Thanks so much for the feedback…sorry for the delay.
Recap: Philip and Mimi spent some time together getting closer at the Kiriakis mansion. Later, they began their final week at Salem High. Mimi had an unexpected run-in with Hawk. Philip shared a friendly conversation with a newer friend, Angela. Chloe confronted both Philip and Mimi, informing them that she had asked that Mimi be allowed to go to the dance. The chapter ended with Philip and Mimi joyously embracing each other, delighting in the fact that they could now go to their final high school dance together.
This chapter begins the day before graduation…
“Oh my gosh, that’s hideous!”
“I agree with Chloe, Belle. It IS hideous.” Mimi, originally wearing a short denim skirt with a white lace top and her hair up in a bun, now wearing a dress that needs no description, commented dryly.
“Now, now…we can fix it!”
“How…by dropping it into the river?”
Chloe, dressed in a red blouse, black capris and her hair back, started laughing at Mimi’s sarcasm.
“Oh now come on you guys…stop being so negative.” Belle, in a pink summer dress and her hair down, tried valiantly, though a bit over doing it, to get her friends to be positive. “Chloe…why don’t you go try on that one we found earlier? I’m sure it’ll look just beautiful on you.”
Chloe turned to Mimi with a doubting look, afterwards commenting, “Don’t worry Mimi. I’m sure it’ll look hideous too.”
Mimi laughed in response. It was nice, having something in common with Chloe, though it was the last thing she ever thought they would be sharing. Actually, just a couple of days ago, weeks ago, if someone had said that Mimi would end up in Salem Place with Chloe Lane, shopping for their prom dresses, she would have laughed in that person’s face. But here they were, shopping away, and with just a day until the dance, the pickings were mighty slim. At least it was entertaining! Too think somebody actually designed these choices of attire!
Belle groaned. “Oh Mimi, don’t worry. You and Chloe will find a dress for the dance, the perfect one. I just know it.”
“Uh-huh.” Mimi deadpanned and then turned to the just opened door of the nearby dressing room, watching Chloe walk out in…
“Well Mimi, I was wrong. It’s not hideous. It’s actually scary…so scary that if Sugar saw me in this, she’d go hide under the bed!”
“Ohhhhh…” Belle just groaned again.
“What the heck?!”
Standing side to side, Philip and Brady, the first wearing gray pants with a light blue polo top and the latter wearing a black short sleeved button down shirt and jeans, started bursting out laughing at the sight of Shawn in a tuxedo that looked like it belonged in Saturday Night Fever…or even worse possibly, an early episode of The Love Boat.
“Don’t you two laugh!”
Philip grinned. “Well nephew of mine, this is what you get when you wait till the VERY last minute to get your tux.”
“OH Shut up Phil. You’re just gloating because you already have one of these stupid monkey suits at home and you Brady…you have one too. But we Bradys…we don’t believe in wasting our money on something we’re only going to wear about a dozen times in our life. That’s why we rent.”
Brady smirked…”Yeah Shawn, that motto works really well.” He started busting up. “Don’t worry…in that suit you can start up a revival of the Bee Gees…Staying Alive! Staying Alive!”
“Ah Brady…” Philip commented. “We already had our revival to the disco days dance. But I guess we could call this one, ‘Worst Dressed Night!’”
Brady started swinging his arm up and down (ala John Travolta style), while Philip started strutting around the small confinements of the store (ala Bee Gee style), heedless of the amused shoppers…there weren’t that many anyway.
Shawn rolled his eyes in annoyance.
Belle sighed. “Okay, so the last ten or so dresses were horrible…but there must have been one you…well…uh…sort of liked in the bunch?”
Mimi and Chloe simultaneously shook their heads in the negative.
“Great! Couldn’t one of you be just a BIT more optimistic?”
“But Belle, you’ve always wanted us to get along and agree upon something. And now we both do.”
Chloe shook her head in the affirmative, standing by Mimi. “Yep. We do. We both agree…”
They concluded the statement together in a rare solidarity…”That every single one of these dresses we have tried on is absolutely…
HORRIBLE!” Mimi and Chloe shook hands and stood there, with their arms crossed.
“AHHHHHHH!” Belle sank down into a chair, hoping her boyfriend was having better luck with finding his tux. That procrastinator!
“Well I say, Count Brady…here before us stands a very distinguished gentleman, wouldn’t you say that Sir Count?”
“Ah yes, My Man Philip, I would say so. Very distinguished indeed!”
Brady suddenly burst out, “Let’s buy him a top hat to match!”
“OH Knock it off you two jokesters!” Shawn grimaced at his friends antics.
Philip dropped his 19th century accent routine. “Ahh come on Shawn, we’re just giving you a hard time. Besides, it’s not that bad. At least it doesn’t have ruffles like the Booggie Oogie suit did.”
Brady also dropped his routine. “Yeah Shawn. And top hats look very regal.”
“I’m not wearing this thing to the dance.” Shawn removed the early 19th century looking coat.
Philip frowned. “Yeah, but Shawn…you’ve already tried on a whole bunch of tuxes in the color you want.”
“Well…I’m going to keep trying them on…until I find the right one.”
“Looks like back to the drawing board Phil.”
“Let’s go search the racks again Brady.”
“You know you guys, all I’m trying to do is help you! The least you could do is be a bit grateful.”
Mimi and Chloe immediately felt sorry for their bad attitudes.
Mimi turned to Chloe. “Belle’s right, Chloe. Maybe if we try the next floor…we’ll find something.”
Chloe smiled. “Yeah, and we do appreciate all you’re doing Belle. You know you guys, I still remember the first last blast…when I couldn’t find anything to wear and then the lady at the counter showed me something they’d just gotten in. I think I’ll go check and see if I might have luck there again.”
“Good idea Chloe. And Belle and I will go back to that one crowded rack and see if we find something we didn’t see the first time.”
Chloe smiled and went to the front counter while Mimi and Belle continued to look around the store. Mimi turned to Belle. Was it just her, or was her best friend just a bit tense…and even that outburst had been unlike her.
“Meems, I have to tell you something. Something I think is wonderful…but I want to know what you think.”
Well, at least she hadn’t had to do too much digging to get her friend to talk, not any digging at all actually. Hmmmm, maybe this could be a new method for finding out the latest news. Don’t do anything at all.
“Okay Belle. You’ve got me dying of curiosity!”
“First of all, I’m so happy you and Philip are going to the dance.”
Mimi smiled. “Yeah me too, but come on…what were you going to tell me?”
“I’m in love with Shawn, Meems.”
Mimi laughed. “Uh…yeah…I kind of knew that already since you’ve told me about a thousand times how crazy you two are about each other!”
“I know but…well before…on the island…well you know how close Shawn and I came to…well being together.”
Mimi frowned. “Belle you guys already ARE together.”
Belle sighed. “Mimi, I meant BEING together…you know!”
Mimi still frowned, but then catching the look in her friend’s eyes, she started to get it. “Oh….OH…oh yeah. That kind of TOGETHER.”
Belle giggled. “Yeah…well we’ve been going out with each other so much now and we know how we feel about each other and…we don’t really want to wait much longer. We…”
Mimi could hardly contain her excitement. “OH MY GOSH, You guys are going to do IT!”
“Mimi! Keep your voice down!”
Belle looked around embarrassedly at the other shoppers, some of them who were staring right at them.
Mimi grabbed her best friend’s hand, getting her to crouch down with her behind a sales rack in the corner of the store. “Oh my gosh Belle, I’m sorry, but I’m like…I’m…now wait a minute. You guys are thinking about taking precautions right? You are going to be careful?”
Belle started giggling. “Oh Meems, we’re not even completely sure yet, but yes, we are going to be careful. We both agree that if this happens, we’re not going to let anything spoil it.”
“And I know he’s Shawn and he’s this great understanding guy and everything, but he IS a guy and they don’t always think with their heads. So it’s not because you feel any pressure or anything is it?”
Belle smiled with devotion in her eyes. “I love him Meems and he loves me. He’s planned it all …tomorrow night…and everything and he already told me…that no matter what happens we’ll still be together. It’s not about him expecting anything and it’s not like the island, where I’m rushing into something that I’m still unsure of. If it happens…it’ll be right and even if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. We’ll still love each other anyway.”
“Oh Belle!” Mimi felt like crying and this wasn’t even about her. But it was about two of her very best friends and she was so happy for them…even if nothing had happened yet. She hugged her fiercely and felt Belle hugging her back.
“Oh this was the one…right here, on this rack…ah…There! Oh dear!”
Mimi and Belle suddenly looked up at the elderly lady and shopkeeper standing right beside her. They had just come over to the rack that they were sitting behind, moving the dresses apart to find Mimi and Belle sitting there, hugging.
Mimi smiled up at the women sweetly. “Excuse us…my friend just found out she’s cured of this rare skin disease!”
“Mimi!” Belle touched her face with mortification as Mimi took her arm to get her out of their hiding place, scurrying past the two bemused looking women.
“Hey, it was the best I could come up with on such short notice!”
“Man, I’ve gotta find a tux and it’s has to be just right.”
“All right Shawn. Calm down.” Philip tried to get his friend to relax. They were picking out some new suits for Shawn to look at while Brady was checking over on the other side.
Shawn groaned, now back to wearing his jeans and dark blue shirt.
“Man Shawn, what is going on with you? I can’t believe you’re this uptight about not finding a tux. You don’t even care about them that much and Brady and I were only giving you a hard time before. We’ll find something.”
“Well it has to be just right.”
Philip turned to his friend suspiciously. “How come I get the feeling that this is more about the last blast? What’s up Shawn?”
“It’s just…uh…” Shawn tried to remain nonchalant, looking away as he spoke. “I don’t think Belle and I are going to stay for the whole dance.”
Philip laughed. “Is that all? Man, lots of people don’t stay for the whole dance. I don’t even know if Mimi and I are going to… I mean unless she really wants to. I want to make sure she enjoys as much of the dance as is possible, or as much as she feels like, considering she hasn’t gone to any this year.”
Shawn smiled. “Yeah, that’s great she gets to go to the last one. That was cool of Chloe.”
“Yeah it was, but come on now…you’re all antsy about getting the right suit because you may end up leaving the dance early? That just doesn’t make sense.”
“It would if I have something special planned afterwards.”
“Yeah.” Shawn glanced around and then turned back to Philip. “Look Phil, don’t say anything to Brady, all right. I mean he is Belle’s brother.”
“What am I going to say to him when I’m not even sure what we’re talking about? What do you mean by something special?”
Shawn shook his head. “Philip…Belle and I want to go somewhere where we can be ALONE after the dance…somewhere for the NIGHT.”
Philip’s mouth opened wide. “Oh Man! You and Belle…you guys are going to…”
Shawn finished, moving with Philip further to the back of the store. “Yeah, yeah. Now keep it down Phil. Brady might hear and it’s not like I would ever hurt Belle, but you know…he’s her big older protective brother.”
Philip nodded his head. “Yeah, I understand, but hey…you guys are going to be careful, right…and I know how crazy you and Belle are about each other, but just uh…well you know Shawn…girls are more sensitive about this stuff…and…well just…”
“What Phil?” Shawn looked at Philip questioningly.
“Just sometimes they say they’re ready and then they’re not or they get scared or something. I don’t know, but that’s kind of how it happened that one time with Chloe.”
“Philip, Belle means…a lot to me…and we’ve talked about this. We’re going to make sure we’re careful, but hey…if for some reason she’s not ready, we’ll just wait. I’m not going to let anything happen to what we have.”
Philip’s dimples came out. “Then I’m happy for you guys.”
Back now to perusing the many dresses, Belle started to question Mimi. “So Meems, I bet you’re really looking forward to going with Philip to the dance.”
Mimi smirked. “Probably not as much as you are about going with Shawn.”
“Oh come on Mimi! This is your first dance of the year and with how much Philip cares about you, I’m sure he’s going to plan something wonderful for you two.”
“Not like what Shawn’s planning for you. I mean…not that I would want Philip to. I mean you guys have been going out for so much longer.”
“Not that much longer Meems.”
“Well…even before you went out…you guys were pretty much together. Everyone knew you would end up being a couple. I doubt hardly anybody thought that about Philip and me.”
“But so many people think you guys make a great couple now Mimi. I bet there’s no one at Salem High who would want you two apart.”
Mimi looked away. “Well I doubt that. There’s probably some.” She focused back on her friend. “The thing is Belle, it’s still kind of scary and exciting for me…going out with Philip Kiriakis. There’s still all this newness and…we’re just letting it happen…enjoying it and taking it slow. It’s so different from how it was with Kevin.”
Belle smiled. “And that’s a good thing, right?”
Mimi smiled back, her jade eyes vibrant. “Yeah, it’s a good thing…it’s better actually than good…a lot better.”
“So tell me Phil, what does the King Kiriakis have planned for after the dance?”
“None of your damn business!”
Shawn winced jokingly. “Ohhh, touchy, touchy!”
Philip smiled. “Knock it off Brady. I’m just happy to be taking Mimi to the dance. Besides, we don’t want to rush things.”
“So you think Belle and I are rushing?”
Philip shook his head back and forth. “No man. I mean, you guys have been going out for so long, you got really close on the island and…you both want it and everything. It’s just…Mimi and I haven’t been going out for that long.”
“Yeah, but you guys have been getting closer, right? I mean, I have no idea why, but for some unfathomable reason, Mimi actually seems happy with you!”
Philip grimaced at Shawn’s grinning face. “Funny Brady! We are happy together even if some troublemakers at school feel differently.”
“Ah, if you’re talking about girls like Gretchen, she’s just jealous probably. No big deal.”
“Yeah, I know.” Philip answered, though Gretchen hadn’t been the only person he had been thinking about. “Anyway, Mimi was already skittish enough about this in the first place.”
“It’s that Kiriakis reputation Phil…scares ladies off!”
“Shut up Shawn! All I know is I care about her a lot and I want to just enjoy being with her now…as for more…well we’ll see.”
After one more store, arduous time spent scaling the racks for something decent, finally two little hidden discoveries were found.
Belle grinned. “See. Didn’t I tell you guys to be positive?”
Chloe couldn’t help smiling back. “This is exactly what I was looking for.” She spun around, watching herself in the mirror with some appreciation finally.
Belle called out: “Come on Mimi, show us yours. I bet it’s wonderful too!”
Mimi, who had still been studying the dress in the dressing room, came out, glowing with happiness, but also seeming a bit apprehensive.
Belle and Chloe gasped together. The dress WAS wonderful. It was as if it had been made for her.
Mimi looked over at Chloe. “Wow Chloe, you have to get that dress! It’s just perfect for you.”
Chloe shook her head smiling, thankful for the praise, but still in a bit of wonder at how Mimi looked.
“Oh Meems…” Belle cut in excitedly, rushing over to her best friend. “You have to get that dress! Philip’s going to flip when he sees you in that…you look so beautiful!”
Mimi looked down at something and turned to face the mirror again, her expression changing…
Chloe smiled more, making her way over to the two girls. “Belle’s right, Mimi. Well…” She looked at both of them excitedly. “I’d say we’ve found our dresses. Let’s get ready to go pay and…”
Her voice drifted off as Mimi walked away from them…looking down at the floor.
Chloe and Belle shared questioning looks. Then Belle walked over to her friend as Chloe excused herself to go change.
“Mimi, what is it? Aren’t you happy? I mean you’ve found the perfect dress and everything.”
Unable to help herself, Mimi started crying, feeling like a blubbering idiot. “I…I can’t get it Belle.”
Worried, Belle anxiously got her friend to look at her. “Mimi, what do you mean?”
“I waited…waited until after I tried it on to look at the price…I know it’s stupid, but I loved it so much when I saw it on the hangar and…but I knew it had to be expensive…and I was right. I was so dumb to even try it on!” Tears rushed down her face.
Mimi started to brush away her tears, her hands shaking. Chloe came out from the dressing room, her face turning to one of concern as she noticed Mimi crying.
“It’s so stupid and selfish of me to be crying like this over one dumb dress…My family has been through so much and the center has people with so little and here I am crying like some self centered teenager over one dress!”
Chloe smiled sympathetically. ‘But we are teenagers Mimi and that means we can be selfish sometimes. It’s under the description of ‘how to describe a teen…’”
Belle smiled at Chloe’s attempt to console Mimi. Then she got an idea. “Mimi, I know!” She exclaimed. “You can do like we did on the other last blast. My family can loan you…”
Mimi spoke adamantly. “No Belle, I don’t want your family’s charity!”
“But Mimi, it’s not charity”
Her voice shaking, Mimi shook her head vehemently. “No!” She stopped, noticing people halting their shopping to see what was going on. Embarrassed, Mimi ran back to the dressing room. Quickly she removed the dress, putting it on the rack outside the dressing room and ran out of the store before Belle or Chloe could stop her. Both looked at each other with concern…
Shawn was grinning from ear to ear.
“I’d say my good man Philip, I think our boy has found THE one!”
“Why yes Sir Brady, I’d say you are quite right!”
“Oh, shut up you two old men!” Shawn appreciated how he looked one more time in the mirror. “Let’s get this thing and get out of here!”
“Chloe, you go ahead and pay for your dress. I’ve got to go be with her…she’s so upset!”
“Yeah, go ahead Belle. I feel so bad for her…if only that dress didn’t have to be so expensive.”
Belle grimaced. “It’s not even that expensive Chloe. I mean it could be worse, but Mimi’s gotten so independent ever since she started working at the center and she feels bad when she burdens her family…” Belle looked around anxiously. “Come find us after you pay.”
Then she rushed off with Chloe nodding her head in response.
“So guys, you think our girlfriends are still trying on dresses?”
Shawn grinned, now happy that his suit for the dance was rented and all. “Oh, I’m sure they still are. Any excuse Belle can get for shopping”
Shawn stopped talking as Mimi came rushing around the corner, Belle calling frantically after her.
“Mimi wait! Mimi!”
Philip stopped her anxiously. “Belle what’s wrong with Meems?”
Barely paying attention to her, noticing that Mimi just kept running, Philip let go of Belle and headed off in pursuit of his girlfriend.
“Mimi wait! MIMI!”
Hearing THAT voice, Mimi suddenly stopped. Philip ran up to her, wrapping his arms around her from behind, noticing with shock that she was crying. “Wildflower, what’s wrong…” he asked her tenderly, turning her around in his embrace so she faced him.
His voice unwinding her, the name that only he called her, sending her over the edge, she cried against his chest.
“Hey, hey…” Philip stroked her hair, anxious to know why she was so upset.
“Belle, what’s wrong with Mimi? Why is she so upset?”
Belle turned to her boyfriend, thankful at least for Philip’s ability to stop her upset best friend. She watched him now walk over with her to a more secluded spot, where people wouldn’t be watching them and then turned back to Shawn.
“Oh Shawn, we were having such a great time…we found the perfect dresses and everything and …Mimi found one she absolutely loved.”
Brady questioned his sister. “So what’s the problem sis? How come she’s so upset?”
Chloe came out at that minute. “She can’t afford it.”
Moving slowly with her to an area where not so many people were around, Philip sat Mimi down next to him on a bench. “All right, talk to me. Why are you so upset? And why were you running away? Remember…we had a deal, that if you felt you had to run…you come find me. Remember that Wildflower?”
Tears in her eyes, Mimi finally looked up at him. Oh how gentle and caring his eyes were, watching her so carefully. “Well I didn’t run from you. I stopped.”
Philip started removing her tears with his fingertips gently. “I know. And I’m glad you didn’t run from me. But you still haven’t told me what happened.” He smiled caringly. “Whatever it is it can’t be that bad.”
“I-I can’t go to the dance with you.”
Her words surprising him, Philip’s eyes widened with shock.
“I tried to get her to let me help her. I know my parents would back me up on it. They did before. We have the money…”
Shawn smiled, knowing what it was like to not always be able to buy everything you wanted, to have to turn things down sometimes because you couldn’t afford it. He quieted his girlfriend gently. “Belle I know how much you want to help Mimi, but to her it’s like a hand-out.”
“I know. I just wish…”
Belle turned around, to be face to face with a woman she had seen before, yet she just couldn’t quite remember where.
Philip moved back, keeping his hands on her arms. “What do you mean you can’t go to the dance with me?”
“Oh Philip, this is going to sound so dumb. I found it…the dress I wanted, but it…I…it’s too much money. I can’t…” She looked away with shame. “I can’t afford it and I can’t ask my family to get it for me. They’ve done enough already; it’s so expensive, the graduation pictures, the invitations, the yearbook…all of it. It’s just too much.”
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt. I don’t know if you remember me. I’m Rosa from the homeless center.”
Belle smiled politely. “Oh, I knew I’d seen you somewhere before, but I couldn’t quite remember…”
“Yes…” Rosa smiled back. “I don’t meant to sound nosy, but I couldn’t help hearing what you were all talking about and I noticed Mimi running off. She…she doesn’t have enough money for a dress?”
Belle frowned. “No, she doesn’t. And she doesn’t want to ask her parents for their help either. Her family has had its own financial problems.”
“Yes I know…she’s told me…and she’s been so excited about this dance…” Disappointment shown in Rosa’s features, but then suddenly there was a bit of brightness. “Belle…” she started…
Philip laughed, hugging her tight. “Oh Meems, THAT’S what you’re upset about? Some dress?”
“It’s not funny…don’t laugh at me.”
He kissed her on the forehead, his face falling against the top of her head. “Ahh, I’m not laughing at you. I’m just relieved it’s not something worse. Mimi, the dress doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about it.”
He cut her off gently. “I’m not going to the dance to be with some dress, Meems. I’m going to be there with you. I don’t care what you wear…as long as you’re there with me.”
“But everybody’s going to be expecting…”
“So! Let them expect what they want!”
She looked up at him seriously. “Philip, you’re one of the most popular people at school. You’re considered the king…I can’t go with you dressed in…something awful.”
He shook his head, laughing. “The KING…ha-ha…and to think at one time I actually believed that garbage and what did it get me? A ruined suit, drenched in red…well you remember. They’re not even going to vote me for king this year anyway. Shawn and Belle will be king and queen without a doubt and I think that’s great. I’m happy for them because to them it’s no big deal. What matters most is being together. And that’s how I feel about being with you.”
“But maybe if you were with someone else…”
Sighing with exasperation, he took her face into his hands, getting her to look at him. “The dance means NOTHING to me Mimi…ABSOLUTELY NOTHING without you there with me. I don’t care if you go dressed in a potato sack…”
“OOOHhhhh, that would be awful…” She giggled in spite of herself. How he could always get her to laugh.
His dimples came out. “Yeah, but…you get the point.” He moved her so her back was to him, his arms wrapping around her waist, his cheek against hers. “I’ll be on cloud nine as long as my Wildflower’s there with me…”
His soft murmured words made her face glow with happiness as she held onto his arms. How could she have ever been so worried about something as simple as a dress…when she had what she REALLY needed right there?
She turned to face him…
Feeling his mouth softly take hers…
****Later that night****
“Burn Baby burn! Come on Meems, sing it out with me!”
Mimi, wearing jeans, a T’-shirt and jacket, giggled. “Burn Baby burn!”
“Right on sister!” Philip, also dressed casually in jeans, a T-shirt and jacket, clapped hands with his girlfriend, laughing afterwards as they watched the flames rise higher into the sky.
They had found a secluded spot down by the river, to have a bonfire in which they were ‘burning’ away the past. It was a celebration… to celebrate the fact that Mimi would no longer be engaged in the cleaning of the locker rooms. Simply put, her tour of duty was over.
“WOO! HOO! So long rubber gloves and old torn up rags! Adios scrub brush and sayonara to every heavy bucket of filthy water!”
Philip whooped along with his girlfriend, wrapping his arms around her. They had at first intended to celebrate the previous night, but with one final still looming on the horizon for both of them, they decided to wait until after their respective shopping trips. It had originally been just about Mimi’s end of her internet punishment, but it was turning out to be a goodbye to the past…a look to the future.
Mimi grinned, turning around to face the fire, running her hands up and down Philip’s back. She still was disappointed about not finding a dress she could afford that she really liked, settling on one that she thought was just okay, Truthfully though, it just didn’t matter to her that much anymore. Knowing she was going to the dance with the gorgeous guy she was holding right now was enough. She looked up to see his eyes smiling down into hers.
Philip distanced himself from Mimi a bit. “Uhhh, I have something else I want…I need to let go of.” He reached into his pocket, holding out an envelope to her. “This is a letter…that I wrote…oh boy…I wrote it when we were on the island. It’s to Chloe. I missed her a lot when we were there…as you know. So I thought, I’d write to her…saying some things I hadn’t told her before…admitting things. Well, as you know, the island ended a little differently than anyone thought it would.”
Hearing a catch in his voice, Mimi, moved closer, holding his hands in hers.
“After I was home, and when I was recovering…I had a lot of time…time to think. And I know I’ve told you this before, but…it did things to me…the island. It changed me. It made me realize that the world’s this huge place and that I’m just this little tiny part of it and it really doesn’t matter if I’m in it tomorrow because it’ll still be there. Life will go on.”
Mimi brought his hand to her heart. “Don’t say that. I would care…a lot of people would and it would change the lives of the people who consider you part of theirs.”
Philip smiled. “I know and I’m grateful for that Mimi. See, that’s the thing, as much as I’m just some small part, I still am that and after the island I saw just how lucky I am to have friends and family…and then after we started spending time together this year, I…” He brought his hand up to her face, stroking it with his fingers. “I…” His face took on an exasperated expression. “I don’t get it sometimes. I try to say things to you but…sometimes…I…I don’t even know how to say it.”
Mimi smiled, holding his hand up to her face, with her own. “I know…it’s like you get tongue tied or something…I feel that way too…”
He continued, moving in closer. “I just…I just want you to know…this…US…means so much to me Meems…so much…” Holding her face with both hands now, moving the letter back to his pocket for a minute, Philip slowly moved his lips against Mimi’s, the rising flames of the fire lighting up their faces as they kissed each other…
He moved back when it was done, holding the letter back out to her. “This letter is the past Mimi. I look at it now and I can’t believe some of the things I wrote. It was so much about what I needed and now it just seems selfish. That’s why I brought it here…tonight…to give it to you…to let you see it…before I say goodbye to what it meant forever.”
Mimi looked up at him shocked. “But it’s personal. It’s something that was between you and…and Chloe.”
He placed the letter in her hands, letting go of it. “It’s the past Mimi. It’s what I used to feel. There’s no reason for me to keep that from you because what we have has always been based on honesty.”
Mimi smiled. “You’re right. It is based on honesty…which is why I don’t even need to read this.” She handed the letter back to him.
“But…don’t you want to?” He questioned her with surprise.
“What…can’t believe the gossip queen of Salem High is turning down an offer to read something private?’” She laughed. “Well I’ve changed too Philip. I also found something from the past…and brought it with me.” She reached into her jacket pocket, bringing out a small book with a lock on it. “This was the diary I was keeping, when Jan and I were busy away plotting out one of the stupidest, most selfish and cruelest things I’ve ever done. I just found it recently while cleaning out my drawers and I felt so ashamed to see what I wrote in it. What was I thinking? How could I be so self absorbed that I would want to hurt someone that way?”
He reached out, touching her face. “You made a mistake. You learned from it. That’s all that matters.”
“Yes I did learn and part of that was the island, then the center and Leroy, but a lot of it was you too. You’ve helped me believe in myself so much Philip. That’s why before I say goodbye to the past, I want to give this to you…so there aren’t any secrets.”
Philip smiled, taking the book. “But there aren’t any secrets. I know enough. You made a mistake and this year you paid for it without complaining and without trying to make anyone feel sorry for you. I don’t need to read this book because I already know who you are and THAT’S enough.”
Now they both smiled, taking each other’s object of the past…the letter…the diary…threw them into the fire…watching the items disappear into the flames…disappear from their lives.
Wrapping their arms tightly around each other afterwards, they kissed each other with devotion, falling down simultaneously to the dirt/grassy ground.
Finishing kissing her, feeling her lips move away from his with a sigh coming out of her mouth, Philip wrapped his arms around his girlfriend, holding her back against his chest as they stayed there, watching the dancing flames.
“This is it Mimi. Tomorrow we graduate. No more Salem High.”
She murmured softly, moving her face against his shoulder. “Yeah, but after graduation we get to be with our classmates one more time…at the dance.”
He smiled, whispering against her face. “Yeah…the dance. Hope you’re ready for a very special night.”
Mimi moved back to look at him. “What do you mean Mr. Kiriakis?”
Philip grinned. “Uh-uh-uh. You’re just going to have to wait and see Miss Lockhart. I promise you one thing though…” He kissed her neck and then continued as if he hadn’t even stopped talking. “I’m going to do everything to make up for every dance you missed this year…every single one.”
Mimi protested. “What…”
However, he cut her off, bringing his face down to hers. “You’ll see…”
Mimi’s next protest died on her lips as she felt his mouth take hers again…the leaping flames illuminating the shadowy image of two people…
Seemingly becoming one in the red orange embers…
To be continued…
Let me know what you think. I enjoy reading your comments.