Mike and Boo and Sulley
A door was put back in the system at Monsters Incorporated. This caused quite a stir among the employees, the comedians especially. Doors were often taken out of the system, but none were actually returned.
The reason this one was put back was because the little girl had moved out. Or so they said.
But Sulley knew better. Together, he and Mike paid a visit to the room they said was occupied by a different girl.
It was early in the morning. Sulley walked on old, stiff legs and tired feet, supporting himself with a pair of crutches. Mike’s wheelchair was just as, if not slower than, Sulley on his crutches.
“You’ve got the file, Mike?” Sulley asked, his voice weathered by time and pain and loss.
“Sulley, you’ve asked me once a minute, non-stop, like clockwork,” Mike replied, showing him the manila folder, his voice a little bit angry and wild. “I’ve got it. I’ve got my eye on it. You’ll see her very soon.”
“I sure hope you’re right.”
They arrived at the panel. Mike punched the door number in and scanned the card key. They waited a full minute before it arrived on squeaking rails, and was grabbed by rusty tongs.
The light above the door glowed red, indicating that it was fully functional.
Mike looked up at Sulley. “Are you ready?”
In response, Sulley grasped the knob and turned it.
He pushed it open.
The afternoon sun streamed in through the window, painting the white wall with purple flowers molten gold. Sitting on the bed, reading a book, was a young woman, whom Sulley thought he would recognise anywhere.
“Boo?” he asked tentatively, the crack in his voice a witness to his pain and hope. “Is that you?”
The woman looked up and cocked her head. “What planet did you come from?” she asked. “Wait a second…” she said, getting up. She scrutinised his face for a long while. “Wait here.”
The woman left the room and returned with another. “Mum, isn’t this him?”
The new woman was older, about middle-aged, Sulley had to guess. But this time, this woman was the one whom he knew he would recognise anywhere.
“Kitty?” she asked, slowly walking towards the strange creature in the closet. She caressed his thinning blue and purple fur with tenderness. She looked into his strong, green eyes with love. And the hug she gave was of pure happiness. “Kitty! You came back!”
“Boo! Oh, I’m so glad to see you!” Sulley whispered back, unstoppable tears of joy soaking into his fur.
“I’ll leave you two alone for a little bit.” Boo’s daughter made to leave.
“No, no, Lila, stay here. This is Kitty, a friend of mine, whom I haven’t seen since I was little. Kitty, this is Lila, my youngest, who should be studying for Year Twelve, but from the looks of the book she’s reading, clearly doesn’t care.”
“Oh, Mum, come on! I need a break from study!” Lila whined.
“And you should have one,” came a voice from behind Sulley.
“Mike Wazowski, I know it’s you,” Boo laughed. “You can come out now.”
“Trust me, Boo, he would if he could. We’re old now, you see. Mike’s in a wheelchair, and the factory floor there isn’t smooth enough for him.”
Boo gasped. “How long has it been for you?” she asked tentatively.
“It’s been seventy years for us.”
Tears welled up in Boo’s eyes as she whispered, “So you haven’t got much time left?”
Sulley shook his head. “I just wanted to see you one last time. And I have. And I am so proud of you, Boo.”
“Kitty, come on and sit down on the bed.” The two women helped him walk and sit down. He marvelled at how alike mother and daughter were.
“You gave your beautiful eyes to your daughter, Boo,” Sulley said softly, caressing her face, pinched and drawn by age.
Boo held his hand. “My name is Mei,” she whispered.
“And my name is Sulley. And I can now die happy, knowing that you have become a marvellous woman with marvellous children. I want you to come to my funeral, Mei, when it happens.”
Lila held onto her mother, whose quiet tears had turned into waterfalls. “Sulley, I just met you,” Lila cried. “I lost the best teacher I ever had a few weeks ago, and I only just met him three years ago. He had cancer. From what Mum has told me, you could have been like a grandfather to me! Why do you have to go?”
“I’m old, Lila. After what happened all those years ago, I was successful in turning Monsters, Inc. from a place where screams are heard to a place where laughter is made. Mike is the best comedian there is, and I don’t want to say goodbye any more than you do. But we have to.”
“Sulley, I want you to come and visit me here when you go. You have to promise me that much.”
“And I shall. I promise that I will, and that you and I will be together in Heaven. I’ll be waiting for you at the Pearly Gates until it is your turn. But you have to die of natural causes, okay? I might never forgive you otherwise.”
Mei chuckled. “Alright. I promise.”
They shared one last final embrace. “Take care, will you, Mei? And you, Lila, take a break when you finish school, and then you can do whatever you want afterwards. Got it?”
“Got it,” mother and daughter said in unison.
They helped him back up and out the closet door. “Thank you, Sulley,” Mei whispered. “I’ll never forget you.”
“Me neither,” Lila whispered.
“I’ll always remember you both.”
The one word no one could bring themselves to say hung in the air like the ghost of a fond memory long gone.
Eventually they said it. “Goodbye…”