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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10. This Remote Island

This Remote Island

5th September, 5:32 p.m.

Molly POV

''OK.'' I turn over this huge shopping bag in the middle of Elizabeth's king-size bed. I swear, her bed is bigger than my room. ''I brought my flares, my low-rise, my skinny jeans . . . oh, my size-eight low-rise--''

''I thought you were a size six."

"Yeah, but size eight makes my butt look smaller."

"And this is a good thing because. . ."

"Because my butt looks bigger than California in all the others?"

We're deciding what I should wear for my big date with Andrew tomorrow, Or Elizabeth's giving me things to try on and then deciding for me.

"Oh, please." Elizabeth picks up the flares. "You look fabulous in these."

"Are you sure?"

"Would I give you bad wardrobe advice? Here." Elizabeth holds them out. "Put these on with, um . . . hang on." She dives into her enormous walk-in wardrobe. "I am now locating the shirt that will drive Andrew crazy."

I laugh. But it's not funny. This reminds me of reason number seventy-three why I'm nervous about tomorrow. I know it's only the first date, but what if Andrew's expecting a lot more than I'm used to? I wonder if he can tell I'm a virgin.

I lie down on Elizabeth's bed. I pile all the pillows on top of me. I'm freaking out. This is nothing like what I had with Scott. That was definitely not a case of zsa-zsa-zou. Whenever Scott tried going further than I wanted, the decision was easy. I just smacked his hand away and he didn't push it. But with Andrew. . .

"OK." Elizabeth emerges with a stack of shirts. She holds out a red backless thing. "Try this first," she says.

"What," I go. "Seriously?"

"What's wrong with it?"

"It's not exactly . . . me." I don't want to hurt her feelings, but sometimes we have really different ideas about what's sexy. When it comes to clothes, Elizabeth subscribes to the Less Is More school of seduction. Whereas I'm more into the Jeans and a T-shirt Always Look Cute way of thinking. Then again, this is new territory. I've never dated a Calvin Klein ad before.

I grab the shirt. I'm trying to figure out how it goes on when a door slams down the hall. Then there's yelling. Elizabeth's parents are fighting. Its been happening a lot lately.

"There they go again," Elizabeth says. "My dad just got home from a business trip. This is gonna be a long one."

Her dad is always travelling. He's like, this systems-analyst guy who gets hired by all these different companies as a consultant. He makes a ridiculous amount of money, which is why Elizabeth has her own credit cards and her mum doesn't even work. I love Elizabeth like a sister, but I'm so jealous of her it's wrong. But maybe her life isn't all that.

"You can totally work that," she tells me.

I look at myself in the mirror. I'm wearing a belt that's masquerading as a shirt. "There's no way," I tell her. I yank it off.

Elizabeth hands over a pink silk top with sequins. "Girl, you don't realize how sexy you are. That shirt and anything else can be you if you let it." That's the thing about Elizabeth. She dates all these gorgeous guys on her terms and has never been dumped in her life. She's had sex with two guys already and doesn't regret any of it. It's like love is this fun adventure for her, while for me it's all about wanting something you don't have.

Until now.

"Any tips?" I say.

"Sure." Elizabeth plops herself down on a gigantic floor pillow. "What do you want to know?"

"Well . . ." Of course Elizabeth's told me all about the guys she's slept with. But before, sex seemed like this remote island. Now that it's a definite possibility, I need details. "What's it like? The first time?"

"I'm sorry. Since when did you sleep with guys on the first date?"

"I don't mean for tomorrow! It's . . . for future reference."

"Do you think you're gonna sleep with Andrew?"

"I don't know." I smile at the floor. "Maybe."

"Look at you!"

"So what's it like?"

"Well, at first it hurts."

"A lot?"

"It depends." Elizabeth shifts on the pillow.

"Where you nervous?"

"Not really. I wanted to and . . . it was the right time fore me."

"How did you know?"

Elizabeth shakes her head. " I was . . . I don't know. I just wanted to more than I didn't want to.

"Does it hurt the whole time?" I say.

"No. Just at first. But then it gets better."

 

"So . . . what if like four months from now he's getting impatient, and I'm still not ready?"

"Then you don't do it."

"But what if I think I'm ready and we're almost doing it and then I realize I'm not and I freak out right when he's about to--"

"Chillax! You're thinking about this way too much." Elizabeth throws a lacy turquoise top at me. "That's the problem with you genius types. You overanalyse everything."

"I don't think I'm overanalysing. I just--"

"Look, stop worrying so much. Just go with the flow." Elizabeth scrutinizes my outfit. " I like the pink on you. But try this one - it's much tighter."

I take the tiny shirt and try to squeeze myself into it.

" It only matters what you want," Elizabeth says. "Don't let him force you into anything."

"Right."

"Don't forget mints tomorrow and - oh yeah! This is the shirt!"

"No way."

"Why not?"

"It's too tight." I peel it off.

"That's the point. You're wearing it."

"No, I'm not. I like the pink one."

"But the turquoise is so you."

"Um, no."

"Oh - you should get some condoms so you have them when you're ready. You have no idea what's out there and you can't always expect him to have them." Elizabeth has condoms, plus she's on the pill. She believes in doubling up on birth control.

"What if he wants me to put it on?"

"Yeah?"

"How do you do it?"

"Oh, it's easy," Elizabeth says, like it's nothing. "First, you have to make sure you're putting it on the right way or else it won't unroll. Then you squeeze the tip to let the air out so when--"

"I get it."

"Then you unroll it. But make sure you unroll it all the way down. You don't want it to come off, believe me."

All this seems like too much. Figuring out which way to unroll a condom in the dark ad how much it's going to hurt and how I'm going to feel after. Is it worth all the drama?

I steer the conversation back to the date. "OK, so mints. What else?''

"Don't act all shy when you see The Look. You know you're dying to make out with him."

"Finally," I say. "Familiar territory."

"Oh, yeah, like Scott ever gave you The Look," Elizabeth scoffs. She's convinced that a person can't be smart and passionate and president of the chess club. Two out of three, maybe.

"It also wasn't his fault he wasn't attractive. Big whop."

"Oh! He's cute"

Elizabeth raises an eyebrow at me.

"Sort of," I mumble. I glance at the clock. "It's getting late." I shove my jeans back in the bag. "I better go."

"Hey," Elizabeth says when I'm in her doorway.

I turn around just in time to catch the pink shirt that's flying towards me.

On my way down the hall, I pass her parents' room. There voices are lower, but they're still fighting. I consider listening at the door, but that's tacky. Anyway, I don't want to know. I'm not ready to find out that the only parental role models I've ever aren't happy after all.

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