Just a reminder: This chapter takes place after the Valentine’s day chapter.
Mimi walked out the front doors of the school looking up at the overcast sky. Above her the clouds loomed darkly, while any traces of snowy whiteness no longer were in evidence on the ground. The icy Winter was in it’s last days, the rainy and upcoming Spring season on it’s way.
She sat down on one of the outside benches, waiting for her Mom. The days were getting longer, so it didn’t get dark as quick, but she was still glad that her Mom was picking her up. She had forgotten her umbrella. Wearing jeans, a lavender top and a blue rain jacket, she was dressed appropriately, but it was still cold outside and those clouds were pretty threatening looking. She felt an unexpected touch and let out a scream…
Philip screamed back, jumping away from her, startled. “Don’t scare me like that!”
“Don’t scare YOU like that?!” Mimi quickly got up off the bench and hit Philip on the arm. “You’re the one who snuck up on me!”
Philip smiled mildly. “I wasn’t trying to sneak up on you….Hey, doesn’t this remind you of another time?”
Mimi smiled, remembering when they first started walking together, but quickly looked annoyed again. “What do you want?”
Philip shook his head in the negative. “Wrong line. You’re supposed to say, ‘What are you doing here?’”
Mimi crossed her arms, tapping her foot impatiently.
Oh well, thought Philip, wearing jeans and a blue button down shirt with a black rain jacket. She was in one of her little moods again. “What do you think? I’m here to escort you home.”
“My Mom’s giving me a ride home.”
“Uh…no she’s not.”
Mimi looked up at Philip suspiciously. “What do you mean she’s not?”
Philip smiled down at her meekly. Oh-oh, she wasn’t going to like this idea, especially since the weather didn’t look too great. “Uh, I called her and said you didn’t need a ride.”
“YOU DID WHAT?” Mimi moved forward, forcing Philip to back up more.
“Yeah. I said I’d make sure that you got home alright. Since I don’t have basketball practice anymore and baseball hasn’t started yet, I thought it would be nice.”
Mimi finally smiled. Riding home with Philip would actually be kind of nice.
Philip smiled back. All right, she was warming up to being with him!
“Okay, let’s make a run for the car before that rain starts coming down.” Mimi started to head to the parking lot, stopping in mid-stride when she noticed Philip still standing there. “Uh Phil, you coming before we start getting pelted by the rain?”
Philip’s smile died on his face. Oh brother, she was going to be just a bit upset --- “Uh, well you see…”
“Yes?” Mimi asked pensively.
“Ah, might as well just tell you. You’re just going to laugh about this! I don’t have my car with me.”
Okay, maybe she wouldn’t laugh about this. “Yeah, I left it at home today because I thought it would be nice for old time’s sake for us to just walk together. You know, like we used to-”
She quickly cut him off. “Are you CRAZY? It’s about to start pouring any minute and you’re thinking about being sentimental?”
Philip spoke calmly. “Well actually, it’s not supposed to rain until later. That’s what they said on the weather report this morning.”
Mimi kept walking closer to him, her face stony, watching him back up, as she kept advancing. “The weather report is hardly ever right! I can’t believe this! We have no way home and it’s about to start raining any minute! What else could go wrong? Please tell me you have an umbrella.”
Philip had nowhere else to back up to, so he sat down on the bench she had been sitting on earlier. “Uh…I forgot it.”
“YOU----OH---I could strangle you!” Mimi reached out for his neck, as Philip started to get up and run around the front of the school, trying to get away from her.
“Now Mimi calm down!” Philip called out as he ran in circles to get away from her. “I was only trying to be nice!” He stopped as Mimi finally stopped, throwing her arms up in defeat. Chasing after him wasn’t going to solve anything.
“Philip Robert Kiriakis, you are a dimwit!”
“HEY, now that’s just not nice!” Philip said with annoyance.
Mimi nearly laughed at how silly he looked when he got upset like that, then remembered she was angry with him. “OOOOHHH, let’s just go home.”
“Okay.” Philip replied jauntily, having noticed her little slip when she almost broke out in laughter. “Let’s make a trek through the woods like we used to.”
“And what if it starts raining?”
“Ah, a little rain never hurt anyone. Besides, it’s quicker through the woods and we’ll probably make it through there faster, maybe even beat the rain.”
“Fine.” Mimi started walking alongside him, shivering a little. The closer they got to the wooded area the more chilly it got, as the clouds getting more dense, darkened the sky more and more.
Philip wrapped his arm around Mimi, holding her close to him as they walked together. “You cold Meems?”
“Yeah, a little.” She smiled up at him. “Thanks.”
“My pleasure.” Philip smiled down at her.
“Sorry I called you a dimwit. I’m just irritable right now and tired.”
Philip shrugged it off. “Ah, that’s okay. I probably should have just brought my car to school today. I guess I wasn’t thinking. So, did you have a tough afternoon with Jan? Is that what made you irritable?”
“Yeah, sort of. She tried to get me all riled up about…well, about you. She told me she saw you with that little player Ashley today, flirting with her.” Mimi said dryly.
“What?! Did you believe her?”
“No, not really. I know you can’t stand her type.”
“What did you tell Jan?”
“That her so called loving boyfriend is a major two-timer and flirts with everything that walks by in a skirt.”
Philip laughed. “Way to go Meems!” He squeezed her shoulder affectionately.
“Yeah, it probably was pretty harsh, but I am so sick and tired of listening to her constant whining and when that gets no reaction out of me she starts doing everything she can to make me feel awful. I’ve just had it with her. I’m not taking it anymore!”
Philip smiled, enjoying the pluckiness of her response. “You go girl! What she told you about me and Ashley was a down and out lie. She was totally flirting with ME and I wasn’t enjoying it at all. I have no time for or interest in somebody who plays games.” Philip added seriously.
“And everyone knows Ashley is a major game player.”
Mimi changed the subject, enjoying the warmth from his body. Walking home with him again was not so bad at all. “So are you upset that you guys didn’t win the big competition this year?” She was referring to the fact that the basketball team had actually lost it’s final game against their big rival.
Philip shook his head. “Surprisingly, no. I accomplished what I wanted to do with football last year. It would have been great to have won our last basketball game, but, hey, you win some, you lose some, right?”
Mimi looked up at him in shock. “Is this Philip Kiriakis I’m talking to?”
Philip laughed at her response. “I know, I know, hard to believe, but there’s been more important things for me lately. We played our best and that’s what matters. If people were disappointed then, too bad, there’s nothing I can do about that.”
Mimi stopped him, holding onto his arm. “Well, I just want you to know I’m proud of you Philip. I didn’t get to see you at any of the games this year, but the word around school was that you shined on the court. It’s not just that though. I know that you’ve had to work hard physically to get back to where you are now and I’m just…like I said, I’m proud of you.” She smiled up at him.
Philip smiled back down at her, taking her into his arms and holding her close, feeling the sweetness of her against him. “Thanks Meems…that means a lot to me.”
“My pleasure Philly.” She responded warmly, feeling…
RAIN start to come crashing down from the dark skies.
“Philip!” She screamed, holding onto him.
“Come on!” Philip pulled back, grabbing her arm, running with her through the woods, finally finding a canopy of trees, that provided some shelter. He pulled her down with him onto the ground, so that they were sitting under the small protected area. He looked at her, noticing her still shivering from the cold. He reached for her, holding her in his arms so the side of her face was against his chest.
Mimi said nothing, just held onto him, feeling the strength of his body against her, his warm breath against her face. Feeling entirely safe, she sat in his embrace.
Burrowed together under the sheltered canopy of trees, they quietly watched the pounding rain come down.
After a while, Philip finally spoke, breaking the silence. “Another dumb Kiriakis idea, huh?”
Mimi giggled. “Yep! What is it with you crazy Greeks anyway?” She smiled up at him, wanting to let him know that she had no bad feelings about anything.
Philip laughed too. “What can I say? We’re passionate, but not always sensible.”
Passionate, Mimi thought. Oh yeah, he was definitely that. And if she had to pick passion over sensibility, well… “Yeah, but at least when worse comes to worse you think on your feet. Whenever we’re in trouble, you seem to always find a way out of it Philip.”
“Ah…thanks.” The rain continued to fall, though it slowed down a little, as the sun, before the daylight completely faded away, crept through the clouds, creating a…
“Look Mimi! A rainbow!” Philip got up, holding onto Mimi, then let go of her, running out to the unprotected area, looking up with a grin.
Mimi ran after him. In the sky was a rainbow, shining by the light of the sun, providing color to the dark skies. “Wow, it’s so beautiful!”
Philip looked back at her, seeing the rain fall down her face as she continued to look up with delight. He responded softly. “No, you are.”
“What?” Mimi asked distractedly, barely paying attention to him, enjoying the tiny bit of the sun shining down as the rainbow quickly began fading away, the rain water getting her face wetter and wetter as she raised it to the sky.
Philip walked over closer, watching her with wonder. Why hadn’t he ever seen it before? “I said, you’re the one that’s beautiful.”
Mimi looked away from the sky, facing him in shock., her eyes wide. “You don’t mean that.” She said softly. “Don’t make fun of me.”
Philip moved even closer to her, seeing her jade eyes full of fear…and hurt. “I’m not. Mimi, why can’t---” He stopped himself from saying more. She was going to have to start believing it herself. He couldn’t force her to. “Come on!” He grabbed her arm again and started splashing around in the puddles, never letting her go.
Mimi giggled. “This is nuts! We’re absolutely insane to be doing this!” She screamed as his shoes hit a deep puddle, splashing her with dirty water. “Ahhh!”
Philip yelled out a little too as she kicked the water out of another puddle, getting him all wet. They continued to run through the puddles as the rain fell down on top of them, even with the sun still out a bit.
“Yeah, it is nuts, but it’s fun too, right?” Philip called out as they played together like they had when they were little kids. The ground was getting much slicker though, and before either of them knew what was happening and could control their movements, they fell into the muddy water, thankfully though, in a sitting position.
Mimi giggled, flicking muddy water at him. Philip gave her a warning look, then started to flick muddy water back at her. “Philip, no!” She screamed, using her hands to protect herself from the barrage, covering her face, realizing too late that her hands were caked with muddy water. “Ohhh, I must look so awful!”
Philip stopped flicking the muddy water at her, gazing at her with his blue eyes, his breath coming out in short gasps, like hers, due to their earlier frolicking. He watched as drops of water fell from her wet auburn hair onto her wet jacket . His expression turned to one of wonder as he kept staring at her, unable to look away as the rain fell down upon them. Finally he spoke, his tone holding fascination in it. “You look like one of those nymphs of the sea you read about in Greek mythology, absolutely adorable and beautiful…at the same time.” Mimi started to protest, but he cut her off. “Don’t you dare argue with me about it either. I win this one and you’re just going to have to agree with me.” She started to talk again, but he cut her off this time with the touch of his lips against hers. He searched her eyes with his, backing away a little, then started to kiss her tenderly, like he had in the cabin, his hands moving to her face, his fingertips moving delicately over her soft skin.
Mimi forgot her previous thoughts, giving in to the feel of his lips as she began kissing him back, moving her hands to the back of his silky hair, running her fingers through it.
Slowly, Philip moved his mouth away from hers, trailing his lips down her chin, her neck, tasting her rain dampened skin, feeling the touch of her delicate fingers against his hair.
Mimi involuntarily moved her head up, allowing him freer access, enjoying the rippling sensation his lips were creating as they tenderly caressed her wet skin. Her eyes still closed, tiny streams of water trailed down from her lashes.
The rain slowly started dieing down, turning into a light drizzle.
Finding a hidden discovery, Philip gradually moved back away from her, studying the object. No longer feeling the warm touch of his lips against her neck, Mimi opened her eyes to look at Philip questioningly. Replacing the touch of his lips with his hand, his fingers grazed against her skin, touching the red cord. Mimi gazed at him, then looked down, noticing that with their earlier activity the necklace that had been partially concealed in her top had been let loose and was now lying against the outside of her top.
“You’re wearing it?“ He questioned, looking down at the necklace, from where he sat across from her, then looking back up at her.
“Yeah. I wear it most of the time, but I keep it partially hidden.”
“Why?” He asked her softly. “Are you embarrassed by it?”
Mimi quickly shook her head. “No, not at all. I just… it’s something I really don’t want to share with anyone else…not yet anyway.”
Philip said nothing, smiling at her gently, his fingers still moving over the heart shaped child’s necklace.
“That surprises you, doesn’t it?” Mimi asked wryly. “Salem High’s gossip queen doesn’t want to spread the news to the whole world, let alone the school!” She laughed softly.
Philip gave her an amused look, then reached for one of her hands, holding it in his. “Hey, don’t put yourself down. Your ability to find out information adds character. I’m sure it’ll help you immensely if you do go into a career in photo journalism. Besides, I happen to know firsthand that you have a lot of other things that keep you occupied now. Personally, I think we BOTH have a lot of new things that occupy our time now. Don’t you?”
Mimi smiled at him gratefully. “Yeah, I guess we do. Thank you for the Valentine gift. It meant so much to me that you remembered.”
“Your gift meant a lot to me too. I remember when we took that picture…the look on that law enforcement official’s face!” Philip chuckled. “Absolutely priceless, but the picture turned out really good…we made a good cou--” He stopped himself uncertainly. “We both looked really happy in it.” He amended.
Mimi could feel the soft touch of his fingers moving over the skin of her hand. “Yeah.” She simply said, a little unsure still of where their relationship?…was heading… “I hope you don‘t mind then that I’m not telling anyone else about the necklace. How would I explain it to anyone anyways, right? I doubt many people would believe me anyway.” She added flippantly.
Philip didn’t let it go though. “What do you mean by that?”
“Philip Kiriakis giving Mimi Lockhart a necklace? Come on Philip!”
He looked at her questioningly, then with a bit of understanding. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong or weird about it.” He reached out for the necklace again, cupping it in his hand, taking in the jade of her eyes with his blue ones. “I feel honored that you‘re wearing it.”
Mimi took in the genuineness with which he spoke, her heart filled with warmth. Unable to say anything, her eyes told him how he had made her feel.
Philip returned the look, holding onto the necklace still, pressing his lips against hers softly, backing away when the kiss was done, gradually opening his eyes, slowly letting go of the necklace. He looked all around them, noticing… “Our clothes are practically caked in muddy water, we‘re both wet and…and, we’re alone here and it‘s starting to get dark. We should probably go.”
His bit of nervousness with which he spoke surprised her. DID he feel similar to the way she did? “You’re right. I mean, look at us! We look like…”
“SWAMP CHILDREN!” They both finished together, laughing a bit.
Philip reached out for her hands, as she held onto his. They stood up together, holding each other up, since the ground was slick.
Then they continued their walk home…
Philip and Mimi rounded the corner, turning onto Mimi‘s street. A light drizzle continued to fall from the darkening sky. Walking a bit more, they stopped in front of Mimi‘s house. “So how do you think we‘re going to explain this one Philly, uh, I meant Philip…”
Philip looked at her with encouragement. “I don‘t mind when you call me that. I kind of like it actually…a lot. It’s like it’s something special between us. As for how we‘re going to explain this, the fact that we look like we took a mud bath, that’s going to be interesting…I don‘t think my puppy dog look is still going to work!”
Mimi laughed. “Uh, I don’t know about that! Maybe we can just both sneak in, unnoticed. Just don’t forget to take your shoes off this time…Philly.”
Philip chuckled. “Thanks for reminding me.”
“Well, thank you for walking me home.”
He touched her arm. “My pleasure.” He said lightly, then turned more somber. I’m sorry. I never really wanted to break our deal.”
She looked up at him. There was so much earnestness in his eyes. “You don’t have to apologize. I really didn’t give you much choice. I’m glad we have our friendship back though.”
“Me too Meems. Well, I’ll see you tomorrow at school. I got to get home and get all this mud off of me.” His words had been a bit reluctant. He was enjoying spending the special time with her again.
She kept her disappointment inside. She had missed being with him. “Okay. Hey, I could go get my umbrella and let you use it so you don’t get any wetter.”
Philip smiled at her. “Thanks, but I’m okay. It’s just drizzling. He added softly: “It’s my fault anyway, for not bringing my car.”
“It was no big deal. I’m glad we got to walk together again. A little rain never hurt anyone anyway, right?” She mirrored his earlier words.
“Right!” He smiled warmly at her, kissing her cheek. “Night Meems.”
She reached out for his arm, stopping him. “Be careful, okay?”
“I’m just walking home.” He added mildly.
“I know, but…don’t get caught in any downpours…” She reached up, kissing his cheek, caressing it with her fingers, then quickly ran inside.
He watched the door close for a minute, then started on his way home…
Mimi, now wearing a peach colored robe, her hair almost dry after her shower, sat down on her bed, wondering about Philip, thinking he must have gotten home a little while ago and that he thankfully avoided the sudden downpour that had started just minutes ago. She turned on her radio…
Philip, wearing gray sweat pants and just a towel over his bare shoulders, sat down on his bed, another towel in hand, using it to dry his just showered wet hair. He thought of Mimi as he turned on his stereo…
Both, totally unaware of what the other was doing, listened to the music that began to play, the same song, one that in strange ways spoke of things they had dealt with…together…and apart…
“How can I convince you what you see is real
Who am I to blame you for doubting what you feel”
He rubbed the towel through his hair, drying it…thinking about her fears he knew she still had. She wasn’t the only one. He had them too. Earlier, what now seemed almost like years ago, he had ended their friendship…the special and very precious bond they shared…now he could feel it coming together again, becoming something more…
“I was always reachin‘, you were just a girl I knew
I took for granted the friend I have in you”
He put down the towel, thinking about how they had shared a pretty close friendship when they were just children, but how they had drifted apart for awhile, how there were surprising things he had only found out about her recently…
She ran her hands through her hair, reflecting on how their relationship had changed, sometimes exciting her, sometimes scaring her. It was all just so new…
“I was living for a dream,
Loving for a moment
Taking on the world
That was just my style”
Before, he had thought it had to be perfect, that was what mattered…He avoided conflict, pain…He looked for more, but only when it was easily obtainable…Then with one frightening experience his life changed, he learned what struggling really was…he learned that perfection was an illusion…that true beauty lay in…reality…
She had thought once that being with someone was a bragging right, that she would want to spread it all around, but now…now she cherished the private part of it…of friendship leading to something new…something that seemed so different, now that it was really happening…
“Now I look into your eyes
I can see forever
The search is over
You were with me all the while”
When their friendship had ended she felt like a part of her had went with it…she felt broken without the sound of his voice, the feel of his touch…she felt lost…
“Can we last forever, will we fall apart
At times it’s so confusing, these questions of the heart”
The future was something he no longer spent too much time thinking about…now he concentrated on the present, living each day of his life fully, but sometimes he did still wonder, what could the future hold…
She felt uncertain, not sure of herself at times, doubt was sometimes one of her biggest enemies…then there were times she felt so full of joy…when she felt full of hope…
“You followed me through changes and patiently you’d wait
Till I came to my senses through some miracle of fate”
For awhile he forgot what mattered, as he felt more lost than ever, clinging to what he would eventually lose, though in time, he would freely let go of it…a relationship that just wasn’t meant to be…
Even when she was uncertain, he was gentle, making her laugh, making her smile, helping her…caring about her…
“Now the miles stretch out behind me, loves that I have lost
Broken hearts lie victim of the game”
He had thought she would be his one true love, his only love, but…now, he felt something different…something he still didn’t completely understand…for someone new…
Though she still felt herself in the shadow of another, slowly, little by little, her fears were beginning to fade away…
“Then good luck it finally struck like lightning from the blue
Every highway leading me back to you”
The pitter patter of the rain on the roof sounded throughout her room, as she walked over to the window, gazing out at the dark skies, at the streams of water that fell from the sky…she fingered the red cord of her simple necklace, yet not so simple, because it came from him, now that they were once again on the same road together…
He walked over to the window of the quiet house, except for the music playing, looking out at the rain falling down upon the ground…he thought of the time they had spent away from each other, not even talking, how hard it had been, but somehow their paths had joined again…
“Now at last I hold you, now all is said and done
The search has come full circle, our destinies are done”
They had gone from friends to more for one brief fleeting moment, to a painful separation, a time of loneliness, though unavoidable self-discovery, to an even stronger friendship, that would lead to…
Neither knew the answer…yet…
“So if you ever loved me show me that you give a damn
You’ll know for certain the man I really am”
To be apart had been anything but easy, but with help from elsewhere they had been shown their own weaknesses and strengths…helping them grow…aiding them in dealing with what was to come…
“I was living for a dream
Loving for a moment
Taking on the world
That was just my style
Then I touched your heart
I could hear you whisper
The search is over…”
In each other they were starting to see something new, feeling something new, and though it frightened them, it also excited them…it was a risk…
Their brains in charge for so long, seeming in battle with the heart, but now things were balancing out, the heart was rising to the challenge…
“Love was right…”
Their hearts growing stronger…slowly coming together…
Resting his forehead against the window, he sang the last words of the song, as miles away, resting her head against her window, she did the same…
To be continued…
“The Search is Over” by Survivor
Let me know what you think. I enjoy reading your comments!
Posted on Feb 22, 2002, 4:39 PM from IP address 188.8.131.52