I repeat, this does not belong to me. I have just borrowed Mia and Michael for a couple of hours of fun….
This is the day before the prom, I think, when Michael and Mia go on that carriage ride….
Today was my big lunch with Mia.I was really nervous. I mean, I had that coffee date with Mia in Café Dante last week, if you can even call that a date. But today...it was different.
I took a shower and put on a sports coat and a pair of jeans. I left my hair ruffled. I knew Mia liked it that way.
It was one o'clock and I was at the Boathouse. And there she was...Coming towards me like an angel, wearing black jeans and a pink and black top. She looked so cute that I wanted grab her at that instant and kiss her.
Something on her hand caught my eyes. A big diamond ring.
The same ring that her so called boyfriend presented her on her birthday.
"Hey,"I called, as soon as she came near. I leaned down to kiss her cheek. It brought back happy memories.
She tried to back away.
"Oh, no, I have a cold!"
I ? I have never heard such a lame excuse.
"I like your germs."
Mia looked like she was about to fall off, when Lars suddenly grabbed her and went.
"Are you all right, Princess?"
Then she laughed like nothing had happened (nothing really had. All Lars asked was, 'Are you all right, Princess.'She didn't have to laugh like that. It seriously making me doubt that spending time with J.P had affected her mind.)
A waiter came up and led us to a table right by the lake. That was why I liked the Boathouse so much. It had a great sat at the nearby bar.
Mia kept staring at the lake with a vacant expression on her face, (which solidifies my doubt) that I asked her.
"Mia, are you all right?"
Then she began laughing again, rather nervously.
"Yes, yes, I'm fine, I'm sorry, I'm just a little distracted."
Then she went, all excited.
"I got a phone call this morning from an editor—she wants to publish my book."
I stared at her.
Mia is getting her book published? Oh my god...
My face broke into a huge smile.
"That's great. We've got to celebrate."
I motioned to a waiter and ordered sparkling water. The I raised my glass and toasted for her.
"To Mia, the future writer."
She looked she raised her glass and said.
"To Michael, a life saver."
A life saver? Really? Is that what she thinks of me?
Should I be happy that she thinks me as a life saver? Or should I be terrified how J.P has affected her mind?
We just sat there, sipping Perrier on water.
Then suddenly, the bright rays of the sun caught on the diamond ring on her ring and the reflection sent an explosion of little rainbows on to my face. So bright that it made me blink and made my eyes water.
"I'm sorry." she said, mortified and slipped the ring into her bag.
"That's some rock," I said, with a teasing smile, even though I felt like taking the ring from her and throwing it into the lake. "So are you guys, like, engaged now?"
"Oh, no." she said with a smile."It's just a friendship ring."
"I see."I said. I couldn't help but remark. "Friendships have gotten a lot more…expensive than when I was at AEHS."
I saw she looked...stressed and I felt guilty for telling her that.
I changed the subject.
"And where's J.P. going to college next year?"
"Well," she said carefully. "Sean Penn's optioned this play J.P. wrote, so he's thinking about heading out to Hollywood next year, and doing college later."
Oh, that really interested me.
"Really? So you guys would be doing the long-distance thing."
"Well," I said. "I don't know. We're talking about me going with
"To Hollywood?" I sounded totally incredulous.
It was so not going to Hollywood.
Then I apologized.
"Sorry. You just…I mean, you've just never struck me as
the Hollywood type. Not that you aren't glamorous enough now. Because you totally are."
I am not even kidding. She had really changed
"Thanks," she said, completely embarrassed
Just then, the waiter brought our salads.
"But I know what you mean," she went on, when the waiter went away.
"I'm not really sure what I'd do all day in Hollywood. J.P. said I
could write. But…I always thought if I put off college for a year, it would be to go out in one of those little boats that put themselves between the whaling ships and the humpbacks, or something. Not hang around on Melrose. You know?"
Trust me Mia, I really don't know.
"Somehow I don't see your parents giving the seal of approval to either of those plans," I said.
"And then there's that," she said, with a sigh. "I have some things I need to figure out. And not a whole lot of time left to do it. The parental units want a decision on where I'm going by the election."
"You'll do the right thing," I said confidently. "You always do."
She stared at me as if I have just landed from Mars in a UFO.
"How can you even say that? I so do not."
"Yes, you do," I said. "In the end."
"Michael, I screw everything up," she said, laying down her fork. "You, more than anyone, should know that. I completely ruined our relationship."
Whoa, this conversation is so not going where I want it to go.
"No, you didn't," I said, shocked. "I did."
I am not saying it to make her feel better. It was the truth.
I should have told her about Judith and me right from the beginning.
"No, I did." she said. "I never should have made such a big deal over the Judith thing—"
I interrupted her.
"And I ought to have told you about it from the beginning,"
"Even so," she said again. "I acted like a complete and utter psycho—"
"No, Mia, you didn't—"I said.
I can't believe we are sitting on a table near the lake and bickering like an old couple.
"Oh my God," she said, holding up her hands to stop me with a laugh.
"Can we please not try to rewrite history? I did. You were right to break up with me. Things were getting too intense. We both needed a breather."
"Yeah," I said. "A breather. You weren't supposed to go and
get engaged to someone else in the meantime."
I didn't mean it, but I guess it did come out a little harsh.
Mia looked as if I had sucked the air out of her. Then it struck me how it had seemed to her.
I laughed, relaxing her somewhat. The waiter came to pick up my empty and her untouched salad plate. I said to her.
"Just kidding. Look, I knew it was a risk. I couldn't have expected you were going to wait around for me forever. You can get engaged—or, what is it? Right, friendship-ringed—to whomever you want. I'm just glad you're happy."
But as I was saying this, a voice inside me was yelling at me.
'Stop it idiot, what the hell are you saying?'
And there I was, sitting there, smiling like a dork and telling the woman I love that it is okay with me if she gets engaged (or friendship ringed)to someone other than me.
Honestly, what is wrong with me?
Just then, the waiter brought our main courses. I didn't want to stress her any further and spoil the lunch. So I steered the conversation to more normal topics like school, Japan and whether or not Joss Whedon will ever make a Buffy the Vampire Slayer feature film and how much Karen Allen rocks and Boris's concert and my company and Mia's Dad's campaign.
Then suddenly, we arrived at the topic of Lilly or rather 'The Danger Zone.'
"Has your dad seen the commercial she made for him?"I asked her.
"Oh," she said, smiling. "Yes! It was wonderful. I couldn't believe it. Was that…did you have something to do with that?"
Lilly was really edgy a couple of days before her birthday. So when she told me about her plan, I just pushed her a little.
"Well," I said, smiling too. "She wanted to do it. But…I might
have encouraged her a little. I can't believe you two still aren't friends again, after all this time."
"We are not friends," she said. "We just…I don't know
what happened, really. She never would tell me."
I know why Lilly is still angry with if I tell Mia that I know the reason, she would bug me until I tell her.
And trust me; I don't want to hurt Mia any further.
"I really," she said, "have no idea."
I mentally smiled at how dense she is.
I had a sudden urge to grab her, shake her and say.
'Wake up up and see how that jerk is using you.'
But instead, all I was able to do is order the dessert.
"Why don't we try out all the desserts?"I said.
Mia looked as if I had gone crazy.
"Well," I shrugged."We have met to celebrate, right? And what better to celebrate with than dessert."
So we ordered every dessert in the menu.
"So missing Japan already?"She said, to make conversation.
"I don't know."It is really weird to ask someone a question like this. What are we expected to answer?"Japanese and American cultures are really different. For example, in Japan, takeout restaurants delivered stuff in actual china bowls. After I finish eating, I just place the bowls outside my door and someone comes and picks them up. So it takes recycling to a new level. But we don't have that kind of situation here."
"Suffered any embarrassments?"She asked, her eyes filled with mischief.
"Lots."I said, grimacing."Lets just say the Japanese take the karaoke stuff quite 's boyfriend is a karaoke champion back in showed how it is done, but I am much more of a live musician."
We chatted like this for a couple of minutes like suddenly, Mia started giggling, looking at the river. I saw two girls on a boat, looked kind of familiar.
I asked the waiter for the bill, which I paid, even though Mia insisted.
"Michael," she protested."I wanted to take you out. For the donation, you know."
"Come on Mia."I laughed."Don't be stupid."
It was then I saw a carriage and suddenly had a brainwave.
"Hey, Mia."I said."Do you have something to do now?"
"No." she replied."Not till four."
"Nothing to do until four? Good," I said, taking her arm.
"Then we can keep on celebrating."
"Celebrating how?" she asked. She sounded a little stupid.
"Have you ever been in one of these?" I asked, pointing to the carriages.
Her mouth went wide.
"Of course I've never been in one of these," she cried, acting horrified. She's a good actor, by the way. "They're so touristy! And PETA is trying to get them banned. And they're for people who are on dates."
Her last point helped me make up my mind completely.
"Perfect," I said.
I handed the carriage driver some money who was wearing a really idiotic and by NY standards, totally awesome old timey outfit.
"We'll go around the park."I said. I turned to Lars."Lars, get up front. And don't turn around."
I knew Lars won't look, but I can't be sure now, not when Mia is someone else's girlfriend. How would I know he won't karate chop me now.
"No!"Mia said in a loud voice, laughing. "I am not getting in there! These things are cruel to horses!"
The carriage woman gave her a really dirty look.
"I take excellent care of my horse," she said. "Probably better than you take care of your pets, young lady."
If she had taken a better look at Mia and Lars's shoulder holster, she probably wouldn't have said that.
I decided to tease Mia.I gave her a look that said, now look what you have done.
She looked around once. Probably looking for the paps.
She laughed as she grabbed the hand I offered ; I don't see anything funny about me offering her help, which brings me back to my old doubt.
The woman started her horse and we moved forward with a lurch.
We were looking at opposite directions and then suddenly...
We were in each other's arms, two people who had never kissed before.
Two voices exploded in my head.
My hands went unknowingly to her neck.
'Stop it right now, Michael.'one voice said. 'She is someone else's girlfriend. You can't go around kissing someone else's girlfriend.'
'But you love her.' the second voice in my head said.'J.P doesn't love her like I do. In fact, he doesn't love her at all. All he loves is her fame.'
'But that does not mean that she loves you anymore. Nor does it justify what you are doing.' the first voice.
'It does.' the second voice was urging me. 'She really wants you Michael.'
While the first and second voices inside my head had a raging battle, the carriage stopped and Mia broke the kiss.
"Mia."I began. "You have to know. You have to know I lo—"
But she stopped me. By smashing her hand over my mouth.
"DO NOT SAY IT." she yelled.
She turned to Lars.
"Lars, we're leaving. Now."
And Lars hopped down from the top of the carriage and helped her from the bench. And the two of them went to the waiting limo.
She did not turn. Not even once.
I took out my phone and typed a message.
I'm not sorry.
And I'll wait.
I hope she doesn't delete the message without even reading it. She looked like she would.
Why won't she just realize how much I love her?
How as it? Whatever your opinion is, just let me know…