Saturday, May 6, 9pm, ladies room, The Waldorf-Astoria
I can't BELIEVE this.
Prom night had been bearable up until this point. Sure, It wasn’t the prom night I had dreamed about since ninth grade, although I had all of my friends, and the perfect date that I was going to do ‘it’ with later on. But I guess like romance novels, the prom night I had dreamed of was really just a fantasy. But despite the rubbery chicken (which has seriously made me want to barf) and the terrible music, I’m kinda glad I came in the end.
‘See, now isn’t this fun?’ JP pulled me out onto the dance floor, flashing me one of his dashing smiles. It was contagious really, and I couldn’t help but smile in return, as he spun me around for a fast song, and pulled me in close for a slow song. Things just felt so easy between us, and as I looked into his eyes as we danced, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of guilt in the pit of my stomach. I needed to push Friday far from my thoughts, because tonight JP and I were going to take our relationship to the next step, and there would be no one on my mind but him.
So things were running smoothly, up until that point.
We returned to our table, a little reluctantly on JP’s behalf, but I really needed a break. Tina and Boris were taking a break too, although I had a feeling it was because of Boris’ lack of dancing skills, as Tina kept massaging her toes every five minutes. So while JP sweetly offered to go and get us some more drinks (Seriously, he's totally into this whole prom thing. He's taken like a million pictures to remember the night by, I think the camera has become permanently attached to his hand)... he Showed up.
As in, 'Love, Michael'.
The Michael who was not my boyfriend, but who I had made out with for at least twenty blocks yesterday, in a horse-drawn carriage.
WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING???
And I had totally intended on asking him that very question, except that my heart decided to start racing a million miles and my mouth became extremely dry. Damnit! Stupid MHC! And Michael, being Michael, just stood there being all calm and collected as he always was.
'What are you doing here?' I hissed, feeling the heat rise to my cheeks. JP would be back at any second, and I really wasn't in the mood for a romantic confrontation. ON MY FREAKIN' PROM NIGHT.
'Mia,' Michael used his authoritative 'Beast' voice from Beauty and the Beast. 'We really need to talk about what happened yester-'
And then, as if right on cue, Enter JP: Stage right.
'Mia?' His voice wasn't at all authoritative, or Beast like. His poor face was lost with confusion, as he looked from me, to Michael, to me again, probably wondering what the hell was going on. And then I had a totally Grey's Anatomy moment, Like when Finn and Derek confront Meredith, except it was Michael and JP confronting me.
So what did I do?
I ran into the bathroom.
Yeah, real princessy of me, I know.
But what am I suppose to do? I’m here at the Prom, with JP, the guy that I am absolutely in love with, and have been so for the last two years. I mean sure, he exposed my ‘sexy dancing’ secret to pretty much everyone, and he STILL hasn’t had the time to read my novel, AND he almost proposed to me on my birthday, he does it because he loves me. And he wants me to be happy. I mean, He goes out of his way to do the sweetest things for me!
Uh oh, someone’s coming. Hey, isn’t that –
Saturday, May 6, 9.25pm, ladies room, The Waldorf-Astoria
Oh MY God.
Michael just waltzed into the Ladies room to come and speak with me. Luckily there was a solid door between us, because I don’t think I could have contained myself if I had to confront him face to face. Because of the MHC, of course – or I could have ended up having a repeat of Friday’s carriage ride, and I’d already had enough drama for the night.
‘Mia?” I could tell that this wasn’t the most comfortable of places for him to be talking with me. I could see the tips of his shoes from under the stalls, but I still wasn’t about to come out.
“Um, you do realize you’re in the ladies room…right?’ It was a lame reply, but that rubbery chicken was seriously threatening to come up again.
“What happened yesterday was not a mistake, and I’m not sorry for it,” His words echoed the text message he’d sent me yesterday. ‘I know you’re with that guy now, But honestly Mia, are you really that happy with him?’
The bluntness of his question stunned me for a minute, Kind of like a knife going through the heart of reality. Of course I was happy with JP! He makes me feel loved and special. Well, there may not be fireworks when we kiss (but that’s probably because he keeps interrupting our make-out sessions with talk about his play) but after tonight? It’s gonna be the fourth of freakin’ July between us!
‘I’m sorry for hurting you when I left. I’m not good with words like you are, but I just wanted to let you know that I love you, Mia. Nothing has changed that’
For some reason, I was angry with Michael. I was angry that he made my life hard for the last two years. I was angry that he just waltzed back to Manhattan without telling me. I was angry that people thought that I had wrote my novel on him. But most of all, I was angry that he was here, in the LADIES room of the Waldorf, confessing his love for me on my PROM NIGHT, while my boyfriend was outside.
‘I can’t compete with whatever you and that JP guy have got going on, but I just wanted to be honest with you Mia.’
And with that, I heard the door close.
Saturday, May 6, 9.45pm, ladies room, The Waldorf-Astoria
If one awkward conversation with a Moscovitz wasn’t enough, Lets just throw in another one for good measure.
After sitting there for sometime, I realized that everyone was probably wondering where I was – JP, in particular. So I stood up, taking in a few deep breaths, and composed myself for the night ahead. But who should walk in just as I’m about to walk out?
‘Oh’ I froze In front of the mirror where I’d stopped to adjust my hair. Though the ice was beginning to melt between us, things were still just…. well, awkward. Not that I wanted things to be this way, after all, I really missed Lilly as a friend, and she’d usually have some kind of unorthodox and not entirely useful advice for situations like these. ‘Having a good night?’
Lilly swiped some kohl under each of her eyelids, before swooping a blood red lipstick over her lips. Her eyes remained on her reflection, as she twisted the lid onto the tube. ‘It’s Prom’ She said with a shrug. ‘You had quite the scene with my brother though.’
I almost dropped the gloss I was holding at that point. “You saw that?’ I hastily tried to shove the contents of a MAC counter back into my purse.
‘And what are you going to do?’ Lilly finally tore her eyes away from her multicolored reflection, her dark eyes boring right into mine. She was waiting for the nostril flare of deceit, I guessed.
I was really getting sick of everyone asking me what I planned to do. Are you getting engaged to JP? Are you going to college? Are you going to Genovia? – It was doing my head in more than Mr. G and Rocky’s drumming sessions.
‘Honestly Lilly? I don’t know’. And thus, the Mia Thermopolis Great Big Lie extravaganza came to an end, as I pretended to shuffle through my purse distractedly. This was the first time in a very long time that I had been honest with anyone – Including myself.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Lilly hesitating, as if there was something she wanted to say, but wasn’t quite sure how. ‘If you want my opinion, although I’m a little biased on the topic matter being my brother and my ex-boyfriend,’ She managed to crack a smile. ‘Be real, Mia. There’s only one of them who you truly love, so stop deluding yourself with someone who’s clearly in love with the reflection they see in your shiny tiara’
As she headed towards the door, she paused and added, ‘I’ll be around when you figure it all out, POG.’
I’m surprised no one heard my jaw hitting the ground.
Saturday, May 6, 10:30pm, Outside the Waldorf
It took some time for Lilly’s words to well and truly sink in. She was right; I hadn’t been ‘real’ to myself for the past two years almost. I guess in my head, I wanted things to be so perfect between JP and I, that I made myself fall in love with him. Well, It was hard not too – everyone was branding us as the perfect couple, and maybe I thought that being with him would make me forget about Michael.
So the fog had cleared, and I could see now that I’d been incredibly selfish in wanting to be with him, and that I’d hurt people in the process, namely him.
Thanks for nothing, Dr. K, I figured this one out on my own!
Once I had emerged from the bathroom (Finally), I found JP sitting at the table alone. ‘Hey,’ He looked genuinely happy to see me. ‘Are you okay? I was going to come and find you, but I just had a call from Sean. He wanted to discuss some production details with me, and it took longer than expected. What did Michael want anyway?’ There was an obvious hint of disdain in his voice, as he looked around to see where the other Moscovitz had gone.
‘Can we go outside? There’s something I’d like to talk to you about’ I took in a deep breath, before slowly exhaling again
Once we were outside on the balcony, he turned to face me with a rather expectant look upon his face. ‘Look, JP’ I sighed, staring down at the giant rock that was weighing heavily upon my finger. ‘I haven’t been very honest with you over the last two years, in fact, I don’t think we’ve been very honest with ourselves. Especially me, I’ve been totally dishonest with myself’
I had to stop and take a deep breath again, before I could ramble on a million miles an hour.
‘I love you JP, I have since we went and saw Beauty and The Beast together on Broadway. You were there for me in a very dark time in my life, and I totally owe you for it. But, the way I love you just isn’t the same as what you love me…. I think I loved the idea of us being together, seeing as we’re so perfect for each other, but I think I love you more as a friend.’
There, I said it.
As soon as the words left my lips, I felt as though a huge weight had suddenly been lifted off my chest, and had floated away into the night sky. But however relieving it was to me, it was still hard to break the heart of someone standing right in front of me.
JP didn’t say anything for a while. His face bore a stony expression as he gazed out into the night sky. ‘I kind of knew that I’d never be able to live up to Michael’ He said finally, spitting the words out like a bitter aftertaste. ‘After he left, I really thought we had a chance together. And so that you’d see how much better I could treat you.’
The Sugar story finally made sense to me now, although it would have been far more useful if Dr. K had just explained it in layman’s terms. Or by using Grey’s Anatomy Characters.
‘You probably don’t want to right now, but I hope we can still be friends one day’ I could feel hot tears pricking at the corner of my eyes, threatening to spill as I slowly slid the ring off my finger, and enclosed it in the palm of his hand. ‘I’m sorry for ruining your prom night, but I just didn’t want to lie to you, or myself anymore.’
With that, I hugged him one last time and walked away, with Lars trudging away at my heel. The truth may have set me free this evening, but it hurt both of us too.
Once I was back inside, I caught Lilly’s eye from across the room, and she smiled. We’d have to reconcile later, because I the meantime I had one more right to wrong. Flipping my phone open, I dialed a number that I hadn’t dialed in a very long time.
I smiled, blinking back the tears that had been pooling at the corner of my eyes. “Do you think they still have horse carriages going at this time of the night?’