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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6. Staring At Me

 

Staring At Me

 

2nd September, English

 

Molly's POV

 

When I see Scott in English, I completely forget what it was about him that made me be his girlfriend last year. Before I realized I wanted more and dumped him.

 

He looks at me. I quickly look away. I was lucky I got out that relationship. Shania is saving a seat for me in the front. So I can avoid Scott, who's in the back wrestling with his bag, which I'm sure is already over packed with books. I've had enough guy traumas for one day.

 

''Good morning, genius prototypes,'' Mr Carver booms. ''Welcome to the most demanding class of your entire high-school career.''

 

Um, yeah. That seems a bit pretentious. I swear, the guy is on such an ego trip about English. I had him last year for honours. He thinks whatever he teaches is all that and a bag of Munchos. As if they even give us good stuff to read. It's like the reading list was established in 1927 and hasn't been updated. Ever.

 

Shania slips me a note. We started passing notes about the Caitlin situation in calculus. Right before she had to restrain me from strangling Joe Zedepski. He already had his calculator out. His huge graphing calculator that we don't even need yet because it's only the first day. The one he just had to put right at the edge of his desk, teetering precariously, just waiting to fall off. Anyway, it's most excellent that I have two classes with Shania. Plus we have lunch with Elizabeth next.

 

I unfold the note in my lap. It says:

 

Molly,

 

Forget her. She's a scumbag.

 

Your number-one fan,

 

Shania

 

I write back:

 

Shania,

 

Forget who?

 

Your fan club president,

 

Molly

 

Shania's right. Caitlin's not worth it and if Dave doesn't even like me, then it doesn't matter, anyway.

 

***************************************************************************************************************

 

On our way to lunch, the hall is beyond clogged. While we're inching towards the cafeteria, I practise a visualization exercise. I picture myself with my ideal boyfriend. Then I put the image in a pink bubble and let it float out into the universe.

 

True love is in my immediate future.

 

We get pushed through the doorway.

 

''There,'' Shania says. She points to a half-empty table.

 

We put our stuff down and get in line. I grab a tray and utensils and a bunch of napkins. I slide my tray towards a culinary destination of . . . what the frig is that? Fried turtle? I decide to pass and get a sandwich instead and there's fries, so it's not a total disaster.

 

''Where's Elizabeth?'' Shania asks.

 

''I don't know.''

 

We sit down. Shania is all hyper about filling, me in on the details of her upcoming dissections in Biology. That nervous-stomach-first-day-of-school feeling is competing with my hunger.

 

Elizabeth throws her bag down on our table.

 

''Where were you?'' I ask. ''I was getting scared that you weren't in this lunch anymore.''

 

''I was working on my goal,'' Elizabeth says.

 

Shania goes ''Huh?''

 

''You know. To be smarter.''

 

''Yeah, I remember,'' Shania says. ''I just don't get how you could instantaneously become smarter between fifth period and now.''

 

'' I tried to get into your history class,'' Elizabeth tells me.

 

I'm like, ''Are you still on that? Don't worry about --''

 

''They wouldn't let me in. See? I told you. It's all planned according to brain size.''

 

''Excuse me,'' Shania retorts. ''But if you weren't smart, would we be hanging about with?''

 

''Heck no,'' I add. ''Then I'd have more time to spend with my boyfriend.''

 

''And what boyfriend would that be?'' Elizabeth asks me.

 

''You know. Jake.''

 

''OK.'' Shania says. ''For the last and final time? Jake Gyllenhal? Is not your boyfriend. He's a movie star and sorry to burst your bubble, but last I heard he was dating someone that was not you.''

 

''Yeah, well. . .my brain's bigger than hers.''

 

''And I'm sure that's what he's interested in,'' Elizabeth says. ''A girl with big brains.''

 

''Can we please just focus on real people?'' Shania begs.

 

''Hi,'' Andrew says.

 

Who is suddenly standing right next to me.

 

I gag on a fry and have this uncontrollable coughing fit that last for what seems like a lifetime.

 

''Oh, hi,'' I squeak. I gulp my iced tea. I try to wipe grease off my fingers, but I can't get the napkin to work right. I look at Elizabeth. She's just drinking her juice, unfazed. But if there were a thought bubble over her head, it would be screaming, I TOLD YOU SO!

 

''Is this seat taken?''Andrew says. He's referring to the seat next to me. Which is empty.

 

''Uh, no,'' I stammer.

 

Shania starts eating her meat loaf, enraptured with the nutritional information on her milk carton. I know that if she looks up at me, she will explode.

 

Andrew puts his tray down. He sits next to me. Really close on the bench. Which is unnecessary, since no one is sitting on the whole rest of the bench.

 

I try to breathe normally.

 

Anndrew goes,''So, how was your Summer?''

 

''Good,'' I say. ''Um. This is Elizabeth.''

 

''Hi.''

 

''Hi.''

 

''And um. . . do you know Shania?''

 

''No, but I've heard off her.'' He looks over at shania and smiles.

 

''Oh?'' Shania is sceptical.''What did you hear?''

 

''Just that you're brilliant.'' Andrew turns to me.

 

''Both of you.'' He stares right at me. His eyes look like he's trying to show me how much he likes me without saying anything.

 

''Elizabeth's also brilliant,'' Shania says.

 

Elizabeth snorts.

 

Andrew is just,like,staring at me.

 

I can't believe that the cutest boy ever is talking to me. To me. Maybe he really did want my number when he asked for it.

 

I feel myself turning red and I stand up. ''I'm um - do you want anything? I need juice.'' I leave without waiting for an answer, because now my face is bright red and it's just too embarrassing.

 

I get back in line to buy juice that I don't want. I'm dying to know what Andrew is saying to them. I can't believe I'm such a freak. I give myself instructions like Do not turn red and Just relax. Remember, he came over to you. Chill. Be in the moment. Be Zen.

 

While I'm digging change out of my pocket, I drop a pound. I bend down to pick it up and bang my head against someone who went to pick it up at the same time.

 

I rub my head and stand up. I'm looking at Zayn Malik.

 

He holds my pound out.

 

''Oh - sorry! Sorry!'' he stammers. ''Are you OK?'' He looks mortified.

 

''Sure,'' I tell him. ''Thanks.'' I take my pound back.

 

''You have to watch these things every second,'' Zayn says. ''They're always trying to get away.''

 

I laugh. ''Totally! These pounds just don't know how to act.''

 

The thing about Zayn is he has these amazing chocolate brown eyes. You could stare at his eyes for days and still want more. I used to talk to him in art last year. It was the only class I've ever had with him since junior high. I kind of got the feeling he liked me, but he never did anything about it so I wasn't sure. It was probably just those eyes that got in the way of my typical logical thinking patterns. Anyway, slacker rock-star wannabes aren't my type.

 

I pay for my juice and get ready to go back to my possible future boyfriend. I'm so nervous that my heart feels like it's going to beat right out of my chest and run down the street the second I see Andrew. Obviously, my path to inner peace is a long, complicated one.

 

I creep back to the table and sit down. Elizabeth is laughing at something Andrew just said.

 

He turns to me. ''Did you hear the one about the three guys driving through the desert?''

 

''No, I missed that one.'' I glance at Shania for signs of what Andrew said while I was gone. But she just smiles at me. She obviously loves every minute of this.

 

Andrew goes, ''These three guys are driving through the desert, and their car breaks down. So they decide to get out and walk. The first guy says, 'I'm taking the Doritos in case we get hungry.' And the second guy says, 'I'll carry our water bottles.' But the third guy starts taking off one of the car doors. So the first guy goes,' What are you doing?' And the third guy says,'I'm taking the door with us.' The second guy's like,'Why?' And the third guy says,' In case it gets really hot. So I can roll down the window.'''

 

The joke is so corny that it's hilarious. I laugh until my face hurts.

 

Suddenly Elizabeth's like, ''I have to go to the bathroom,'' and she gets up. ''And so do you.'' She grabs Shania's arm and pulls her away. I know that Shania just went before lunch.

 

''So, what do you like to do on weekends?'' Andrew says.

 

''Um. . .I like to read,'' I tell him.

 

''Really?'' he says like it's the most interesting thing he's heard in his life. ''Me, too! What are you reading right now?''

 

''Besides the five books for English that are due tomorrow?'' I say. ''I'm reading It.''

 

''What?''

 

''It.''

 

''What?''

 

''Oh, no, that's the name of the book. It. By Stephen King.''

 

''He rules. Did you read The Shinging?''

 

''Oh my god! I love that book. I've read it a million times.''

 

''Really?'' Andrew smiles at me.

 

''No. Just three. And the movie rocked.''

 

''Yeah, it was cool. So, you like movies?''

 

Who doesn't like movies? ''Of course.''

 

''Do you want to see one this weekend?'' Andrew asks.

 

He did it.

 

He actually asked me out.

 

I start to turn red.

 

I tell myself: Do not turn red! Stop it!

 

But it's too late.

 

Andrew notices. ''I'm sorry, I didn't mean to . . .''

 

''No, it's okay.'' I try to hide my face behind my juice bottle. ''It's just really hot in here.'' It's just really hot in here? Please tell me I didn't just say that.

 

''So.'' he says. ''What do you think?''

 

He can't possibly still want to go out with me.

 

''About what?''

 

''About going out with me Saturday.''

 

It takes every bit of my willpower to remain sitting on the bench instead of jumping up and dancing on the table. This unbelievably gorgeous guy likes me! Apparently, spending the summer visualizing that a Greek god is into you really does work.

 

''Sure,'' I say.

 

''That sounds convincing!'' Andrew says. But I can tell he's teasing me.

 

''No! I really want to.''

 

This makes him smile. ''So do I.'' He's looking at me again with that look.

 

It is at this precise moment that Shania arrives back at the table.

 

''Helloooo!'' she trumpets.''Lunch is over. That's why everyone's leaving , in case you haven't noticed.''

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