Until You Met Me


“You’re not staying for breakfast?”

Molly, who was fastening the last button on the shirt that she had borrowed, lifted her head as she padded into the living room, quickly spotting Gerard who was sat on the sofa, a bowl of cereal balanced in one hand. Quirking a small amused smile, she smoothed out the oversized shirt before she stepped towards the sofa, collecting the bag that she had left on the coffee table in front of it the night before. “You don’t look like you’re prepared to share” she quipped “And even if you were, I’d have to pass. I have to get home and change before I meet Ava and Sofia” she added.

Gerard’s eyes dipped down towards the shirt she wore before he scoffed out a laugh, diverting his stare back towards the bowl in his hand. “I don’t think they’d get the wrong idea if you wore that” he said, flashing her a crooked grin.

Molly scoffed as she pulled her hair up into a messy ponytail. “If I showed up in this, I think Ava would actually fall out of her chair” she quipped “I was pretty clear last night that the date had been a bust, and that I had ended up sleeping here. If I showed up in this shirt, I know she would jump to some very obvious, but still very incorrect, conclusions” she added.

Gerard lifted his shoulders in a nonchalant shrug, pushing his spoon around his bowl. “You could do worse” he quipped.

The laugh that Molly let out was melodic, but it didn’t distract Gerard from the warmth which travelled up his cheeks. It happened a lot. He would make a joke, poking fun at the improbability of them moving out of the comfortable zone that their relationship was in, and Molly always laughed, and it always made his stomach twist a little. He didn’t want to change anything, but it didn’t mean that he loved hearing Molly laugh at the prospect that he did.

Clearing his throat, Gerard leant forwards and placed his bowl onto the coffee table before he stood up, accepting the hug that Molly had been leaning in for. “Leave your spare key” he teased.

“Not a chance” Molly chirped as she pulled away “You’re never getting it back. You should have thought through all of the consequences before you gave it to me” she added, offering him a cheesy grin before she turned and walked towards the front door.

Gerard laughed to himself before he sunk back onto the sofa, his fingertips itching at his jawline sheepishly as he tried to ignore the disappointment he felt that she wasn’t staying.

“So, how did last night go?”

Molly tried to hide the little flinch in her expression, but one look at Ava’s face told her that she had failed, something which caused her to let out a quiet sigh, her fingers moving to fidget with the straw the poked out of her glass. She had been waiting for Ava and Sofia to bring it up. They had put off the inevitable for a while. Ava had told the story of how introducing her new boyfriend to her parents had gone, and Sofia had excitedly shown the other two new pictures of her two year old daughter, but Molly knew that they’d remember to ask, even if she had already told Ava that it hadn’t worked out. The chance to dissect what had gone wrong was almost the entire reason that they were there.

Twisting the straw around the glass, Molly avoided looking up as she shook her head. “It was fine” she said “He was nice. I just...let me put it this way. He didn’t ask me for a second date, and when he didn’t ask me for one, I was relieved” she added.

“Really?” Sofia asked “I thought you had a lot in common” she added.

“We did” Molly confirmed, grimacing a little at the memory of the stilted conversation that she and her date had had the previous night “But it just...I don’t know. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. It was just fine” she added.

Ava nodded her head slowly. “I’m sorry it didn’t work out” she said gently.

“It’s not your fault” Molly replied “It just wasn’t meant to be” she added, shrugging her shoulders slightly.

Ava and Sofia shared a look, something which made Molly shake her head, letting out a slightly exasperated sigh. “I’m really tired of bad first dates” she admitted “I know it was probably naive to think it, but when I first asked you to set me up, I thought I’d just click with someone. I thought it would be a lot easier than it has been, and I am slightly disappointed that it hasn’t happened, but I think...I think it want to give it a rest for a little while. I don’t know how many more evenings of awkward conversation I’ve got left in me right now” she explained, letting out a slightly forced laugh.

She knew that she had gotten ahead of herself. She had allowed her hopes to get up too high, and she kept finding herself disappointed, and it was something that she wanted to take a step back from. She didn’t know how many more times she could handle feeling the sinking in her stomach when things didn’t quite work out like she had been hoping that they would.

“You really want to stop?” Ava asked.

Molly shrugged. “I don’t know” she said “I’d like to meet someone, but I don’t know how many more setups that is going to take, and I don’t know if I really want to do any more right now. I am kind of tired of them not working out for whatever reasons” she added.

Ava was quiet for a moment, mulling over what Molly had said, before she looked up at her. “I think I have one more person” she said “I think he’s a good match” she added.

Molly wanted to roll her eyes, to point out that Ava wasn’t really listening to what she was saying, but instead, she let out a quiet sigh. “How sure are you about him?” she asked.

“Pretty sure” Ava replied “Do you want me to set it up?” she asked.

Molly hesitated for only a beat before she nodded her head, offering her friend a slightly exasperated smile. “Sure” she quipped “Why not?” she added.

Ava grinned. “Maybe I will have saved the best until last” she teased.

“I hope you have” Molly quipped.