It Was Meant To Be

Molly dreams of two things: getting into her first-choice university and finding true love. Music-loving slacker Zayn also dreams of two things:winning the battle of the bands- and winning Molly.He is determined to make her fall in love with him.


5. Cafeteria Survivor

Cafeteria Survivor

2nd September, 6th Period

Zayn's POV

If the sign in the cafeteria that says Welcome Back! Was telling the truth, it wouldn't say that. It would say sucks to be you!

Everyone in the cafeteria is so fake. Especially the girls. They are all kissing and hugging every other girl, even the ones they bitched about behind their backs last year. It's all ridiculous. As if we couldn't wait to get away from each other at the end of last year. These people have been programmed by society to believe that if you're popular and pretty and perky you'll lead a fulfilling life. Don't they know it's always the geeks that turn out to be most successful later on?

I'm still standing by the door. If Mike and Josh didn't have lunch this period, I would definitely bail for Subway. Well, maybe it is entertaining to watch them play Cafeteria Survivor

as if a million pounds were actually at stake.

Rules of Cafeteria Survivor

1. Always look like you know what you're doing. Everything you do is intentional. Even if yout tray tips over and you spill your entire lunch all over yourself, remember: you meant to do that.

2. Always look like you're having the best time. If you're sitting with people you hate because there's no one else to sit with, act like you like them. Anything is better than sitting alone.

3. Always try to sit with other people, even if you're hovering at the end of a table. However, if you are forced to sit by yourself due to severe ostracism, read something and sigh a lot. This will create a mysterious aura about you, one that sends out the message: my life is so extremely hectic that I really need to break away from civilization right now. Please do not disturb. Thanks so much.

4. Always complain about the food. Do this even if you like it. Note: an exception can be made for pizza that actually looks and tastes like pizza. But only if the crust is not soggy.

5. Do not, under any circumstances, get voted off the island.

I think the last rule sums up the basic difference between them and me. I don't care if I get voted off the island.

Emerging from the line, I scan the tables to scope out the best location for people-watching. It's one of my hobbies. Seeing how people interact, imagining how they're feeling, sometimes overhearing bits of conversation. . it always gives me ideas for lyrics.

I head towards the far windows. I put my tray down on an empty table. When Mike and Josh get here, the main thing we have to discuss is recording our demo. We've been working all summer to save up for studio time. Also, we need to decide what we're playing for Battle of the Bands.

I sit down and contemplate the fries.

''Hey, Zayn!'' a girly voice screeches at me.

I look up to see an enormous pair of tits bouncing my way. They're attached to Cynthia. I haven't talked to her since last April. That's when she gave me this she gave me this ultimatum that she had to be my girlfriend or else and that's when I said I wasn't looking for a relationship. But the truth is, I didn't want to get serious with her.

''Hey, Cynthia,'' I reply to be polite. But I want her to go away. I'm in such a different place now. It's crazy that I ever wanted her, even if it was just a physical thing.

She puts her hands on the table and leans over. You can totally see down her low-cut tank top.

I guess it isn't that crazy.

''What's up?'' she says.


''Yeah, so. . . some of us are getting together at Zack's tonight. His parents are still in Barbados.''

Cynthia inches across the table so her face is right in front of mine. ''In the mood to party?''

''Not so much,'' I say. ''Sorry.''

Her smile quickly disappears. I felt a twinge of guilt for making her feel bad. But I was pretty clear about things before.

''Oh,'' she says. ''Whatever.''

There's a second of regret when she walks away and I get a look at her ass in those jeans. I remember what her ass looks like out of those jeans. But then I remember Rachael and how Cynthia can make me feel great, but only for a few hours.

Josh comes racing up to the table. ''Zayn! What up? Long-time no see!''

He saw me three days ago.

Josh smacks his tray down and grabs my arm.

''Whoa, dude! You're, like, huge! You been working out''

''Ha,'' I say.

''Dude! You are not going to believe what happened to me yesterday! I was down the shore at my brother's place and you know how. . .''

And his stories are endless.

I'm still letting him ramble on when Mike arrives.

''Hey, man,'' Mike says holding his hand out giving me a high five.


Mike is my best friend. He's into everything I am. Music, writing poetry and lyrics, playing backgammon and chess, brainy chicks. We also like the same old-school bands like The Cure and R.E.M. We mostly have the same musical influences. Josh digs our style, so he kind of goes along with whatever we do.

Suddenly Josh yells, ''Senior year, men! We rule the school! Par-tay!'' Then he proceeds to bounce up and down on the bench.

All the drastic bouncing makes Mike spill Coke on his shirt. It's like there always has to be some kind of conflict between them. Josh is this total spontaneous, wild drummer type. His personality tends to contradict Mike's, who's constantly planning and analysing everything and I'm like the sensitive, introspective one. Together, we make one killer band.

''Dude,'' Mike puts his hand on Josh's shoulder.

''Chill. What's the matter with you?''

''What's the matter with me, baby? What's the matter with you?'' Josh jokes in his best Danny Zuko voice. The school play last year was Grease, and Josh played John Travolta's character and he was actually really good. His goal is to be an actor. My goal is to be a musician. A lot of our conversations involve complaining about how the world keeps telling us to give up now while we still have a chance to make something of ourselves.

Mike ignores him. ''Have you seen her yet?'' he asks me.

''No,''I say.

Subtle is not part of Josh's vocabulary. He's all, ''Woo-hoo! Zayn's in love. He's in lust! Zayn's got --''

''Hey, Dude? Chill.'' Something in Mike's voice makes Josh actually shut up and eat his lunch.

Mike knows all about the Molly thing. Josh knows, too, but it's different with him. Josh lives for relationship drama. He's notorious for public displays of mortification with ex-girlfriends in random hallways but like me, Mike's also looking for something real. I just don't think he knows it yet. He loves the chase. He's never satisfied with what he gets.

''Let's see your schedule,'' Mike says to Josh.

We all get our schedules out and determine that the only things the three of us have in common are lunch and gym. The only other thing I have with Mike is history.

''Did you get that new bass?'' Josh asks Mike.

They're talking, but I tune them out.

I finally see her.

She just in with Shania. She’s hugging her notebook and looking different, but the same. Better, if that's even possible. I mean, she was hot before, but now she's . . . I almost have a fit when she turns around and looks towards my table. Every fantasy I've had this summer comes back to me. Every scenario from all those sweaty nights in bed, listening to my iPod.

Mike feels the vibe and follows my stare.

''Whoa. What did she do?''

Josh takes one look and says, ''That's what's up.


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