The Space Between Us

50: I Know How Easy It Can Be

Falling back onto Nora’s bed, Amelia screwed her eyes shut, trying her hardest not to cry. She hated that she wanted to. Up until Fernando had appeared, the night had been going amazingly well, and it had been the happiest that Amelia had felt in a long time, but almost as soon as he had stepped through the door, the atmosphere had changed. She had felt the happiness melt away to be replaced by the pain and anxiety that she now associated with Fernando, and she hated that that was how the night had ended.

It had happened too often. After Gianna’s revelations, Amelia had wasted too many nights crying over Fernando, and what he’d said and done, and it bothered her that he still had the ability to make her cry. It bothered her that, whenever she felt like she was moving forwards, he appeared and did something that took her back to the countless nights that had followed their breakup.

Pushing a hand back through her hair, she blew out a heavy sigh before she felt the mattress dip next to her, causing her to turn her head so that she could look up at Nora. “I’m sorry” she murmured.

Nora shook her head as she laid down. “You’ve got nothing to apologise for” she mused “You didn’t invite Fernando, did you?” she prodded.

Amelia scoffed out a sad laugh, something which caused Nora to reach out and take her hand, squeezing it gently. “Are you OK?” she asked after a moment of quiet “And I know that you hate it when I ask you that, but I feel like now is the time to ask. Is there anything I can do for you?” she added, turning to look at Amelia who was still staring up at the ceiling.

Amelia didn’t answer for a moment before she shrugged, smiling sadly up at the ceiling. “Can you invent a time machine?” she asked.

“If I could, I would have done it by now” Nora replied “I’d do anything to make this easier for you” she added.

Amelia squeezed her hand gently, wordlessly thanking her.

Nora watched her for a few moments, waiting for Amelia to say something, but she didn’t, not before there was a soft tap against the bedroom door. Amelia didn’t appear to hear it, lost in her own thoughts, but Nora sat up at the sound of it, her stare settling on Lionel who lingered on the threshold, clearly unsure whether or not to make a move into the room. Gently untangling her fingers from Amelia’s, Nora stepped towards him, stopping only to squeeze his arm gently before she stepped out of the room, leaving the two of them alone.

Lionel didn’t move right away, even despite his desire to make sure that Amelia was OK. He didn’t know how she would react to him being there. Although most of her anger had been directed at Fernando, he worried that there was a small part that was reserved for him, and he didn’t want to make things worse. He knew that Amelia didn’t want him in the middle of her and Fernando, but when Fernando had accused him of waiting for him to fail, he hadn’t been able to stop himself from protesting.

It hadn’t been like that. When Lionel had disappeared after Amelia’s wedding, he had thought that he was doing the best thing, but he knew that he had also been incredibly selfish. He had thought that Fernando was the person that Amelia was supposed to end up with, someone who could make her happier than he could, and he had run away because he knew that he couldn’t stomach seeing how happy Fernando made her. He had never, for a second, thought that Fernando could hurt Amelia in the way he had.


Lionel blinked out of his thoughts, his stare moving back to Amelia who was sat up on the edge of the bed, watching him with wide, slightly watery, eyes. “I’m sorry” he whispered “I know you told me not to rise to his bait, but I just...I’m just sorry” he added.

Amelia lifted a hand to wipe at her eyes before she held it out towards him.

Lionel hesitated for a moment before he took it, allowing Amelia to gently twist their fingers together before she looked up at him, a watery smile on her face. “You’re not the first person to fall for it” she said softly “And you probably won’t be the last. He’s...uh...He’s pretty good at trying to find reasons that mean he’s not at fault. I’m not upset with you. I know how easy it is to get caught up in arguing with him” she added.

Lionel gently squeezed her hand before he lifted it to his lips, allowing him to brush a soft kiss against her knuckles.

Amelia closed her eyes at the contact, exhaling a quiet sigh. “I’m sorry” she murmured “You looked like you were having such a good time until he showed up, and I am sorry that this is how the night ended. Too many nights still seem to end this way, and I am so sorry that you keep getting dragged into it” she added.

Lionel leant forwards, pressing a soft kiss against the top of her head. “I’ve told you before that, if you need me, then I’ll be there” he murmured into her hair “No one is expecting you to just wake up one morning and discover that you’re over what happened between you and Fernando. I know you’ve probably heard this a hundred times, but it’s really only going to get better with time” he added, gently brushing a loose tear off of her cheek.

Amelia sunk into his embrace, finally letting the tears that she had been trying her hardest to hold back fall. Lionel wrapped his arms around her, letting her cry against him as he mumbled soft words of reassurance. They stayed that way for a while until Amelia sat up, her eyes surveying his face for a long moment. Before she could speak though, Nora appeared in the doorway, a soft smile on her face. “There’s still cake” she said “Are you going to come back down and have some before Victor eats it all?” she added.

Lionel laughed and nodded his head, moving to follow Nora before he turned back to Amelia, his smile softening. “You coming?” he asked.

Amelia didn’t hesitate to nod, wordlessly confirming to herself that it wasn’t the right time for the three words which had been on the tip of her tongue. They would come, but it wasn’t the right time.