The Space Between Us

61: I Guess This Is Goodbye

“You’re sure that you don’t want me to take you to the airport?” Amelia asked, staring at Lionel’s back as he went through his carry on bag, making sure that he had packed everything.

It wasn’t the first time she had found herself talking to his back. Despite neither of them having referenced the conversation that they had had the previous night, there was a noticeable tension in the air between them, and it had caused Lionel, who was normally affectionate and attentive, to pull away from Amelia slightly. He had tried not to. He had tried to be warm, and he had tried to pretend that nothing was bothering him, but Amelia knew him too well to believe it. His mind was still on the conversation that they had had, and with him only a handful of minutes away from leaving, it wasn’t likely that she could say anything to pull it away.

Lionel shook his head without turning to look at her. “It’s Sunday” he said “You’ve got to go to your mother’s” he added.

“I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I was late” Amelia replied “I don’t mind driving” she added.

“I’ve got a car coming” Lionel said “Thanks for the offer, though” he added, turning to offer her a faint smile over his shoulder.

Amelia returned it half-heartedly before she shuffled towards the foot of the bed, retrieving her overnight bag from the floor ahead of it. Lifting it onto her shoulder, she moved to stop in front of him, causing Lionel to look up at her, another strained smile growing across his features. “I guess this is goodbye” he quipped.

Amelia reluctantly nodded her head. “You’ll call me when you land?” she asked.

“It’ll be late” Lionel said.

“I don’t care” Amelia replied.

For a brief moment, the expression on Lionel’s face grew warmer, more genuine, but it quickly faded again. “I’ll call” he said.

Amelia hesitated for a second before she leant over, pressing a soft kiss against his cheek. “Good luck” she murmured “I really hope it goes well” she added.

Lionel’s eyes closed at the contact, a gentle sigh escaping him, before he gently lifted a hand to the back of her head, guiding her into a soft kiss that Amelia smiled softly into. “I love you” he murmured as he pulled away “And I am going to miss you. I’ll call you, probably a lot” he added, allowing himself another small smile.

Amelia’s answering smile was warm, not uncertain like the many others that had littered that morning. “I’ll miss you, too” she mused “And I love you, too” she added.

Lionel stared up at her, almost like he wanted to say something else, but after a moment, he shook his head.

Amelia’s smile faltered slightly. She had hoped that he would say something to alleviate the tension that was still clearly palpable between them, but when he didn’t, she didn’t press it. She knew how big what she had told him the previous night was, and whilst she wanted to know what he thought about it, she knew that she needed to allow him a little time to get his head around it.

“You should get going”

Amelia blinked a couple of times, refocussing on Lionel who was still looking up at her. “Huh?” she spluttered.

Lionel’s lips quirked. “You should get going” he repeated “Doesn’t your mother hate it when you’re late?” he added.

Amelia huffed out a soft laugh, nodding her head. “She does” she confirmed “Which means I should go” she added.

Lionel leant up, kissing her again. “I’ll be back before you know it” he quipped.

“Not too soon, I hope” Amelia teased.

Lionel stole another soft kiss before he gently nudged Amelia towards the door. Amelia reluctantly moved towards the door, offering him a little wave before she stepped out of it, before she slowly made her way towards the front door, trying to ignore the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. She couldn’t quite shake the feeling that things between them were about to change in a big way. Lionel hadn’t said anything to make her think it. What little he had said the previous night had told her that he understood where she was coming from, but the bad feeling persisted, and Amelia didn’t know how to shake it.


Amelia, who’d been vaguely pushing her food around her plate, startled at the sound of her name, looking up at her mother, who was frowning back at her, in surprise. She shouldn’t have been surprised that someone had noticed how distracted she was. Initially, after she had arrived at her mother’s home, she had been to hide. Alexa’s pregnancy had taken centre stage, and her parents, as well as Nora and Victor who’d joined them with Antonio, had been more than eager to fuss over it, allowing Amelia to fade into the background, but as the day had worn on, it had only become more obvious that Amelia’s mind was elsewhere. She had blinked at questions she hadn’t heard, not reacted to stories that she should have been listening to, and guessing from the expressions of those who sat around her, it hadn’t gone unnoticed.

“Huh?” Amelia spluttered.

“You doing OK over there, Lia?” Nora chirped.

“It doesn’t seem like you’re with us” Felicity contributed “Is everything OK?” she asked.

Amelia didn’t hesitate to push an embarrassed smile onto her face. “Sorry” she murmured “Leo leaves today. I know it’s a little silly, but it’s all I can think about” she added.

Whilst everyone else around the table smiled fondly, clearly accepting the excuse that Amelia had offered, Felicity eyed her dubiously. She could tell that there was something more, even if no one else could. Amelia didn’t seem just sad, she seemed lost in thought, or scared, and it meant that it was more than just Lionel’s leaving that was on her mind.

If Amelia could feel her mother’s dubious stare on her, she didn’t let it show. Instead, she shook her head bashfully, answering the questions about Lionel’s trip that Victor and Nora threw at her.

Felicity watched her, not missing how put on her smiles looked, or how forced her laughs seemed, but she didn’t say anything. She knew that she would get more out of Amelia alone, and that that would have to wait until brunch was over.
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Thanks to TheBlueSun for the comment :)