Until You Met Me

Seventy One

“Molly, the taxi is here”

Molly blinked a couple of times, pulling her stare away from the phone in her hand to glance up at Gerard who had poked his head around her bedroom door, his expression more serious than she was used to. He was nervous and Molly knew it. After Molly had called Ava and Sofia and asked if they could meet up for dinner to talk, she had asked Gerard to go with her, and despite the answer he’d given to her, she knew that he didn’t really want to go. He wanted to be there for her. He wanted to do everything he could to make something that was difficult for her easier, but she knew that, if she hadn’t asked, then he wouldn’t have volunteered. He knew that Ava and Sofia weren’t his biggest fans, he had known it for years, and he was worried that his being there could make an already awkward conversation worse, something Molly knew that he dreaded doing. He just wanted her to be happy.

“Hm?” Molly hummed.

“The taxi is here” Gerard repeated “You know, the one you ordered? It showed up on time” he added, his lips lifting into a small smile.

“Did the driver seem nice?” Molly asked, messing with the phone in her hand “I mean, on a scale from one to ten, how upset would he be if we sent him away again?” she added.

Gerard exhaled a quiet sigh before he stepped into the room, sinking down onto the mattress at her side. “Firstly, I think the driver would definitely forgive us” he said warmly, earning a soft smile from Molly “But I thought that tonight was what you wanted?” he prodded.

Molly turned her phone over in her hand again before she nodded. “It is” she said.

“But?” Gerard pressed, gently placing a hand on her wrist, his thumb brushing back and forth.

Molly watched his thumb before she lifted her shoulders in a shrug, a slightly shaky breath escaping her. “I’m scared” she admitted “These are my best friends, and I want them to be back in my life, but I am scared that this thing...there’s no recovering from it. They don’t believe in us, Gerard. They didn’t say ‘if’ we don’t work out. They seemed pretty sure that we wouldn’t, and I don’t need any one else thinking that this is doomed to fail. I need people who will support me, and understand that you’re...you’re the person I want to be with, and I am scared that when we get to the restaurant, nothing’s going to have changed” she added.

Gerard kept his thumb moving, allowing a moment of quiet to pass between them, before he gently turned her hand over, twining his fingers through hers. “I can’t tell you it’ll be perfect” he said gently “And I can’t promise that all of Ava and Sofia’s doubts about me are just going to have disappeared, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t. You’re happy, and I know that that is something that they both care about greatly. They just want you to be happy, Molly, but they worry about you. Good friends worry about their friends, it’s not necessarily a bad thing” he added, the corner of his mouth lifting into what he hoped was a reassuring smile.

It wasn’t just going to stop. Throughout the short duration of his and Molly’s relationship, he had done things that had given Ava and Sofia grounds to be worried about her, and he knew that it wasn’t going anywhere, but he wanted Molly to know that, just because they had reservations about him, it didn’t mean that they weren’t on her side. He knew that Ava and Sofia were never going to be his biggest fans, but he also knew that, as long as Molly was happy with him, they’d never do anything to interfere. All they wanted was for her to be happy, and whilst there was absolutely no doubt that they’d gone about it the wrong way in telling Tiago before they’d talked to Molly, he knew that it had come from a place of affection.

Molly looked up at him. “It doesn’t bother you that they don’t like you?” she asked.

“It’s not a surprise to me” Gerard quipped “I’ve been telling you forever” he added, rolling his eyes playfully.

Molly smiled despite herself, something which caused Gerard to lean over, pressing a kiss to her cheek. “I can’t please everyone” he said “But, if you want me around, then I will be around. Your opinion is the one that matters most to me” he added.

“I want you around” Molly said.

Gerard offered her a tender smile. “Then around is where I will be” he quipped.

“Are you sure that I can’t just wait by the bar?”

Molly rolled her eyes, glancing up at Gerard who stood beside her, a slight smirk on his face. “You could have just said no when I asked you to come” she quipped “No one forced you to be here” she added.

“You used your puppy dog eyes” Gerard argued playfully “You know I can never resist them. How on earth was I supposed to say no?” he added.

Molly offered him a flat look, something which made Gerard laugh before he spotted Ava over her shoulder. Offering Ava a shy smile, he gently placed his hand on Molly’s shoulder and turned her around, guiding her stare towards her friend. Molly blinked a couple of times, feeling the knot in her stomach twist uncomfortably, before she felt Gerard squeeze her hand softly, something which caused her to flash him a little smile before she stepped forwards, tugging him along with her.

Ava opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, shooting a look towards Sofia who looked equally lost for words, but she was cut off when Molly shook her head. “I know that you were just being protective” she said “But I don’t need protecting, not from him. I know it seems like I am just walking into this huge thing, believing that it has to work out like some kind of fairytale, but I know it’s not like that. I know it’s a relationship, and I have enough experience to know it’s not going to be some perfect thing. I just...I hated hearing that you didn’t have that faith in me. I hated that you told Tiago about your concerns, and not me. I thought we were closer than that” she added.

“We didn’t want to upset you” Sofia admitted “Gerard is...” she trailed off when she looked up at the defender.

Gerard shrugged, a slight smile on his face. “Say what you need to say” he said “I can handle it” he added.

Sofia nodded hesitantly. “He’s your oldest friend” she said “And we worried that you’d just...you’d say we don’t get it, because honestly? We don’t. Do you remember when I came to his place to try and fix things?” she asked.

Molly nodded.

“I saw you two together” Sofia said “Just for a moment when you came out to check on him, and it was just...You just make sense, and I can’t explain it, because on paper you mostly definitely don’t, but you do. I can’t promise that we’re going to stop worrying, because we probably never will, but after seeing that, I know that you’re happy, and I am thrilled for you” she insisted.

“I am, too” Ava contributed “I’m so sorry, Mol” she added.

Molly was quiet for a moment, her stare drifting up towards Gerard who was quick to smile at her, wordlessly reassuring her that everything was alright, before she stepped towards Ava and Sofia, tugging them both into a tight hug that they were more than happy to join in with.