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.

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24. I Enjoy a Good Pen

I Enjoy a Good Pen

27th October, 2.54 p .m.

Molly's POV

Normally I like to be experiment with how long I can possibly stay in bed after the alarm goes off and still catch the bus. But today, half an hour before I had to get up, I bolted out of bed like it was on fire.

The highlight of the day was when I put this really complicated problem on the board in calculus that took for ever and then it wasn't even the right problem.

All I've been able to think about since I woke up is this, and now it's here.

When I walk into Music Theory. Zayn's already there. Robert is sitting next to Shania.

Mr Hornby come up to me and says, "Molly, may I see you a minute?"

He pulls me over to the side of the room and gets this tone like we go way back. "I told Zayn that he would have a new partner starting today." Mr Hornby jingles some change in his pocket. "He suggested switching partners with you. He knows how bright you are and he says you have similar tastes in music. I think you'd be much better for Zayn-- he could use motivation. Shania and Robert are both fine with switching." He clears his throat. "Would you have a problem working with Zayn from now on?"

I remind myself how to speak.

"No," I say to loudly. Then I'm paranoid that Zayn heard and thought I meant no, I don't want to switch. "I don't mind."

"Great." Mr Hornby smiles at me like he's relieved I didn't try to get out of it. "Thanks for being flexible, Molly"

"Sure."

While Mr Hornby starts explaining what we're doing today, I go over and sit next to Zayn like it's nothing.

"Hey," Zayn says.

"Hey," I say.

And then my pack of confidence disintegrates like a meteoroid burning though the atmosphere.

Zayn's chair is facing mine because that's how we're working with our partners from now on. So there's nowhere to hide. He sits with his legs spread apart and his arms crossed. I look at his light yellow T-shirt that has Atari in green, his faded jeans with the ripped knees, his black Converse high-tops...anywhere but his eyes. The muscles on his arms. Right at his crotch...look away!

I blush furiously like I have a sudden lethal fever. I know Zayn just saw me look at his crotch. Now he probably thinks I want him. Which of course I do, but I don't want him to know it yet.

Mr Hornby finishes whatever it was he was saying. Everyone's taking out their sheet music. I pretend like I've been listening to him the whole time and get out the first sheet in my folder.

"Molly?" Zayn says.

"Yeah?" I put the sheet on my music stand.

"I think we're working on--"

"I know." I interrupt in a panic. I am mortified. Now he probably thinks I want him and I'm inept. "I was just seeing something." I pretend to analyse some notes in the third measure. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Zayn take out Remembering the Beatles. I wait a few more seconds before I take out my copy.

"So," he says. "I guess we're partners now."

"Yeah. I guess so."

I smile so he knows it's Okay with me. He smiles back,  and my heart does this entire gymnastics routine.

"Do you mind?" He asks.

"No. It's fine."

I can't put my sheet music on the stand because he'll see my hand shaking, so I hold it in my lap.

We actually manage to get to work done during class. Zayn's really into it because we're writing our own music soon. I love music and worship anyone who loves it even more than I do. So when Zayn tells me he already writes his own songs, I'm delirious.

I like how we work together. We help each other without being annoying. We laugh at all the same things and it's so weird, because we have this instant connection like we've known each other for a long time. I feel it really strongly at one point. I try to see if he feels it, too, but I can't tell.

Mr Hornby comes over and sees that we've finished the assignment before everyone else. He looks it over and decides that it's wonderful. "It appears that the two of you work well together," he says.

"I think so." Zayn looks at m with a glint in his eyes.

Totally hypnotic

"So," I say. "Where are you applying?"

Zayn goes, "Applying to what?"

He has the best sense of humour and he does it so seriously you would never know he's joking but then it sounds like he doesn't even know what he wants to do and he doesn't exactly answer my question. I knew he was in a band and I can already tell he's an awesome musician, but how can he seriously think this rock-star fantasy will actually come true?

Shania is yelling at Robert. Something about how he messed up two whole lines of notes. I feel bad that she has to put up with him but not bad enough to switch back or anything. I owe her big-time.

"So," Zayn says.
"So," I say.

"You know how to play Dots?"

I get this immediate tingle of excitement. I'm a game fanatic but everyone else pretty much stopped wanting to play them after junior high.

"What's that?" I say.

"You've never played Dots before?"

"I don't think so."

"Dude." Zayn opens his notebook. He writes Dots-Molly and Zayn- Volume One on top of the page.

I look at his T-shirt again. I bet it feels really soft.

I don't know what it is about him or what it is with all this. It's like nothing's happening, but at the same time everything is.

"What?" he says.

I think I might have been staring at him with my mouth hanging open.

"Nothing," I say.

Zayn draws a few dots on the page. Then he's like, "Oh, man. This pen sucks." He digs  another one out of his bag. "I hate blotchy pens."

"I know!"

"I enjoy a good pen."

"Totally."
No one's ever got me about my obsession with quality pens. Scott couldn't even see the difference between a 99p store pen a Gelly Roll. It used to drive me crazy.

Class ends way too soon. I wish I could stay here for the rest of the day, playing Dots with Zayn.

As soon as he leaves, I dash over to Shania.

"Thank you so very much," I say. "I majorly owe you." I feel exhilarated but exhausted.

"You're telling me?" Shania is clearly only feeling the exhausted part.

"How was it with Robert?"

"Infuriating. He can't tell the difference between a crotchet and a quaver. I'm like, It's practically November. What have you been doing all year?"

"You said that?"
"No but I should have."

"Are you sure you want to do this?" I ask her. "Because I can come back with you."

"No, can't. Something real is happening. Resistance would be futile." Shania sounds resigned to fate."

"You're always  so sure about everything. Don't you ever have any doubts?"

"Sure," she says. "But don't tell anyone I'm human. My dad would kill you."

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