Until You Met Me

Forty Eight

“So, did Sofia find a dress?”

Molly, who was staring at the stack of papers in front of her, blinked a couple of times at the sound of Gerard’s voice before she looked up, watching as he ambled out of her kitchen, drying his hands on a towel.

She had been trying to avoid the subject of Sofia’s wedding dress fitting. Since he had appeared at her door, lunch for the two of them in his hand, she had been directing the conversation away from wedding dresses, but she knew that it was something she couldn’t keep up forever, even if she hadn’t quite worked out what it was that she wanted to say to him. The subject of Sofia’s wedding, at least, was unavoidable, and Molly knew that not talking about it would only make it obvious to Gerard that there was something up. She knew that she had to talk to him, that Ava had been right when she had said that knowing was better than not knowing, but still the thought of bringing the subject up made her anxious. She didn’t quite know that she was ready to know, one way or the other.

Diverting her attention back down towards her papers, she offered him a little shake of her head. “It was more of an appointment to get a sense of what she is looking for” she answered “She had a very vague idea, but she wanted to look at some for inspiration. Mostly, she found a lot of things she doesn’t want” she added.

Gerard laughed as he plopped into the seat next to her. “Is she going to find one by the day she’s supposed to get married?” he asked.

Molly huffed out a laugh, rolling her eyes slightly as she leant forwards, jotting something down onto her notes. “She’s still got a few months” she replied “And she’s basically reserved most of my Saturdays between now and then, so if you want to spend the night together, we’re going to have to do it here for a while. I almost fell asleep in the boutique” she added.

Gerard flashed her an amused grin before he reached for the television remote, allowing a comfortable silence to settle between them that was only broken by the soft mumble of the television. Whilst Gerard focussed on the television, Molly stared down at the papers in front of her, trying to focus on them before she shook her head, exhaling a quiet sigh in frustration.

“You OK over there?” Gerard asked.

Molly didn’t hesitate to nod her head, but she didn’t look over at him. “Just a little distracted” she replied.

Gerard’s forehead creased a little in concern. “Is there something wrong?” he asked.

Molly shook her head wordlessly, jotting down another note.

Gerard watched her for a moment before he leant towards her, slipping the pen out of her hand, something which caused Molly to look up at him. “What did you do that for?” she asked.

“What’s wrong?” Gerard asked.

“I said it was nothing” Molly answered “And it is nothing. I have just got something on my mind, but it’s really not a big deal, so can I have my pen back, please? I need to finish this marking before the morning” she added.

Gerard’s eyes searched her face for a moment before he shook his head, tucking the pen into the pocket of his trousers. “Not until you talk to me” he replied.

“Gerard” Molly complained.

“Your mother said something to me” Gerard said “When we went over to your parents’ for dinner. She reminded me that, whilst we’ve only been in this relationship for a few months, we’ve been friends for a really long time, and that just because things are different now, we shouldn’t lose the best things about our friendship. So, if you need to talk about something, talk to me about it. It almost certainly won’t be the worst thing you’ve ever said to me” he added, flashing her a boyish grin.

He knew that he had been guilty of it in the past. When things had started to overwhelm him, he had shied away from admitting it to Molly, and all that had gotten the two of them was hurt, something he was keen to avoid repeating. They were too focussed on the fact that things between them had changed, but Julia’s advice had reminded him that there was a lot about their friendship to love, and that it shouldn’t get lost in the fact that they were more than friends now.

Molly didn’t want to laugh, but she couldn’t stop herself. “You haven’t heard it yet” she quipped.

“So there is an ‘it’?” Gerard pressed triumphantly.

Molly offered him a flat look, causing Gerard to hold his hands up innocently. “Sorry” he said “What’s up?” he asked.

Molly was quiet for a moment, trying to think of the right way to word it, before she shook her head, glancing up at him shyly. “I know that you’re not ready to talk about the big stuff” she said “And I am not going to push you into talking about it. I just...You made a joke yesterday. About planning my wedding, and I just...I guess I wanted to know if it was just a joke” she added, grimacing slightly at how awkwardly the words had come out.

Gerard’s eyes widened, something Molly saw before she shook her head, trying to hurry out of her seat. Gerard reached out and caught her hand in his, stopping her as she tried to step past him. “Molly” he said gently.

“It’s OK” Molly spluttered “Forget I asked” she added.

“Will you stop?” Gerard pressed “You can’t just ask me something like that and then react based on my split second reaction. The question surprised me, just like my joke surprised you. I saw the look on your face, and it made me immediately want to take it back, so I played it off. I thought it was the smart thing to do, but if this is you asking me if I see your wedding as being mine then, yeah, I do” he added.

Molly swallowed, blinking dazedly. “You...You do?” she asked.

Gerard’s slightly irked expression softened before he slowly, and hesitantly, nodded his head. “Yeah” he confirmed “I do” he repeated.