Until You Met Me

Seventy Five

Wordlessly pushing her engagement ring around her finger, Molly sunk back into her seat, watching as Gerard and his teammates jogged off the pitch at half time. She had noticed that she had started to do it more. In the couple of weeks that had passed since Gerard had found the bridal magazine that her mother had left behind, she had noticed that she had started to play with the ring a little more, but she saw it as a soothing thing, rather than something that was motivated by anxiety. It was a reminder of how far things had come in the past year, of how much different, and how much better, things felt since she and Gerard had started to date, and it was a sign that things that things could change quickly, even if it felt like it was still going to be a while before she and Gerard were ready to make another step forwards. The ring on her finger was all the proof she needed that things could happen quickly.

Glancing down at her hand, she stared at the ring on her finger for a second before she shook her head, lifting the hand to push her hair back off of her face.


Molly startled slightly at the sound of her father’s voice before she looked up at him. “Huh?” she spluttered “Did you say something?” she asked.

Xavier offered her a slightly confused smile, tilting his head towards the paper cup that he was holding out towards her. “It’s what you asked for, isn’t it?” he asked.

Molly nodded as she took the cup out of his hands, offering him a soft smile in thanks.

Xavier slipped back into his seat without a word, taking a sip from his own drink, before he turned to look at Molly, frowning slightly at the distant look that was on her face as she stared out at the pitch. Watching her for a moment, he opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, trying to find the right question to ask, before he gently sighed.

Molly looked up at the sound. “Papa?” she asked.

“Are you OK?” Xavier asked.

“I’m fine” Molly replied “Why wouldn’t I be?” she added.

Xavier’s answering shrug was helpless. “I don’t know” he said “But I think there’s something bothering you. I know that this isn’t your favourite way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but you’re not normally this...this quiet. You look like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders, and I can’t just ignore that. So, what’s going on? You never know, I might even have some advice” he added, a slightly hopeful smile on his face.

Molly held his stare for a beat before she looked down at the cup that she held in her hands, shaking her head slightly. She was surprised that he had asked. As close as she and her father were, he had always left awkward conversations to Molly’s mother, and it meant that Molly didn’t quite know what to say to him. She didn’t quite know how he’d react if she confided that she was mildly frustrated with Gerard’s hesitation. “It’s nothing, papa” she replied “Just a little bump” she added.

“With Gerard?” Xavier asked.

Molly shrugged non-committally.

“Is something going on?” Xavier pressed.

Molly heard the worry in his voice, causing her to shake head. “Nothing’s going on” she insisted “Me and Gerard, we’re fine. I promise. I just...I thought we’d be moving a little quicker than we are, and I am a little frustrated that we’re not, but it’s nothing to be worried about” she added.

Xavier’s eyes searched her face for a long moment before he slowly nodded his head, fiddling with the paper cup in his hands. “Have you talked to him?” he asked.

“Papa” Molly complained softly “It’s nothing” she added.

“It’s nothing now” Xavier retorted, putting emphasis on the word ‘now’.

Molly blinked a couple of times, something which caused Xavier to sigh before he held a hand up defensively. “I am not trying to be dramatic” he mused “You know your relationship better than I do, and if you think that there’s nothing to talk about, then I trust your judgement, but...but do you remember that morning after things with Gerard went wrong the first time? Do you know how hard it was for me to see you stand there, trying your hardest not to cry over him? I want to avoid that at all costs. I am just trying to look after you, Molly” he added.

“I know” Molly murmured “I...I would talk to him, but I just don’t know what to say. He said he needed things to slow down, and in that moment, I wanted them to slow down, too, but we’re not in that moment any more. I am ready to start looking forwards again, but I am worried that he’s not, and that if I try and push him into it, then it’s going to go wrong. I don’t want to push him away, papa.” she added.

Xavier gently coaxed her towards him, allowing him to press a gentle kiss against the crown of her head. “I can’t tell you what to do” he said “But, if you want my input, then at least try and talk to him. It might not be the easiest conversation, but at least you’d both know where each other stand. Just trying to ignore it isn’t going to work. You know that” he added.

Molly nodded. It was something that she and Gerard had done before. Instead of confronting their worries, or talking to one another when things had gotten difficult, they had let things simmer beneath, and it had never ended anyway other than badly. It didn’t work. Hoping that a problem, or a worry, would just go away always failed, and whilst the conversation that her father was coaxing her to have wasn’t likely to go the way that she wanted it to, she knew it was the best thing to do in the long run.

“You’re right” Molly confirmed.

Xavier placed another kiss on her head before he pulled away, watching as the players made their way back onto the pitch. “Me and your mother are here if you need us” he quipped.

Molly turned and offered him a small smile. “I know” she mused “Thank you, papa” she added.

Xavier’s lips lifted into a soft smile. “Glad I could help” he replied.