Waiting To Fall
Brittany Miller sat, staring at the stationary pad on her desk and clicking her glittery pink pen open and shot from the top. She felt tremendously hot, despite the fact that the night was cool and she was wearing only an oversized pink t-shirt that came down to just over her knees. Why was it so hard to put down in words anyway? But it couldn't be done over the phone, and the thought of trying to say these things in person—no, it was simply out of the question.
Sighing, Brittany took a sip of the Long Island Iced Tea she had gotten from a pre-mixed bottle. She was not one to drink more than socially, even at college parties, but she was rather certain that if she were to get through this, it was going to take something strong enough to loosen her tongue, and to be honest enough with herself to simply do it.
Procrastinating no longer, Brittany finally put pen to paper and started at the easiest place, the beginning.
I don't know where to start, so please bear with me if it takes me some time to get to my point. It's taken me some time to find the courage to sit down and write this. But I didn't want to call, and I know that sometimes…often, our meetings end in anger. I couldn't find any other way to say what I feel I must, so I've decided to write it down.
There are so many things I want to say, so many times that we've gone wrong, and times we've gone right, too. I don't know why we can never seem to make it last. Maybe we're just too much alike, so focused on being the best, the shining star, the center of attention…that we turn everything into a competition, including, well, US. I know that over the years, we have both done too many things that we aren't proud of. Foolish, silly, and hurtful things designed only to feed our own selfish desires. Sometimes I just can't help being who I am, and neither can you. And what hurts the most is how good we sometimes were together. When we were in sync, I felt as though the stars would shine only for our benefit. But that was a long time ago.
Things are different now. It's been nearly three years since we've seen each other. Not since that awful New Year's Party. We haven't spoken since. Maybe we said it all then. Still. We're a little older now. Hopefully, a little more wiser. It takes two people to walk away. But it only takes one to stand up and fight. And I'm tired of waiting for you to be the one to do it. This may sound like an insult, but it's not—you're as stubborn as I am. I admire that. Maybe I wouldn't want you any other way. So much of what made us good was the challenge, the way we kept each other on our toes. There was some good in us. But we always let things get out of hand and our mutual desire to win no matter the cost would always take us back to that horrible place. You see, that's the trouble of being in love with someone so much like yourself—you know exactly how to hurt them best. And we are very good at that.
Yes, Alvin, I do still love you, so I hope that your ego is placated. I never really stopped, in spite of everything. But you can't eat love, and dreams don't pay the bills. Sometimes, love just isn't enough. I wish that it were. And that's why I'm writing. We haven't spoken in so long; I'll have my degree in another six months. I've changed my major since we last saw each other. I'm getting my degree in Business Management, along with a Minor in fashion. I still have my music, too. But I don't get to see my sisters very often, and the notes ring hollow against these four walls without anyone else. The greatest things I've ever accomplished musically were when we worked together—your brothers and my sisters. You have no idea how much I had to drink just to write that. But it's true. I miss those times. They were wonderful. Everything was so unlikely, it was like a dream. My sisters and I were not as fortunate as you in our earlier years. We had to make our own way for so long. The day we all met was a very happy accident. You helped us establish ourselves, and regardless of our never ending competition over who brings the rock 'n' roll better, I'm willing to agree that none of us is better than all of us.
We go so good together when we want to, but our history is full of so much foolishness. We spent so much time trying to one-up each other, make each other jealous, and prove ourselves— that we lost sight of things. Eleanor and Theodore never had these problems. Those two fall together like ice cream and sprinkles. I saw them last Christmas. They're so happy, you know. And I wish them the best. I haven't seen Jeanette; she couldn't get away last Christmas, although she has promised to come home this year. Your brother Simon sent me a letter, he's been awarded a grant at Cal-Tech. Jeanette is there too, she was able to get her degree in only three years and is currently working on her Master's. I don't know exactly where they are in their own relationship. But I get the distinct impression from Simon that he intends to marry her if Jeanette will have them. I can't imagine my sister saying no. That's twice I'll wind up being a bridesmaid.
I no longer know what you want, and that scares me most of all. I've watched you from afar. I've been following your music. It's good, Alvin. You haven't lost your touch. I did want to record that duet with you, but under the circumstances, I understand why it didn't happen. I'm sure it would have been beautiful. But I've done what you wanted. I've stayed away. For three years I've pretended as though we never knew each other, never shared memories of singing on stage, of traveling around the world, of curling up late at night on a couch to watch television until we let our lips find each other. I've tried to forget all of that. I wish I could. I have empty smiles and inane chatter for my friends, but none of it makes me happy. Because I'm missing my soul mate. We belong together, but I don't know if we can make it work. I'm trying to move on, but I can't. I won't just throw this away until I hear it from you. I won't take the risk of throwing away what could be the most special thing in my life. Not until you tell me in your own words that you don't want me, that you don't love me.
You've never said that. Even in the worst of moments where we would try to hurt each other, we never said that. There's something there between us, something that was always meant to be. But we have to reach out and take it, nurture it, choose it. But I can't wait forever, Alvin. If you don't want me, I have a right to stitch my heart back together and find someone who will love me for who I am. You and I are connected by a strong cord. If you can look yourself in the mirror and know that you love me, then do it. Pull the cord tight and snap me back to you. And if you honestly no longer care for me, if you truly have no place in your heart for me any longer, than I ask you out of love for what we once were, if nothing else, to cut the cord and let me try to find someone to love.
I don't want to do this anymore. I'm not a child, I have to grow up. I have to know what you really feel. We were once the King and Queen, what happened to us? Why did we play so many love games with each other?
I'm sorry about that. Brittany Miller is an emotional drunk who should not write while drinking half a bottle of pre-mixed, Long Island Iced Tea. But it was the only way I felt I could put down in words what I really feel. I have pride, and I'm trying my hardest to set that aside. You see, much of my life, everything has been in threes, been shared with my sisters. From secrets to living space to clothes to, well, just about everything. I'm certain this is something you can relate to. But my heart and my love is the one thing I can give away freely. It is mine and mine alone. I don't have to share it with anyone else. I've given it to you, time and again, because you were the one worthy of it. I do not blame you for things going wrong between us. We can both be so selfish; we've said things we didn't mean. At least, I have. I believe in my heart you have to. And I still believe that you love me, in spite of everything. Maybe you just need the reminder. It can't be too late to start over. Not unless you truly don't wish to. But I won't believe that's true unless I hear it in your own words. You always knew how to dance with me, Alvin. You put your arms around me and made me feel like I was home. Home. That is a concept I struggled with for a long time. Coming up as an orphan was a difficulty my sisters and I overcame. From my earliest memories of living beneath a bed in an orphanage, to living on our own in a tree house, until finally being adopted by your eccentric neighbor, the definition of home has changed so much in my life. I have to thank you for Miss Miller. She is a very special woman, and I should go home to see her. She isn't getting any younger, and I need to tell her, in person, how much I appreciate everything she did for me and my sisters. I don't want to lose her. But it's only a matter of time. And when that time comes, I want you to be there with me. It's because of you that I got such a wonderful woman to take me in. And when she passes on, it would mean so much to me if I had your hand to hold one day when I say my final goodbyes. I will go home and see her this holiday. Maybe you'll be in the neighborhood and we can just talk again. Because that's the way it would be if we never had these problems. Simple, easy, cool…we were like that, once. It's funny how it could all go wrong so easily.
Maybe that's all there really is to say. I love you, and I want you back. I want us back. But that can never happen unless you want it to. So I'm asking you if you want us. I'm breaking the silence. Please talk to me, Alvin; I'd rather hear you say you don't feel this way about me anymore than to sit here at night with the silence and wonder what could have been. My number hasn't changed. But I have grown mature enough to know that stubborn, foolish pride won't keep me warm at night or hold me tight. You always did. The times we got along are some of my fondest memories. I would be satisfied to make many more if you feel the same way.
Please tell Dave that I said hello. I hear he's putting together an album of your old hits with some modern, redone versions. He was always such a good manager, and a wonderful father figure. I learned things from him, even if he wasn't technically responsible for me. It's because of him that we sometimes got to tour with you, and I can't thank him enough for the opportunity to breakthrough. Those were wondrous times. If I can't see him when I visit Miss Miller, I'm certain that I'll see him when Ellie and Theodore tie the knot. Maybe we're all due for a reunion.
I'm sorry, I'm rambling. All these years of holding my silence and refusing to back down. If a little alcohol is all it took for me to break down, then maybe I should've done this a long time ago. But at least now it's all in the open. All I can do now is wait. And maybe that's why I'm rambling. Because I don't know how you're going to respond. And until you do, all I can do is wait and wonder.
No matter what you decide, I thank you for taking the time to listen. I wish you only the best no matter what our futures hold, together or apart.
Yours in Hearts,
Brittany felt completely exhausted. She set the stationary aside and dropped her pen, lifting her glass and draining what was left of its contents. She set the glass down firmly, the ice clinking in the glass like a punctuation mark to her actions. She leaned back, sighing with worry as she ran her fingers through her messy hair. She desperately needed to make a salon appointment. But this past month, it was all she could do to attend her classes and do enough of the homework to pass. She had felt so sedated, so unlike herself. And now, the catharsis was complete. This was what she had been waiting for. She had wrung her emotions out on paper like a sponge. And now all that was left was to send the message on its way and wait for salvation or rejection. The very thought still frightened her. She had never placed her heart in someone else's hands so fully before. Indeed, love had not always been the kindest of friends to her. But this was something she needed to do. If she couldn't be true to herself and her own feelings, then there wasn't much point to going on like this. Even if Alvin rebuffed her request to rekindle what they once shared on a proper, serious basis—even if that came to pass, at least she could finally be free to try and find happiness elsewhere. If such a thing were possible.
Happiness. It seemed so simple a word, a concept. Indeed, simple things were once what made her happy. A trip to the salon, a visit to the mall, performing on a stage with her sisters and getting recognized as being, at least, the equals of their friendly rivals—if not the betters. And, of course, simply curling up on a sofa in the old tree house with some candles, root beer, and that classic romantic detective show, Dream Lighting. Oh, now those were some times! Where had they all gotten off to? But it wasn't too late to get it all back. She refused to believe otherwise. After all, his brothers aside, who knew Alvin better than her? They were, after all, so very much alike. He may have tried to forget, just like her. But he couldn't have succeeded. Why was she so afraid? Just let him try to replace Brittany Miller! Never in a million years could he pull it off. Oh, he might find some temporary respite in the arms of another girl—even she wasn't so naïve as to think it never happened. Brittany herself had let a few men or two close to her in her time when she needed to feel good about herself. But that still didn't change the fact that they weren't Alvin. And any girl he might have taken up with wasn't her. They belonged together, like a better matched (and talented) Sonny and Cher. Alvin was her birthright, and she would return to claim what was hers.
Or maybe that was the alcohol talking. She let out a rather ladylike hiccup, as though in accentuation of that idea. But no matter. "Do you hear me, Alvin Seville?" She shouted to the emptiness around her. "I am Brittany Miller, star of The Chipettes, Princess of the School Dances, Queen of Hearts, and you'd damn well better love me if you know what's good for you!"
She set the glass in the sink, feeling less fragile and more determined. Like Scarlet O'Hara, tomorrow was another day. A day she intended to be hers. "Just you wait, Seville. It's not over until I say it's over."
She had a renewed purpose now, a new reason to fight. There was just one problem, really. She couldn't do anything until she got his response. Sighing, Brittany addressed the envelope to the home just next door to the one had lived in prior to going away to college, sealing her feelings inside it and adding a stamp. In the morning, she would mail it on campus. She would have her tomorrow. But like little orphan Annie had sung, tomorrow is always a day away, and this tomorrow seemed like it would be forever in coming.
Brittany turned out the lights, screwing her eyes shut and willing herself to focus on pleasant dreams of the future she had always wanted. How long would it take for her letter to even reach Alvin? And would he respond? How? There were so many questions that nothing could answer for her but time.
The waiting began.
This, I'm sure, is not anything that my readers would've expected to find on their author alert e-mails. Frankly, it wasn't something I intended to write. Somehow, I got hit with this blast from the past recently. I got reminded that, of all the different animated women I have written for in my life-time, there was one missing. One that I wasn't aware of—indeed, that I had utterly forgotten. All I can say is that, like a woman scorned, she's been having her revenge on me this past week. And it was on the second day of this very strange and wondrous trip down memory lane that I realized the truth—Brittany Miller would not be satisfied until I paid her tribute in written form. This, then, is my pathetic attempt to do so.
I'm really not sure whether anyone will even want to read this. But then, my writing has changed in just a scant few years. I've found that I generally write what I wish to know and am less concerned with the box office. Sure, I hug my reviews like any fanfic author worth his or her salt, but it's just different now. I've gotten older, and I've discovered that the stories in me just need to get out sometimes, even if they aren't what the public is clamoring to read. Sometimes, I'm fortunate enough to have a really devoted fan. My primary work these days, Seized With Life, happens to have one such fan. She's a rather radiant young woman who always makes me feel better about my work, which I always fear is never as good as her praise seems to indicate, but she insists. I can't thank her enough for that, and I am not only still working on that story, but I nearly have a new chapter ready to go for Seized. Anyone else out there reading it and waning the update, its coming sooner than you think, fear not. I just found I couldn't concentrate on anything until I dealt with this one-shot, so hear it is.
I don't know how many others out there truly remember Brittany Miller. The real one, from the 80's. Keep the CGI away from me, thank you very much—I prefer the warmth and sincerity of the primary series from the 80s, even when it was corny. They just don't make shows like that anymore. And they don't make women like Brittany anymore either. Some would argue it's for the better. Me, well, I guess I just know what I like. I'm on a quest to make as many people remember this stuff as I can. Through watching some old episodes, I've begun to remember what a large part of my childhood this was, and it's good to come home again, that much I can say. In my studying of some old episodes, twenty-five years since I last saw them, I have wondered about whether Alvin and Brittany could find simple, ordinary happiness as easily as their siblings. As such, I tried to illustrate the idea here that they are in serious danger of losing it. Pride and prejudice can be a big factor here. They are two incredibly stubborn people who don't like to give in. But I felt that, in spite of that, Brittany still wants to be happy. Some may say I'm wrong, that she would not be the first to back down. And I could argue that case myself. But I like to think that she has some nurturing in her, a better nature that we only see on those rare occasions in the series. There comes a time in every relationship where, if no one stands up and fights for it, it will die. It was that notion that provoked me to have Brittany be the one to break the silence. Alvin hasn't stepped up. Indeed, he might not be capable of it. He doesn't take these kinds of things well, I feel. So having Brittany reach out and ask him if they're worth fighting for, to me, fits in with her drive to never give in. She won't let this end without a fight.
I've considered writing a response from Alvin's perspective, but I was unsure if anyone out there would really be interested in it. It's currently a project that I've got in my wait and see folder. I'm interested enough to write it and see what comes out of me, but I have other writing obligations. I think I'll hang that project on whether or not anyone out there actually wants more of this or not. If you do, I beseech you to let me know.
This story was written to the following old and modern songs, if they help anyone get in the mood:
Simple Minds—(Don't You) Forget About Me
Adele—Set Fire To The Rain
Bonnie Tyler—Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Gordon Lightfoot—If You Could Read My Mind
Phil Collins—Something Happened On The Way To Heaven
Naked Eyes—Always Something There To Remind Me
The Cult—She Sells Sanctuary
Depeche Mode—Enjoy The Silence
Coldplay—Talk ; Hurts Like Heaven
Not all of them are specifically relevant to the story, sometimes it's just the beat or melody or something that helped me keep on pace. *shrug* Sooner or later, I'll make a proper Alvin & Brittany album. Yes, you can submit your suggestions.
I hope that everyone enjoys this little trip down memory lane with me. I know it was unexpected, but sometimes, a spontaneous journey can be the best one. Or at least, a fun diversion. I've really enjoyed writing this, so I'm rather excited to see if anyone out there actually wants to see more. I know I can't be the only one who gets nostalgic for times past. In the meantime, please send your questions, comments, compliments, complaints, love letters, death threats, marriage proposals, and ransom demands to: