Some people would have called Mimi a crybaby. Yolei, however, was convinced she was not. Whatever it might have looked like on the outside, Mimi wasn't weak on the inside, and if she cried, it had to be for a reason. This was what Yolei thought as the lay awake in bed that night thinking about her new friend and the adventure they had been through together. They had battled monsters together and had destroyed on of the Digimon Emperor's control spires, but none of that had affected Yolei like seeing Mimi cry. Why had she done that?
It had been meeting Palmon that had done it. Palmon was Mimi's companion Digimon, just like Hawkmon was Yolei's, and they hadn't seen each other in a long time. As soon as they had spotted each other, Yolei had seen something snap in the both of them, and they had run to hug each other and cry their eyes out. That was confusing. You would think that they would be shouting for joy. There should have been singing and laughter, and instead they had cried from the bottom of their hearts. No matter what they said, it had looked an awful lot like they were sad about something, deeply sad.
Maybe, Yolei thought, it was a kind of sadness in reverse. Certainly the pair must have missed each other during their long separation. Perhaps, in all the excitement of going to America and living among the bright lights of New York and amid the beauty of the fashion world, Mimi had forgotten just how much she loved and needed and missed her companion. Yolei had to admit that even though she hadn't had her own Digimon very long, his comically serious ways and loyal presence had endeared him to her, and she wasn't sure she'd be quite the same without him.
Without him? There was a sobering thought. Mimi had been forced to leave her Digimon in Digiworld when she had left it, and the portal had closed behind her. She would have thought that Palmon was gone forever, so of course meeting her would seem like some kind of miracle. And yet... and yet, it would remind her, too, that they were only going to have to separate again. Maybe it would only be a short separation next time, but eventually there would come a time when Mimi would have to get on with her life, grow up, and leave Digiworld to another generation.
*But that won't happen to me,* Yolei thought. *My Digivice opens the doors, so as long as I keep it with me, I'll always be able to find my way back to Digiworld, and Hawkmon and I will be together forever.*
For a brief instant, Yolei entertained a pleasant fantasy, one similar to the one she'd had before, where she and Mimi were sisters living together in a beautiful house with a beautiful garden. They would keep the Digivice and a computer so they could go to Digiworld together and be with their companions. Yolei liked and admired Mimi, and she didn't want to ever see her cry again. She would have loved to have made it possible for Mimi and Palmon to be together.
*Palmon won't be the only one who misses her when she leaves.*
Sometimes there is a spark between two people, an electric arc that welds them together. Sometimes a man and woman will look at each other across a crowded room, and the rest of the crowd will vanish for them as the lock eyes. Sometimes two strangers will meet each other on the street, and something in the look on the other's face or some kind word or deed will start them talking and turn them into lifelong friends. And sometimes someone will hear someone laughing and see a smile and a sparkle in a pair of eyes, and whoever it is will know that they have found a kindred spirit. Yolei felt that way about Mimi. Mimi was bright, cheerful, opened to the world with all the joy of a flower reaching for the sun, spreading light even as she received it. People gave her back the cheerfulness she spread - how could anyone not like Mimi? Yolei had never thought of herself as pretty, with her glasses and unstyled hair and unimpressive clothing. She often felt outshined next to the pretty and spirited Kari. It was no wonder Davis made such a fuss over the girl! Nobody ever made a fuss over Yolei. She had never really let herself think about it before now, but now she realized that she wanted to be beautiful. While she was with Mimi, she felt like some of that beauty was rubbing off on her.
But Mimi was not going to be Yolei's sister, and she was not going to help her pick out pretty clothes and learn to put on makeup, and they were never going to stay up all night talking about the boys who were chasing them, and they were not going to live together in a beautiful house with flowers. Mimi had flown in on the wings of a plane, and someday she would fly away on those wings and go back to her sparkling world, and Yolei would walk some other, quieter path. Yolei knew she was going to grow up, and that she was going to have to do serious things, and she wouldn't always have time to dedicate to beauty and fantasy.
She knew, too, that she had already done some growing up. When she had been young, she had played games of fantasy. She had been a princess, a wizard, a warrior, a carrot stick, or whatever she wanted to be. She'd had all kinds of wonderful playmates, every bit as marvelous as Hawkmon. She had believed them all, had seen and heard them and could describe them all as if she had really been there. However, time had gone by, and she had found real things and serious pursuits to take up her time, and her visions had gradually faded away. She didn't believe them anymore. Now she began to think that it didn't matter if she did keep the Digivice and if the door stayed open, because the truth was that she was going to grow up. She wouldn't always be able to play in the Digiworld whenever she wanted, and the time might come when she believed that Digiworld was nothing more than another one of her fantasies that had been more tenacious than most. On that day, Hawkmon would fly away from her, too, much further than Mimi could in her plane, because there would be no way for Yolei to follow him.
And the others - Davis, Kari, Cody, TK, and the other Digidestined that had come before them - what would happen to them all? Already, the early team was beginning to go their own ways. It stood to reason that the current team would do the same. No matter how hard they tried to keep in touch, they couldn't make time stand still. They would all grow up and change. They would all have to take their own paths, and those paths might lead them very far away, be it on the wings of planes, or hawks, or angels, or something a bit less tangible but no less real.
Maybe Mimi had sensed something of all that, even if she could never put it into words. She had not cried because she was weak, but because she had a sincere and loving heart that sometimes spilled over in its attempt to give all the love she could to her friends while they were still with her. That was why she cried, and that was why Yolei cried into her pillow that night in her room. She cried for the sister she wouldn't have, for the loyal companion whose loyalty wasn't enough to keep him close by, and for the friends who would someday have to leave her. There was a part of her, too, that cried for herself, because even though she knew it was coming, she couldn't stop herself from growing up and making her premonitions real, so she cried for young Yolei who laughed and played and was beautiful in a land of dreams....