Home Is You

Philly one shot…stands alone….

 

Based on If you See Him/Her by: Brooks and Dunn 

If you see him
Tell him I wish him well
How am I doing?
Well, sometimes is hard to tell
I still miss him more than ever
But please dont say a word
If you see him
If you see him

Phyllis sat down on the sofa shaking her head as she spoke into the phone, “Sweetie, I told you to stop apologizing. I’m fine, honestly. You need to stay and focus on school. The holidays will be here before you know it and we’ll see each other then.”

Summer sighed. “I know, I just…I hate you being in a different city. I guess living with you again made me realize how much I like spending time with you and just hanging out.”

“Aww..I miss you too, honey–every day, but things are really getting settled here. The people at the office took me out for dinner for my one year anniversary. It was nice. It’s a good group of people.” Phyllis poured wine into the glass in front of her sipping it slowly. She hoped she sounded more convincing than she felt.

“That’s good. I’m glad you’ve found some friends. That’s important.” Summer sighed as she listened to her mother chatter on about her office mates a little while longer. It was a trait she’d inherited, she realized, the tendency to talk about nothing in an effort to avoid talking about the one thing that mattered.

“Mom,” she finally spoke, cutting her off. “Have you heard from him at all?”

Phyllis took another sip from her glass. “Summer,” she said softly. Every day she would make empty promises to herself–that today would be the day she wouldn’t think about him. She’d make herself a deal that if she could make it till lunch without seeing someone on the street that reminded her of him, she’d consider the day a success. She never made it.

“I have to get on with my life,” she said sadly, “it’s been a year.”

“I know, but Mom it’s so obvious that you still….”

Phyllis shook her head. She couldn’t do this. “You know what sweetie. I really should get going. I’ve got an early pitch in the morning–a whole group of grumpy old executives. I’ve got to have every ounce of my perky ready to go.”

She was avoiding, but a Summer understood. “Alright Mom, but if I see him, I’m….”

“Not going to say a word,” Phyllis said sternly. “I mean it, Summer. I’m calling in the Mom card on this one. No talking to Billy…not about me.”

Summer sighed. “Alright,” she said sadly. “I won’t. I love you, Mom. Good luck with your meeting.”

“Love you too, sweetheart. Sleep well.” Phyllis hung up, leaning back against the couch. Another lie–this time to her daughter. There was no meeting. There had been no anniversary dinner. There were no grumpy executives. There was loneliness though–no shortage of that.


If you see her
Tell her I’m doing fine
And if you want to
Say that I think of her from time to time
Ask her if she ever wonders
Where we both went wrong
If you see her
If you see her

Billy sat at the small table in the corner, his eyes moving slowly around the room. Ever since she left, they seemed to follow him–the happy couples in their endless parade of fairy tale love. It was difficult that she’d left him, that she’d not only walked away, but that she’d left town without a word. No goodbye–no nothing. He still couldn’t understand.

Months had passed and it hadn’t gotten any easier. He’d tried calling her, but she didn’t answer. He’d checked with Michael, with Daniel, with Avery–they all claimed to know nothing. When he’d asked Summer, he’d gotten the distinct impression that she knew something, but that she wouldn’t or couldn’t tell him.

As if on cue, Summer stepped through the door of Crimson Lights. Billy stood up. Some would call it a coincidence. Others would call it a sign. He walked towards the table where Summer took a seat. “Sign it is,” he mumbled to himself.

Summer, looked up, her eyes widening as she looked at Billy. “Billy,” she said, her voice pleasant and overly chipper, a smile plastered on her face. “How are you?”

Billy pulled out her chair, taking a seat. “I’m not great, Summer.” He thought he’d give honesty a shot. He’d heard it sometimes worked. “And I think you know why”

“Billy…I….”

“Summer, I know you know where your Mom is. She’d never leave without telling you where she was going. I also know she’s probably told you not to tell me.”

He looked at Summer, her silence serving as a perfectly legitimate response.

“So you don’t have to tell me,” he said. “Maybe you just write down her address and accidentally leave it…”

Summer opened her mouth to protest.

Billy raised his hand, stopping her first. “Summer,” he said softly, “please.”

He watched with relief as Summer reached into her purse, pulling out a pen and piece of paper.


If you see her
Tell her the lights still on for her

Billy closed his wallet, returning it to his back pocket. Front desk clerks were certainly more expensive to pay off than they used to be. It didn’t matter though, he thought to himself as he stepped into the elevator, his hand clutching the key card. Phyllis was worth any amount of money.

He could feel his heart racing as the buttons for the floors lit up. The elevator opened and Billy walked quickly to the door. He stood for a moment, considering his option. He took a breath, knocking first. Silence. He considered for a moment that Summer could have called her and warned her, but the desk clerk hadn’t said anything about her moving out.

He slid the key card in the door reader, opening the door slowly and stepping inside. He flipped on the light switch, his eyes scanning the room for signs of her presence. There it was–a tan sweater draped across the back of the chair. The feel of the soft knit fabric was so familiar and he breathed in deeply as he brought it to his face, the scent of her perfume transporting him back to the many times he’d held her in his arms.

The room was scarcely decorated–not entirely Phyllis for sure. This was somewhere she slept, somewhere she ate, not a home. Her heart wasn’t in this place. There were two pictures on the bedside table and he stepped closer to look. Summer’s smiling face stared back at her. Daniel and Lucy smiled from the other frame.

Billy smiled. At least she has something her to remind her of the people she loved. His hand rested on the handle of the drawer. He opened it slowly, lifting the stack of papers inside. He glanced at a contact from a prestigious marketing firm, a rental agreement, and a car lease. His eyes stopped as he saw the photo, his own face staring back at him. She did think of him, he thought, the breath leaving his body as he slowly sat down in the nearest chair.

He flipped the photo over, his breath catching as he saw the image underneath. “My God,” he whispered.

The image was dated–nearly a year ago. Phyllis’ name was typed across the top along with the name of a clinic he didn’t recognize.

Was it possible? This would explain why she’d left so suddenly, why Summer hadn’t told him anything, why none of her family had been willing to give him any information, but for him to believe this, he’d also have to believe that Phyllis would keep this from him…

His head was spinning do fast, his mind so busy sorting out potential scenarios that he didn’t hear her soft footsteps as she entered the room.

“Billy.” The word barely audible as she stood there.

Billy turned quickly, his eyes wide. Seeing her now brought a variety of emotions. He was thrilled, the sight of her immediately bringing a smile to his face–regardless of any other circumstance.

She stepped closer to him. “How did you?” The question was pointless–she knew. “Summer told you,” she said quietly. “I thought she might.”

“Don’t be upset with her, please,” Billy implored. “I practically begged her.”

“I’m not upset.” She stood beside the chair, her eyes now fixed upon the paper he held in his hands.

“Oh,” she whispered, looking away, not able to look into his eyes.

He stood, walking in front of her, staring into her eyes. “Phyllis,” he said quietly, “a baby, we have a baby?”

“No, Billy…we…” She looked away again.

Billy closed his eyes. “Jack? Jack’s the father?”

She felt tears filling her eyes as she forced herself to look at him. Thinking about Billy was painful enough, thinking about this….she couldn’t.”

“I….” Her voice broke, a sob stealing her voice.

Billy stood still, the realization rushing through him. “Phyllis,” he whispered, his own eyes now wet with tears.

His hands found hers. He could feel her trembling. He sat down in the chair, gently pulling her down beside him. There were so many questions, things he wanted to know, but the need to comfort her overwhelmed his desire to ask her anything.

She took another shaky breath. “I didn’t plan on not telling you. I just wanted to wait…to make sure….” Her voice trailed off, the memories of the day still fresh in her mind. She’d told no one. Not Summer, not Avery–no one. Her doctor here, the nurse–they were her only source of comfort. They’d looked at her with compassion when they’d asked if there was anyone they could call for her. She’d managed to nod and make it to her car before completely falling apart.

Days passed before she felt strong enough to get out of bed, but when she did and went back to work, she’d told everyone she’d had the flu. It was the only way…the only way she knew to try and survive.

He’d stroked her back gently, his heart breaking as she told him the story. When she’d finished, he’d pulled her closer to him, wrapping his arms around her, closing his eyes when he felt her shake with sobs. She’d whispered apologies while he’d quieted her, whispering apologies of his own. Finally, they both fell silent, simply taking comfort in being in each other’s presence.

“Billy,” she said softly, her voice breaking the silence that echoed throughout the room.

He stroked her hair as her head still lay on his shoulder. “Yeah,” he said quietly.

“It’s ok for you to be angry with me. I should have told you. You had a right to know about our baby.”

Billy shook his head. He could be angry. He’d missed the chance to celebrate their baby and now, the only thing left to do, was mourn. “I can’t be angry with you,” he said honestly. “I get why I could be and maybe even why I should be, but what you went through….” He took another breath. “You were here…alone…without me, without anyone. You suffered more than anyone by not telling me. Right now, the only thing I can think about–the only thing that matters is trying to do whatever I can to show you how much I love you, how much I miss you, how sorry I am that you’ve gone through all this alone.”

He touched her face, wiping away the freshly fallen tears. “But I’m here now, Phyllis. I’m here now and if you’ll let me. I’ll be here no matter what–from here on out.”

“You don’t have to stay here because of this. You have a life…you should live it.”

Billy stared at her, stunned. She still didn’t get it. “Don’t you see…I didn’t come here because of this…I didn’t know anything about the baby. All I knew was that I missed you–that my life felt empty without you, that holding you in my arms was the only time in my life that I felt like myself, that I felt like I was really living my own life.”

Phyllis stared at hm as he continued.

“You are my life,” he said quietly. “Without you, nothing’s right. I want you with me….for everything–the good and the bad, the celebrations and the tough stuff–I want to build a life with you–a home. We deserve that. We can have that…together.”

“But what about your kids, Billy? And your family?”

“My kids will be a part of our home. They will love you just like I do…and my family will learn to accept this…and if they can’t, then they’ll learn to keep their opinions to themselves, because I won’t let them do this to us.”

Phyllis smiled at him. She wanted this. She’d never been so sure. “When I left town, when I left you, I didn’t really know what I was leaving, but now, after being here without you, I know what you mean about life being empty. I’ve missed you. I’ve missed us. There’s nothing more I want in this world than to make a life with you, but I don’t want to be the person that makes you lose your family. I…”

He kissed her, pulling away and looking into her eyes, “Genoa City is our home and you are my family. Everything else will fall into place. So tell me, will you go back home with me, start a life, start our life?”

She took a breath, already feeling more at home than she’d felt in a year. She smiled up at him, a real smile, not the fake ones she plastered on at work, not the ones she flashed at Summer and Daniel on Skype to pacify them and prove she was ok. This was a real, genuine smile. “I would go anywhere with you,” she whispered, “home is wherever you are.”

The End

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