Chapter 006: Maybes and Reassurance
Chapter 006: Maybes and Reassurances
Their connection was broken in a matter of moments as Mina was the first to pull away. Inside, she fought the viciously strong urge to kiss Frank again and do so much more while she forced calm into her demeanor.
"You can't do this to me." she whispered at once, "You can't just show up, say you want me back, kiss me, and think I'll leave Pete for you." /'Right, like you haven't been wanting that all this time.' /Mina's conscience nipped at her.
If Frank was lying to himself, he would have tried to beat off the accusation. But, no, this situation call for all honesty; so what if he did hope that Mina would leave Pete for him?
Interpreting his sheepish silence correctly, Mina scoffed. "I am a committed woman, Frank. I love Pete." 'But I love you more, even though its wrong.' "Can't you at least respect that? I mean, I respected the fact that you didn't want to be together after--"
"Hey! I never said I didn't want to be with you." Frank spoke up in his defense, his vocal volume rising a bit. "I broke up with you because I didn't want to hurt you anymore than I already did. I thought we'd both be better off..."
"You should have known better. You should have stayed. But no, you left me, alone, to wonder all this time." Mina said softly, unable to be angry at someone she loved so long.
"You're right," He finally said after a while. "I should have known better than to leave you when you needed me the most and I'm sorry. I wish I could have thought about it a little longer, I would have probably made a better choice."
Mina smiled sadly at him understanding what he meant. "Yeah, if we could have just talked about it, then maybe we'd be planning our own wedding." It was only after the words had slipped from her mouth, that she realized she had said too much.
Frank raised his eyebrows as her, amused despite the heaviness of the situation. 'I take it that this means Quinn wasn't lying about her still having feelings for me.' "Really? I was thinking that you'd already be Mrs. Iero."
The combination of their inappropriate comments made Mina blush nearly to the point of tears. 'So much for respecting commitment, Mina.' She mentally rebuked herself. "I-um... I shouldn't have said that. It was uncalled for." Mina muttered now a deep shade of crimson.
"Well, no, its good that you said that to me instead of saying it to Pete." Frank said reassuringly. "Maybe this isn't how it was really meant to be."
"But I guess well never know how its supposed to be, will we?" Mina replied, "Because I won't hurt Pete by leaving him."
He nodded, knowing fully that Mina meant what she said. They ate the rest of their dinner friendly conversation until, sighing tiredly, Mina rose, gathered her things, and put on her jacket.
"It was nice to see you again.", she said pleasantly. And stooping a bit, she placed a fond kiss upon his cheek. "Say hello to Lane and everyone for me, okay?"
"I will." Frank said simply. Moments later, she was gone from the private room and from the restaurant itself.
Shortly after she left a bubbly man in a serving uniform appeared by his side. "Care for dessert, sir? Our chocolate mousse is top notch." The waiter said automatically.
"No thanks, I don't have much of an appetite anymore." Frank mumbled, dismissing the waiter as he thought of everything that had just been said.
He had had an inkling that Mina would never call off the engagement to give their relationship another try. But now it was a reality and there was not a chance that she would always be by his side like the sweet and innocent times before.
The next two weeks leading up to Peters arrival from Europe were a blur to Mina. What with the Dean-Wentz wedding campaign in full swing, apartment hunting (so they could move in together after the honeymoon), and her job, it was suffice to say the bride was a wee bit overwhelmed. It did not help too much, either, that her dinner with Frank was still fresh in her mind also. So fresh, in fact, that Mina frequently found herself wondering how it might have been, had she been planning a wedding to Frank instead of one to Pete. Yet she always ended up remembering, with a pang of guilt that she had made a promise to Pete already and she could never bring herself to break that promise, could she?
The day before Pete was due to land back onto American soil found Mina in her 5th Avenue apartment with Quinn after a hard day of shopping.
"I'm never going to find the right dress!" Mina groaned as she let herself and Quinn into her living space.
"Don't sweat it, I'm sure you'll find something." Quinn soothed, stepping into the kitchen with her. "You've got--"
"Three months and only three months before the wedding and my wedding planner slash mother and father of the bride slash Bert says I should have my final choices narrowed down by now." She began chopping vegetables as she spoke.
"Maybe its 'cause you've been a little distracted." Quinn suggested taking a seat on the counter, his feet dangling against the dishwasher.
'Distracted doesn't even cover it.' "Really? How do you figure that?"
"Well, you tried on the same dress twice today, like the time we went shopping before that, and this morning, when Donatella Versace called, you told her you were picking something from Vera Wang and you didn't. That ring a bell?" Quinn said matter-of-factly.
"Oh, crap." Mina mumbled, slapping herself with her non-knife holding hand. "Did I really do that?" Quinn nodded bracingly. "I must really be out of it." she shook her head, sighing exasperatedly, emptying her chopping board into a bowl.
"Wanna talk about it? Whatever's bugging you?" 'Please say its because you're planning to leave Pete.'
Mina set down her knife on the counter, contemplating whether or not she would tell Quinn what was on her mind, more like who. 'Quinn is entitled to know, after all, he is my best friend.' With this in mind she commenced to tell him all that had transpired at the dinner with Frank a few weeks prior.
By the end, Mina was in tears, finally able to tell someone her dilemma. "...After all these years you'd think I'd gotten over Frankie, especially with Pete and the engagement. But its as if time's changed nothing for me, I still love him." she finished, wiping at her eyes with a Kleenex.
'Eureka, it worked! Now to get rid of Pete... Wait, no bad thoughts Quinn, she's crying!' Quinn thought to himself as he pulled Mina into a hug and kissed the top of her head. "Its okay, sweetie. It'll be okay. Shhhh...." Quinn inwardly rejoiced as he tried his best to comfort Mina.
Though this process took a while, soon, her puffy eyes had gone back to normal as did her formerly patchy red face.
"I'm going to tell you what's morally right, what's expected of you." Quinn began. 'I can't believe I'm saying this, Frankie please don't kill me. But maybe she'll have a wild streak and do what people don't expect of her.' "You should stay with Pete, a promise is a promise." He gestured to the ring on her finger.
"You're completely right. I should just move on with my--" Her sentence was interrupted with a doorbell resounding throughout the apartment. "I'll get that." She opened the door to find Pete with a bouquet of roses.
"I'm early!" He said, smiling his happy, chipmunk smile.
Mina did not say anything, but simply wrapped her arms around her husband-to-be, whispering, "Thank God. I was going crazy without you."
"Me too, babe, me too." Pete replied, pulling away to take a good look at her and seeing her eyes brimming with tears. "What's wrong? I'm here. I won't be leaving for a long time, remember?"
"I just missed you, that's all." she said simply before resting her head in the crook of his neck thinking, 'I'm doing the right thing, I'm doing the right thing.'
"Awww, what a Kodak moment!" Quinn gushed form afar, "Woah, did I just sound like Mikey or what?"
10 April 2006/ 4:44p
Edited 17 April 2006 10:30a