Okay, famous last words...I didn't get this post done before the weekend. Sorry! I guess I shouldn't make promises unless I know for sure that I can keep them. :}
So let's see, where were we? Oh yes, Tiana and Naveen. Now that you've had the quick version of the story, it's time to go back and give you all of the juicy details. ;)
Tiana and Computer Naveen exchanged emails for weeks. The more they chatted, the more Tiana was convinced that he was the Naveen she'd been waiting for. They even emailed each other pictures. Here's the one that Naveen sent:
It was hard to tell from the pic if he had the same lopsided face mold that Tiana remembered, but she was still sure that it had to be him.
"No one else but my Naveen would know what this Naveen knows. It's gotta be him," she insisted over and over again.
I was happy for this, but I was still concerned about the fact that Beast'sbelle had ordered a Naveen from the Disney Store. So at my first opportunity, I asked her about it.
It turns out that Beast'sbelle's Naveen was sent back to the store. After Beast'sbelle heard Tiana's story, she was determined to reunite her with the right Naveen (I knew she would...Beast'sbelle is a hopeless romantic!). ;) So when the Naveen she ordered came, she quizzed him and realized he was not Tiana's Naveen. She apologized but told him that she'd have to send him back. To her surprise, he was actually relieved. It turns out he had his own special Tiana that he'd been separated from, and while he wasn't looking forward to the long trip back, he was hoping that he'd be able to find her again.
I was so glad to hear that at least this part of the situation was taken care of. But I still wondered how we could get them together. When I asked Beast'sbelle about it, she just smiled mysteriously and said, "I have an idea." But she wouldn't say any more about it.
About a week later, Beast'sbelle pulled Rapunzel and I aside. "Naveen is going to be here this afternoon," she announced. She didn't get any farther. Rapunzel and I instantly attacked her with all sorts of questions. "Later," she promised. "Right now, I need your help. You need to make sure that no one is in front of the white bookshelf at 1 PM...but Tiana needs to be there, of course. I want their reunion to be something special. Tell Tiana she needs to stay there because we have a surprise for her."
Rapunzel and I assured her that we'd spread the word. My mind was spinning with all kinds of unanswered questions. How had Beast'sbelle pulled it off? Would Tiana guess? Were we sure he was really the right guy? What would happen next?
Trying to shove all of these thoughts aside, I focused on telling all of the dolls to steer clear of the white book shelf at 1 PM. Tiana was a little confused by our request, but played along. She's pretty easy-going.
At 1 PM precisely, Tiana was waiting alone by the white book shelf. Well...almost alone. Rapunzel and I couldn't resist peeking around Emma and Charlie's wardrobe to see what happened. ;)
The door opened, and Beast'sbelle came in, grinning from ear to ear and hiding something behind her back. I recognized that look. It was the same smile she'd worn when she'd brought Robby in to meet me on that day so long ago. There was nothing she loved better than pairing her dolls up. At least in this case, Tiana would (hopefully) be happy with the result. :}
Beast'sbelle brought her hands out from behind her back, and there he was. She gently set Naveen down on the dresser in front of the white book shelf, winked at Tiana, gave Rapunzel and I a teasing stern look, and left the room.
Naveen and Tiana just stood there for a moment, staring at each other. Naveen seemed nervous, but he had a big smile on his face. I couldn't see Tiana's face, but I'm sure she was in shock.
Then he started talking. "Tiana, I..."
That was all it took.
"It's you!" she whispered, her voice choked with tears. Without another word, she ran over to him and they embraced, holding onto each other as if they'd never let go.
Rapunzel and I were wiping our eyes and sniffling together from our hiding spot. It was just like watching a movie, but it was even better because it was our friend who was in the middle of it.
As they pulled away from each other, Rapunzel and I slipped away, deciding to give them some privacy. Well, as much privacy as you can have in a room filled with dolls, that is. ;)
They talked for a long time. After a while, they left the room, most likely to take a walk somewhere. Rapunzel, Isabella and I were dying to know details, but we knew we'd have to wait until we caught Tiana alone, which would be no easy task.
Our chance finally came later that evening, when Naveen was visiting with Robby, Eugene, and Ben. We all cornered Tiana and begged her to share as much as she was willing to.
"It was just wonderful, the whole day..." Tiana began dreamily, her soft Southern drawl caressing each word. "We talked about everything that happened to us since we've been apart, shared our dreams, told each other how much we'd missed each other. I don't know...it's hard to describe everything in detail."
"So the big question is...will he be living here with us now?" Isabella questioned, her lovely French accent even thicker than usual in her excitement.
Tiana's face fell. "Well...no. That's the only drawback."
We all gasped. "Why ever not?" Isabella asked, almost indignantly.
"He was purchased by a little girl who loves him dearly," Tiana explained patiently. "He told me it would break her heart if he left her home."
"But what about your heart?" Rapunzel asked gently.
Tiana looked down at her hands. "Well," she said again. I could tell she was hesitant to share this next bit of information. "that's the other part you're not going to like so much. He's..." she paused. "He's invited me to go to his human's house with him."
We were all very quiet at this news. Tiana seemed to mistake it for anger.
"I know it's sudden, and I hate to leave all of you, but after today I realized that I don't want to be without Naveen. He said he wants to marry me and live together for the rest of our lives."
"He wants to marry you?" I asked happily. "You didn't share that part of your day with us."
Tiana blushed. "I was going to. And he hasn't really asked yet...not officially, that is. It just came up in the course of our conversation."
'So, when are you going?" asked Rapunzel.
"Tomorrow," Tiana said softly. "Naveen could only get away for a day. His human girl misses him, and she's very anxious to meet me. Apparently she's been wanting a Tiana for a while, but Naveen begged her to wait until he could find me."
"That was nice of her to wait, especially for such a little human," Isabella offered, trying to sound cheerful.
Tiana's eyes filled with tears. "I'm going to miss all of you so much!" she blurted out.
We all started crying then, and shared a four-way hug. After a while, Tiana laughed through her tears. "I really am happy about this, I promise!"
Our laughter drowned out our tears, and we decided to try to forget our sadness and just be happy for our friend for the rest of the time we had her with us.
All too soon, it was the next morning and time for Naveen and Tiana to say goodbye. We all gathered in front of the white shelf to send them off.
It showed just how much impact Tiana had in the short time she'd been with us. I mean, even Ben came to say goodbye. I think I might even have noticed a tear or two escape from him. That's huge, as you all know by now. ;) I think she made him cookies once, so that could have been part of it. But if I know her, it was more than the cookies. It was the way she genuinely cared about all of us.
Tiana was simply radiant as she stood next to Naveen. He looked like the happiest doll in the universe with her by his side. I was so thankful that my friend would finally be reunited with the doll she'd waited for.
It was hard to feel sad when Tiana was so happy, but I have to admit I still felt a twinge of grief as I watched her go. I'd grown to love Tiana like a sister, and I would miss her terribly. We all would.
Beast'sbelle took some pictures of them before they left, and she said she'd print one out for us to remember Tiana by. I knew we didn't need a picture to remember such a wonderful friend, but it was nice to have the reminder anyway.
It's been a week now since Tiana's been gone. We heard that she made it safely to her new home, and she and Naveen are already discussing a small, private wedding ceremony with Tiana's new human. I'm sure it will be lovely. Meanwhile, we're still working on adjusting to life without our friend over here.
More to come later, dear readers. I'm sorry for leaving you in suspense for so long. ;)