The Space Between Us

08: I Promise

Draping her arm over her eyes, Amelia exhaled a heavy sigh, trying to find a more comfortable position on the sofa. She hadn’t meant to fall asleep there. When she had parked her car in the parking garage and made her way towards her apartment, she had fully expected that she would get ready for bed and be asleep within the hour, but Fernando’s visit had thrown all of her plans out of her window, and instead of having a night of restful sleep, she had spent the night curled up on the sofa, trying to stop herself from crying over him again.

She still did it too often. Some days, Fernando didn’t cross her mind, but others, more than Amelia wanted to admit, it was all she could think about. She had seen her future with him. From the moment that she had bumped into him in a bar, and he had told her some corny joke, she had been smitten, and as angry as she was, as hurt as she was, she was still struggling to get her head around the fact that Fernando wasn’t her future any more. Everything felt strange. Things that she had done before Fernando felt strange after him, and Amelia wasn’t getting used to it as quickly as she would’ve liked. She wanted to be over him, she wanted to forget that there had been a part of her that had ever loved him, but she couldn’t make herself forget, no matter how hard she tried to force it.


Amelia didn’t lift her arm away from her eyes. “What have I said about those door keys?” she grumbled.

“Your mother gave me permission to use it as I please” Nora chirped back “And I did knock. Did you not hear me?” she asked.

Amelia wordlessly shook her head, something which made Nora sigh gently before she crouched down beside the sofa, gently pulling Amelia's arm away from her eyes. Amelia let out a soft noise in protest, screwing her eyes closed to shield them from the sunlight that filled the room, before she turned to look up at Nora. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

“It’s Sunday” Nora replied with a little shrug.


“You can complain all you want” Nora interrupted “But we both know that I am not going anywhere. I am more scared of your mother than I am of you” she added, her lips quirking upwards into a teasing smile.

She knew what Amelia was going to say, and she wanted her to know that it wasn’t going to change anything. She spent too much time alone, sitting in her apartment and overthinking everything that had happened between her and Fernando, and it wasn’t something her family and Nora were prepared to keep ignoring. They couldn’t make it go away. The pain that Fernando had caused was something that Amelia would get over in her own way and in her own time, but they wanted to try and take her mind off of it, even if it was just for a few hours a week. They wanted to help in any way they could.

Amelia sighed heavily, but it didn’t quite mask the faint smile that tugged at the corner of her mouth. “She’s really not that scary” she muttered.

“Scarier than you” Nora played along “So get up and get showered. We’re due over for brunch in an hour” she added.

Amelia grumbled, but complied, shuffling her way towards the bathroom.

Nora watched her go before she sunk down onto the sofa and pulled out of her phone. Scrolling through it, she busied herself with answering a couple of texts and checking her social media before she heard Amelia's phone vibrate. Looking around for it, she eventually found it sticking out from beneath the sofa before she leant over to pick it up. She went to put it down onto the coffee table, but hesitated momentarily when she saw the name on the screen.

“Is it an unknown number?”

Nora glanced up towards Amelia who was stood in her bedroom doorway before she shook her head. “It’s Leo” she replied.

“We had dinner last night” Amelia said.

“You did?” Nora asked.

Amelia nodded. “We talked” she said “He told me about...about the wedding” she added.

“How’d that go?” Nora prodded.

Amelia's answer was a small shrug. “We talked” she repeated “But we haven’t covered everything. We’ve barely covered anything. He told me why he did what he did, and he didn’t ask me to respond. I don’t know how I would have done if he had. It was a huge thing that he admitted, Nora, but it’s sort of buried in amongst all of the other huge things on my mind. I don’t really know what I feel about it, but I know that dinner with him last night was...was the best time I have had in a while” she admitted.

Nora’s expression clouded with worry that she was quick to push away, but it wasn’t fast enough for Amelia to miss it. “Don’t say it” she said.

“What?” Nora asked innocently.

Amelia offered her a flat look. “You’re going to tell me to be careful” she answered.

“Do I need to tell you that?” Nora countered.

Amelia shook her head. “No” she answered “And I...I am going to be careful, Nora. I just...I missed him, and dinner last night was nice. It was stilted, and awkward for the most part, but there were a couple of moments where it felt like nothing had changed, and I enjoyed myself. For a couple of hours, I felt like Amelia again” she added, a tentative smile on her face.

Nora couldn’t erase the worry from her expression entirely, but it did soften with a warm smile. “I’m glad you had a good time” she said “Are you going to see him again?” she asked.

“We made plans to get dinner again in the week” Amelia answered.

Nora nodded her head slowly. “Are you going to tell him about Fernando?” she asked after a moment.

Amelia ducked her head, a slightly bitter laugh falling out of her mouth. “It wasn’t going to be my icebreaker” she quipped.

Nora held her hands up apologetically. “Sorry” she said.

“Sorry” Amelia mumbled “I should go and actually take that shower. I only came out for a towel” she added as she walked across the room and retrieved a towel from the radiator.

With another apologetic look, she moved to walk back into her bedroom, only for Nora to gently wrap a hand around her wrist and pull her to a stop. “I just think that you need to think about this” she said softly “Like, really think about it. Fernando aside, Leo had feelings for you once upon a time, and we don’t know that that has just gone away. I know you’ve missed him, and I know that he’s missed you, too, but I just...I want you to be careful. Please?” she asked gently.

Amelia nodded her head. “I am going to be careful, Nora” she mused “I promise” she added before she turned and walked back into the other room.

Nora watched her go, her expression still troubled. She knew that neither of them would mean to do it, or if they would even realise that they were doing it, but she couldn’t escape the thought that, one way or another, both Lionel and Amelia were going to end up hurt all over again.