Until You Met Me

Forty One


Molly blinked a couple of times at the sound of her name, pulling her stare away from the stack of papers that were sat in front of her and moving it towards Sofia who stood in her classroom doorway, watching her with a soft frown. It wasn’t new. Despite her best efforts to assure her friends and family that she was doing alright, she had often found them looking at her the way that Sofia was looking at her, and as much as she wanted it to stop, she knew that it wouldn’t until she was actually alright. She wasn’t fooling anyone and she knew it. She missed Gerard, even though she denied it every time someone asked her, she knew it was written all over her face, and she knew that, until she could say it and mean it, it meant that the people around her would look at her with sympathy, knowing that she was still struggling with the way things had ended between them.

“Huh?” Molly spluttered.

“I was offering you a lift home” Sofia clarified “I’m getting out of here for the day, and I thought I’d offer you a ride. You could even come over to my place. Ellie would love to see you, Seb, too. We could order dinner or something” she added, turning her worried frown into an encouraging smile.

Molly stared at her for a second before she shook her head, smiling feebly down at the pile of papers in front of her. She knew that Sofia was only trying to help, but she didn’t know that she could spend another evening with someone who wanted her to talk about Gerard and how she was doing. She had gone through it more than she would have liked. After she had opened up to Ava, she had explained what had happened to her parents, and to Poppy, and she didn’t know that she could do it again. She didn’t know that she could listen to one more person tell her that, whilst it would be hard, she would get over him eventually.

She didn’t know that that was what she wanted. Whilst there was a part of her that was still hurting, and still angry about what had happened between the two of them, there was also a part of her that just wanted to pick up her phone and ask him to come over, but it was something she had kept to herself, just like the visit he had made to her apartment a few days previous. She worried that, if she told someone that he had been to her apartment, she would be greeted by a wave of people telling her that she needed to keep space between them, and it wasn’t what she wanted to hear. She missed him, and as angry as she still was, and as hurt as she was, she doubted that that was going away any time soon.

“I have to finish these” Molly replied.

“I can wait” Sofia said.

“It’s OK” Molly insisted “Really, Sofi” she added, offering her friend the best smile she could muster.

Sofia offered her a long look before she reluctantly nodded her head. “Alright” she mused “I’ll see you tomorrow?” she asked.

Molly nodded her head. “Of course” she replied.

Sofia hesitated for a second longer in the doorway before she left, allowing Molly to return her attention to the papers in front of her. Gripping her pen in her hand, she stared at the top paper for a long moment before she let the pen slip from her grasp, dropping onto the desk with a soft clatter. Pushing her chair back, she climbed up to her feet and padded out of the room, hoping that a lap around the building would help to clear her head.

Walking along the hall, she reached a flight of stairs, but as soon as she placed her foot onto the first step, the heel of her shoe snapped, causing her to trip, tumbling down a few steps before she managed to stop herself. Taking in a couple of deep breaths to try and calm herself down, she sat up before she felt the pain in her head, something which caused her to lift her hand, carefully tracing her head until she found the bump and pulled her fingers back, staring down at the blood that coated the tips.

Letting out a shaky breath, she sat there for a few moments before she finally moved to pull her phone out of her pocket, dialling a number before she pressed it against her ear. “Hey” she murmured “Can you come to the school? I tripped and I bumped my head. I am pretty sure that it’s not serious, but I...I need you” she added.

“Is it feeling better?”

Molly, who was holding an ice pack against her head, quirked a small embarrassed smile, nodding slightly. “Yeah” she confirmed “Though, really, I think I could have done this myself. I was just a little shaken up, and so I dialled the first number in my phone. It was stupid” she added.

Gerard, who was leaning against her desk, shook his head before he hesitantly reached out, adjusting the ice pack slightly. “Better safe than sorry” he said softly.

Molly ducked her head, allowing a long moment of silence to pass between the two of them, before she cautiously looked up again, finding Gerard watching her, an expression that she couldn’t place on his face. “What are you thinking?” she whispered.

Gerard’s lips quirked upwards ever so slightly into an embarrassed grin. “I am glad that you called me” he answered “And I kind of like that I am the first number in your phone, but mostly I am thinking about how I have no idea what to do now. I made such a huge mess of everything, and I don’t know how to fix that. I want to do something to show you that I know how stupid I was, and how big an error I made, but I just...I worry that I’ll do something, and you’ll just see it as an empty gesture, something I am doing because I have to, and I don’t want that. I want to do something because I want to show you that I love you, but I don’t know what to do, and I hate that” he explained.

Molly’s eyes searched his face, seeing the frustration and desperation in it, before she shook her head, looking down at her feet again. “I wish I knew what it was, too” she murmured “Because I miss you, you know. Not even just as my boyfriend. I really miss my friend, too, because you were the one I used to take all my drama to. You’d be really great to complain to, right now” she added, smiling to herself sadly.

Gerard let out a soft laugh, adjusting the ice pack on her head again. “Do you want me to say the thing?” he asked, his tone caught between pained and teasing.

Molly laughed, but it was a strange sound, pained and rough, and Gerard flinched when he heard it. It was a sound that he had always hated hearing from her, and it hurt all the more that he was the reason for it. “I want to know that this is real for you” she answered gently “That’s all I want. You’ve just got to show me” she added.

Gerard nodded his head slowly, something which caused Molly to push herself out of her chair, her lips lightly brushing against his cheek. Gerard closed his eyes at the fleeting contact, relishing it, before he allowed his eyes to open, meeting Molly’s. “I think I have something” he murmured.

Molly shook her head, smiling tiredly. “If the next words out of your mouth are something stupid like ‘marry me’ you can just stop talking right now” she quipped.

Gerard shook his head. “I think I have something I can show you” he clarified “Will you let me show it to you?” he asked.

Molly hesitated for a second, but the soft expression on his face won her over, causing her to nod slightly. “OK” she agreed.