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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33. One of Those Talks

One of Those Talks

29th November, 4.51 pm

Zayn's POV

"Try not to highlight so much, though,"she says.

We're in my room. I spent three hours cleaning it yesterday so Molly wouldn't find out what a slob I am.

So far, she helped me make a schedule of everything I have to do. She says I'm all cute with my day planner. I also asked her for help with my essays. She seems into it. Which rocks, because now we finally have something substantial on common. Besides the million other little things that make me feel so comfortable around her.

Now she's demonstrating study skills.

"But this whole section looks important," I say. "And using the highlighter is fun."

"Yeah, but you should only be selecting the key ideas."

We're doing study sessions at my house twice a week. Molly's trying to be patient. I'm sure this is much harder than she thought it would be. My study habits have sucked since 1st year. It's so hard to change, even when you want to but I promised her I would try and so far I've been getting all A's.

My parents aren't home. It's hard to focus on this stuff when the knowledge that my parents aren't home is draining my power of concentration.

"It looks like it," Molly says, "But it's not."

"Maybe just..." She slowly swipes the highlighter over a sentence. "And..." She highlights another one. It's all the same to me. It's like she has this knack for knowing exactly what every teacher wants. Was I zoning out when they explained how to do this in primary three?

"I hate history," I say.

"Same here," she says.

"You do?"

"Totally."

"Then why do you care so much?"

"This stuff doesn't matter. What matters is what you do with it." Molly snaps the highlighter cap on. "I try not to think about how boring it is. I just keep reminding myself about how I want my life to be and what I have to do to get there. Then it's simple."

She is way determined to succeed. My goals haven't inspired the same amount of motivation for me but now I have some reasons to quit slacking. A few kids came up to me after the Battle of the Bands and said they liked MindFlame, but it's obvious that most people think we suck. So the band's not exactly going anywhere at the moment and now I really want Manhattan Music Academy to take me but mostly, there's Molly.

After an hour of reading and trying to restrict my highlighting addiction to key concepts, I couldn't be more exhausted. A nap would be good right about now but Molly's over on my bed, tearing through a pile of physics handouts like I'm going to give her a test any second. She looks so sexy leaning back against my pillows like that. Mike always laughs that I have so many pillows. He's always joking about, Where are the stuffed animals? But he doesn't get it. Girls love my pillows. They make the bed more inviting.

And my parents still aren't home.

I go over and sit on my bed. Molly sorts the pile of paper into smaller piles.

"When do we get a break?" I ask.

"According to our contractual agreement," Molly says, "break time doesn't happen until you're done with your homework for at least one subject."

"I'm done."

"With what?"

"History."

"You were still on history?"

"Yeah, but I'm done now."

Molly looks at me sceptically.

"I'm serious. I'm ready for my break."

"OK." Molly stretches her arms out. "I guess we could take a break. A short one."

"What should we do?" I attempt to telepathically convince Molly to announce that we should hook up.

"Talk," she says.

"Oh. Yeah. Well...OK."

"Is there something you'd rather do?"

"Who, me? Nah. Talking's good."

"Good." Molly pulls her legs against her chest. She wraps her arms around her legs.

"What do you want to talk about?" I try to get comfortable.

"Relationships," she says.

Suddenly things take on a serious tone. I hope this isn't one of those talks where you have to go over the details of ever single girl you've ever jerked off to. Molly doesn't seem like the jealous type but you never know.

"OK," I say.

"I was just wondering..." Molly traces her finger in circles on her knee.

"Yeah?" Maybe we'll be done talking soon and she'll want to hook up. If we still have some break time left. I try to arrange my expression so it appears interested.

"Have you ever...I mean I know I'm not your first girlfriend or anything, but...were you ever...like...seriously about anyone else?"

I take a few seconds before answering. Girls ask you things that sound one way but really mean something else. What does Molly want to know? If I ever liked anyone as much as her?

Does she think I'm a virgin?

"Um." I decide clarification is the best approach. "Do you mean did I have a girlfriend for a long time?"

"Yeah."

"Not really."

"Did you ever go out with Cynthia?"

"Sort of." This part can get tricky. Having sex with someone and going out with them are two different things. I never considered Cynthia to be my girlfriend. I don't want to lie to Molly but I also don't want to tell her a bunch of stuff that's just going to make her obsess and worry. Does she really need to know about every girl I've hooked up with? Not that it's that many and is this the right time to admit that I slept with Cynthia? I just think it's unnecessary to tell her all of that. At least, it is at this point. "I haven't had a long-term girlfriend, though."

"How long did you go out with her?"

"Not too long."

"So how long was your longest relationship?"

"Uh...three months?"

"What happened with that girl?"

"You mean why did we break up?"

"Yeah."

"She was kind of neurotic...and, like, really goth and depressing all the time."

"Who was it?"

"You know Brenda?"

Molly nods.

"Brenda."
Molly presses her lips together. She nods some more.

"How long did you and Scott go out for?"

"Most of last year."

"What happened with you guys?" I'm sure she didn't sleep with that dork.

Molly picks a piece of bubble wrap off the floor. My dad got a new computer last week. I kept the bubble wrap from the box. I like to pop it when I'm stressed.

Molly pops the bubble wrap. "Scott's a great guy. It's just... he didn't make my record skip."

I knew it.

I laugh. "Been there."

"Do I?"

"Do you what?"

"Make your record skip?"

"Pretty much,"she says.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah." Molly smiles. She looks so cute.

I lean over.

"Don't go there." She holds up her hand.

"Why not?"

"We have to study."

"But --"

"I want to, but we can't. You have to focus, or you'll never get through everything."

"Man, you're harsh."

"Break is over." Molly picks up one of the physics piles. "Back to work."

"OK...well...am I allowed to go to the store? We're out of snacks."

Molly gives me a look like I'm trying to get out of studying.

"No, I'm serious! If I'm working insane hours, my body requires very specific types of fuel."

"Like what?"

"Like marshmallows and Oreos and --"

"Oooh! The ones with the mint filling?"

"Those would be them."

Molly bites her lip. "OK, you can go."

"Thanks. You want anything else?"

"Just those. Thanks."

"Cool." I don't get up. "Can I have a goodbye kiss?"

"Yeah. But just one!"

"Understood." I crawl over to Molly. She giggles. 

"Just one," I whisper. Then I kiss her.

The hardest thing I do all week is get off my bed and leave the house. While my parents still aren't home.

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