Until You Met Me

Fifty Seven

Letting his hands slip off of the steering wheel, Gerard reclined into his seat, trying to find the nerve to climb out of the car and walk towards Xavier and Julia’s front door. He had been confident when he had gotten into the car. With Molly due to spend the morning with Sofia, helping get her ready for her wedding that afternoon, he had decided that it was the perfect time to pay a visit to her parents, but now that he was sat outside of their house, the nerve had deserted him, leaving him unsure as to whether he ought to knock or not.

He wanted to. Since Molly had reminded him of the videos that her mother had always been making when they were children, he had been keen to see them, to see if he could incorporate them into the proposal he was planning, but he knew that if he asked for them, then he would have to explain why, and that was what scared him. He didn’t quite know what he would do if Molly’s parents weren’t on board with the idea of him asking Molly to marry him.

He had no reason to believe that they wouldn’t be. Even despite the bumps that he and Molly had hit, both Xavier and Julia seemed more than happy to see that they were still together, and when he had mentioned it to Poppy, she had been quick to reassure him that her parents would more than likely be over the moon about it, but still he was nervous. He wanted to do it. Since he had started to make more concrete moves towards actually asking Molly, he had only grown more sure of the fact that he wanted to ask her, and he wanted the news that he had to be accepted happily. He knew how much it would mean to Molly to have everyone around them be as excited as they were.

Drawing in a deep breath, he let it go slowly before he finally reached for the keys in the ignition. Sliding them out, he pushed the car door open and climbed out, locking the car after himself as he walked towards the front door, pressing the doorbell. Taking a step back, he watched the door until it swung open, revealing Julia who blinked up at him, a slightly surprised smile on her face. “Gerard?” she asked.

Gerard smiled back at her nervously. “Hi” he greeted.

“What are you doing here?” Julia asked.

“Is now a bad time?” Gerard asked, his eyes widening a little in concern.

Julia was quick to shake her head, offering him a warm smile. “I am just surprised to see you” she answered “Normally, I only see you when you’re with Molly. I can’t remember the last time you came to visit on your own” she added.

Gerard let out a slightly shaky laugh, his hand rubbing at his jaw nervously.

Julia tilted her head, a confused smile on her face. “Is everything alright?” she asked.

Gerard opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, trying to find the right words, before he exhaled a soft sigh, shaking his head slightly. “Sorry” he muttered “Can I come in? I have something I want to tell you” he added.

Julia’s confused expression didn’t change, but she did step out of the doorway, allowing Gerard to step inside the house. “Is Xavier here?” he asked.

“He’s out playing golf with some friends” Julia replied, pushing the front closed “Did you need him for something?” she asked.

Gerard shook his head wordlessly, something which made Julia’s lips quirk slightly before she stepped towards him, gently wrapping her hand around his wrist. Tugging on his arm lightly, she guided him through towards the living room before she offered him a seat, taking the one across from him. “Take a breath” she cooed “There’s no rush” she added.

Gerard followed her instructions, taking in a deep breath, before he blew out it slowly, flashing her an embarrassed smile. “Sorry” he said.

“No need to apologise” Julia mused warmly “You have something you want to tell me?” she added, trying to encourage him to relax. She could see that he was nervous. From the moment that she had opened the front door, and found him stood outside, he had looked like he was itching to run away, and she wanted to reassure him that there was no need to look so worried. He had always been welcome in her home, and even despite the bumps that he and Molly had had, it hadn’t changed.

Gerard nodded his head slowly. “I actually want to ask you for some help with something” he admitted “But before I can ask for your help with it, I think should tell you what it is. I am trying to figure out how to ask Molly to marry me” he added.

Julia’s eyes grew wide and her jaw fell open a little, something which caused Gerard’s cheeks to flush a soft shade of pink as he shook his head, scratching at his jaw shyly. “I know we haven’t been a couple for very long” he continued, determined not to let the silence settle “And that’s why I am not planning on doing it soon, but I am planning to do it, and I was hoping that I could ask you for a little help. Molly reminded me that, when we were kids, you made a lot of home movies of us together and I was...”

“You’re going to ask my baby girl to marry you?” Julia’s voice was soft in awe.

Gerard nodded his head. “I am” he confirmed “I...I bought a ring. Pop helped me. I am just trying to figure out the when and the how” he added.

Julia let out a slightly hysterical laugh before she clapped a hand over her mouth, shaking her head slightly. “Sorry” she whispered “I just...Do you know how many times I have thought about this?” she asked.

“About me telling you that I want to marry your daughter?” Gerard replied impishly.

Julia rolled her eyes. “It’s no secret that Xavi and I love you” she quipped “And whilst we knew we could never push you together, we always kind of hoped that it would just happen, and now it has. Do you know how happy this news makes me?” she asked.

“I hope, very” Gerard answered.

Julia let out a warm scoff before she pushed herself out of her seat and pulled Gerard out of his, wrapping him in a hug that he had no choice but to return, a slightly awed smile on his face. “You’re really happy about this?” he asked.

Julia pulled out of the hug to look up at him, an adoring smile on her face. “How could you think otherwise?” she asked.

“I have made mistakes with Molly, and I just...”

“Xavier made mistakes with me” Julia interrupted “And for a long time, it didn’t feel like we were going to fix them, and I hated it because I knew from the moment I met him that I wanted him to be my guy, but we got there in the end, and now we’ve been married for nearly forty years, we’ve got two great daughters, and I am now a grandmother, too. My point is, people make mistakes. You and Molly have fixed things, and you make each other happy, and that’s all I care about. You love her?” she asked.

Gerard's answering nod was instant and firm.

“Then I am happy” Julia cooed “Can I tell Xavi when he gets home?” she asked.

“Of course” Gerard answered “Just...don’t tell Molly. Pop’s already told Ava, and I am a little worried that it’s going to get back to her before I have everything figured out” he added.

“I promise she won’t hear it from me” Julia replied “Now, what were you saying about home movies?” she asked.

Gerard's expression grew shy again. “Molly reminded me about them” he said “And I was...I was hoping to get a look at them. To see if there was something I could incorporate into the proposal. I am still looking for inspiration, really. I know I want to do it, but how I want to do it is still something I am trying to work out” he added.

Julia grinned. “I am very happy to help” she said “I will grab a few tapes. Have you got time to watch them now?” she asked.

Gerard glanced down at his watch, working out how much time he had before he needed to leave for Sofia’s wedding, before he offered Julia a small smile, something which caused her to grin back at him before she skittered out of the room, chattering excitedly about how cute she was sure the videos would be. Gerard sunk back down onto the sofa as she left, a slightly awed smile on his face. He didn’t know how or when it was going to happen, but he was certain that, at some point in the near future, he was going to find himself asking Molly to marry him, and as strange as the idea would have felt only a few months previous, he couldn’t picture anything else that felt more right to him.