The Jump: A Sven and Mimi Story
Shorter than I expected, but done none the less. Foof. Enjoy! things are looking up.
“Mimi, we need to talk.”
Sven leant against the bedroom door and watched as Mimi pulled on a pair of sweatpants and a thin cotton vest. She pulled the towel from her hair and sat on the corner of the bed opposite him, eyeing him reticently.
“Listen, I’m really sorry about earlier.” She stood and stepped towards him, “I was angry and tired and I just needed to get out. I didn’t mean to worry you.”
Sven frowned and rubbed his face. “No, no.” he sighed, walking past her and sitting on the edge of the bed, “It’s everything recently. Since the whole apartment thing, you’ve been really off. I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to do. You realise how frustrating this is?” Sven hadn’t meant to get angry, he had promised himself that he was going to discuss this in a calm, sensible manner, but the anger was rising in his chest. “I do not know what to do anymore. I try to make you happy, to bring you into my life, to listen to this-“
“What?” consternation tainted Mimi’s voice and she turned to stare at her boyfriend, her face incredulous, “what, exactly?”
“This.” He said again, “This paranoia, the worry, the way you’re always…I don’t know…locked up tight.” Sven clenched his fist, “The way I am perpetually afraid of losing you because you’re so damn frightened all the fucking time.”
“No I’m not. That’s bullshit. I worry because I love you, because that’s just the way I am and you should be used to that now. I disappeared, because, if it slipped your mind, we were rowing about your sudden decision to buy an apartment and not consult me first. I really liked-“ Mimi stopped, sighing heavily and sitting down opposite Sven, her knees drawn up around her.
“What?” he asked, “what did you like? Because I can see you’re pretty pissed off about living here.”
“No.” Mimi gasped, “I’m not, I don’t- It’s just, oh, everything is moving so fast, Sven, am I’m scared and it’s sudden and-“
“You’re doing it again.” Sven smirked, “And you need to stop because it’s going to fuck up the rest of your life if you let it. It is going to break us apart.”
“The fear you have. You’re so afraid of being happy. It’s like if you’re happy something bad will happen. Nothing is going to happen, you’re not some convent girl any more. You’re free. You can do what the hell you like.”
Mimi’s face creased a little and she looked up at Sven with glittering, teary eyes. “Oh shut up. Please shut up. You have no idea how hard it was for me. How I was always the one in charge, the sensible one watching out for everyone else.” She pinched the bridge of her nose and willed herself not to cry. This again, always, always this. Like it would seep into every inch of her life and suck out the happiness in everything she loved. “Sven, you have no idea.” Mimi’s voice cracked a little, but she ignored it, willing herself to open up to tell him everything, to try. “My dad was drunk most of the time and my mother was too old fashioned and too poor and too proud to leave. There was this shitty catholic shit over everything. And yes, I was the one that looked out for everyone. I was the one that put my fucking parents to bed when they were too drunk to stand, I was the one that took Livvi to school and made sure stuff got done. Everyone else had a fucking party and I wiped up. That’s just how it was. That’s just how I liked it. I felt safe. And I swore to myself that I wouldn’t be like my mother. Ironing some man’s shirts while he went out and drank away our money. I would never be that woman. She always said that he never understood her and she was smart and educated and had seen the world and then she sold her life for cars and diamonds and people looked at us and thought we were perfect, Sven.” Mimi sniffed loudly and threw her hands in front of herself, “But they never saw the truth, they saw this bullshit patina of wealth and thought our lives were made. But on the inside we were rotting. We were fucking rotten and no one knew and I don’t ever want to be that, baby. I don’t ever want to sell my soul like that.” She wiped the tears from her face and sniffed loudly again. “And Livvi went to boarding school and I stayed behind to look after my mom, almost to protect her, you know, and I was so scared to leave because I thought everything would fall apart. And now, now I am so scared…”
Sven gulped and hugged he close, “Oh, baby, no, sweetheart, please don’t be. You can do this. You can leave all that behind. You have to.” Sven sat up and cupped Mimi’s face with his palms and wiped away her tears with his thumb. “Listen to me,” he said solemly, “You have to. You’re a grown woman and you are no one’s mother, you have no debt – Catholic or not - and you have to try and forget this. Move on with your life. Live your life. When I did this I didn’t do it as a way to entrap you and have you stuck at home, I did it because I love you, because I want to live every day with you, go grocery shopping, eat breakfast, fight over the remote and paint colours and money.” Sven hesitated and rubbed her back gently, his voice cracking.
“You know I had given up on everything. I thought I’d just work and earn money and maybe end up like some 50 year old guy with a 30 year old wife in the Bahamas somewhere. I never thought I’d find you, find this, you know and I hate to think of you being unhappy with it because you have made me happier than I ever thought possible. I spent my whole life on edge, hiding this and that and I’ve never opened up to anyone like I do with you. I know you’ve suffered but you can’t be dragged back into the past every time something good happens. It’s not all going to go wrong, I promise. You need to let yourself be happy.” He hugged her and stroked her hair soothingly, “I am not going to hurt you. I am not going to try to hide you from the world or blackmail you or shag some groupies while you wash my pants at home. I never had a dad and I saw what my mom went through every day and every day I wonder who he is and how he could just walk away like that and I am so afraid of becoming that guy, let me tell you.” Sven’s speech sped up and he gripped Mimi tighter.
Mimi nodded and forced a smile, “I know.” She nodded brushing his face gently, she sighed heavily and laid against him, “And you’re right. You’ve always been right and I felt like such a bitch for doing this to you, dragging all my crap along with me. I didn’t want you to see it. I didn’t want to inflict my life onto you.”
Sven frowned again and pushed Mimi’s hair from her face, “Really?” he raised an eyebrow skeptically and looked down at her, “I cannot believe you just said that, just stop it, okay. Forget it, forget everything. You’re not a kid anymore, you’re not in school. No on is going to tell you off if you step out of line. Don’t be so scared to jump. Take a chance, because I am right next to you. Right here. No matter what.”
Mimi sighed heavily again and hugged Sven. “You are too good.” She smiled, “Too, too good. I don’t even know how it’s possible, sometimes. Like I’m going to wake up soon, like one day you’ll get bored with me and disappear.”
“Nope.” Sven smiled, “Not happening. Not going anywhere. Not now. Not without you. Well, you know, if you want to come with me, that is.” He stretched and wrapped his hand around hers. Mimi looked up and smiled again,” Yes.” She laughed, “Of course…and I will try.”
“Try to jump and not get panicky and to tell you when I need a few minutes on my own.”
“And be honest. Don’t hide things from me.”
“You too.”she answered, “Don’t ever lie or be embarrassed or anything.”
Sven smiled and nodded, “I promise.”
‘Good.” Mimi answered.
They hugged and laid back down on the cool sheets, Mimi stretching out against him.
“Well,” Mimi whispered, “Here’s to jumping.”
“Hmm, to jumping.” Sven smiled, “I like that.”
“Yes,” Mimi smiled again, “and to never looking back.”