wasn’t the right guy” she added.

Felicity’s lips quirked upwards into a soft, understanding smile. “As I said” she mused “I get it” she added.

Amelia’s answering smile was a little shaky, causing Felicity to squeeze her hand again. “How was it?” the older woman asked.

If Amelia tried not to smile, she failed miserably. The uncertainty that had been in her smile just moments previous evaporated, leaving behind a lopsided, almost giddy grin in its place. “It was pretty good” she admitted.

Felicity couldn’t resist grinning back. “Really?” she chirped.

“It was just dinner” Amelia mused “We’ve had dinner a million times before, but as first dates go, it was a good one, so good we’re already talking about the second” she added.

Felicity let out a little squeal in excitement, causing Amelia to duck her head, trying, and failing, to hide her reddened cheeks. “Mama” she complained gently.

Felicity held up her hands. “I won’t say another word about it” she mused “I’m just glad that you’re...You’re getting out of your comfort zone” she added.

Amelia nodded her head. She knew what her mother was really saying. She was glad that she was finally trying to put Fernando behind her.