Author's Comment: So, this Halloween, I'm planning on being Boo from Monster's Inc. Since the last time I've seen the movie, I've always wondered what happens after Mike repairs the door for Sulley. Was the visit only just that once? I doubt it. And then I remembered: Boo has to grow up eventually. And my heart broke.
I'm a big fan of happy endings. Let's see how I did this time. Loving people read and review?
Disclaimer: Boo/Mary Gibbs, Sulley/JP Sullivan, Mike Wazaowski, Cecilia and Monstropolis belong to Disney*Pixar. :)
Dedicated to my dear friend Lizzy. 3
If ever it is said that when a boy likes a girl, he pulls on her pigtails, let it be known as a lie. Mary Gibbs sat at her desk quietly. The first year of junior high was going to be tough, her mother said. Mother wasn't kidding. A new school with too many classmates, and Lily had moved two states away. What is life without a best friend?
Lily wasn't my only best friend.
"Mary, honey? What's wrong?"
A six-year-old girl hides in the warm folds of her mother's dress. She is hiccoughing violently between sobs. "Mommy, no one will play with me anymore!"
The mother lifts her child in her arms, as if she were still a baby. "What's wrong, Boo?"
Mary wipes her tears and boogers away with her sleeve. She sighs. Then suddenly, she looks at her mother quizzically, "You didn't name me Boo."
Her mother laughs, "No, I named you Mary. You named you Boo."
"I meant Sulley, sweetie. Of course I meant Sulley."
"My teacher talks like you about Sulley."
"What? Your imaginary friend?"
"Stop calling him that!" little Mary yelled.
Her mother grew frustrated. "Mary, do not yell at me. I'm your mother."
"Why do you keep saying he's 'maginary? He's my best friend!"
"Lily is your best friend, Mary. She plays with you all the time. Sulley is your pretend friend. You draw beautiful pictures of him and Ike Kalowski."
"Right. But you're a big girl now. Keep drawing, you're good at it. But sometimes we can't play with imaginary friends anymore. Especially with our other friends. Not everyone can see them."
"Not everyone can see them," Mary quietly repeated to herself. "Mommy, can you put me down now?"
Boo slips from her mother's lowering arms, and, quite solemnly for a six-year-old, hikes up the stairs and into her room.
She lays her school pack down by the bed, and closes her bedroom door. She sniffles, and sighs.
Across from the foot of her bed is another door. It's tall and white, like the other one that lets her in her room. And there are flowers on the bottom that float to the top like disappearing polka-spots. And pink. Lots of pink.
She hesitates for a moment. What if Sulley's not there this time? Now that he runs Monsters Inc., he's been keeping her door in his office, just in case she needs him. When in Monstropolis a few months ago, Boo had been tired of her door falling apart. They worked hard to put all the pieces together securely, sealing all the splinters together.
The key to getting Mike to help with the project? "Cecilia will be furious if Teddy gets a splinter from this door!" As Mike's single-eyed, scaly son rolled about Sulley's office floor.
Today, all the kids at school made fun of her, after the teacher again corrected her by saying, "Sulley is your imaginary friend." How foolish it had been to think "imaginary" meant "magical". Sulley was magic, and most definitely not pretend.
Or is he?
Boo inches toward her closet, the soles of her worn mary-jane shoes tapping lightly on the wood floor. Her white stockings snag on a wayward toy. Startled, she jumps, and then fumes as she kicks the toy away.
"Sulley," she whispers. And she turns the handle on the door.
Instead of shirts and hangers and board game boxes, instead of a cascade of falling, loose shoes, the scent of mud fills the air. Mud with a tang of not-yet-ripe lemon. The sweetly-sourness of it makes Boo smile as she steps past her closet door into Sulley's office.
"Boo! There you are! Come over here and see this!" a big, blue, furry monster brandishes a shining gadget. "You'll love what this does!"
Boo runs over and laughs, causing lights to flicker, and a few sharp cries from other rooms in the building in reaction to the power surge. Boo keeps laughing out loud to a minimum as Sulley goes over the schematics of his new gadgetry.
"Hey, Sulley," a bulbous green creature pops into the room, "Ceecee and Teddy are headed over to drag me home form work for a night. Oh, hi, Boo!"
The hulking mass of fur that is J. P. Sullivan, CEO of Monsters Incorporated vibrates with a deep chuckle. Boo looks at him with a question in her eyes.
"You sounded just like when you were smaller and called me 'Kitty'," he said with a smile. "But you're a big girl now, helping me with my new inventions."
Boo looks down at her toes. She abandoned her shoes and socks long ago. "My mom's been saying that, too."
Mike looks down at the floor. He had just been talking to Sulley about Boo growing up. How does a monster keep up with a human kid's life a few nights a week, especially a monster that runs a company to keep an entire city afloat?
Boo is still small enough to cradle Boo in his massive arms, and she tries not to think that it could be more comforting that the arms of her own mother this afternoon. "Mommy says," Boo stifles a sob, "that I shouldn't play with 'maginary friends anymore."
"Mary, are you hiding in the closet again?" a woman's voice comes from outside the pink-and-white, flowery-splintery door.
Sulley squeezes Boo tightly as she buries her face in his fur. I love you, she wants to say. Instead, she slips off his lap as usual and hurries toward the door. This time, however, she quickly kisses to the side of Mike's round, watery eye before finally reaching the door.
The door clicks open, and suddenly Mary is squished between a pink winter coat and a flouncy Sunday dress. Her feet are tangled in her school shoes and stockings.
"There you are," her mother warmly smiles. "It's time for dinner."
That was a long time ago. Mary kept her secrets, but kept up her drawings. It wasn't until junior high and that boy recognized Sulley.
"You're the girl that had monsters under her bed!"
She didn't correct him and say "closet" like she wanted to.
"You still draw those things? At least you've gotten better at them. He looks soooo ferocious," the boy said sarcastically.
"Buzz off!" Mary snapped.
"Hey, I said the drawings were good!"
"Sulley was never ferocious! He was my best friend!"
That was the first day of school, and now Mary is monster-girl again. Though somewhat revered for her drawing skills, she couldn't help the feeling that some kids snickered behind her back, and that a handful of them did, in fact, remember the drawings from kindergarten classes. Barely, but enough.
The sarcastic boy, however, became the sarcastic tolerance, and eventually a sarcastic friend. He talked, she drew. Sometimes she drew him.
"Looks like someone's in love." Dark red tresses that didn't belong to Mary fell over her shoulder.
"Go away, Molly."
"Lemme see this, give it here." The other girl snatched Mary's drawing book away. "You got his nose wrong."
"And how would you know?" Mary grew self-conscious.
"'Cause I kissed his nose a month ago," Molly mocked.
"Liar! Gimme back my book!"
"Jealous, Monster-Mary?" she sneered. "Here's your book. I bet your monsters are jealous you found a new subject to draw."
It must be known that other girls are very, very vicious creatures. And yet we trust them anyway.
Sullen, Mary drifted through the rest of the school day, and remained listless even as that boy, her sarcastic friend, tagged her good-bye.
Across from the foot of her bed is a closet with the door shut tightly. Next to the door, a large half-assemble dresser leaks scattered and unsorted clothing. Mary's excuse for almost never opening the closet is that the clothing items inside need as little weathering as possible.
And here she was, twelve years old, sitting at the foot of her bed, staring at the closet. She saw it quiver. She blamed the movement of the door on the tears that threatened to free themselves from their glands.
But then there was a loud CRASH on the other side of the door, and a distinctly young male cry of WHOA!
After glancing over to make sure her bedroom door was shut, Boo stood up and placed a hand on the doorknob of the closet.
The door burst open as a small, rolling scaly creature popped through. "Boo!"
Not even a quarter of her height, Boo held in her arms the bulb that was the offspring of Mike and Cecelia Wazowski. He was clinging to her will all his might, "You're real! You're real! You're real!" he chanted.
"Of course I'm real," said Boo with surprise. "What else would I be?"
"My friends at school don't believe me!"
"That you have a human imaginary friend?"
"Yeah! That's what they said!"
Boo thought for a moment. "They said the same to me when I was younger than you."
"Mhmm," Teddy happily sighed into her sleeve, simply content with himself that he was right. The immediate trust of the young monster eased her mind she sat down with him on her lap.
Boo looked through the closet and saw boxes. Piles and piles of boxes. "Where has Sulley been keeping my door?"
"Just in the basement in a big box of its own," said Teddy as he left her lap to explore her room. He rattled a box with beads near his head. "Are we really imaginary friends?"
"No," Boo simply replied. She was staring hard into the darkness of the basement.
"Good, because I like you being a real friend better. Can I stay here with you?"
Boo was about to make a really grown-up decision. "Teddy."
"Uh-huh," the little monster was busy stretching socks over his spherical form.
"Hey, Teddy, listen," Boo scooped him up and placed him again on her lap as they sat in the middle of her bed. "Sulley never told me this, but I'm gonna tell you, okay?"
The little monster recognized the immediate seriousness. He sat still and quietly.
"Now, we're always going to be friends. But we've gotta grow up a little instead of hiding in the closet, and running away from the things that scare or hurt us. 'Cause then they'll keep on hurting us."
"I'm not… sure," Teddy said.
Boo smiled. "Maybe I'm just talking about me. I don't hide in the closet any more, but I always hid from other people, thinking that Sulley was the only person that could be my best friend."
"I just wanted to prove you were real, is all," said Teddy.
"Thank you for proving to me that you're real, too, Teddy," she kissed the top of his head. Maybe Teddy wasn't as bad as she was. He just knew there was someone behind the door. Boo had been thinking that home was behind the door, that beyond the shoes and socks and coats and toys, there was a warm and welcoming world only for her. And maybe it was only for her. No matter, Teddy had just proven that it would always be waiting. "You've gotten so big, Teddy!"
"And I'm gonna be an expert comedian, just like my dad!"
Boo hugged him tight. "Of course. You're making me laugh already."
"But I haven't said anything funny yet!"
Boo really laughed then, causing lights in the basement beyond the closet to flicker on and off. Teddy laughed, too.
"Teddy!" a deep, rumbling, voice within the closet called.
Boo's heart leapt within her. "Kitty!"
There will not be more to this story. Though, if you ask me, I'll tell you that Mary's (Boo) sarcastic friend is ironically named John Sullivan, which keeps her mostly aloof to him because of the irony. They remain friends all of junior high. Eventually, after years of being friends, they get married.
When their son is born, Boo has painted the world of Monstropolis on the baby's bedroom walls. There is a knock on the closet door as she and John are standing over the baby's crib. Sulley enters to room. And all is well.
Obviously, I'm the type for happy endings. (Uncle Teddy is an annoyance, but it's a beautiful family.)