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.


18. The Problem With Popularity

The Problem With Popularity

4th October, 7:11 pm

Molly POV

I have nothing to wear.

I've already tried on everything in my closet at least twice. Nothing looks good. Tonight we're doing a double date with Caitlin and Matt. Nothing I have even remotely resembles the insanely stylized world that is Caitlin's wardrobe. I'm sure that shirt she was wearing yesterday was more expensive than all of my clothes put together.

I'm huffing and stomping around my room in a frenzy and then I remember. Mum just got this fierce halter to. She was trying to show t to me when she was in a rare good mood the other day. At the time, I was too fixated on the eventual return of her typical nasty mood to care that she was treating me like an actual human being for two seconds but now I want that shirt.

I turn the doorknob and pull my door open slowly so it doesn’t make that sticking noise. Sounds of a low grumbly voice and ridiculously outdated music and Mum’s fake laugh all mean one thing. Howard is here.

Howard is Mum’s current man. She calls him her boyfriend, but I think calling him her boyfriend somehow negates the reality of his wife. I hate Howard. And I hate the way Mum acts when he’s around. As I’m sneaking down the hall to her room, the floor creaks. There’s this one creak that’s impossible to avoid. It shouts me out every time.


“Molly!” Mum screeches. “Come say hi to Howard!” So now with like fifteen minutes left to get ready, I have to go deal with this. He’s sitting on the couch drinking wine. She’s sitting on the rocking chair drinking wine. By the time  Andrew picks me up, the wine will be finished and they’ll both be in her room. Which means I really need to get that shirt now. She won’t even notice me leave with it on. Then I can put it back tomorrow with no problem. I peer around the corner into the living room.

 “Hi,” I say.

 “Hi there,” Howard says. “How’s it going?” I look at the floor. Mum clears her throat. I mumble something that may or may not pass for “fine”.

“What’s new at school?” Howard says.

The sad part is, he really is this clueless.

 “Nothing,” I tell the floor.

 “Why don’t you talk to Howard?” Mum says. I can hear the fake smile she has plastered on her face. They both make me want to scream. I get so furious that I’m forced to be nice to this guy or the guy before him or the guy after him. What’s the point of getting to know someone who’s going to disappear from your life when you least expect it?

 “I’m done talking,” I say. I head back to my room. I’ll try for the shirt again in a few minutes. As I’m about to close my door , Mum smacks it open. She follows me into my room and slams the door. “What’s the matter with you?” she hisses.


“Why can’t you ever be nice to Howard?”

“Um . . . let me think about that.”

“What’s your problem?”

“My problem?” I say.

“Are you serious?” Mum crosses her arms. She glares at me. It’s obvious that she doesn’t really like me. She just keeps me around because she has to.

 “Maybe it’s that I want some privacy,” I say.

“Privacy is a privilege,” Mum says. “You don’t earn it by being rude to guests.”

“Guests? Is that what you’re calling them now?” Mum’s eyes narrow at me. She’s giving me that look she gets right before she starts yelling. But she’d never yell at me while he’s here. It’s like she needs him to think she’s a good mother. Which is a game I don’t feel like playing.

“I have to get ready,” I say. “You can’t just barge in here and start ramming into me.”

Mothers aren’t supposed to act like this. All uncaring about their kid. Only concerned with the way things look to everyone else. And I’m not sympathetic just because she’s had a hard time.

 Mum had me when she was sixteen. After my dad moved away, she dropped out of school and got her GED. Now she sells real estate and complains about how fucked-up her life is. She yells at me how I’m the reason she’s so miserable. Like it’s my fault she didn’t use birth control. So now Mum is angry at the world and angry at me for stealing her childhood, and she’s angry every single day. I don’t think she’s ever going to stop blaming me for something I didn't even do.

I’m tired of this . I need to feel like someone wants to be with me.

 By the time Andrew and I are walking from the car park to the mall, I’m over it. The nervous excitement in my stomach goes into overdrive mode. Even though I’ve hung out a few times with Andrew’s friends, this is the first official double date we’ve been on. And part of me still worries that I’ll do something dorky.

We’re meeting Caitlin and Matt out front. It’s really nice out . It makes me feel like I can hold on to summer for a little longer. Which somehow exacerbates my nerves instead of helping me relax.

“Cool trousers,” Caitlin says when she sees me.

“Where’d you get them?”

 “They’re just these random painter’s trousers,” I say.“I don’t even remember.”

 “That’s hot,” Caitlin says.

This astounds me. Now that I’m sort of popular by default, the cool kids suddenly like my style. The same style they’ve totally ignored for the past three years. I feel like that guy in Can’t Buy Me Love who pays the most popular girl in school a thousand dollars to make him popular . All he has to do is hang out with her, and suddenly everyone thinks he’s the hottest thing since TiVo. Watch my discount trousers turn out to be the latest trend.

 “So,” Matt says. “What are we doing?”

“I don’t know,” Andrew says. “Did you guys eat?”

“I’m starving,” Caitlin says.

 “Let’s eat,” Matt says.

We go inside and walk around the first floor for a while. I feel like I’m all that. Hanging out with the most popular kids in school. The same as every other Saturday night.

Caitlin pulls a pack of Orbit out of her bag. “Gum?” she says.

“No, thanks,” I say. I don’t get the point of gum. You just chew it? I mean, I can see if you’re having a breath issue. But recreational chewing? And then there are those girls who cram a whole pack of grape Bubble Yum into their mouth and chomp it all loud with their mouth smacking open like a cow.Like Caitlin’s doing. It’s beyond repulsive. But she’s Caitlin, so she can get away with it.

When we get to the escalator, I miss the first step and stumble.

Matt goes, “That walking thing’s still a challenge for you, huh?”

 Everyone laughs. I laugh with them. But I don’t mean it.

Standing in line at the food court, I try to be myself. But I forget how I usually stand when I’m myself.

 Caitlin gets a salad. This is apparently what size-zero stick-figure cheerleaders eat when they’re starving. I really want a cheeseburger and onion rings. But so I don’t look like a whale I get a salad, too. As if I can eat anything being this nervous.

 “Oooh!” Caitlin squeaks. “And I love your shoes! Where’d you get them?” She’s talking about these bootleg discount striped shoes I found in a clearance bin. It occurs to me that maybe she’s been making fun of me ever since we got here.

“Uh,” I say. “Some random clearance bin.”

This wipes the smile off her face instantaneously. I wait to see how she’ll handle this tacky bit of information.

“Oh! Funny!” She laughs. She has this annoying squeaky laugh to match her annoying squeaky voice. “I thought you were serious!” I crunch on my salad.

Andrew and Matt totally ignore us. They’re talking about basketball and video games and how they’re going to make loads of money after college being stock-market wizards . Then Caitlin joins in, and they’re all talking about something that happened last year that was apparently so funny root beer is coming out of Caitlin’s nose.

 I glance at the next table. It looks like a bunch of good friends, all comfortable in jeans and T-shirts. I’m sure none of them had to try on fifty different outfits before they felt even remotely acceptable to go out. The way I have to every time I go out with Dave. Everyone over there looks like they’re having the best time. Over here it’s like no one can risk busting a brain cell by talking about anything important. Now they’re all making fun of people. It’s like the Evil IQ-Under-100 Club.

I go, “Why did he do that, though?”

 Andrew’s like, “You had to be there.”

They continue to screech about the incident I wasn’t there for like I’m not even here now.

 I crunch on my salad some more.

Before this happened, I would have given anything to be here. But now that I am, I so don’t want to be.

Then I see Robert Garten and Joe Zedepski sit down a couple tables over. I’ve seen Caitlin and Matt pick on them enough times to know that I shouldn’t say hi. But I practically live with Joe at school, and Robert and I are acquaintances. So I say, “Hey, guys.”

Joe waves. Robert looks scared.

 Everyone at my table stops talking.

“What are you doing?” Caitlin says.

“Just saying hi.” I look over at Andrew for support. He knows I’m friendly with those guys. But Andrew doesn’t even turn to say hi to them.

 “Ohhh-kay,” Caitlin says. She rolls her eyes at Matt.

Matt scrunches his straw wrapper into a ball and throws it at their table. Then he says, “Losers.”

And Dave laughs.

 I can’t believe he’s such a follower.

 When we’re walking to the movie theatre, Caitlin has a cow in front of this way- too-expensive store. “Ehmagod!” she squeals. “We have to go in!” She yanks my arm and pulls me towards the door.

“Yeah,” Matt calls after us. “We’ll be down here.”

I reluctantly walk over.

She goes, “Can these trousers be any cooler?” “

Not really,” I say.

“Feel how soft they are!”

But I already know how soft they are. I felt them a few weeks ago when I came in here to pretend that I could afford to buy whatever I wanted. What’s it like to be able to go into any store and get whatever you want and not even care about the price tag? Of course the price tag is the first thing I look at and I already looked at this one and that’s how I know these trousers are a hundred and ten dollars and there’s no way.

 I feel them. “They’re so soft,” I say.

“I’m getting them,” Caitlin says. She flips through the rack and extracts a size that would be too small for Barbie. “Aren’t you trying them on?”

 “Nah,” I say. “I already tried them on last week. They make my butt look big.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.”“OK, well, come on!”

When we get to the dressing rooms, I look around for a chair so I can wait. But Caitlin grabs my hand when the door opener isn’t looking and pulls me into the dressing room with her. She throws the trousers on the bench and rummages through her bag. Then she pulls out a mint tin. “Want one?” she goes

. “Sure.” But when she opens the tin, the mints look kind of weird.

 “What kind of mints are those?” I say. “Oh!” she laughs.

 “These aren’t mints.”

 I look more closely at the pills. They have weird symbols on them. It reminds me of the scene where everyone gets high in Garden State.

 “Uh . . . I’m all set,” I say. “Thanks.”

Then Caitlin knocks her bag over and everything spills all over the floor. I bend down to help her pick stuff up. Including Heather’s credit card.

“That’s just . . . she lets me borrow it sometimes,” Caitlin says.

“Don’t you have your own credit card?”

 “I’m . . . yeah . . . just not on me.” It’s obvious she’s totally lying by the way she can’t even look at me.

“Actually,” she says, “I don’t really need these. Let’s go.”

By the time we find the guys snorting over porn magazines, I’m wondering what exactly I’m doing here. And what I saw in Andrew that made me think he could be my ideal boyfriend.



Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...