Until You Met Me

Thirty Six

Pulling the duvet over her head, Molly let out a quiet groan, trying to shield her still stinging eyes from the too-bright sunlight that slipped through the small gap in the curtains. She wasn’t ready to move. Despite having been awake for a while, she had made no attempt to climb out of bed, and she doubted that she would try for a while, dreading the finality that she would feel when her feet touched the floor and confirmed to her that the previous night hadn’t been a dream. She wanted to cling onto the illusion that it was for just a little longer before she was forced to confront what had happened.

It had always been a possibility. As good as things between her and Gerard had felt up until the night that Tiago had texted her, there had always been a risk that their relationship would end, and it was something Molly had told herself repeatedly, but it had done very little to prepare her for it. She had tried to temper her expectations. She had told herself to take things a step at a time, to enjoy the moment, but it hadn’t worked as well as she had thought it had. As much as she had tried not to be, Molly had been convinced that they’d be together for a long time to come, and the fact that they wouldn’t be hurt her more than she had been prepared for.

Feeling her eyes start to water again, she lifted a hand to wipe at them, only to feel the blanket being pull away from her head, something which caused her to let out a yelp of surprise before she looked up, finding her sister’s face staring down at her.

Poppy’s expression immediately softened. “Molly” she murmured sympathetically.

Molly hurried to wipe her eyes and sit up. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

Poppy sat down on the side of the bed. “Our mother got a text from Gerard’s mother” she answered “He asked her to text her. He told Montserrat that something had happened between the two of you, and he told her to tell our mother that you needed us, so here we are. Mama and papa are in the kitchen with Felipe, but I thought it was best if I came to check on you first. You know that they can be a little much” she added, her lips quirking upwards slightly.

“Did...Did he tell anyone what happened?” Molly asked.

Poppy’s tentative smile fell away as shook her head. “He didn’t” she said “But, given the fact that he asked his mother to text on his behalf, we guessed that it wasn’t good news” she added.

Molly exhaled a slightly shaky breath as she stared down at the duvet, something which caused Poppy to lean over, gently squeezing her hands. “Do you want us to go?” she asked softly.

For a second, Molly contemplated saying yes and crawling back underneath the duvet, but eventually she shook her head slightly, causing Poppy to nod before she stood up. “I’ll go and buy you a little time, then” she mused “Come through when you’re ready” she added before she ducked out of the door.

Molly stared after her, trying to ignore the way that her stomach dropped when she remembered hearing Gerard shuffling out of the same door the night before, before she turned her stare away from it. Wiping at her eyes, she stayed sat on the bed for a moment longer before she finally, hesitantly, moved to climb out of it and pad towards the bathroom.

Twisting her fingers in the sleeve of her shirt, Molly stood outside of the kitchen, listening to the muffled sounds of her family’s voices inside. She didn’t know what they were saying. She had been stood in the same spot for a few minutes, trying to find the nerve to walk into the room and accept the wave of comfort that would inevitably greet her, but she wasn’t really focussed on the voices. Instead, all she could think about was the way that everything would change in light of the previous night. Gerard wasn’t going to be there any more. After more than twenty years of friendship, of shared memories and relying on one another, he was going to be gone, and the idea had hit Molly all of a sudden, leaving her more dazed than she already felt. It wasn’t just them that it was going to effect, either. Unless something changed Gerard’s mind, everything else around them would change.


Molly blinked a couple of times before she looked up, finding her father watching her, a concerned frown on his face. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“Are you going to come through?” Xavier asked “There’s some food” he added.

Molly offered him a wobbly smile. “You know I would never say no to your cooking, papa” she said.

Xavier stepped towards her, but Molly quickly shook her head, offering him another watery smile. “I’m OK” she whispered “Hungry, actually. Could you get me a plate?” she asked.

Xavier hesitated, but he did move to make her a plate of food, settling it down on the counter in front of where she had sat down. Molly picked up her fork, prodding at her food for a few minutes, before finally, the strange silence that had filled the room since she had stepped into it got to her. Lowering the fork to the counter, she glanced at everyone who stood around her before she blew out a shaky sigh, diverting her attention to the plate in front of her. “I...I have something I need to say” she murmured “And after I have said it, I don’t want to be overwhelmed with questions. I am not ready to answer them yet. Is that clear?” she asked.

“Very clear” Xavier confirmed, ignoring the worried look that Julia had sent in his direction. He knew that they had to let Molly handle things however she wanted to.

Molly nodded her head a little too quickly, trying to stop her eyes from stinging. “Gerard and I broke up” she said.

The room was quiet for a minute, no one quite knowing what to say, but when Molly let out a sniffle, it burst into action. Julia moved straight to Molly’s side, wrapping her in a tight hug before Xavier appeared on the other side, wrapping his arms around her too. Felipe mumbled an excuse, wanting to give his sister-in-law a little privacy, and Poppy shuffled the plate of food away from her sister, allowing her to gently squeeze Molly’s hand. “Do you need me to do anything?” she murmured.

Molly shifted a little, prying herself away from her parents’ embrace, before she reached into her pocket, producing a key that she placed into her sister’s hand. “Get that back to him” she murmured “I...I get the feeling I won’t be needing a spare key to his place any more” she added, letting out a sad laugh.

Poppy flashed her a sympathetic look before she nodded her head, closing the key into her hand as Molly sunk back into their mother’s arms, crying quietly.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)