DISCLAIMER: The Power Rangers and all related characters belong to Saban Entertainment.
Story Introduction: This is a one-shot piece, something that I wrote in a little over an hour. I guess it's AU, however there's no reason why it can't fit into canon, depending on your own perception of things. I guess it's a little art-house, in that it's a character piece and not the type of piece that I usually write. Take from it what you will, as I mentioned it's all up to your personal perception- feel free to review and let me know what you think.
By Chanelle Summer
How are you? I've been meaning to write to you sooner, but things have been so crazy here this week. Coach Schmidt has us training six full days a week now, and I keep on forgetting what day it is. Every day is getting closer to-.
Argh. I claw at the paper, ripping it dramatically from the pad and squishing it between my palms, before tossing it in the bin. I can't believe I've forgotten how to write a letter. It's like after seven months of flipping around, any common sense and standard literacy I had has somehow slipped from my ears.
And left nothing but an empty shell.
I rest the tip of my pen on the fresh page, feeling its edge dig into the surface. It's getting heavy in my hand. I'm sure the multiple layers of calluses on my palms aren't helping, but I know that no matter how tired I'm feeling, it shouldn't change the way I feel about him.
What did he say again?
Oh yeah, that's right. We'd had the conversation only two hours ago and it was the third time we'd spoken this week. That was a record nowadays, at least for us. I remember when I first got here and I was crying to mom on the phone about leaving Tommy Oliver behind, that she soothed me with her common sense. Phones can reach any distance and a call only takes a few minutes.
My hand is shaking and I stop again, the pen leaving a blob at the end of the greeting.
This is difficult for me to write and maybe that's because to see it in writing makes it seem more real.
I pause again and close my eyes, visions flashing behind them like a movie in fast forward. I feel my heart pound with a blaze of responses. Passion. Excitement. Guilt. Relief. Shock.
The shock was both bad but so painfully good.
You've been an amazing friend to me. The things you said to me tonight weren't owed to me. I feel terrible and I'm so sorry Tommy. I'm truly sorry. I know it can't compare with 'those' duties, but I know you understand the pressure I feel just being here-.
"Ugh!" I hiss at myself, scribbling the pen madly over the scrawled message.
By the time I finish venting my self-frustration, I quickly realize that I've been more than a little self-destructive. Put it this way, the sweetly perfumed paper was no good anymore for any further attempts at my 'Dear John' letter.
I glance at the phone, which is still resting on my bed from when I last heard his breath.
What did he say again?
He said he wanted me to be happy. Just like he'd revealed to me amongst the twinkling lights of the ranger Command Center, he reminded me again that he wanted me to follow my dreams. His words were beautiful. There had always been more to Tommy's quiet charm, but I already knew that.
It was a horrible feeling. To have a friend, a person who you've shared your world with, only to one day wish them away. I want him to be happy. He wants me to be happy.
Like the lingering memories that seem to be peering over my shoulder now, everything is pieced together in a way that will break one day. This is the result of a decision that he shouldn't have made, and I shouldn't have allowed.
I wearily reach over and take the envelope in my hands, carefully running my finger under the previously open lip. I've already read it three times and planned to leave it on top of the pile, but now it's up to me.
I can't end it here.
I don't know whether I mentioned it in my last letter, but I saw your photo in the newspaper. The blurb underneath said how you are the top ranked gymnast on your team. I know you already know this, but you're going to do great.
Things are going good here. School's been full on and none of us has as much time these days for training with all the study we have to do. They keep reminding us about exams and I want to be ready. Even Billy has mentioned he's nervous, but of course the guys told him he was being ridiculous.
Did I tell you my cousin Carla is having a baby? She's coming to stay with us until my aunt Tilly gets back from Germany. Kat and Adam helped me set the spare room up for her, although now it looks heaps better than my room.
Well I better get back to this History essay. Don't think I can put it off any longer. Good luck with your friendly this weekend.
This is what I'm talking about. His words; his friendship. He was a good person. I already knew that, I mean, I think I established that within moments of knowing him. But do you know how you can really tell how good a friend is?
When they love you enough not to love you anymore.
I never wanted to break his heart. I'm sure you already know about The Letter, and how I told him the truth. I was unfaithful to our romance, a relationship which carried us both through our fragile teenage years. Of course, we're both still teenagers, and I think I'm still fragile at times, but the strangest thing happened at that time when I thought my confession would kill his heart.
He was angry; hurt. Confused, but strangely perceptive. I knew he'd call that night and I had spent the entire day at training with my balance off. Even Coach Schmidt could sense the lack of luster in my effort, because he knew darn well that no new release move off the high bar would cause such nervousness from me.
But, his call that night changed my life in a way I never expected. After preparing a speech of remorse in my mind, the script remained unwritten as Tommy delivered the complete unexpected. I may have betrayed the relationship that we'd lived in Angel Grove, but he told me he didn't want to give up our love for each other.
Friendship. He told me he didn't want to be without it and that we didn't have to leave it behind. I can't ever remember crying so much in my life, except for maybe that evening my father told me my parents were divorcing. I knew I didn't deserve his friendship, or at least that's what I believed.
I still believe that.
But two months on, and fifteen letters exchanged since, I stayed true to my words, as has he. Since the first letter I had ever written to Tommy; the one that tore us apart, we haven't been able to stop writing since. I think he likes it because I can't hear his voice, and I prefer it for that very reason. I can secretly savor the fluttering in my stomach when his letter arrives and know that he can't see how happy he still makes me.
No one knows but us.
And it's for that very reason that tonight, as I stare at my reflection in my dressing table mirror, I realize what's happened-.
I quickly turn around, shoveling the letter carelessly into my drawer and closing it shut. Guilt was brewing in my throat and so clearly emitting from my eyes that I only half twist in my seat and reply:
"What did you get for tea?"
He waggles the plastic bag in his hand and I relax a little, a sly smile creeping along my lips. "Coach Schmidt will have a fit if he knows you're sneaking takeout to me the night before a meet," I tell him.
His broad shoulders drop, as he playfully tosses the bag toward me. I catch it off balance and then sit up, the familiar smell creeping into my nostrils and arousing my appetite.
"Sushi?" I question with a cocked eyebrow, as I remove the plastic container from the bag. "I would have preferred a Big Mac," I admit, despite knowing that I would have kicked his ass had he brought McDonalds home.
He flopped on the end of my bed. "You can never have too much sushi," he points out. "And I know you better than that…the last time you had McDonalds you complained that it made you queasy. Remember all the times you threw up on bus trips for summer camp? Coach Schmidt would kill me if you do an Exorcist on the bars tomorrow."
I giggle at his comment, and peel my dinner away absently. His eyes are on me now. We do this dance a lot, and we both enjoy it because we know it's right. At this point in my life, I know I want to be with him. He is the one that I wrote of.
The one for me.
Still, the crumpled up pages are still in the corner of my vision, and the letters in my drawer feel as though they're about to pop out and spill all over the floor.
And, like I told you before, that's the reason why nobody knows about my letters to Tommy. I don't think that anyone could understand what we have- I don't think most people realize that when you end a romance, it's not about replacing that person with somebody else. The friends that have entered my life story did so for a reason, and the story will continue on with them in their ever evolving roles.
I had shared a secret with Jason. Now, my secret is with Tommy.