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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28. Real Love

Real Love

7th November, 4.46 p.m

Molly's POV

I recognize The Look and this overwhelming feeling that goes with it. I already know I'm not going to be able to focus on my homework tonight or probably for the rest of the year. I'm just sitting here with Zayn in his car, but just this much is already too exciting.

I try to remember how to breathe.

I try to remember that I already have a boyfriend.

I have to get out of this car.

My eyes scan his. I want to memorize every detail of his face. I never want to forget how this feels.

Zayn is still leaning towards me. The force between us is so strong. It would be so easy to kiss him right now. Every part of me wants to.

But it wouldn't be right. Not yet.

"I guess I better go," I say.

He stops leaning.

It takes all my strength to push open the door.

I go around to Zayn's side and stand there. The world spins around me. For the first time I can remember, I'm not freezing outside in November. It actually feels warm.

I stare at Zayn. He looks back at me with such an intensity I expect the glass to shatter.

I press my hand against his window. He presses his hand on the other side of mine.

For a while, we stay like that. With our hands pressed together, separated by glass.

 

It's good that tomorrow is Saturday, because I would be a total zombie if there was school. I think I fell asleep around four thirty. All I could think about was Zayn and what to tell Andrew. Not that Andrew would be shocked to hear it right now. I've been kind of pulling away and avoiding him. Then I told him I needed to take a break this weekend for some alone time.

The bad part about today being Saturday is that I'm still waiting for Zayn to call. I've been waiting all morning. I glance at the clock. It says 12.32. Why hasn't he called?? Maybe he sleeps really late and we don't have call-waiting, so I'm not calling anyone until I hear from Zayn. I called Shania and Elizabeth last night, so they know everything. Elizabeth totally thinks I should go for it. Shania said I shouldn't have even got a ride home from Zayn until I broke up with Andrew. Which completely goes against what she was saying before, but whatever. It's obvious that I have to dump Andrew.

I decide to do a new page in my sketchbook about yesterday and another one about how to tell Andrew it's over. That should kill a couple of hours. Then it'll be afternoon, and Zayn will probably call by then but what if he feels shot down because I didn't kiss him yesterday? Doesn't he know how much I like him? I'm sure he knows that I wanted to kiss him, but I can't kiss him and still be Andrew's girlfriend. Even if it is just a technicality at this point.

After an hour of staring at my blank sketchbook page, it's obvious that capturing the feelings of yesterday on a page is impossible. I decide that working on my dream-home design would probably be more effective. I pick out a thin charcoal stick and outline the master bedroom.

I glance at the clock. It's 1:46. Is he thinking about me at all?

I sketch the walk-in closet and bathroom. The bathroom is huge with separate areas for the sink and bath and post-modern taps with water flowing over a chrome plate into the bath, like a mini waterfall.

It's 2:17. Why doesn't the boy call?

I throw my pencil down on my desk. I stomp into the living room, fling myself on the couch, and pick up the remote. Seventy-three channels and nothings on! Not even a repeat of Big Bang Theory makes me feel better.

3.05.

I try to eat an apple but I'm too nervous to eat it all. I throw the other half out.

3.11.

Maybe I should take a nap. Why don't boys come with a  users manual?

I lie down on my bed and toss my blanket on top of me. I close my eyes. Zayn is all my eyes I can see. Even when they're closed. Which just reminds me that he still hasn't called.

By the time I get up, the clock says 5.48. I'm going to go insane if the phone doesn't ring right now.

Right now right now right now.

No response from the phone.

Does he even remember who I am?

Trying to do my homework would be pointless. I camp out in front of the TV for the next few hours.

Then the phone finally rings.

I try to adjust my voice so it won't sound like I think it might be him. "Hello?"

"Hey," Zayn says.

This tidal wave of relief crashes over me. "Hey, you."

"Sorry for calling so late. My dad  was going over college stuff with me all day."

"Oh...that's OK. It's not that late." I glance at the clock. It says 9.25.

This was officially the longest day of my life.

"I wanted to tell you that I had a great time yesterday," Zayn says.

I swear, he's, like, the perfect boy.

"Me, too."

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"Cool," he says. "So what'd you do today?"

"Not much. Just...work and...stuff."

"That's cool."

"Yeah."

"So, I was wondering. If...you were thinking about... like, do you think you should tell Andrew about...um...?"

"Yeah," I say.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Cool."

I think I just agreed to break up with Andrew.

So the next day at the arcade, I go, "We need to talk."

Elizabeth taps the eight ball. It falls into the corner pocket.

"Let me guess," Shania says. "No wait. I don't have to. I'm sure it's about Zayn."

"Yeah."

"I thought you decided--"

"Can I just tell you what happened?"

"Something happened?" Elizabeth says. "Like, happened happened?"

I bite my lip to stop the smile, but the smile wins. "Yeah," I tell the orange ball.

They race to my side of the pool table and crowd round me.

"Zayn called me last night and I agreed to break up with Andrew."

Elizabeth's eyes are huge.

Shania goes, "So when are you dumping him?"

"I'm seeing if he can drive me to the mall after school tomorrow. I'm going to do it there."

"Good." Shania says. "I like the public-place approach. That way if he gets in your face, he'll look like a psycho."

"Anyway, it's not like he'll be surprised," I say. "Things haven't been right between us for a while."

Elizabeth nods. "It's a case of fake love. It's classic. I used to do this all the time."

I go, "Huh?"

"You know, fake love. As opposed to real love."

"Define." Shania puts down her pool stick.

"It's like fake love is what you had with Andrew," Maggie explains. "You wanted to be in love with him so badly that you convinced yourself it was possible and he's not really who you wished he was, but you wanted a boyfriend so you settled for him but all along you were like 'I want the whole package. I know he's out there.' And then Zayn comes along, and everything clicks and now you realize he's what you wanted all along." Elizabeth taps her pool stick on the table. "That's real love."

"Sounds like something real." Shania clears her throat.

"The thing with Zayn and me is...we're just so connected."

"You love that," I say.

Shania smiles. "I'll admit it's sweet but the whole idea of true love is ludicrous."

"I disagree!" Elizabeth says. "Anyway, I'm psyched for you! Everything you want is finally happening." She hugs me. "Too bad...my life is over."

And just like that, she's crying.

Shania shoots me a look.

I hug Elizabeth back. "What's wrong?"

She sniffs. "I found out something last night..."

She starts crying even harder.

I'm paralysed with fear, imagining what it could be. Shania digs in her bag for a tissue.

Elizabeth takes a shaky breath. "It's my dad."

"What happened?"  Shania asks.

"Is he OK?" I say.

"Sure. He's just great." Elizabeth blows her nose. "Him and his whole other family in New York."

"What?" I say.

"My dad has this whole other family in New York. We found out last night. He came back from one of his business trips, and Mum started yelling at him. She knew something was going on the whole time but she never said anything to me."

"Shit," Shania says.

"They went into their room, and I could hear them fighting. Well, more like Mum was hysterical and Dad was trying to calm her down. Then he left with his suitcase. He didn't even say bye to me or anything."

"That is so messed up," I say.

"And get this. It turns out every time he went to New York overnight, which was, like, every time, he would stay at his other house with his girlfriend and her two kids." Her voice cracks. "They don't even know about me."

"I'm so sorry, Betty." I hug her again while she cries. Shania shakes her head at the pool table. Eventually, Elizabeth says, "Let's bail.."

So the one relationship I looked up to was a mirage all along. Like what I've had with Andrew and what I hope I never have with Zayn.

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