Until You Met Me

Twenty Two

“You know that you didn’t actually have to call, don’t you?” Molly teased as she sat down on the sofa, smiling at the camera of her laptop which was set up on the coffee table, Gerard’s face filling the screen.

It wasn’t a first. Sometimes, when Gerard had travelled away for a match that required him to stay overnight, he had called Molly, wanting to break the monotony of an overnight hotel stay by talking to her about anything he could think of, but Molly had insisted that he didn’t have to do it that time. Gerard had insisted that he wanted to. He had spent days teasing her about calling her to let her know that he had landed safely, and to tell her that he already missed her, and despite the fact that it had made her laugh, she had told him that it wasn’t necessary. Their relationship status might have been different, but it didn’t mean that everything needed to change. They had been happy as they were for years, and whilst Molly welcomed a lot of the ways things between them had grown, she was reluctant to let everything be different.

Gerard grinned. “I do” he confirmed “But honestly, I’ve got time to kill and my room-mate is on the phone in the other room, so I thought I would call you” he added.

Molly laughed, shaking her head. “You couldn’t just be sweet?” she quipped “Would it have killed you to say that you just wanted to talk to me?” she asked.

“Because you’d have believed that” Gerard countered, rolling his eyes dramatically.

“I might have done” Molly played along.

Gerard offered her a flat look, something which made Molly smile as she shook her head, gently pushing her hair behind her ear.

“I did” Gerard said, his voice softening “Want to talk to you, I mean, I have grown to kind of like speaking to you every day, and it was weird not to speak to you this morning” he added.

Molly blinked a couple of times, caught off guard by the comment, before she felt her cheeks turn pink. “We spoke last night” she said “And I was at work all day. What could you have missed?” she added, smiling at him shyly.

Gerard lifted his shoulders slightly, offering her an equally shy smile in return. It was one change that neither one of them was quite used to. When they had just been friends, they had shown their affection for one another through playful jabs and eye rolls, but since they had started dating, they had started to be slightly more vulnerable with one another, saying things that they wouldn’t have said before, and they were both still trying to get used to it. The things that they said were cute, romantic, but the idea that they were saying them to one another still felt a little unfamiliar.

“How was work?” Gerard asked.

“It was good” Molly answered “But I am one of those strange people that like my job, so most days are good” she added.

Gerard nodded his head, smiling at her warmly. “What are you doing tonight?” he asked.

“Mum and Pop are coming over” Molly replied “You’re actually lucky that I was free to take your call. They were supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago. They got stuck in traffic” she added.

“That means I should let you go, doesn’t it?” Gerard quipped “Just in case they show up” he added.

“Probably” Molly replied “And I know that you have curfew, but if they leave early enough, can I call you back?” she asked.

Gerard’s expression lit up, alleviating the little lump of anxiety that had appeared in Molly’s throat. “I might like that” he answered.

“I might do it, then” Molly teased.

Gerard offered her a playful roll of his eyes before the sound of a knock at Molly’s front door filled the air, causing him to blow a quick kiss at the camera before he ended the call. Molly took a second to close her laptop, and to wipe the giddy smile off of her face, before she walked to the front door, welcoming her mother and sister inside.

“So, has Ava set you up again recently?”

Molly spluttered on the forkful of dessert she had put into her mouth, causing Julia’s mouth to quirk upwards amusedly. She didn’t know that her mother knew about the dates. “What?” she squeaked.

“Poppy mentioned that Ava had been setting you up with a few of her friends” Julia clarified “She said that one of them was at your birthday party. Sam? I was just wondering if there’d been any developments” she added.

Molly’s eyes darted to Poppy who held up her hands apologetically before she shook her head, nervously pushing her hair behind her ear. “Sam was Ava’s boyfriend’s brother” she explained “Nothing happened between us. She was trying to set us up, but it wasn’t a good match. She has tried a few times, but nothing’s come of it, and I decided to take a little step back, so no, Ava hasn’t set me up recently” she added, stopping short of admitting that she was seeing someone.

She knew that, unlike Ava who’d only probed a little, her mother would stop at nothing to get Gerard’s name out of her. She knew that she had to tell them eventually, and it was something that she and Gerard had started to talk about more frequently, but she wanted to wait until they were both ready to break the news before they did.

Julia nodded her head slowly. “I have a few friends who have single sons” she announced “Maybe I could...”

“Please, don’t” Molly interrupted, offering her mother a pained smile “I...I appreciate you thinking of me, but I am OK, mama. I promise” she added.

Julia stared at her for a moment, scrutinising the look on her face, before Molly looked away and pushed herself to her feet. “I am going to get another glass of lemonade” she announced “Can I grab something for either of you while I am up?” she asked.

Julia shook her head. “I’m good” she said.

“Me too” Poppy mused.

Molly nodded her head before she skittered out of the room, allowing Julia to turn to Poppy, a slightly worried look on her face. “Am I missing something?” she asked quietly.

“She was with Tiago for years” Poppy replied, shrugging slightly “Maybe she’s just not over it yet. She was ready to marry him, and that’s not the sort of thing you just move on from” she added.

Julia nodded her head slowly, but before she could say anything, Molly’s phone buzzed against the coffee table. Leaning forwards, Julia glanced at the screen before she let out a soft gasp, something which caused Poppy to frown. “Are you reading her texts?” she pressed “Mama...”

“It’s from Gerard” Julia squeaked, cutting Poppy off “He says he’s going to stay up, just to talk to her” she added.

“They talk all the time” Poppy retorted.

“It’s got little hearts and kiss-faces” Julia quipped, grinning widely.

Poppy’s complaints died on her tongue as she slipped the phone towards her, studying the text herself.

“What are you staring at?” Molly asked as she padded back into the room.

Poppy hesitated for a second before she picked Molly’s phone up from the table, waving it slightly at her younger sister. “You just got an interesting text” she quipped.

“You’re reading my texts?” Molly protested “Pop, that’s...”

“When were you going to tell us about Gerard?” Julia’s voice interrupted, causing Molly’s eyes to flick towards her, the indignation on her face shifting to surprise and finally to shyness and embarrassment.

“I...I don’t know what you’re talking about” Molly mumbled unconvincingly.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)