Disclaimer: I do not own Phil of the Future.
"Keely, will you please open the door?"
She ignored the pleading voice, shaking her head though she knew it was unnecessary – no one had truly seen her for a long time. Not since…
"Keely..." the voice said again, "I know you're there."
Keely whimpered softly, pressing her cheek against the cool plaster. She had thought she could handle it.
"I don't want to!" she screamed, her voice breaking. "I don't want to..." she murmured, slumping forward.
"Phil," Via repeated firmly, "would want you to go."
She fell silent.
"I know..." she whispered, tracing the natural crevices on her palm, "but I don't know if I want to go..."
Via fell silent, leaning her forehead against the walnut door. She could wait.
Keely swallowed, throwing another empty tissue box into the bursting trash can before ripping open a new one. Her sobs continued silently, her back seizing keenly against the wall. As her spasms subsided, she stared at the door, clutching the crumpled, freshly used tissue in her fist, and sighed.
The door clicked in liberation. Via exhaled, relieved. "Keely?" Her voice echoed in the room, silent but for the depressed breathing. "Keely." Her arms outstretched, she took the taller girl in her arms. "It'll be alright..."
Keely nodded, as if to say, If you say so...
"Everyone's here for you."
She nodded again.
"Owen made me promise to tell you that he's saving dances for you and he won't ditch you for any cocktail weenies."
She nodded, once again, but not before a giggle escaped her lips.
Via smiled. "That's the Keely I know..." she proclaimed, squeezing the pensive girl in her arms.
She had tried all night. She smiled, she laughed, and she danced. Admittedly, she did everything half-heartedly, but it was much more than she had done in a long time.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it's the last song of the night..." the DJ called through the coupled crowd. Keely looked up, her eyes starting to water. Owen held his hand out, bowing outrageously toward Via, who laughed joyously. Keely brought her hand to her eyes, wiping the thickening, uncontrollable stream of tears, and bolted for the double doors as the brassy music began.
Some day, when I'm awfully low,
She stumbled around in the dimly lit garden, her vision blurred by the cascade falling from her eyes. She fell back on the brick-lined stairs of the pavilion, and foolishly, she thought someone would catch her before her collapse.
When the world is cold,
Her head fell against the cold mortar, and she shivered – from the cold, from the pain, and above all, from the loneliness.
"I will feel a glow, just thinking of you… And the way you look tonight." A warm, fragrant, familiar suit jacket fell onto her shoulders.
She paused, her shaking fingers grasping the lapels of the heavy, black fabric. Rubbing the realistic material between her fingertips, she wondered if she was schizophrenic.
"You're not going crazy."
The voice was wondrous. She closed her eyes, concentrating on the breathtaking sound that she had not heard in months. It sounded exactly like…
"Yes, you're lovely, with your smile so warm," the voice sang softly. It was very convincing, her schizophrenia – it even felt as if the warm, gentle breathing of another person was wafting over her face. "And your cheeks so soft," the imaginary boy breathed while imaginary, yet extremely solid-like fingers skimmed her cheek. "There is nothing for me but to love you, and the way you look tonight."
She sighed contently, tears falling thickly from her eyes, coating her eyelashes. Yet, it was odd – for some reason, the tears never slid off her chin. Rather, when she attempted to open her eyes, it seemed that the imaginary boy was wiping them away. She twitched, blinking quickly to clear her cloudy vision.
"May I have this dance?" the blurry boy said, extending his hand to her.
She hesitated – he sounded so much like him – but nodded, giving her hand to him. Even if it was her imagination, at least it felt like Phil. She sighed, as he lifted her up, the jacket falling off her shoulders as she fell into his arms, screwing her eyes closed tightly as they danced in a slow circle. "I love you," she whispered to the apparition.
"With every word my tenderness grows, tearing my fear apart. I love you."
She murmured contently as his fingertips brushed her jaw line and tucked a stray hair behind her ear. Then, she laughed derisively – elated in the arms of her imaginary, but still perfect, Love.
"And that laugh that wrinkles your nose," he sang as his hand slid onto her heart and stilled, "it touches my foolish heart." The boy paused, pulling her closer to him. "Keely."
She exhaled breathlessly, not sure if the sudden tears that fell out of her eyes were happy or sad. "Phil…" she stuttered, clenching her eyes tightly closed because she was afraid of everything being only a dream.
"Keely," the amazing voice said again. "Keely, open your eyes."
She shook her head, but hugged him tighter.
He laughed. "Lovely… never, ever change." His warm hands clasped the back of her neck and the small of her back gently as he dipped her to the floor. "Keep that breathless charm," he whispered as he brought her back up slowly. "Won't you please arrange it? 'Cause I love you just the way you look tonight." His lips pressed against her forehead.
"Even when my mascara is running?" she asked quietly, almost sure he was real, though she kept her eyes shut.
"You always look beautiful," he said honestly. "I love you, Keels."
Slowly, she opened her eyes, and the boy she had always loved materialized in front of her. "Phil… you're real," she whispered.
"We're real," he said, grinning widely.
Then, she kissed the real boy holding her in his arms, fully, deeply, absolutely, and never let him go.
(The song used was The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra)
Thank you for reading!