-I do love you, you should know-
Angell’s P. O. V
I felt my hopes rise fractionally day after tomorrow. That gave Janis time to talk to her father and me time to tell Mimi-something and also time to say goodbye at any rate.
It was enough. It would have to be. I looked at Valerian through hooded eyes “I get it.”
Mimi found me in the painting room after her parents went to bed. I sat in the armchair before the empty grate, elbows on knees, my head on hands. She stood for a moment in the doorway and gazed at me, at the way my chair draped over my fingers in pitch-black waves, at the straight line of my nose in profile, at the board expanse of my back and the way my white shirt pulled slightly across the shoulders.
“What is it, Summer? ” Her words were quiet, but I started as if she’d slammed the door. I rose swiftly and pushed my hair back out of my eyes with one hand. She took a step into the room, marveling again at the poise with which I moved. When my clear eyes met hers, they revealed an expression of vulnerability so starting that she stopped and raised a hand to her chest.
“Summer, what is it? ” she asked me again, this time with more intensity. My graze skittered away, causing her more trepidation than anything I could have said. I never had trouble meeting her eyes. I could always look into her face, her eyes, her very own soul and say anything. I always had.
“it’s nothing, ” I said, my voice strong, decisive, belying the furtive slip of my graze. “Valerian is- an unpleasant character.” I watch as Mimi fear rise up within her, fear of my fear, of whatever Valerian had said to me that defeats me so. Before she could think, she moved towards me and took my hands, squeezing them in hers.
“Tell me,” she said, grabbing my graze with her own and not relinquishing it. “Tell me what he knows, how he’s blackmailing you.” I looked at her for a moment in shock, then shook my head vehemently as if to clear it and turned away from her. One hand raked through my already disheveled hair.
I laughed shortly and turned back from a safe distance. “He doesn’t know anything you haven’t known all along," I said. In my eyes was a strange light, a sort of over-brightness with traces of anger, fear, and outrage. “Basically. ”
“What do you mean? ” she asked, her voice devoid of intonation.
“I mean, it’s like as you’ve said from the beginning, Mimi we’re different. You and I. Fuck, me and everyone. I’m different and I don’t belong here.” She felt as if she were walking on glass as if one misstep and she would stumble and bleed forever for it.
“I was wrong, Summer. You fit in well,” she said cautiously. “My father thinks the world of you.” At that her lashes dropped, dark smudges against the fine planes of my cheeks. I frowned and shook my head.
“No, Mimi. You were right. It’s nothing to do with money or clothes or speech....... Manners. ” I scoffed with the word and threw out a hand helplessly.
“I am not good enough.” my eyes met hers. “I am not good enough for you, I’m not what you think I am,” I repeated, my voice into a dry rasp. Mimi held her graze, sensing the fragility behind my words her need to comfort me was crushing her ineffectiveness debilitating she wanted to come to me but she knew I would not respond. There was a hardness to me that she never sensed before, a resolution.
“You don’t mean that,” she said finally. "It was you-you were right all along. It’s not about money, firm and clothes or manners. It’s about character, Summer and you’ve got that......... Impeccably. ” I smiled, a sweet sad acknowledgment of the compliment. My eyes rested on hers. “Mimi," I said slowly, in a tone that made her throat and tears stung her eyes She shook her head, unsure if she could speak.
“Everything,” she said finally, but it emerged only a whisper. I took a deep breath and looked at the floor between them.
“Please tell me,” she said, her voice slightly stronger.
“Please trust me, Summer, I can help you.” My mouth lifted up on one side. “No,” I said at length and looked back up at her.
“I don’t think you can help me, Mimi and I don’t think you’ll want to know that I’ve lied to you and everyone else.” She swallowed hard and took a few steps towards me. My expression darkened and she stopped.
“Knew what? What does Valerian know? ” she pleaded. Desperation causing her voice to rise. “Tell me. Are you in debt? Did you steal? are you a fraud star? ” At my successive head shaking, she clenched her fingers in her skirt. “Have you killed someone? ” I expelled a breath of air and looked at the ceiling, “No, but I almost did, ” I said in a low voice, a long time ago.” She couldn’t help her relief. The murder was the one thing she’d fear most, but even that she knew she would have forgiven.
Then another disturbing thought struck her, I can see it on her face that man, he could be some girls father he followed Summer here from St. Mali. Could Summer have compromised some poor queen-towns girl? Could the man be after Summer to do the right thing? “Listen, it’s nothing you can fix-”
“is it a woman? ” she asked abruptly.
“A what? ”
"A woman," she asked again. “Someone -someone you maybe-before...... ” she felt her face flame with embarrassment. I looked at her long and hard, so hard so long in fact, that she averted her eyes.
“Yes,” he said finally. Mimi’s stomach dropped to the floor. She closed her eyes. “Who is she? Your first love? ” I can see the sadness on her face.
“She’s - my first love, someone I care for, and adore”
“What is her name? where is she? ” she questioned me with her hope decreased.
“Her name is, Oceangela Fairchild,”
“She’s- she’s dead now ” I felt tears run down my cheek out of embarrassment I quickly wiped it off.
“I have to leave as possible, ” I said gently. Mimi swallowed and looked away from me to the door blinking rapidly to stave off tears. she racked her brain for something to say that can help. She was rooted to the spot immobilized by pain, dread and overpowering love for me. I can see it through her eyes, deep in her soul.
"Do you see now?" I asked. “Do you see that I’m not good for you?” She could not look up. If she moved a muscle, she would crumble to the floor.
“But I do love you,” I said quietly. You should know that. ” I turned at her, smiled lightly and left the room.
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