Until You Met Me

Thirty Seven

Turning the single key over in her hand, Poppy’s stare drifted out of her car’s window, landing on Gerard’s house which she had stopped outside of. She had been sat there for a while. Molly had managed to put up with their parents’ fussing for almost two hours before she had made an excuse and retreated back to her bedroom, and after she had gone, both Xavier and Julia had volunteered to be the one to return the key that Molly had given to her sister, but Poppy had insisted that she do it, not wanting her parents to ruin their friendship with Gerard’s parents because of the defender.

They were all angry. Despite Molly’s hesitance to talk about what had happened between the two of them, the fact that Gerard had asked his mother to contact Julia instead of doing it himself spoke volumes, and Poppy thought that she stood a better chance of containing her anger than either of her parents, even if it did mean sitting in her car for a while. She knew that, as upset as Molly was, her sister would never forgive her for doing anything that made things between her and Gerard any worse.

Taking in a deep breath, Poppy let it out as a soft sigh before she pushed the car door open and made her way up the path, pressing the doorbell. Sinking a pace backwards, she watched the door until it swung open, allowing her to look up at Gerard who appeared in the doorway, his eyes softening a little at the sight of her. “Pop” he murmured.

“Poppy” Poppy corrected.

Gerard grimaced a little as he nodded his head. “Sorry” he muttered “Do you want to come in?” he asked.

Poppy took a moment to pull back in the urge she had to yell at him before she nodded her head wordlessly.

Gerard shuffled aside, allowing Poppy to step past him, before he closed the door after her, allowing for an uncomfortable silence to fill the hall. For a long moment, they just stared at one another, both trying to think of something to say, before Poppy stuck her hand out, offering Gerard the key that was settled in the palm of her hand. Gerard tried to mask to flinch on his face at the sight of it, but he knew immediately that he had failed when Poppy let out a sharp scoff and pulled her hand back, closing her fist around the key.

“You’re really going to stand there and act hurt about this?” Poppy pressed “After the mess you’ve made?” she asked.

Gerard made no attempt to answer, something which caused Poppy to shake her head. “You’re not even going to try and explain why to me?” she asked “Because my little sister is a mess over you. I spent two hours at her apartment with our parents, watching her try and be OK with whatever went on between you two, and she failed, miserably” she added.

Gerard determinedly kept his stare on the floor, causing Poppy to step closer to him, forcing him to look at her. “What the hell happened?” she pressed.

“I broke up with her” Gerard answered.


“I got fucking scared, OK?” Gerard cut in sharply “She told me that I was it. That she would want me over anyone else, and I got fucking scared. No, I got even more fucking scared, because I was terrified anyway. She was looking at me like I was her future, Poppy, and all of the worries that I already had were just screaming and blaring, and I just...I didn’t say anything. She asked me if I thought we’d made a mistake, and I didn’t say a word because, in that moment, I didn’t know” he added.

It shouldn’t have hit him like it had. When Molly had looked up at him and explained just how much he meant to her, it shouldn’t have been the surprise that it was, but it had been and, in the moment, it had overwhelmed him. He knew that they were serious about one another. If they hadn’t been, there was no way that either of them would have been prepared to put at risk their years of friendship, but when Molly had looked up at him like he was her whole world, it had scared him.

Everything had seemed so easy. Up until the moment that Tiago had texted, the three months that they had been dating for had been straight forwards and relaxed, but everything had become so much more serious and complicated when they had had to work out their fight, and so when Molly had asked if he thought that they had made a mistake, he hadn’t been able to say no. Their friendship hadn’t had the complications. It hadn’t had serious conversations about what they were going to do next, or had him worrying that by being with her, he was going to keep her away from something or someone better. It had been easy, and part of him missed it.

Poppy blinked slowly.

“I went there to fix things” Gerard continued, determined not to let the silence settle again “But when she looked at me like that, Poppy, I...I didn’t know what to do. How am I supposed to be that to her?” he asked.

Poppy shook her head in disbelief. “How are you supposed to...You already fucking are!” she yelled “Honestly, are you stupid enough to believe that she can look at you like that after just three months? Do you think that just because she’s started calling you her boyfriend, she’s changed how she sees you? Gerard, my sister has been in love with you since she met you. She has always looked at you the way she looked at you last night, and if you’re just noticing it, then you’re a bigger idiot than I thought. No one has come close to you, and you know it. Why do you think that you two are still so close?” she asked.

Gerard opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, but was denied the chance to say anything when Poppy spoke again. “You have nothing in common” she pointed out “Your jobs, your friends, your interests...there’s no reason that you shouldn’t have drifted apart, but you didn’t. You two have always just had this...this connection” she added.

Gerard’s expression softened.

“I understand getting scared” Poppy said, her voice softening for just a second “But how do you see this working out now, eh? How are you going to feel when she’s not on the end of the phone any more? What about when she meets someone else? Are you going to hear from your parents how beautiful she looked on her wedding day, or how adorable her children are? Because that’s what you’ve signed up for. You stood in front of a woman whose only fault is loving you and thinking about what you could be, and you told her that you thought you’d made a mistake. You hurt her worse than Tiago did, or any of her other boyfriends, because you know she loved you more. She’s always loved you most” she added before she stepped towards him and slipped the key into his hand.

Gerard heard the front door close after Poppy, but didn’t look away from the slither of metal in his hand, his ears still ringing with everything Poppy had said to him.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)