Disclaimer: If I owned the show, I probably wouldn't be here writing fanfiction, would I?
Author's Note: So AP exams made life a little crazy, but now I'm back on top of this. This piece is about Mimi's thoughts on what I think her relationship with her mom would have been like, mostly because I think that would have had a HUGE effect on the person she is now. Enjoy!
I should have been a lawyer.
It's the only thing she could think that whole night as she sat in the underground shelter, waiting for the radioactive rain to stop.
Mom was right. I should have been a lawyer.
She had done it to spite her mother, of course. Her infernal, stuffy, arrogant, controlling mother, who just so happened to be a topnotch lawyer. It was true that she had inherited her mother's gift for arguing (and usually winning). She could argue a starving man into giving up his last meal if she wanted to, not that she's ever actually tried. But she had decided early on in life that she would not turn out like her mother. So, to her mother's horror, she had dropped out halfway through law school and had instead gone to a smaller college that had let her combine a business degree with a legal one. Instead of joining her mother in the legal world and becoming the unstoppable mother-daughter duo her mother had wanted, she had ended up working for the IRS. It was far from perfect, and secretly Mimi had begun to think that maybe she would have been better off as a lawyer. But she had lived it up and made it seem like she couldn't have been happier. She refused to let her mother have the satisfaction of winning. And eventually that mundane job with the IRS had led her to the porch swing where she now sits in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas, watching the sun set over Stanley Richmond's corn field.
Her mother would never have approved of Stanley, of course. No farmer's son would ever be good enough for the daughter of an upper-class family that could trace its lineage back to His Royal Stuffiness Something-Or-Other. If she's perfectly honest with herself, she really doesn't miss her stuffy relatives. The silly, self-absorbed cousins, the crazy uncles who said all the wrong things at all the wrong times, the aunts for whom it was impossible to stay out of anyone else's business. She doesn't miss them. Except for maybe cousin Judith and her five-year-old son, Frank. She had always been a decent girl, and he was such a sweet little boy. But they weren't in New York at the time, so Mimi's almost certain that they're okay. And as bad as it sounds, she really doesn't miss the rest of them. There are days, though, when she does wish she had gotten the chance to introduce Stanley to her mother's stiff, upper-class family, particularly her grandmother, if only for the sheer joy of seeing a good two-thirds of them pass out from heart attacks.
No, her mother would never have approved. But she likes to think that her father might have. He had been a good man, her father. A quiet man who always knew the right thing to say, and Mimi had loved him dearly. He was the one who had taught her to play chess. They had actually become quite close through those games. She had always known that he loved her, even when she completely screwed everything up. His love never had to be earned.
Her mother's, on the other hand, had to be bought with frequent successes and achievements. There was no room for failure, no room for trying. Whether it be an English essay, a piano recital, dance practice, the science fair, or a simple game of chess, Mimi would succeed at everything, and that was that. Failure to do so resulted in severe punishment and being sent back out to try again. When she got older Mimi learned how to argue and yell back, and the resulting shouting matches and heated debates could have put even the best state lawyers to shame. There had been a good many groundings and nights of being sent to bed without dinner, but Mimi was sick and tired of her controlling mother, and she refused to back down on anything. Her father had mediated as best he could, separating the two screaming woman, doing what he could to ease his wife's anger, and sneaking Mimi dinner when needed. When she reached college, Mimi and her mother had reached a precarious truce, and they did what they could to try and keep the peace, if only for her father's sake. Dropping out of law school, however, had been the final straw. Her mother had barely spoken to her after that, and Mimi had made no effort to restore the lost relationship. She refused to be controlled by her mother any longer.
And yet, despite her best efforts, Mimi finds that she has become her mother's daughter in so many ways. When she first arrived in Jericho she had dressed the part of the business woman, and acted the haughty New Yorker. Exactly like her mother. And even now, after all the months she's spent living on the farm, she finds that there are still things she says and thinks that sound exactly like her mother. Sometimes it scares her how much alike they are, especially where Bonnie is concerned. It amazes her sometimes how those same words she used to hate from her mother will leave her mouth and get the exact same reaction from Bonnie that they used to get from her. She'll never be Bonnie's mother, and she knows better than to try. But she cares for the girl so much, even if Bonnie doesn't always understand that. And sometimes, after she's said something that sounds exactly like her mother and Bonnie has shouted at her and stormed out of the room exactly like Mimi used to do at that age, sometimes it makes her wonder if maybe she misjudged her mother, if maybe all she had really wanted was the very best for her daughter. Sometimes she wishes she could ask her.
Not that it really matters. Her parents are gone, and that's that. She cried every night for a week after she found out. Every single time she thought she was being quiet, and every single time Stanley came out and sat beside her on the swing where she had taken refuge and held her until she cried herself to sleep. She misses her father, misses playing chess with him, misses his easy ability to make her laugh. But strangely enough, she finds that she misses her mother the most. Well, maybe a better word would be "regret". She regrets that she never really got to make amends, regrets that she just had to drop out of law school. Maybe working with her mom wouldn't have been so bad after all...
"Pretty, isn't it?"
Mimi looks up to see Stanley come out onto the porch. He sits down beside her on the swing, and she lays her head on his shoulder as he slips his arm around her. Together they stare out at the sunset.
"I wish I could tell you that it stops hurting," Stanley says finally, "but it never really does." He shifts a bit, and she knows he's looking down at her. "It gets easier though, after a while. And no matter what happens, you've got Bonnie and me. We'll be a family together."
Mimi feels tears welling in her eyes.
"How do you do that?" she asks, reaching up and wiping her eyes.
"Do what?" Stanley asks.
"Always manage to say the right thing?"
"I guess I just have a gift," Stanley says, and she knows he's smiling that cocky, joking smile of his. Mimi laughs a small, tired laugh and puts her head back on his shoulder. Together they watch in silence as the sun finally touches the horizon and begins to sink beyond.
As she watches the golden ball disappear, Mimi is suddenly struck by a thought. Her mother would almost certainly not have approved of a simple farm boy from Kansas who tended to talk first and think later. But somehow Mimi feels that maybe, just maybe, her mother would have approved of Stanley anyway, simply because he made her daughter happy. Really and truly happy. And if she could only see her daughter now, see how happy she was, maybe she would have been able to forgive her for deciding not to be a lawyer.
Because sitting on the rickety wooden porch swing with her head on Stanley Richmond's shoulder in the middle of a corn field in Jericho, Kansas, Mimi thinks that dropping out of law school might be the best decision she's ever made.
So what did you think? Please review and let me know! Reviews = happy author = more pieces. :)