DISCLAIMER: Independence Day and its characters are the property of 20th Century Fox Films. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The last three or four times I've watched the movie, the scene between Connie, the press secretary, and Marilyn, the First Lady, in the hospital has struck me as a great femslashy moment. Has anyone else ever wondered what they talked about? The title of this piece is from the William Wordsworth poem by the same name which was used in the movie. "She was a Phantom of delight / When first she gleamed upon my sight; / A lovely Apparition, sent / To be a moment's ornament"
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She Was a Phantom of Delight
Marilyn's grip tightened, and Connie knew it was a struggle. Leaning down close, she whispered, "I'm so sorry."
Their eyes met for an instant until Marilyn's closed in pain. Connie winced in sympathy and sent a prayer to every entity she could think of for a miracle. Taking a labored breath, Marilyn turned her attention back to other woman.
"We're the very definition of irony," she said, a hint of amusement lightening her tone for the briefest of moments. Connie smiled.
"Because my husband thought I was having an affair with your husband when, in fact, I was having an affair with your husband's wife? We're not just ironic; we're soap operatic."
Marilyn's laugh was laced with anguish, but Connie forced herself to ignore it. Instead, she tried to remember the bright, vibrant woman Marilyn had been just three days before. She resisted the urge to cry, steadfast in her desire to be who everyone thought her to be.
"So strong," Marilyn said, her thumb caressing Connie's wrist.
"Still reading my mind."
"Like my favorite book." Marilyn's tone became less wistful as she said, "Take care of yourself. Look after Tom and Patty for me. Let David back in. Don't work so much. Have some fun."
"And, still giving me orders I see."
"I don't have much time."
"We have even less."
"Just like always," they said together, a shared smile at the oft-repeated phrase between them.
"I...I don't know how to say goodbye."
"You never did."
Another sharp jab of pain ricocheted through Marilyn's body. Connie leaned closer and whispered in her ear, "I never will."
Marilyn reached out with her free hand to touch Connie's temple, the movement costing her strength she did not have. Instead, Connie kissed her on the forehead, lingering on the soft skin until she heard a commotion outside the room.
The president entered with his daughter in his arms just as Connie was straightening. Patty immediately ran to her mother, crawling onto the bed and hugging Marilyn like she knew the truth of her mother's condition. As they talked, Connie hovered nearby despite knowing she should give them privacy. She hesitated, and then Marilyn was reaching for her, asking without asking for what she knew Connie would give.
Taking Patty's hand and leading the little girl into the waiting room, Connie did not look back at or say another word to her dying lover. Instead, even though the world was ending, she did her job.
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