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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12. When You Connect

When You Connect

6th September, 3.34 p.m.

Molly

I decided that  the only way I can possibly calm my nerves before Andrew is supposed to pick me up in three hours, twenty-five minutes and seventeen seconds is to work on my sketchbook. So I fill a glass with water, grab my coloured pencils and watercolours, and go sit o the front porch. Everything else I need is already sitting on the wicker couch - glitter, glue, scissors, Jane magazines, CD player and Creative Visualization. I'm at the part where I have to make a treasure map of my ideal relationship. The concept is that if I physically create a description of the boy I want, if I can see him that clearly in my heart and in my mind, then I'll be more open to him coming into my life. Of course, I already think this guy is Andrew, so I'm imagining how I want him to be from the little I already know about him. When he's my boyfriend, I can show him this later, and we'll laugh about how I knew him even before I knew him.

With James Taylor CD playing. I use yellow to paint a border around the page, which makes the whole page look like it's lit up. So far my treasure map is a collage of words I cut out of magazines and glued at all different angles around the page. Words like "romantic" ,"smart" ,"cute" and "introspective". I shade around some of the words with a pink coloured pencil. I smudge the pink into light blue.

I spread glitter over the border. Then I write about the way I want to feel when I'm with the awesome boy. Like I'm the most important thing in his life.

I flip through this month's Jane, looking for more words and images to describe him. I cut out a couple sitting on a hill, watching a sunset. I cut out "irresistible" and "funny". I cut out a ying-yang symbol. James sings how the secret of love is all about opening up your heart. And then I imagine an absolutely perfect date happening tonight, with romance and excitement and then euphoria that happens when you connect with the person you're meant to be with. Not that I've ever experienced that feeling. But I can imagine how intense it is.

At the diner, I'm feeling really confident. Andrew told me I looked great when he picked me up, and he help my hand for half for half the movie. He even said how he'd been looking forward to tonight all week. So I ask the thing I've been dying to know all summer.

"Why didn't you call me this summer?"

"I was staying with my uncle in Wales. I had a summer job set up there before I moved, so it was just easier for me to go back than try to find something here."

Knowing that there was an actual reason he didn't call me is the best part of the  he didn't call me is the best part of the night. "If I'd been here," Andrew says, leaning towards me and reaching for my hand across the table, "I would have definitely called you."

I am insanely happy.

But I'm still nervous about the inevitable kiss later. I wish that I wasn't nervous so I could be hungry. When I'm telling the waitress what I want, I'm all weirded out Andrew watching me. For some reason, I always feel self-conscious about ordering food.

"So," I say.

Andrew smiles at me.

I smile at him.

And I can't think of one single thing to say.

"I'm so glad we had that storm yesterday," Andrew says. "The heat was killing me."

"Isn't it hot in Wales?"

"Not  really. Or when it gets hot, it's not that humid kind of hot. It's a dry heat, so you don't feel it."

"Oh, yeah! I remember that from earth science, It's like . . . when air is dry, it has less water vapour, so there's room for your sweat to evaporate."

"So why don't you feel as hot?"

"Because when your sweat evaporates, that's how you cool off."

"I knew that." He smiles at me. "I was just seeing if you did."

Then Andrew talks about basketball, explaining the rules and special techniques and stuff. I'm so not into sports, but I let him go on because he's gorgeous. Then our food arrives. And the worst thing happens. When I reach for the mustard, I knock over his soda. Andrew jumps out of the booth before it pours over his lap. But his sleeve is soaked.

"Oh!" I yell. "I'm sorry!"

"It's OK," Andrew says.

I pull a bunch of napkins out the napkin holder. "Here, let me--"

"No, it's OK. I got it."

When he comes back from the bathroom, I still can't think of anything interesting to say.

Then Andrew's like, "What are you thinking about?"

"I like that photo," I tell him. It's of an old cobblestone street somewhere that feels like Europe. With lots of plants hanging out of the windows.

"Oh." He points behind me. "I like that one."

When I turn around to see it, I'm like, He has to be joking. It's loud, annoying painting of a boring landscape. Totally impersonal and with stupid colours. It reminds me of the guy on PBS who does these really gross paintings and you're supposed to paint along with him. As if you would want to.

"Yeah, right," I laugh.

"No," Dave says. "I'm serious."

"Oh!" I look at it again. "Well, yeah. It's nice." It is not nice. It is horrendous. But everyone knows that people in a relationship should have different interests. You can't expect someone to like all the same things you do.

"You know," he says, chewing, "I didn't think you would go out with me."

"Why not?"

"Like, you went out with Scott, and he's . . .really . . . smart."

"So then why'd you ask for my umber?"

"I always thought you were cute. Remember when I sat next to you at the junior meeting?"

I nod. if only he knew how many details I remember.

"I was hoping you liked me. But I didn't know if I was smart enough for you."

"But you're smart!"

"Yeah." He squeezes my hand. "But you are absolutely brilliant." He lets  my hand go and touches my cheek. "And really cute,too"

I am insanely happy.

When the bill comes, I remember what Elizabeth said to do. She said that since Andrew asked me out, he should be the one to pay. And I shouldn't offer to pay my half like I usually do.

I bite my lip. My lips are dry and crackly and of course I didn't bring any Chap Stick. So I have to think of a way to lick them without Andrew noticing before we kiss later.

Andrew plays. I exhale.

I kind of blank out during the ride to my house. Neither one of us is talking much. I'm way too nervous about the kiss. He must be, too.

We hold hands walking to the porch. Then we're standing on the porch. The light is on. I look over at my neighbours' garden to see if anyone's watching.

"Thanks for dinner. And the movie. I had a good time."

"You're welcome," Andrew says. "I had a good time, too."

I look up at him. His brown eyes look black in the night. I can't tell what he's thinking.

I wait for the rest to happen.

Andrew leans towards me. I lean towards him.

And then he kisses me.

On the cheek.

Andrew says, "So . . . see you Monday."

"Yeah," I say "See you."

Even after he's gone, I'm still standing there. Still waiting for my real kiss.

 

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