A Sad Goodbye

I don't own these charcters or make a profit from them. This isn't related to my other fanfics, and takes place about three years in the future. Chandler and Monica got married and had a son Jake, but they are now divorced. He still lives in NYC, she lives with Jake in Boston. The divorce was about eight months ago. Monica has been dating another guy, but Chandler doesn't know. He isn't seeing anyone.

Part 1

Chandler Bing walked into his empty apartment at the end of yet another long day. He slammed the door, ignored the angry shout of the woman who lived next to him, and flopped down in the recliner in front of the TV. He flipped channels for a while, until he came to a kids program called The Tweenies. He supposed his son Jake might be watching this same show right now in Boston, so Chandler watched it too.

It made him sad to remember how he and Jake used to watch TV together. Chandler couldnít believe they had only been gone for eight months. It seemed he had been living like this forever, but it also seemed like only yesterday that he had been holding them both in his arms and laughing, believing that it would never end.

But of course it had ended. His perfect marriage to his perfect woman had ended only three years after it had begun. It had all seemed like a dream to him, during the messy divorce and fierce custody battle. He had fought for custody of Jake, but only half-heartedly. He knew Jake belonged with his Mommy. No, Jake belonged with both of them, together. But even though the dream like quality had worn off, it still didnít seem really real. Nothing seemed real to him anymore.

The only things that were real to him were his son, his ex-wife, who he still adored, and his memories of the three of them together. God, he missed them.

The program finished, and Chandler had just turned the TV off when there was a knock on the door. He heaved himself out of his chair to answer it. Whoever it was sure was impatient. They had knocked three more times before Chandler got to the door. When he opened it, he was so surprised that he slammed it shut again, then cursed himself for being so stupid and opened it again.

It was Monica, and Jake was in her arms.

"Oh my God!" was the only thing Chandler could think of to say. His eyes were wide in amazement. He wondered if he was seeing things, and decided he better make sure it really was her. "Monica?" he asked in a half whisper.

"Yeah, its me. Do you always slam the door in peoples faces, or is that just the way you greet your ex-wives?" she said, attempting a joke.

"No, just the people who break my heart," Chandler said. Monica flushed a little and looked uncomfortable, so Chandler turned his attention to his son. He hadnít seen Jake for at least six months, and it seemed so much longer. "Hey Jake! You remember me? I'm your Daddy!" he said to the little boy. Jake just buried his face in Monica's shoulder.

"Chandler its been so long, and he's just a little kid," Monica said, trying to make him feel better. Yeah, like even she could ever do that. His own son didn't recognise him any more.

"Yeah, whatever. Did you just come here to prove that I'm a bad father, or was there some other reason?" he asked. He regretted it almost as soon as the words were out of his mouth. There was no need for him to be rude. After all, she was here wasn't she? And Jake was with her.

"Chandler, you are not a bad father. You're not," she insisted.

"Okay, kids usually remember if their father was any good. He doesn't even recognise me," Chandler said bitterly.

"Thatís me fault," she admitted. Chandler was surprised, but didn't show it.

"Yeah," he agreed, "it is your fault."

"I'm sorry. I don't know how to show you how sorry I am," she said pleadingly.

"Let him stay here with me in New York," Chandler demanded, knowing straight away that she would instantly refuse.

"Okay," she said. Chandler blinked in surprise and looked at her like she was from another planet.

"What?"

"He can stay here. On two conditions."

"Name them."

"One, you let me spend an hour with him here first so he gets used to the apartment and to you."

"If I have to be in the same room as you for one hour to be with me son, then that's what I'll do."

"Two," Monica took a deep breath. Chandler noticed and wondered what was coming. "You give me Rachel's phone number so I can ask if I can stay with her for a week or two."

"What? Why do you need to stay at Rachel's?"

"I just do okay? Now you wanna let us in or what?" she said impatiently. Chandler hurriedly did as she said. He took Jake out of her arms as carefully as if he was made of pure gold. He felt Monica watching him, as if she was making sure he didn't do anything wrong.

"You wanna bring up the rest of his stuff?" Chandler asked.

"This is it," she said, gesturing to the sports bag at her feet.

"What?" he asked, confused.

"Long story," Monica said tiredly. Chandler didn't press her for more information. Why should he care anyway? They were divorced for crying out loud!

"Okay, this sounds like a really shitty idea in my head, which means it probably sounds even worse out loud," Chandler began. He knew he was rambling, but he couldn't seem to stop.

"Cut the crap Chandler, what's your idea?" Monica asked with a sigh.

"Okay. How about you and Jake both stay here, at least for tonight. And then after he's asleepÖ"

"What?" she asked softly.

"You can tell me your long story." Monica looked away, as if that was not what she wanted or expected him to say. "I know, it sucks. Hang on a second, I'll dig out Rachel's number for you," Chandler said, already turning away. He felt her hand on his arm.

"It doesn't suck," she said quietly. "I'd love to stay here with you."

"Well okay then!" Chandler said, brushing his hands together as if to get rid of the moment where he had almost allowed himself to think that maybe, just maybe, they might be able to get back together. But he knew that would never happen.

They went into the apartment together, with Chandler still holding Jake in his arms. They could almost convince themselves that nothing had changed, that they had never broken up, that they were still together. But neither of them really believed that, not really.

TO BE CONTINUED

Okay, okay, please don't all ask "Where's the 'sad goodbye' bit?" because this is gonna be longer than I expected, so just be patient, okay. The 'sad goodbye' bit may not happen for a while. Part 2 of this, plus part twenty three of my fanfic series, coming soon. LOL, Ezika.