For my first blog post here, I think I'll do a Milo/Melissa short story which will soon be posted on FF.net. I originally thought this up last June when the news of Toys R Us's demise broke. With the 1 year anniversary of their closure approaching, I think it's time I finished this.
It was a bright May afternoon in Danville. School had let out for the day at Danville High and since it was Friday, Milo, Melissa and Zack were free from the pressures of extra-curriculars, teachers and homework for the weekend. For our trio, there was one particular place they wanted to start their weekend at. When Milo, Melissa and Zack were little kids, this place was one of wonders, amazement and many, many memories. A month from now, it would be gone. This place...was Toys R Us.
"I don't believe this one bit, Melissa...." Milo sighed, looking up at the building in shock. "I always thought that a place like this would be around forever. I thought that we could pass something like this on to our kids and grandkids...."
"I know, Milo...." Melissa started. "I can't believe this at all! You and I would come here every Saturday and just play around. We've gotten to know most of the staff by name and now....it's all going away."
Zack smiled, turning towards Milo and Melissa "I know how you feel, guys. My parents would take me here whenever I got good grades on my report card or on my birthday. Most of our birthday and Christmas presents have come from here. I don't think any of us expected this."
"Does Amanda know about this, Zack?" Milo asked.
Then it hit Zack. To his knowledge, Amanda Lopez, the convicted perfectionist, had yet to find out about the demise of Toys R Us. Just as he was about to text Amanda the news, Zack stops short. "No....it wouldn't be wise to give her this news just yet," he said as the trio went inside. Just as soon as they entered the store, they found a pair of their classmates - Bradley Nicholson and....AMANDA?!
"Bradley? Amanda? What are you doing here?" Milo asked.
"What's it look like? We're paying our respects to the place that made our childhoods!" Bradley retorted.
"But how did you find out, Amanda?" Zack asked.
"Milo texted Bradley and I as soon as he heard the news...." Amanda started.
"....he also texted his sister, by the way. Speaking of which - Milo...Sara's behind you," Bradley warned.
"BEHIND YOU, LITTLE BRO!" Sara said, giggling as she jumped Milo.
"Not like I didn't see that coming! You heard, Sara?"
"Of course I did, Milo! It was all over my Twitter feed! Where do you think you and I got all of those Dr. Zone figures from?"
"Can you believe this, Sara?"
"I don't think any of us can believe it, Milo."
"You know, when I heard that Toys R Us was going away, I was about ready to blame you for it, Milo...." Bradley started.
"You would, Bradley," Milo retorted.
"Please let me finish, Milo. Anyway, I wanted to blame you for it, but when I got to reading the full story, I realized that something like this could've happened to anyone, Murphy's law or not," Bradley explained.
"Bradley, Amanda, Sara, Zack, Melissa....I have a feeling that this won't be the last we'll see of our childhood favorite store," Milo said with a smirk on his face, freaking everyone else out.
"I know that smirk, Milo! That's the 'I know something you don't' look!" Sara warned.
"What are you hiding from us?" Melissa asked.
"Do I need to get the badger out?" Zack playfully threatened.
"Please don't..." Melissa deadpanned before turning back to Milo. "Anyway, what are you hiding from us, Milo? You've got that 'I know something you don't look' and I don't like it when that look comes out!"
Milo smiled. "Let's just say...we haven't seen the last of Geoffrey Giraffe. He'll be back soon enough...ready for his revenge."
Milo then walked ahead with his sister, leaving Melissa to think 'The things I do for the love of my jinxed best friend...'
The group took one last look around all the aisles from the Legos to the bikes and even the video games. They still couldn't believe it - by the Independence Day weekend, all of this would be gone. Even thinking about it caused tears to well up in Melissa's eyes.
"'Liss...you okay?" Milo asked his girlfriend of just over a year.
"No I'm not, Milo! A place that defined our childhoods is going away and I can't stand to see it, Milo!" she said, crying into Milo's shoulder. At that moment - Zack, Sara, Bradley and Amanda hugged Milo and Melissa.
"Together we'll make a promise to never forget it all, we've only scratched the surface of worlds we'll come to know; Together moving forward, even though we're far apart, so safe and sound inside our hearts we keep our word until we're together once again..." Milo sang, whispering into Melissa's ear.
"Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea?"
Milo nodded. "You and I have seen that movie 40 times, Melissa. It's our favorite Pokemon movie and guess where we got it?"
Melissa smiled and snuggled up next to Milo. "We got it right here..."
Zack spoke up. "This reminds me of something Paul Walker said before his tragic death..."
"What's that, Zack?" Amanda asked.
"'If one day speed kills me, don't cry...because I was smiling.' In this case, I'd like to think Geoffrey Giraffe was Paul Walker here. He died doing what he loved, just like Dale Earnhardt. And if there's any truth to what Milo's been hearing online...our favorite giraffe may be back soon enough."
Later that day, after the group left the store for what appeared to be the last time, Milo and Melissa found themselves at a bench at Danville Park, looking at the sunset.
"Promise me this one thing - that we'll be together no matter where life takes us."
Melissa smiled, pecking Milo on the cheek. "I promise. Once a Toys R Us kid..."
"...always a Toys R Us kid."