Chapter SIX: Dear Old Friend
"Look at this picture Jonah. Look at it. Memorize it. Eat it."
Mike rolled his eyes vehemently, "Fine." He crumpled the paper Joy had drawn on and slipped it within the boy's grip, "Find this with your life Jonah. Otherwise, I'm cutting off your allowance."
"You don't give me any allowance Uncle Mike."
"Really?" Mike blinked at his nephew, I really should… "Well, I am going to now and if you don't find it…I'll disown you."
Jonah grinned brightly, "Alright! Should we have code words?"
Mike was looking around worriedly. So many people. So little time. He almost didn't hear what the question asked was. When he did, he just looked down confused. "Code words Jonah?" He frowned, "What are you? Twelve? - we're too old for that."
"Thirteen." Jonah noted, "But what should I do if I find it?"
"Fine!" Mike sighed exasperatedly, "If you find the ring, my little hero…you shout – SHIT!"
"UNCLE MIKE!" Jonah shrieked, making a few heads turn. Mike swore a little quietly again, ducking and jabbing for Jonah to lower his head.
"Them." Mike jested an upwards thumb, "They're here."
Jonah raised his head to take a quick peek. Mike hissed, halting him. "The people from work, Jo," He whispered, "They can't know I'm here! They'll figure it out! Bastards. None of them are getting married…" His words trailed into a quiet whistle as he watched them walk across, all giggling childishly to themselves as they travelled. Mike quietly took note of their faces reminding himself that they were not going to be invited to the wedding.
Bloody idiots. They were just making life so much harder.
"What's wrong with the people at work Uncle Mike?" Jonah whispered.
Mike growled, "They'll know about the proposal…they'll tell Abby! And then they'll be sodding geniuses and find out about the baby."
"Then…say your marrying that Joy woman."
Mike snorted. "Yeah, Jo. Like that's believable."
Jonah frowned, "I still don't get it."
"Fine. You know what? Go. Go and find the ring. I'll be right behind you…just gotta find a way to keep hidden."
"Okay. But what's our code word?"
Oh lord. Mike was getting sick of this.
"Gah! ANYTHING! OKAY! Just…think of anything that will get my attention. I'll know it's you anyway…just go! Go…" Mike did a hand gesture to shoo him away. Jonah hesitated for a moment but obliged and left his side.
He watched his nephew depart. And then watched his co-workers disappear from view.
The day Mike decided to propose was the day the shop decided to have a clearance and the day that the cheapskates from work decided to all get off their asses and do something.
Slowly, Mike stood up and began to waver solely with the crowd trying his best to keep his guard up. Jonah of course didn't understand about why he didn't want his colleagues to know. But Jonah didn't know his colleagues. Every little thing that happens backstage gets noted. And every little note gets gossiped. He couldn't spoil this engagement. It was a surprise. Also, there was also that little issue of telling everyone at work that Abby was carrying and he was the father.
Yes. He was definitely not ready to tell that to Stuart yet.
But good thing he wasn't here. The only people who was here was all the gossipers from the camera team. The interns. Oh, and that rat Felix. Bloody Felix. Mike hated Felix Hummel. Moved in from Chicago. Always trying to get it on with Abby. It was hard to jab him in the face considering he was Stuarts' nephew.
It was not a good idea to punch the boss' relative.
Feeling his fist curl, Mike decided to return to casual business.
Head low and trying his best to remember the ring that Joy had told him to buy, Mike found himself bumping into a person.
"Oh…Christ, sorry man."
"No – that's alright – wait – wait – Mike?!"
Mike had not paid attention to the person and hearing his name, he immediately turned.
Oh s –
"Mike! It's so good to see you!"
"Colin." The name rolled out of Mike's dried tongue, "Yes…it's…you."
"Yeah! Mike! How have you been? Haven't spoken to you for a long time."
"Yeah…yeah…do you still live here?"
"'Course I do. The hospital I work in is around the corner."
The two men stood in front of each other. Mike found that this was more awkward than the time Jonah first asked him the age old question of where do babies come from?
"Um…great! Good going! Well…uh, see you!" Mike was pivoting when Colin stepped in front of him.
"No – wait – Mike…are you…are you buying a ring?"
Mike stood, wide-eyed.
Lie…Mike…Lie…you know how to lie…
BASTARD! Lie again.
"No…no, definitely not!" Mike shook his head, "Just wanted to check out the…the broaches…" He gestured his head towards one of the glass displays, "Always wanted a broach."
"Ah, well I'm sure Abby would like one."
"A broach." Colin smiled his super perfect peachy smile. Mike frowned as he continued. "How is Abby? Is she good?"
Depends on your definition of good…
"Cannot be better. She's great! Yeah…definitely."
"Heard she's carrying –"
Mike's eyes grew, "What!?"
Colin blinked and smiled a little confusedly, "…carrying your show through…Are you alright Mike?"
Mike's heart was thudding far more than normal.
"Peachy." He faked a smile, "Now…I really need to buy a broach, Colin. See you later…" Mike's words passed through gritted teeth. As he was sidling, he heard a -
"Are you looking for this?"
He turned and looked at what Colin was pointing at.
Grey eyes travelled to the label: Palladium 0.30 Carat Certificated Diamond Engagement Ring.
Absently, Mike said, "H-How did you know?"
"Oh, Joy told me once. She said that Abby and her were going to get the same twin rings. Abby's the Palladium and hers the Hertz…next to it."
Mike hobbled forwards and looked at the glass display.
Within, the shiniest thing he had ever seen.
"But wait." Mike turned, "I'm not proposing."
"Uh…yes you are."
"No…anyway." Mike narrowed his eyes theatrically, "What are you doing here?"
Colin didn't answer.
"Wait…" Mike smirked, "You're proposing…aren't you?"
"Perhaps." Colin grinned, "And with this ring too!"
"Uh-huh, congratulat – wait…which ring?"
Colin jerked a finger at the Palladium. Mike's eyes narrowed and travelled to him.
"No really." Colin smiled. Mike desperately wanted to fist the hell out of his smile.
"You're taking my ring?"
"No. I'm buying it. Mike." Colin quirked his head, "I did get here first."
"Then why did you tell me if you're going to buy it?"
"Because I didn't want you to spend years looking!"
Mike was infuriated. "You are not taking my ring, Colin." He growled, "That's Abby's ring and you better –"
"Hah! I knew it." Colin grinned widely, "You are proposing! Mike Chadway is proposing!"
Mike was confused. Red in the face he hissed before scowling.
It was there that he heard the gasps behind him.
He could hear Johnny. The interns. The stupendously loud gossipers from the camera department, all chanting:
"MIKE IS PROPOSING?!"
Colin was smirking, Mike was sure of it. For a moment, Mike was calm and then he lunged forwards for Colin's neck.
"YOU FUCKING –"
The shopkeeper shoved Mike and Colin out the shop.
After stopping Mike from snapping Colin's neck, they were both ushered out. Colin left, passing Mike a wink before crossing the street. The guys from work were still inside, still whispering, still keen on getting a word from him.
It was all going wrong.
Mike sat on the sidewalk. It was here he heard Jonah's voice.
"Hey Uncle Mike."
"Never trust doctors, Jo. Never."
"What do we do now?"
It was here that Mike found himself getting the most intelligent plan he had ever consumed in his mind.
"Jonah, you can buy the ring for me."
"Here, take my card." Mike slipped him the card, "It's the one in the left hand side right at the back."
"Don't let me down trooper."
Jonah returned inside, patting Mike on the head. Mike sighed, perhaps, that wasn't so smart.
"So…you want to buy the Palladium."
"For two thousand dollars."
Jonah blinked. Even Mr. Piggy couldn't have that much despite Jonah placing in a few dollars every couple of weeks. Uncle Mike's seven hundred guess was way off.
"Yes." He gulped.
The woman behind the counter leaned forward, "Are you even old enough to get engaged?"
"Um…yes…" Uncle Mike always said that when a woman asked a question he couldn't answer, always say yes.
"What are you – twelve?"
"Thirteen." Jonah corrected.
The woman blinked. "Well…if I did sell it to you – what's your way of purchase?"
"A VISA Premier card."
"You got kicked out too?"
"She said I was too young to even have a card, let alone a Premier. I told her I was old enough…even told her your pin number."
"What?!" Mike gasped, "You told her my pin number?"
"Yeah…you know, the number at the back of the card…to show her it's mine."
"That's not the –" Mike patted his nephew on the back, "Never mind. Don't worry. I've got backup."
It was here that they watched the taxi pull up the street.
Joy stepped out and rolled her eyes at the both of them.
"Men." She muttered as she passed by, picking up the VISA card that Mike handed to her, "Can't do the simplest of jobs."
Jonah grinned. Mike smiled, "Come on – before those idiots from work come out."
Abby didn't quite understand why but her Facebook seems to have quite a lot of happy face comments.
And a few congratulations. All sent spontaneously.
And there were all from the guys at the camera department.
Strangest thing ever.
I love you guys! And I'm sorry for taking so long! I am not going to stop with this, so no worries. Just keep with me. Um, just one more chapter and then it's the engagement! Um…after all the ring troubles, I don't think it's going to go smoothly, do you? Oh, and Colin. Bad Colin. Colin's changed, in this fic. He's showing his not-so-perfect side and...trust me, you will see him again ;]