Laughing Away the Tears
Title: Laughing Away the Tears
Pairing: Miranda/Andrea The Devil Wears Prada
Rating: PG, I guess.
Disclaimer: Regrettably, I do not own any of the characters that appear on The Devil Wears Prada. Nor do I intend to make money through the sharing of this story. Suing me would not be worthwhile, although I'd probably get a kick out of burying you in discovery requests, which I would use as fodder for later stories. So, don't waste your time or money.
Author Notes: This was supposed to be longer, but I didn't like where it was going. So, I slashed and burned the rest. This has become a small drabble.
Author's Notes, too: Not beta'ed since it is so short. All mistakes are mine.
After I walked away in Paris, I never looked back. That's what I tell other people. They ask me how I could have left a job a million girls would have killed for. I laugh it off as I shake my head ruefully.
Then I change the subject.
I never tell them how devastated I was. How heartbroken I still am three years later. I never tell them about the photo album I keep on the shelf in my closet filled with pictures of you. I never tell them about the unfulfilled dreams, the endless yearning, the infinite emptiness I experience every single day.
I just laugh. So I won't cry.
I remember attending a funeral for a schoolmate's mother who got gunned down during a burglary-gone-wrong. Unexpected, tragic, unfair. Christos was a happy-go-lucky gregarious boy until that day. When I looked into his eyes at the funeral service, I saw an old man of sixteen. As I approached the closed casket to pray for her spirit, I felt oppressed by such obvious anguish, scarred by the loud echoing wails. Never had I heard such desolation, such inconsolable fury.
Until the day I left you. How surprising to hear such heartbreak issued by my own trembling lips.
We barely made it out the funeral home door before Lily and I burst into laughter. We felt horrified by what we'd experienced. Everyone was so upset, so grief-stricken, so bereft. We had no choice but to either laugh or sob.
Like that day, I find myself laughing whenever you are mentioned. Many times I need only think of you. Or the life I must live without you. A good example is that day when I threw my cell phone into the Parisian fountain, that day which changed my life forever. I laughed then, too.
It's why I am laughing now as our eyes meet. You see the sorrow in my eyes, though. Don't you? You hear the hysterical, wretched note attached to my false mirth. Don't you? You finally begin to understand what it has cost me to leave. Don't you?
You do. I see in your eyes the shock, the horror, the understanding as they cross your elegant visage. I turn away quickly so as not to see the pity, the condescension, the derision.
I walk out of the grand hall to an outdoor atrium, snatching a champagne flute as I continue to a darkened corner of a flower garden. I hear conversation, music, laughter.
I stare at some coral roses surrounded by pedestrian pathways without much focus. I am trying to calm myself, to push back the despair that rises like bile within me. Normally I view you from afar. You do not witness me as I come apart at the seams. Tonight I am not so lucky.
Such a melodic, sensual voice. Oh, how I've missed it. I continue to stare at the roses as I sip the champagne. You will leave. You will not waste your time on an insubordinate, ungrateful nothing.
I am nothing.
I feel your strong fingers wrap around my bicep, turning me gently as you lift my chin. Confused, I look into compassionate eyes.
Miranda, you are so beautiful.
"What have you done, you silly girl?" Surprisingly, although the words seem to mock me, your tone reflects affection. As if you are greeting an old friend.
How can I answer you? I did what I thought was best. I walked away from the most fascinating, aggravating, sexy, ruthless person I have ever known.
I didn't know, I didn't realize, how I was breaking my own heart until I laughed. It was too late by then.
A million girls would kill to work for you. How could I know I was one of them?
"I had to," I whisper.
I watch you shake your head in denial as your grip tightens on my arm. You seem upset. But what do I know? I cannot hope to understand what you are feeling. I was just beginning to know you when I chose to leave.
"I laugh, too, Andrea," you admit. Your thumb brushes across my dry cheek.
I feel my confusion, my fear, my heartbreak transformed as your lips rest on mine for scant moments. As you pull back to look into my eyes, I feel laughter burst from my belly.
It feels different. It sounds different. The sorrowful tinge is absent.
I feel lighter. Alive for the first time in years. Three years.
Laughing as tears wash away heartbreak, I bask in your smile like the sodden ground soaking up the sun.