Hours pass by rapidly; making it seem like it’s only been one hour instead of three. Thick, gray clouds cover the once clear, blue sky, hiding the sun away from the world. Drops of rain fall onto my face and roll down my cheeks, mixing with my salty tears. My vision goes blurry and my mind seems to be somewhere completely different to where I am. As I walk down the street pushing the stroller, my unbreaking gaze on the floor keeps me from noticing someone walking directly towards me.
“Sorry!” I exclaim when the stroller hits the person, making them yelp out in pain.
“It’s fine,” they reply, moving out the way. I look up at them through my watery eyes, instantly my gaze exchanging down to the floor when I realize it’s Ashling. Quickly I start to walk away, tears dripping onto the sidewalk.
“Amelia, wait,” Ashling calls, his voice echoing in the frosty air. I stop slowly and wipe my damp cheeks with the sleeve of my coat. Reluctantly I turn around, biting my lower lip apprehensively.
“What?” I ask warily, leaning back on the stroller lightly. Ashling steps over to me and frowns slightly, his head tilting to the side.
“You’re crying?” he says sounding surprised, “What’s wrong?”
I pull on my sleeve nervously as more tears return to my eyes again, a single one slipping down my cheek.
“Amelia?” Ashling asks putting his hand on my arm, “It’s Brendan, isn’t it?”
I stay silent, keeping my head bent down; my face staying hidden beneath my loose hair.
“Come on,” Ashling says, moving me out the way and grabbing hold of the stroller’s handle, “We can talk when we get in.”
Hurriedly I follow him, wanting to get Skye in from the bitter weather so she doesn’t catch a cold. Fifteen minutes later, and Ashling is struggling to get the stroller back in the cupboard.
“Do you need help?” I ask quietly as I walk over to him after putting Skye in her crib in the lounge. Ashling throws one of the cardboard boxes out the cupboard then pushes the stroller in.
“Didn’t need it,” he replies, grinning at me smugly. Rolling my eyes at him, I walk over to the kitchen to make myself a drink.
“Do you want anything?” I call, grabbing the carton of orange juice from the fridge. A warm breeze gently blows on my neck and I feel Ashling rest his head on my shoulder.
“No,” he says quietly, watching me as I make my drink.
“Where’s everyone gone?” I ask, breaking the awkward silence that started to hang in the air. Slowly I move my shoulder to stop Ashling leaning on me, then I go back over to the fridge and put the carton away.
“Everyone’s gone out, like I told you, and-” Ashling pauses and bites his lip anxiously, “And Dyno’s gone to Italy…”
“With Athena,” I add, finishing off his sentence. Ashling look up at me with a shocked expression.
“You know?” he asks, walking over to me.
“Dyno told me,” I reply, looking down to the floor for a moment. Shaking my head, I look back up to Ashling.
“Not that I was bothered when he told me because I was going to see Brendan,” I say shrugging my shoulders, “Which didn’t turn out too good-”
But my sentence trails off towards the end as my tears come back again, leaking from my eyes.
“Come on, we’d better go and check on Skye,” Ashling says, putting his arm around my shoulders and kissing my forehead lightly. I smile up at him and peck his cheek, grateful to have him with me.
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