Tony was still sitting on the steps when the kids arrived home. They stopped in their tracks when they saw him looking so forlorn-like he just lost his best friend. The fact that there was a small table set near the fireplace and a tray with two cups and brownies on the coffee table perplexed them. They looked at each other. What was going on? Why was Tony sitting on the bottom step? Why was the table near the fireplace set? As if by silent mutual agreement they walked over to the table and saw the remnants of an obviously excellent meal. Both plates were nearly empty with just a little sauce on each of them. There were also two wine glasses with just barely a swallow in both. One thought came to both of them. Kathleen. Did Tony actually have the audacity to bring Kathleen over here for a romantic dinner? How could he?! While neither one of them wasn't to happy that he was dating her they could handle it if he never brought her to the house. And by the looks of things he had. So then why was he sitting all alone looking miserable? Did they have a fight? Did they break up? They would definitely be happy about that but at the same time they didn't like seeing Tony so sad. There was only one way to find out what was going on so they walked back over to Tony.
"Dad, what's going on?"
Tony gave a humorless laugh. "What's going on? I just screwed up the best relationship of my life since your Mother."
"What happened Tony?"
"I don't even know where or even how to start."
"Well start at the beginning." Sam said.
Tony got up and walked over to the couch and sat down. Sam sat next to him while Jonathan sat on the chair closest to the front door. They waited patiently for him to begin.
Tony took a deep breath. "I guess it all started last night when Angela and I kissed."
Sam and Jonathan looked at each other equal expressions of surprise, confusion, and happiness mirrored on their faces. What did it mean? Were their parents finally going to get together like they had wanted for so many years? If so then why did Tony look so sad? Had he broken things off with Kathleen and found out that Angela didn't want to be with him after all? No that couldn't be it. They both knew how Angela felt about him. If he had finally come to his senses and broken up with Kathleen Angela would have been happy. And what did he mean when he said that he had screwed up the best relationship of his life since Marie?
"You kissed? Why? Where?" Sam was beyond curious and intrigued.
'It was over there." he gestured near the front door. "It wasn't planned or anything. We had just come back from dropping Mona at the airport and Angela was all upset. I went to hug her to comfort her and before I knew it I was kissing her. After a minute or two we pulled away. The thing is we both felt guilty. Angela because of what Archie is going through and me because of Kathleen. I also felt like I was taking advantage of Angela's concern and vulnerability."
"Oh come on Dad. We all know that you aren't that kind of guy!"
"Yeah, Tony. Okay maybe kissing my Mom wasn't the smartest thing but it wasn't like you were doing it to be cruel. You were doing it to give her a little comfort."
Tony shook his head. "Don't! Don't defend me or try to make it all better. I don't deserve it!"
"Dad don't be so hard on yourself! You made a mistake and I do understand you feeling guilty because you are dating Kathleen. But I'm sure if you explain things to her…."
"She already knows."
"Yeah, she had come over to talk to me about something and she saw us through the window."
"Oh. Well I can only imagine she wasn't to happy but.."
Tony interrupted her once again. "Oh you could say that. She slept with another man last night."
Once again Sam and Jonathan had equal expressions on their faces. Only this time it was shock, sadness, and anger. While they could understand Kathleen being upset they also were loyal to Tony and the fact that she had slept with someone else enraged them. Of course she probably wouldn't have if he hadn't kissed Angela so they could see it from both sides. Still they didn't like seeing Tony so miserable. That must have been what he meant when he said he had screwed up the best relationship of his life since Marie. He had kissed one woman while dating another and the one he wanted to be with had slept with another man.
"Oh Dad I'm sorry." Sam leaned over and gave him a hug. After a moment she pulled away. "Look I know that we.." -she gestured between herself and Jonathan- 'have never really been happy about you dating Kathleen. But we are sorry that things happened like that for you. You know maybe you could give it a few days and call her?"
"That's not going to happen."
"Why not? I mean Sam is right we aren't to happy about you dating Kathleen but you said yourself that you screwed up the best relationship of your life since Marie."
"I wasn't talking about Kathleen. I was talking about Angela."
"Yeah. I totally messed things up with her."
"Dad hold on! I'm confused about something. You said you felt guilty about kissing Angela because of Kathleen. So then why do you feel like you messed things up with Angela?"
Tony sighed. "Because this morning I told Angela I was going to tell Kathleen about our kiss and beg for her forgiveness. This was before I found out that she already knew. I also told her that there was something there between Kathleen and me and I wanted to see if there could be more. But when I went to Kathleen's apartment to tell her and found out that she wasn't alone that she had slept with another man I realized that I didn't care and that I had been so stupid."
"You didn't care that your girlfriend had slept with someone else?" Jonathan asked in confusion.
"Well I didn't like being cheated on. No one does. But, I didn't care like I should have. I wasn't angry or even jealous. The thing is I should have been. I should have been yelling at them and hitting Steve but I didn't. Instead all I could think about was Angela and our life together. That is when it hit me how incredibly stupid I have been. I used Kathleen as a shield against my feelings for Angela."
"So I take it you and Kathleen are no longer together?"
"No we're not."
"Well then maybe this all worked out for the best. I mean I am sorry all this happened Dad. But hey now you and Angela can be together!"
"That isn't going to happen. Angela is furious at me."
"Because I thought that all I had to do to make things right was to make her favorite dinner and she would come running into my arms even though I have been breaking her heart for months. That the dinner and brownies would somehow make up for all the turmoil I put her through."
"Oh come on Dad. You had good intentions!"
"I don't blame Mom at all!"
"Jonathan! It's not like my Dad purposely set out to hurt your Mom!"
"I understand that Sam. You're right Tony would never purposely hurt my Mom but he did. And he thought that all he had to do to make things better was to make her favorite meal?! Tony said that just this morning he told my Mom that he was going to tell Kathleen about their kiss and ask for her forgiveness. And when he found out that Kathleen already knew and slept with another guy he suddenly realizes he wants to be with my Mom?!"
"No Jonathan. It wasn't like that. I always knew deep down that I did. That I do. Like I said I have been using Kathleen as a shield."
"What if Kathleen hadn't seen the two of you kissing?"
"Your Mom asked the same thing."
"And I told her at first that I couldn't speculate on something that never happened."
"But it did." Sam reminded him just like Angela had earlier.
Tony sighed. "I know. That was when she told me that it could have happened that way. She said that it could have easily gone that way. And if it hadn't if Kathleen hadn't seen us kissing she never would have slept with someone else. She would have been upset of course when I told her but we could have worked things out. And if we couldn't well what then? Would I have had my wake up call as I told her I did? Would I have made her favorite meal as an apology? Would we be here now having this conversation? Or would I still be with Kathleen? That was when I realized with a sinking heart that she was right. If Kathleen hadn't been looking through the window at the exact moment Angela and I were kissing she never would have slept with someone else. But I told her what's done is done. Yeah, things could have gone that way but they didn't. None of that matters. What matters is right now. And our future."
"And by the expression on your face and everything you have told us it's pretty obvious she turned you down."
"Yeah. She said that over the years I have been rejecting her and now she is rejecting me."
Both kids winced.
Tony continued, "She said that I didn't give her the courtesy of waiting. She said that she waited for me. And even though she knew that logically she doesn't have any claim to me emotionally she felt like she did."
"Oh Dad I'm sorry."
"I am too Tony."
Tony smiled softly. "Thanks."
"Dad, don't give up though! Yeah, Angela is angry with you now but she won't be for long. She never stays mad for long."
"Sam's right. Mom never holds a grudge."
Tony nodded. "Yeah, maybe. But for now.."
"For now you just have patience and wait." Sam smiled at him.
Jonathan stood up. "Well I'm going to bed. Good night."
Sam stood as well. "Me too. Good night." She gave her Dad a kiss on the cheek.
They went upstairs leaving Tony contemplating everything that had happened.
When they arrived upstairs Sam stopped Jonathan from going into his room.
"Hey wait a moment!"
"What is it Sam?"
"Maybe we should to talk to your Mom about things."
"Why? We already know what happened."
"I know. But, I just feel that we should hear her version."
"Okay, maybe you're right."
Sam nodded and knocked on Angela's door. After a few moments it opened revealing a tear stained Angela.
"Hey what's going on?!" she smiled at them through her tears.
"We wanted to talk to you Mom."
"Oh? About what?"
"We know what happened between you and Dad."
"Oh. You mean everything?"
"Yeah, we know about your kiss. We know that Dad was going to tell Kathleen about it and ask for her forgiveness only to find out that she already knew and slept with some other guy."
Angela sighed and went back into her room and sat down on her bed. The kids sat on the edges on opposite sides.
"And I take it he told you that he made me my favorite meal and dessert thinking it would make things right between us?"
"He didn't have to tell us that. When we got home everything was still out and he was sitting on the bottom step looking like he had just lost his best friend." Jonathan informed her.
"Has he?" Sam wanted and needed to know.
Angela shook her head. "Of course not. He's still my best friend. That will never change."
"But the two of you being a couple has?" Jonathan wondered out loud.
Angela sighed and moved to the head of the bed and leaned against the pillows.
"I don't know. I mean if you had asked me that last week or even a few days ago I would have told you no. But, after everything that happened last night and then this morning and then tonight? I mean how do I know that Tony isn't on the rebound? That tomorrow or the next day or the next he's going to realize that he does want to be with Kathleen?"
"And you didn't want to take that chance?" Sam said gently.
"No, no I don't. "
"Mom, I don't think that Tony is on the rebound. I mean okay when I heard that he made you your favorite meal thinking that it would make up for everything that he has done I was upset. But you should have seen him. He looks miserable."
Sam nodded her agreement and took Angela's hand in hers. "Angela do you want to know what my Dad said about you?"
"He said that he just screwed up the best relationship of his life since my Mom." She let that sink in for a moment and then continued. "Look I know that my Dad messed up but don't give up on him, don't give up on each other!"
Angela felt her eyes welling up and a few tears slipped down her cheeks. Jonathan handed a couple of tissues from the box on her nightstand. Angela wiped her tears away. After a few minutes she composed herself enough to answer.
"I can't or won't make any promises but I'll try."
"That's good enough for me!" Sam smiled leaning over to hug her.
"Me too." Jonathan hugged her as well.
"I guess we should all get to bed." Sam said standing up. 'Good night Angela.'
They left Angela's room leaving her to think things over.
The Next Morning:
Everyone was in the kitchen the next morning trying to ease the tension by talking about neutral subjects. Sam talked about the party she had gone to while Jonathan talked about the movie he had seen. The Kathleen and dinner- gone- wrong topics were off the table by silent agreement. No one wanted to bring either one of those up. When the kids were done telling about their respective nights they all ate in silence for a few minutes. Sam then realized that she- well they didn't know what was going on with Mona or her brother. Even though that itself was a touchy subject it was still better than the Kathleen and dinner- gone- wrong ones. Plus the fact she was curious to know what was going on.
"Hey Angela have you heard from Mona?"
"Yeah, how's Uncle Archie doing?"
"Actually she called yesterday. He has to have a double by-pass."
"Oh wow. Mona must be devastated." Sam said.
'Yeah, how is Grandma doing?"
"Not good. I mean they had just barely made amends after years of not speaking and now this happened?!" Angela sighed.
"I'm sorry Angela. If you talk to Mona again would you tell her that I'm sorry?" Tony asked.
"Thank you Tony and yes I will."
Sam and Jonathan exchanged glances. While it wasn't much at least their parents were speaking to each other.
Maybe all was not lost.
Maybe there was still hope.