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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11. Living Proof of the Impossible

Living Proof of the Impossible

5th September, 9:43 a.m.

Zayn's POV

I never thought talking to a girl would ever be this hard.

At least  we have Music Theory together. The problem is that we were put into pairs the first day, and so I never get to talk to Molly. She sits all the way across the room with Shania. I could always go up to her after class or something but it's not that simple. How exactly do you get a girl who likes someone else to like you instead?

Mike's philosophy is if a girl likes someone and you want her to like you, you should watch what the guy who she likes does the whatever you see him doing around her, do that. the logic is that since the girl likes this guy so much, she's automatically into the kinds of things he does. Mike's big plan for me is to do the same exact thing that Andrew did. So all I have to do is go up to Molly, talk to her for a few minutes, and then ask her out. Since it's only been three days since Andrew dropped the bomb, I'm not technically scamming on some other guy's girl and Andrew is an asshole who doesn't deserve to be with Molly. And Molly isn't just some random girl.

But I still haven't come up with a feasible enough excuse to talk to her. So I've decided to accidentally-on-purpose cross her path in the hall. Josh found out from Fred that Molly has drafting third period. There's only one way Molly can walk to drafting. So I've scoped out the staircase where some serious serendipity is about to go down. Today's the day.

When second period is almost over, I start packing my bag on the sly. The instant the bell rings, I sprint out of class. The halls are clear. I station myself at the bottom of the small staircase that leads down to the art studio.

I wait.

People moving bump into me.

I wait some more.

And then I see her.

I start to walk up the stairs.

She starts to walk down.

She looks at me.

I smile at her.

My lip sticks to my front tooth.

I say, "Hey."

And that's when I trip. My books go flying all over.

I never thought it was possible to fall up stairs. But here I am. Living proof of the impossible.

I put my hands out to break my fall. My fingers slip on a stair. Some kids behind me run up, pushing me over. I bang my head against the wall. Random pages from my binder, which popped open when it smacked against the floor, are scattered for what appears to be miles in every direction.

Molly bends down to help me up. "Are you OK?" she asks.

I get up quickly like it's no big deal. "Yeah, I'm fine."

"Every time I see you, you're bumping your head!"

And every time I see you, I wish my headboard was bumping against the wall. With you in my bed.

The bell rings.

"Are you sure you're OK?" Molly says.

"Yeah."

"Do you want help picking up your stuff?"

"Oh. Did something fall?"

Molly laughs. This is a good sign. Most girls don't get my sense of humour.

"That's OK," I tell her. "Thanks, though."

"OK, well . . .see you."

"Later."

I watch her walk away. Here was my chance and I blew it and I looked like an idiot for nothing.

Could I be a bigger loser?

By the time all of my paper are shoved into my blinder, I realize I should be in pre-calc. I'm mad late. Well, what do they expect? We do have lives here. Whoever established that there should be only five minutes between periods was obviously designing the rule for a school with like, ten, students. Sometime around 1908. Not that I'm ever in a rush to get to class on time. But still.

The teachers couldn't be more clueless about our lives. The more I think about this as I walk to class, the more annoyed I get. Like, now I'm late, and Mr Perry is going to ask me for a pass, and I don't have one, and he's going to be all, "Why are you late?" And what am I suppose to say? "Oh, sorry, Mr Perry. I was just acting like this deranged stalker, and then I had to humiliate myself in front of the girl I'm dying to get. The humiliation part took longer than I thought." Yeah. That'll work.

I walk into class like I'm not guilty of anything.

Everyone stares at me as if I've committed a murder.

I sit down.

Mr Perry quits speaking in the middle of a sentence. He glares at me.

It's very quiet.

I open my notebook to a new page. I write the date like nothing's wrong.

"Zayn?" says Mr Perry.

"Yeah?"

"Do you have a pass?"

It's like they all read from the same script.

"No," I say. But what I really want to do is jump out of my chair and yell, "Don't you think that if I had a fucking pass I would have fucking given it to you when I walked through the fucking door?!" Then slam my notebook shut and stomp out the door in a triumphant huff but he'll harass me more if I do that.

Then he goes, "Why are you late?"

"Sorry," I say.

Everyone is still staring at me.

"I appreciate your apology, but that doesn't answer my question."

"I was in the bathroom."

"In the bathroom without a pass?"

"That's right. It was an emergency." I shake my head dramatically. "Trust me. You don't want to know."

Everyone giggles. Mr Perry looks embarrassed. "Next time you're late, make sure you have a pass." He goes back to talking about something that is, I assume, of vital importance to our lives.

After a few minutes of everyone writing down what he writes and no one raising their hand to answer his questions, Mr Perry says, "Take out your homework. Let's go over number nine."

Everyone rustles in their notebooks and produces pages that may be homework or are just posing homework until Mr Perry discovers that they are, in fact, not homework. I don't even bother to pretend to look for something that I would never have.

Mr Perry looks at me. "Where's your homework?" He demands.

"I don't have it." I never have it and he knows it. How long is it going to take him to get it?

"Why not?" he barks

"I wouldn't want to shock you with unprecedented behaviour."

It's so quiet I can actually hear the water running in the fountain outside.

Mr Perry slowly walks over to me as if twenty other kids weren't in the room.

He is pink.

He is fuming.

He leans on my desk and says, "I don't like your tone."

"I wasn't aware that I had a particular tone." I say.

"Don't get smart with me!" he threatens.

I'm vaguely aware that this is escalating into a situation. Mr Perry should come with a Parental Advisory sticker. If he thinks being late and not doing homework is suck a life-or-death situation, this dude seriously needs to brush up on his current events.

Mr Perry picks up his hall pass, which is huge protractor with his name on it, and whips it at me. "Go to the guidance office," he says. "I'll be there after class."

I take the pass. I close my notebook. What would be the point of protesting?

When I get to the guidance office, Ms Everman notices me right away. She's practically the only adult here who cares about what happens to us.

"Hi, Zayn." She smiles. "What a Jolly Rancher?"

"No, thanks."

"Are you here to see me?"

"Well, yeah, but not by choice," I tell her.

"Hmm, sounds interesting. Why don't you have a seat?"

I sit in the big stuffed chair. Her office has lots of posters and plants and stuffed animals. The radio plays classical music.

"So," She says. "What's up?"

"I was late to pre-calc, and Mr Perry told me to come here and wait for him."

Ms Everman scrunches her eyes up like she's confused. "Why would he want you to come all the way here just because you were late?"

"I didn't have a pass."

"OK . . ."

"You always have to have a pass with Mr Perry or he has a conniption."

"Why didn't you have a pass?"

"Because I was just late."

"Why were you late?"

There's no way to explain this without telling Ms Everman the whole story about Molly. I mean, that's what guidance counsellors are for, but it's too embarrassing to go into it with her. So I say, "I lost track of time."

"But you're wearing a watch."

"I just . . . wasn't paying attention."

"Yes, that seems to be the story again this year." Ms Everman picks up one of those squishy stress balls from her desk. "I've already had complaints from a few of your teachers that you're not doing homework. Are you planning to keep up the same trend this year?"

"You know me. Homework is against my religion."

"And what religion is that?"

"Dadaism."

"Dadaism isn't a religion," she says. "It's a cult."

"You mean they didn't tell me this whole time?"

"Zayn, if we could be serious for a few minutes here, I'd really like to know what you intend to do about graduating with a decent transcript."

"Other than doing it?"

"What makes you think you'll get into a good college without doing all your work?"

"I always have at least a C average. You know that."

"Yes, but why are you satisfied with that? Especially when we both know you could be doing so much better?"

"I'm fine with it," I tell her.

Ms Everman sighs and shakes her head. "There's a lot  life than just getting by, Zayn."

"It works for me," I say.

"A person with a SAT score of 1450 should have a much higher GPA." She smiles. "But I'm sure we can find some colleges that would be thrilled to have you."

"But--"

"Stop," Ms Everman interrupts. We've had this conversation before. She's been on my case about college since I met her freshman year. I told her wasn't interested in going to college. She told me that I'd realize the error of my ways. Which so far hasn't happened. "I'm serious. Just think about it. Hard."

"OK." I give her a wide-eyed, optimistic look.

The look works. "You know where to find me," she says.

In Music Theory, I'm all frustrated from the conference with Mr Perry and then dean and the writing an essay entitled "Why What I Did Was Wrong and Will Never Happen Again." And now my pen is getting all blotchy. Cheap pens suck. I write a reminder on my hand to get decent pens after school. Then I glance over at Molly. She's laughing at something Shania said.

And that's when it suddenly hits me. A plan that will actually work. I won't have to pose as a deranged stalker with zero potential any more. Molly can see me for who I really am.

It does involve some initial risk, though. In order for it to work, I have to talk to Shania.

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