Short But Sweet
Let's all admit it together as our voices rise up as one - Good to see you go, Sam.
It's a short chapter, but you guys have been more than gracious in waiting for this moment.And I thank you for doing so.
Need to check in at the bottom so I'll meet you there...
The chapter title pertains to a) length of the chapter b)Sam's send off and c) Eileen is only 5'2''
Short But Sweet
Helena sat in her seat in first class, waiting for the others to board. Oblivious to the murmurs from the other passengers who recognized her, Helena stared out the window. Part of her wanted to get off that plane, get back to the bookstore, and make Myka listen. She would tell her that she has tried everything she could think of, and now it would be up to Myka to tell her what to do. And she would do it – because Helena had never experienced an ache like this in her life.
"You do remember she said this would be on us if it didn't work out right?" Pete whispered to Claudia.
"Yeah, that was before she got the emotional crap beaten out of her," Claudia said looking over at her boss.
Pete conspicuously got up and walked over to the steward and asked him the question that was on his mind the whole time in the airport.
"Listen, let me ask you something. You know how in the movies, the couple fights, and then say they're leaving each other and one of them gets on a plane and the other one is like in a store. And then the one in the store finally comes to her freaking senses and rushes to the airport, but now since 9/11 you can't just barge through security right? So she has to figure out a way to get to the person she finally has figured out has been trying really hard all along. So she like finds a way to get on the tarmac, but the plane door is closing so she runs alongside the plane? You know what I mean?" Pete said making a running motion to the wide eyed man. "Yeah? OK. So does the pilot stop the plane?"
And that is how Pete delayed Helena's aircraft for over an hour while Claudia convinced the crew he was talking about his girlfriend who he just broke up with and that is why he was acting crazy.
Myka wasn't entirely surprised to see Sam at the front of the store, kissing and hugging her mother and shaking her father's hand. She wasn't even surprised to see Sam wink at her father as if no one would ever suspect he called Sam to tell him to come and talk sense into his daughter. It had been over 24 hours since Myka's melt down and Sam was certain she would have thought things through by now. After all, Myka was very bright.
Her parents' expressions were a mixture of feigned surprise and 'look what we did to help'. They meant well, God love them. Myka had a lifetime of their good intentions, but they never really seemed to be good for her. Standing there in khakis and a blue polo shirt, Myka thought how dull he seemed. She remembered thinking in spite of her anger, how Helena seemed to make the entire store brighter – as if she was casting a floodlight on things. Remembering that made the discomfort come back and Myka knew she had to end this charade.
"Sam," Myka said as she grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the store. She didn't speak her second word to him until they were in the booth in the diner across the street and had ordered coffee. Sam ordered pie because he erroneously thought this would be a long conversation.
"You look great, Myka. Being out here agrees with you," Sam said fixing his coffee.
"Sam, I'm sorry they called you," Myka said.
"No, I wanted to see you. They're worried, Bunny, that's all," Sam said taking her hand across the table.
"They shouldn't be, I'm fine," Myka said and Sam's expressions said 'brave Myka'.
"Look, let's go on vacation next week, just the two of us and put New York and all of this behind us," Sam suggested. He didn't care if his boss was regretting now that he told him he better take his days.
"Sam, I have been thinking about things...," Myka started and was interrupted when Sam repeated 'thinking's good, thinking's good.' Myka smiled her patience at him.
"I want to break up, Sam," Myka said and he stopped sipping his coffee. This was worse than Warren and Jeanne thought it was.
"Don't be ridiculous, Bunny. You've had a temporary setback. No one could work for that bitch," Sam said putting his cup down and taking her other hand now in his.
It was as if Sam's derogatory words shot like venom into her veins. Myka straightened up her back and pulled his hands into her so fast; his chest hit the tabletop between them.
"Listen to me, Sam. This is the last time I'm going to say this to you. I am breaking up with you. I love you, but it's not enough. I have had a taste of what enough is….. and Sam, you're not it," Myka said and let go of his hands.
Sam fell back into the booth and stared at the woman he no longer knew.
"I don't know what got into you," he said.
"Hot, sweet, electrifying passion, you idiot," Myka thought, but didn't say. Instead she smiled at him, collected herself, and said; "I don't know either, but I like it. Goodbye Sam."
Myka got up out of the booth a renewed woman. It was the first time in her life she felt like she knew what she wanted and acted on it –even if it hurt someone's feelings.
"I won't come crawling back again, Myka," Sam shouted to her and the patrons of the small diner.
"I'm kinda counting on that, Sam," Myka said as she walked across the street and broke the news to her parents.
"But Myka," they both tried, but Myka wouldn't let them finish. She kissed them both and thanked them for their concern. She told them she had everything under control and that she was going to go on a little vacation tomorrow. Then she smiled bravely and went back to helping them with the store, even though there wasn't that much to do.
After talking to Pete and seeing that he was not a threat, the crew allowed him to return to his seat and they prepared for takeoff again. Helena was the only one oblivious to it all.
She was deep in thought and reminiscing. Over and over in her head, she repeated a line that she wrote in The War of the Worlds;
"I went to a box room at the top of the house and locked myself in, in order to be alone with my aching miseries."
That was what Helena planned on doing when she got home. She would seclude herself in her townhouse with her aching thoughts of Myka.
Pete, the hopeless optimist looked out his window until he was certain Myka couldn't jump that high to the door. Maybe she wasn't as bright as he thought she was.
When the plane landed hours later, Helena told Pete she wanted to go directly to her townhouse. Irene already knew that and so she told Pete to tell Helena it was urgent that she come to work. The woman was concerned that Helena would lock herself away somewhere in the house and she wouldn't get to talk to her. And whether Helena wanted to or not, she had to talk to someone.
Pete heard the British anthem of 'oh bloody hell' when he told Helena that Mrs. Frederic wanted to see her, but she didn't protest when he drove the car in the direction of midtown instead of uptown.
"You might want to go home early," Mrs. Frederic said to Eileen to protect her, but the young assistant refused.
"She might want tea," Eileen said, ready to serve if needed.
Helena smiled at the young woman and went directly into her office and closed the door. Irene gave her a couple of minutes before she knocked softly and went in.
"Helena?" she said walking towards her boss, who had her back to her staring out the window. The familiar scene of people coming and going seemed to annoy her now – as if it was a taunt that life was carrying on while she was in pain. She took a deep breath and turned around.
Irene could not remember a time the Brit looked so sad. It pained her to see Helena appear emotional like the rest of them, as if she weren't mortal somehow.
"Are you okay?" Irene asked standing on the other side of the desk.
"It would seem I have finally experienced failure, Irene. It has been a long time since I have had that taste in my mouth," Helena said quietly.
"I'm sorry it didn't turn out better, Helena," Irene said.
She wanted to sit down, but Helena remained standing. She wanted to go to her friend and hug her, but Helena's stiff back told her she was not ready for that.
"Yes, well I appreciate that," Helena said. "Is there something you needed me for?" she asked getting back to business.
"I just wanted to see if you were okay," Irene confessed. Helena forced a smile on her face to thank her confidant.
"I will be," Helena assured her, but didn't believe it.
"Can I get you some tea?" Irene offered.
"Yes, thank you," Helena said turning back to look out the window. She wanted to go home really, but found it impossible to move.
Irene went outside and asked Eileen to prepare the tea.
"How is she?" the executive assistant asked.
"Not good," Irene answered truthfully.
"But she was supposed to get Ms. Bering to come back!" Eileen practically cried as she poured the boiling water she knew would be needed into the pot.
"Yes, well I guess Ms. Bering didn't see it that way," Irene said perplexed herself by the end result. "I guess Ms. Wells can't charm everyone," Irene said.
"That's not true!" Eileen yelled and surprised the older woman. Irene understood they were all upset by what happened.
"What the hell is wrong with her? She's Helena G. Wells for God's sake. She makes deals, she breaks people, she gets what she wants," Eileen ranted as she prepared the tray with the tea. "And you're just going to let her give up?" Eileen said turning to face the one person she thought could save this.
"Dear, Helena tried … we all tried," Irene said.
"The hell you all did! Trying isn't good enough! Now someone has to get through that thick English skull of her," Eileen said marching off with the cup of hot tea.
Mrs. Frederic put her hand out to gently stop the young woman, but thought maybe …. Just maybe…it was worth a try. Eileen was, after all, fully covered under the health plan.
Mrs. Frederic watched as the experienced woman put the tray down, opened the door, picked up the tray, and entered.
"Ms. Wells, we need to talk," Eileen said as she slammed the door shut with her foot.