The Space Between Us

07: For The Rest Of My Life

Pulling the keys out of the car’s ignition, Amelia sunk back into her chair, relishing the fact that, for the first time in a very long time, she had had an evening that hadn’t completely revolved around her ex-husband. It hadn’t been perfect. Everything that Lionel had told her, plus all of the time that they had spent apart meant that silences had fallen between them easily, and lingered uncomfortably, but it was something, and Amelia was grateful for it.

Fernando was impossible to ignore. For four years, he had been the thing she liked to talk about the most, and now that he was gone, she knew that people were going to want to talk about everything that had happened, and how she felt about it all, but for a night, the first night in a long time, she hadn’t felt like she was just ‘Fernando’s ex-wife’. Lionel hadn’t asked all of the questions that everyone else always asked. He hadn’t looked at her with the same looks of sympathy that everyone else did. He had just taken her out to dinner, and, as awkward as it had felt in parts, Amelia had enjoyed herself.

Feeling herself smile slightly, she shook her head ruefully before she pushed the door open and climbed out of the car. Locking the car after herself, she turned and walked across the car park, making her way towards her apartment. Adjusting her bag on her shoulder, she walked up the familiar corridor, only to stop when she caught sight of someone sat in on top of a plastic storage box outside of her front door. She wanted to turn and walk away before he had the chance to see her, but she couldn’t convince her feet to cooperate quickly enough, so when Fernando looked up from his phone, his eyes landed on her.

Amelia watched his face light up with a tentative smile before she looked away, fixing her stare on her feet. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

“I tried to call you” Fernando replied defensively “I was clearing some stuff out and I came across some stuff I thought you’d want back. You’d have known that if you let me talk on the phone for more than five seconds” he added.

Amelia bit her tongue to keep from scoffing. He wanted the reaction. He wanted her to yell, and tell him off, and Amelia didn’t want to give it to him. He wanted to know that he was still on her mind. Shaking her head, she folded her arms across her chest. “What stuff?” she asked.

“Your photo albums” Fernando replied “You know, the ones with the pictures of your papa. You left them in a cupboard in the living room, and I know how much they mean to you, so I bought them back. There’s this box, and another one down in my car” he added.

“Can you bring it up?” Amelia asked.

Fernando nodded, a little smile on his face. “Of course” he mused “I’ll be right back” he added.

Amelia watched him down the corridor before she exhaled a heavy sigh. Moving to unlock the front door, she pulled the box he had left behind into the apartment before she shrugged off her jacket and hung it up. Toeing off her shoes, she left them neatly beside the door and wandered deeper into the apartment, sinking into the sofa when she arrived at it. Covering her face with her hands, she drew in a couple of deep breaths before she felt a gentle touch against her wrist.

Jumping, she pulled her hands away quickly, glancing up at Fernando who stood over her.

Fernando held his hands up defensively. “I didn’t mean to scare you” he said “I just...You’re not wearing your rings any more” he added.

“I’m not married any more” Amelia countered.

Fernando nodded his head slowly. “I know” he said “It’s just strange” he added.

Amelia nodded, but didn’t say anything. She didn’t need him to tell her that it was strange. Everything in her life had been strange from the moment she had left their home months previous, and whilst she was slowly getting used to it, it didn’t change the fact that nothing about how her life was then was what she had envisaged when Fernando had asked her to marry him.

Fernando watched her for a moment before he crouched down in front of her, trying to meet her eyes which were looking anywhere but at him. “Lia” he murmured “Can we just talk?” he asked.

“There’s nothing for us to talk about” Amelia replied.


“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” Amelia's voice, for the first time, shook slightly.

“Because I love you” Fernando replied.

“You love me?” Amelia spluttered incredulously “Did you love me when you were sleeping with Gianna? Did you love me every time you made up some lie so that you could sneak around and see her?” she added.


“What do you want me to say, Nando?” Amelia cut him off again, her eyes finally meeting his “You did nothing but lie to me. You had an affair, and you fathered a child with the woman you cheated on me with, and you never told me about it. If Gianna hadn’t shown up like she did, then you’d never have told me about her, or about Penelope. You would have lied to me for the rest of my life. You didn’t love me, Nando, how the fuck could you when you treated me like that?” she added.

Fernando’s head dropped. He wanted to refute it, but he couldn’t. Gianna had given Amelia all the proof she had needed. She had seen pictures of him, in the delivery room. She had seen the results of a DNA test she had ordered herself. She had watched his two year old daughter walk up to him and call him ‘papa’. He had done everything that she had accused him of, and no amount of saying sorry, or wishing it away, was going to change it.

Amelia's fingers itched to push Fernando’s slightly messy hair back off of his face, but she didn’t move. “You’re a liar” she whispered “And I can’t see you as anything else any more” she added.

Fernando swallowed heavily before he pushed himself back up to his feet. “I left the other box on top of the first one in the hall” he said.

Amelia nodded wordlessly.

For a second, Fernando wavered, clearly attempting to decide between pushing her further and leaving, before he finally strode towards the front door.

Amelia waited for the sound of it thudding shut before she curled in on herself, finally letting go of the tears that stung her eyes. He got to her. Every time she saw him, every time she was put in a position to talk to him, all of the thoughts and feelings she had tried to push aside rushed back to the surface, and it still left her a mess. He still left her a mess.