Graduating Class of 2007.
The ceremony took place May 22, 2007 outside because the weather permitted, and everything went on as planned. It was about two hours long, the wind didn't blow too hard, and each female student that walked across the stage received a rose with their diploma. Kira sat next to her husband Chas in the seats reserved for family and she affectionately squeezed his hand anticipating the sound of their daughter's name.
"Kimi Finster!" the principal announced.
Kimi signed as she made her way across the stage in order to grab her diploma, being careful not to trip over her heels that were higher then what she was used to. As she turned her head toward the crowd she spotted her four person family: Chas, Kira, Chuckie, and Paige. At that moment she swelled with pride, realizing the extent of her accomplishment. She had just graduated from high school. This was the transition period between adolescence and adulthood. She would be going to college soon.
She beamed, but after she held her rose in her hand she looked back at the crowd in search of the Deville family. Betty sat alone, a smile as fake as plastic painted across her face, enough to cause Kimi's feelings of happiness to fade immediately. It was Phil's graduation, but Lil was another story.
(Flashback to January)
"What the hell is wrong with you and me? We're always in and out of this place whether we're the patient or not." Lil was constantly visiting Kimi in the hospital; constantly checking in on her to make sure she was okay. Lil remembered when she was lying in there and how horrible it could feel…The pain was awful until she had a visitor checking on her and asking about her. They demonstrated how much they cared, especially Kimi.
Kimi shrugged. "Maybe the stress is doing this to us," Kimi answered. She closed her eyes and then reopened them, adjusting to being conscience after being knocked out for a pretty decent amount of time. "I just want it to stop."
"When are you coming home?" Lil asked. "Soon?"
Kimi shook her head. "Honestly, I can't handle all of that right now. My parents are sending me to a hospital for treatment because they're worried, and I'm ready for it. I need the therapy…my parents need the reassurance that I'll be okay, and getting better gives me something to look forward to. I was really messed up; more then this cutting shit. Things would just keep getting worse…"
"There's nothing wrong with you Kimi, just like there was nothing wrong with me," Lil argued. "They're manipulating you…brainwashing you. You don't belong in some place for crazy kids."
It was then that Kimi wanted to knock some sense into Lil; scream that she was the crazy and delusional one. She wanted to scream to her best friend that she had anorexia, was skinny as hell, and on the verge of dying. Yet Kimi didn't have the energy, or desire to do so. At that exact moment Kimi was overwhelmed with a wave of disappointment, exhaustion, and embarrassment that she almost didn't care about anything anymore. All she could think about was the scars on her body…the way her parents avoided her gaze…how after three days neither Phil nor Tommy had come to see her once.
"How does it feel for high school to be over?" Kira asked Kimi once the graduates were allowed to reunite with their families after the ceremony. Chas and Kira held hands as Chuckie wrapped his arm around his fiancé; Kimi being the only one without a companion. However, it wasn't anything that bothered her, even as she glanced over at Pete with his arm draped around his current girlfriend. She had adored him, but after accomplishing overcoming her powerful feelings she was satisfied being independent. She was confident, and soon she would be off to college herself.
Kimi smiled. "I'm happy. These last…three or four months have been pretty good you know? You two are back together, my grades were higher…after everything got straightened out I was able to finish and I'm just glad about that."
She had been worried about how after she was put into a facility to help her conquer her bulimia and mutilation it would be hard for her to keep up in school. The flip side was that her situation gave her the motivation to get better and keep her grades up. She didn't have anything to distract her…no one to really talk to and she bonded with no one she came in contact with. She felt withdrawn and hurt because of the things she had previously gone through. She was ecstatic about the fact that in less then three months she was diagnosed as better, something the therapist described as, "…already recognizing that there is a problem and knowing that you won't be able to succeed in life until these disappear from your lifestyle." Once she moved back home she was allowed to finish school basically my being home schooled, but also given the privilege to graduate with her class.
"Is Tommy here?" Chuckie asked.
"Ahh…the infamous Tommy," Paige mimicked with a smile. She had truly heard a lot about Thomas Pickles since being acquainted with the Finster family. "Didn't he walk?"
Kimi nodded, a lump swelling in her throat. Sometimes when she still talked about the old gang and then thought about what went on this past year she still felt awkward. She wasn't angry or holding some type of grudge; she just had no idea what to say to her former friends any more. The year ended with her feeling a sense of wellbeing emotionally, however she no longer had anyone to truly hang out with.
Especially since Lil left…
"So Kimi, what do you want to do for your big day? Do you…wanna go to a restaurant or something?" Paige asked.
Kimi shook her head. "Actually…I just want to chill for a little bit. I don't wanna do something too loud…I'm almost tempted to just go to Barnes and Noble, sit on one of those couches and read the rest of the afternoon away." Or maybe just write Lil another letter…
"This isn't gonna work with her being here…and we finally caught up with my Dad."
Phil and Kimi sat across from each other in the small café as they watched the rain fall from outside the window viciously. Kimi took a sip of her hot chocolate while keeping her eyes intently on Phil, curious as what he has to continue saying about Lil. Between therapy, spending time with her family, and her schooling Kimi barely had time to spend with her friends once she arrived back home. Now, after receiving a phone call from Phil that it was about Lil, Kimi decided to meet up with him to find out what's up with the world. They gossiped for a little about school and why Phil wasn't interested in attending prom, and then got down to the nitty gritty.
"What's been up with her?"
"She's just…sneaking around. At night you can hear her walking around not knowing what to do…sometimes she'll invite a guy from school over and who knows. She refuses to eat anything that looks good; just a few veggies here and there. She's not improving at all…and she needs to get a tube up her stomach bottom line."
"Where is she now?"
"She's somewhere in Hawaii. My dad's finally stepping up to the plate, especially after we send him a recent picture of her and some long locks of hair that had fell on the floor when she was brushing it. He can't ignore it now."
"What was his excuse for ignoring it in the first place?"
She watched Phil's eyes flare for a moment with anger and he took a deep breath. "He says he was in Africa with his wife while doing something on business…and in November when Lil was trying to get treatment he swears he never got any of our messages because during that time he was in South America. Plus now he claims his wife, you know Janine, is pregnant and they've been really busy."
"Your dad's being such a bastard…"
"He doesn't think about us anymore. It seems like he's a whole different person from the dad I grew up with. He's so excited he finally can make some decisions without my mom telling him what to do that the power went to his head. Maybe he wants to punish her by punishing us…"
Time after graduation passed by slowly. When it seemed like an hour went by Kimi found that it was only a few minutes. The days felt like weeks, and weeks felt like months. Without many close companions there was nothing to look forward to, yet Kimi needed something to keep her busy in order to prevent binging. It happened a few times when she was home alone. She would suddenly open the refrigerator and find every snack food available until she made herself sick, and then she would throw up. She felt guilty about it, but instead of cutting herself she would write the incident down in a journal.
It was one day at the end of June when Kimi realized she had some unfinished business to take care of before she would be leaving in August. Without thinking about anything other then what she felt like she had to do, Kimi bolted off of the living room couch and emerged into the gorgeous summer warmth. The day was perfect with an additional breeze, the leaves dancing from their branches as Kimi walked toward a familiar neighborhood. She sweated underneath the jeans that covered her scars and wore a cotton zipper sweater over her green and white tank top. As she climbed up the porch of her destination she made a vow: do nothing stupid. Just try to forgive so that you can forget…
Tommy opened the door shortly after Kimi rung the doorbell. He was wearing a beater with basketball shorts on, appearing as if he was about to go to the park around the corner to shoot some hoops. She could tell that he was trying to hide his surprise after seeing her, and it made her feel a little nervous as well. "Hey…" he mumbled.
Kimi smiled. "Hi. Um…I wanted to talk to you."
"Hold on, Dil and I was getting ready to go. Let me tell him to go ahead and leave without me." Tommy turned back toward the inside of his house and ordered his brother to leave. Within minutes Dil was gone after waving at Kimi and congratulating her for graduating. She nodded and appreciated the fact that he said something to her. They were still cool with one another. While Dil was still in earshot Kimi and Tommy made small conversation about college and everything, but once he left Kimi was ready to get her conversation over with.
"You wanna just start walking towards the park?" Kimi asked him. She felt like walking. She wanted to walk with Tommy, her first love, on her side like they used to when they were younger. She wasn't doing it for a relationship; she just wanted to feel how carefree she used to feel. Back then she had so much to look forward to until this year came around and changed her desires. She had to grow up and be real after an experience like hers. She couldn't be gullible when it came to guys like she had been, and she couldn't let her friends' problems become hers.
"Sure," Tommy said as they already slowly began moving their feet. They were at the end of the walkway when Tommy asked her, "So what's up? How you been?"
Kimi sighed and slowly brought her hand up to press onto the sores located on her other arm. She felt the soft throbbing of pain, not enough pain to alarm her, but enough pain to bring tears to her eyes every night when she was alone in her bedroom with no one to talk to. "I guess I'm okay. I know what to do when I'm upset instead of what I've been doing, my parents are back together, and I'm getting ready to leave this place."
After going from wanting to be a flight attendant, obstetrician, or study fashion Kimi had decided that she truly wanted to take things slow. She didn't want to decide a career path immediately anymore, but she was certain that she wanted to go to school in New York, or somewhere around there. That had never changed.
"We used to walk to this park all the time," Tommy stated, staring ahead instead of looking at his companion. "You, me, Chuckie, Phil and Lil used to always come here and I don't even know why anymore."
"It's crazy how inseparable we used to be. I couldn't go to the bathroom without someone standing outside my door." They laughed. "Then it does seem like after you moved away things got…crazy. Things were just so dramatic and I was so moody because I really was mad about it."
"I didn't want to leave, but when Lil told me about you and Phil…I was angry at you, but I wanted to give us the chance to work it out."
"I still don't know what was up with all that. You have to believe me when I say whatever she said isn't true."
Tommy nodded and looked at her. "Now after all this I believe you. Lil…she's been lying to me this whole time. She cheated on me…and then she expected me to do so much. She had crushed me…made me lose you…and wanted me to visit her in the hospital after I made up my mind that I was done with her."
"Lil hurt me too, but we all have history with each other. I couldn't turn my back when she needed me the most, even if she had come between me and my happiness." Kimi crossed her arms over her chest and sighed. "Besides I wouldn't wish anything bad on her. She just made some mistakes. She's childish, her mom is having a crisis, her dad basically is slowly abandoning them and all she wants is attention. It might have something to do with her self-esteem, but I'm not a psychiatrist trying to get inside her head. Let me stay in mine."
"I just keep thinking about…a lot of things. What if I never moved? What if Lil never came over your house the night she fell down the stairs? What if…what if we were still together?"
At that moment the weather granted the world a cooling breeze. Kimi's hair gently blew with the wind not knowing what to say in response to Tommy. She had wondered the answers to those questions at some moment in her life after the summer of freshmen year. However now, at that moment, all she wanted was her friend back.
The park was in view and Kimi spotted Dil playing basketball with some other boys while about three girls were watching. When school started he would be a senior, and hopefully wouldn't have to go through the same things his older buddies had gone through. No pointless arguments, no hospitalizations, no cutting, and definitely not any eating disorders.
Before Kimi turned to leave Tommy she made sure she gave him a hug, a real hug reserved for special friends and first loves. She didn't know how long they stood there embraced in each other's arms, but she felt a sense of content and security. She almost didn't want to let him go, but she knew that she had to. She needed to move on from this year.
"Make sure you really call me this time," Kimi warned him with a soft smile. "Hopefully before I leave we can both get together some time; all of us can get together and maybe make a video to send to Lil or something."
"That'll be cool," Tommy said. He and Kimi looked at each other for a few moments before he said, "This is like some bittersweet ending in a movie."
"It'll get better eventually."
"If we see each other again we can start off with a clean slate."
"Have fun playing basketball."
"Have fun in New York."
Then unpredictably Tommy gave Kimi a kiss on the lips. It was a soft gentle kiss, but enough to keep Kimi smiling well after Tommy ran away to the park. He was right; everything was bittersweet. She couldn't wish to come back next summer and begin where they ended.
Author's Note: This, you guys, is the end for Just Between Us. Now it's going in my fanfiction heaven along with a couple of Degrassi fanfics I have. We've had our own journey of bad reviews, mostly good reviews, updating at random times, and crazy third person-first person mistakes after writing this for almost three years. This was my favorite story to update because you reviewers made it special for me and I truly appreciate it. Here's a shoutout to the ones that's been reviewing for as long as I can remember:
acosta perez jose ramiro: Thanks for being there and always having something encouraging to say.
melissa: My home girl who always makes me happy to review. A lot of the time you inspired me to update my chapters lol. You've gone from an evolution beginning (as far as I know) from surrealsmiles, but no matter what you're name is I'll remember you when I go through the fanfiction heaven in my mind as a loyal reviewer.
Wounded Shell Of Myself: Once again, someone who continuously has something constructive to tell me. I love when people make me feel like I'm doing something right! Just because of the fact that I like making others happy I appreciate when people takes the time to tell me what they like about what I write.
Sushi: I remember you! I remember giving you a shoutout in a chapter before! I'm glad you stuck to reading this, because I love your name thingy!
If I could I'd give all of you guys a special shoutout, but I don't wanna make this longer then it has to be! Each and every review is as important as the next. Plus when I'm thinking about this story my goal is to check out other stories that you guys have posted, so look out for me in your reviews!
Yeah so I don't know what I'm gonna do for the rest of the summer after finishing this baby up...I hope the ending wasn't abrupt or anything, but I did realize that it was about time for me to finish this up. I didn't want it to have like a hundred more chapters or something. Thanks for reading though and still review!