Until You Met Me


Dropping her shoes beside the end of the bed, Molly sunk down onto the mattress, letting out a sigh of relief as she listened to the muffled sound coming from the party downstairs. It had taken her longer to get away than she had wanted. After deciding that she had to make an appearance at her father’s birthday party, with or without Gerard, she had thought that she could breeze in and out quickly, not wanting to give her parents or sister the chance to realise that there was something wrong, but her plan had quickly been blown out of the water. It had taken over an hour for her to get away from conversations with aunts and uncles she didn’t see often, and even then, instead of sneaking out of the front door, she had only managed to sneak into the spare bedroom that had once been her childhood bedroom.

Lifting up an arm, she draped it over her eyes before she let out a quiet groan, frustrated with herself for not being able to get her mind off of what had happened between her and Gerard. She had always had doubts about it. The sight of Gerard standing next to a table, claiming to be her date, had been jarring to her for a few reasons, but she had put the doubts to one side quickly when she had realised how good a time she had been having, and she hadn’t thought about them again, not until Gerard’s confession was hanging in the air between them. She had thought that they were at the start of something, something that had crossed her mind more and more as they had grown older, the knowledge that they weren’t, that Gerard had just been trying to spare her from getting hurt by the man that Ava had actually set her up with, devastated her.


Molly didn’t lift her arm away from her eyes. “I am not going back downstairs, Pop” she muttered “Not yet anyway. Come get me when they’re bringing out the cake” she added.

Poppy, who’d poked her head around the door, hesitated for a second before she stepped inside, gently closing the door after herself. Padding over to the bed, she settled against the headboard and waited for a few minutes until Molly finally lifted her arm and looked up at her. “You know I am hiding, right?” she asked.

Poppy nodded. “I do” she confirmed “Do you want to tell me why?” she asked.

Molly stared up at her sister for a long moment before she finally sighed and pushed herself up the bed, settling against the headboard next to Poppy. “Gerard and I had a fight” she mumbled, letting her head fall into her sister’s shoulder.

“I figured that there was a reason he’s not here” Poppy said, resting her head against Molly’s “Normally, you two are attached at the hip at parties like this” she added.

Molly smiled sadly. “I did ask him” she admitted “But then he told me something, and I...I needed space from him. Are people asking why he’s not here?” she asked.

“Mum asked” Poppy answered “Gerard’s mother did, too, but then she got a text from him saying that something had come up. I’m guessing that that something was whatever happened between the two of you” she added.

Molly let out a quiet sigh. “I told you that I’ve been letting Ava set me up on dates, didn’t I?” she asked.

Poppy nodded.

“She talked me into giving her one last shot” Molly continued “She told me that she knew another guy, and that she thought we’d be a good match, and I decided to go along with it. I went to the restaurant, and I sat at a table, and when my date arrived, it was...it was Gerard” she admitted.

Poppy sat up quickly, looking down at her younger sister in surprise. “Ava set you and Gerard up?” she asked.

The smile that Molly answered with was pained as she shook her head slightly. “I thought that she had” she said “Gerard let me think that she had, but she hadn’t. Ava had set me up with some guy that she worked with, but he was going to stand me up. Gerard had overheard her on the phone call and he just...he thought he could just stand in. So what I thought was potentially a date, was really just him trying to spare my feelings because Ava’s friend wasn’t going to be there” she explained.

Poppy was quiet for a moment, taking in what Molly had said, before she frowned slightly. “I know he lied” she said carefully “But he was just trying to stop you from getting hurt. He has always done that. It doesn’t sound like much of a reason to be upset with him” she added.

Molly fiddled with a piece of her hair, determinedly avoiding Poppy’s eyes.

Poppy watched her before she let out a quiet gasp, something which made Molly flinch slightly. She hadn’t said it before. Every time that anyone asked, she always dismissed it, pointing out just how long she and Gerard had known one another and the fact that neither of them had tried to change what they were to one another, but the look on Poppy’s face told her that she had figured it out, and that Molly was finally going to have to say the words out loud.

“You…?” Poppy trailed off.

“Did I ever tell you why Tiago actually broke up with me?” Molly tried to keep her voice light, but failed.

Poppy covered her mouth with a hand. “Gerard?” she asked.

Molly quirked a rueful smile as she nodded. “I thought he was just being stupid” she said “Me and Gerard have always been the same, so I always dismissed his worries. I didn’t lie when I said that Tiago didn’t want to settle down, but I might have omitted the fact that he thought that I had feelings for Gerard, and that that was why he wasn’t interested in moving forwards. After we broke up, I thought about what he said and I...I realised that he might have a point” she added.

“You have feelings for Gerard?” Poppy asked.

Molly nodded her head.

“Then why ask Ava to set you up?” Poppy pressed.

“Because I thought it was just me” Molly answered “Because I didn’t want to jeopardize the relationship I have had with him since we were kids. I adore him, Pop, and I didn’t want to make things weird, but then he was at the restaurant where Ava had arranged my date, and I thought...”

“You thought that he maybe felt the same way” Poppy finished for her.

Molly hesitated for a beat before she nodded her head. “And now I feel stupid” she admitted “Because he wasn’t supposed to be there. So I chose to be pissed at him, but I have no idea where to go from here. So it looks like our friendship is going to get ruined anyway, which is great. Because it’s not like I adore him or anything” she added, letting out a humourless laugh.

Poppy’s expression was sympathetic, but Molly knew that she didn’t know what to say, and it was a relief. She didn’t know that there was anything that Poppy could say that she would want to hear. Letting out a quiet sigh, Poppy gently wrapped her arms around her, coaxing Molly into a hug that they stayed in until their mother appeared at the door, announcing that they were about to bring out the birthday cake. Poppy followed immediately, but Molly hung back for a moment. Pushing a hand back through her hair, she tried, and failed to dismiss the knots in her stomach before she reluctantly followed, wishing that she had never asked Ava for her help.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)