Until You Met Me

Seventy Six

Twisting the material of her sleeve around her fingers, Molly glanced across the dining room table, watching Gerard who was sat across from her, happily telling her a story, oblivious to the fact that she wasn’t completely listening. She had tried to focus on him. Despite the advice that her father had given to her, she had tried her hardest to put her worries out of her mind, and focus on enjoying the evening with Gerard who’d been put into a good mood by the team’s win earlier in the day, but the longer she sat and watched him, the more her throat burned with the question she had been itching to ask him since he had taken the bridal magazine that Julia had left behind out of her lap.

She knew that it would happen eventually. The ring that was on her finger was proof it, but she wanted something slightly more concrete than an ‘eventually’. She had spent years buying into Tiago’s promise of an ‘eventually’, and all it had done was get her hurt, something she knew that Gerard wouldn’t repeat, but it didn’t stop her from worrying. She didn’t want to push him. She knew that things had happened quickly, and that Gerard’s request to slow things down had been a response to how quickly everything between them had changed, but she did want an idea of when they would start to look forwards again, even if it wasn’t for a little while. She was excited to think about their next step.


Molly blinked up at Gerard. “Huh?” she spluttered.

Gerard’s lips quirked in amusement. “Boring you, was I?” he chirped.

Molly smiled shyly in reply, her eyes returning to her fingers which still fidgeted with her sleeve. “Sorry” she muttered “I was a million miles away. What were you saying?” she asked.

Gerard opened his mouth, preparing to retell his story, until he noticed that her fingers were twisted into the material of her jumper, something which caused him to frown. It was a tell of hers, a sign that she was nervous or uncomfortable, and seeing it caught him by surprise. He had noticed that she had been quiet, but he hadn’t thought that there was anything wrong. Sometimes, Molly was just quiet.

Molly looked up at him again, following his stare down to her sleeve, before she moved her hand away, shaking her head. “Habit” she mused.

“Nervous habit” Gerard corrected.

Molly closed her eyes, huffing out a soft laugh. Sometimes, it was too easy to forget how well he knew her.

“Am I missing something?” Gerard asked.

“It’s nothing” Molly replied with a dismissive shake of her head.

“Are you sure?” Gerard pressed.

Molly nodded, but it was preceded by a beat of hesitation, something that caused Gerard to lift an eyebrow. “OK” he said “Now I know there’s something. Molly, what’s wrong?” he asked.

Molly opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, trying to find the right words, but before she could really think it through, a question fell out of her mouth. “Do you actually plan to marry me?” she asked.

Gerard, who’d been leant close to her, sat up like he’d been slapped in the face.

Molly’s eyes widened in surprise before she hurried to shake her head. She couldn’t quite believe that that was the question that had fallen out of her mouth. “That...That isn’t what I meant to say” she spluttered “I was just trying to…I wanted to ask about...”

“Do you really doubt that?” Gerard’s question was asked quietly, but it was still enough to stop Molly talking.

“No” Molly insisted with another desperate shake of her head “I just...I understand why you pumped the brakes before. We were doing everything at once, and it was overwhelming, I was overwhelmed, too, but I am not now, and whenever I even mention our potential wedding in passing, you seem to flinch. I was just...I was trying to ask if we were going to get to the point where that doesn’t happen” she added, her voice soft.

Gerard’s hurt expression didn’t soften. “I didn’t realise that we were in such a hurry” he replied.

“I just want to know if you have thought about it” Molly said “Even if you’ve reached the decision that you want to wait a couple of years before we even start planning. I want to know that...that you thought past the proposal” she added.

Gerard shook his head. “It wasn’t just something I threw out, Molly” he muttered “I thought about it for a long time. I knew what I was doing, and what it meant to do it” he added.

Molly closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath, before she looked up at him. “I just want to know what’s happening” she murmured “I spent a lot of time with a guy who just...just let things happen instead of thinking about them, and...”

“Are you comparing me to Tiago?” Gerard’s voice was incredulous.

“I just want to know that this is going to happen!” Molly yelled before she could stop herself. She wasn’t annoyed with him, but with herself. Each time she spoke, she seemed to be making things worse, and she couldn’t seem to stop digging herself further into the hole.

Gerard’s expression softened for a fraction of a second, pain momentarily filling his eyes, before he slowly pushed himself out of his seat. “I’m sorry for wanting to take a little time to appreciate this before we jumped into the next life-changing step” he muttered “We’ve been together for a little over a year, Molly. What’s that thing you told me? I’ve had love for you for a long time, but there is still part of me that’s getting used to being in love with you, and I just wanted things to slow down for a second. I didn’t think that that was that big an ask” he added before he made a move towards the doorway.

Molly thought about reaching for his hand and stopping him, but, at the last moment, she stopped herself. She knew that if she asked him to stay, there was a high percentage chance that one of them would say something that they couldn’t take back. Sinking back into her seat, she listened to his footsteps pad up the stairs, and to the distant thud of a door being pulled closed a little too harshly, before she buried her face in her hands, already wishing that she could go back to the start of the conversation and do the whole thing differently.