Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters mentioned in this fic. From the Files of Madison Finn is Laura Dower's property.

"Honeybear, let's be reasonable here," Mom was saying as she knocked on Madison's bedroom door.

The young girl sighed with a shake of her head as she pat the head of her sleeping pug, Phineas. They've had this conversation before and Madison still would not hear the end of it. How could her mother think that she could control her life? After all that had happened?

There was another knock. "Maddie, please open the door."

The strain in Mom's voice made Madison decided to heed her mother's request. She just could not bear hearing her mom cry again. After all, it had only been a few weeks since the funeral.

As the older woman let herself in, Madison turned her back on the door and sat on the bed. She quickly pulled the pug into her arms as her security blanket. Phinnie woke up and yelped.

"Come home to me, Maddie," Mom murmured with her voice begging.

"Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to establish a new life when you decided to ship me off to Gramma…?" Madison was saying but stopped when she was about to mention her grandmother's name.

"Come on, honeybear, you know how it is with my work. You were so agreeable about it I did not think you would react this way."

"Your work? Is it really just about your work? You wouldn't do all that traveling if it weren't for Marshall."

"That's so unfair, Maddie."

A silence swept over them with the indication of Mom's boss and long-time boyfriend. But Madison could not help being sour about it since his arrival started all of this occurrences. Ever since, it had always been a sore spot between the two ladies.

Madison could easily remember the day her mother and Marshall met during the summer before her 8th grade. No one missed the instant connection between them, not even her. It was the very first time she had seen Mom seemed really happy. Her best friends, Aimee Gillespie and Fiona Waters told her that it's because of love.

Despite Madison having a hard time accepting the fact that Mom begun dating again, she tried to be nice about it. Unfortunately, since Marshall was the boss and he's as workaholic as her mom, their "dates" were often in far places, thus, leading to the frequent travels.

With Mom often away from home, Madison had to stay at her Dad's all the time. There was almost an instance that she was about to start living at her father's place instead when Gramma Helen got into an accident and someone had to take care of her. Madison and her mother had a long discussion on that matter until they had agreed on moving to Chicago.

Madison found it hard to accept the decision at first but she understood the seriousness of the situation. And though she would be far away from her friends, a part of her was relieved to get away from the place where she met Hart Jones. Albeit the thought of being in love at the age of twelve years old was somehow absurd, Hart's leaving to Europe was unbearable to her. She never believed in long distance relationships except with her mom who was often far away from home due to her projects.

When Madison became a High School freshman, Mom's job finally settled down back to Far Hills. During those days, surprisingly, Mark happened to move into Mabel's home so he could take care of his grandmother as well. He also enrolled in Madison's school in Winnetka, making it possible for them to spend their time together often that led them to becoming a couple. This relationship kept her from coming back to New York. But things changed. Now that Gramma Helen was gone…

"Don't you miss your friends?" Mom asked.

"Of course I miss them. They have been my best friends for as long as I can remember. We still communicate through email as much as we can. But things are different now," Madison replied quietly. "Why can't I stay with Mabel and Mark?"


Madison wanted to scream. How could her mother be that paranoid? She was already sixteen years old after all. She knew what she was getting into. And despite Mom's wild imagination, being in a more intimate relationship felt like something she's yet to be ready for.

"Don't you miss me?" Mom whispered so softly that Madison did not almost catch it. "After what happened to Gramma… What if something is to happen to me?"

"Oh, mom. Now you're being unfair. Don't use that card on me," Madison replied, sucking up the tears that threatened to escape.

No one said something for a while. Neither the mother nor the daughter wavered from their stance. Phineas T. Finn's snoring filled the room. The clock kept on ticking.

In an instant, Madison stood up. "I'll think about it." She heard a breath of relief from her mother that made her perk up. "I did not say 'yes'."

Mom smiled. "It's better than a 'no'."

"Mark, can we elope please?" Madison declared, throwing herself to her boyfriend's bed. It was only an hour ago when she and her mother had the 'talk' and the first thing the female youngster thought of doing was running away to Mabel's home.

Mark snorted. "Sure. Go get your stuff and meet me tonight. Oh where are we going? To my grandmother's home. Great!"

Because of that joke, the brown-haired guy got a spank from his girlfriend.

"I am serious here. I don't want to leave Gramma's house. Not after…" Madison was saying but gulped all her words as she swallowed the lump on her throat.

Sitting down on the bed, Mark placed his arm around Madison and rubbed her arm. "You know what I think?"

"What?" she asked, leaning her head on his shoulder.

"I think what you need is a new scenery. A new air to breathe. A new experience."

Madison shuddered at the thought. "I don't need anything new in my life. I hate change," she answered. "Besides, it's not that easy to leave this place. I feel so attached here, especially that staying here means being with you."

"Maddie," he started, tilting her head to make her look straight into his eyes. "Your Gramma Helen will not get mad at you if you choose to leave this place. She will want to start your life anew and try to be happy. Do you understand that?"

Madison looked away while biting her lower lip. A part of her did not want to admit that Mark was partly correct. Of course, her grandmother just passed away. Wasn't there some kind of rule that one should be mourning for a certain period of time before moving on? Before involving herself into major decisions that will no longer consider the existence of the departed one in this world?

Feeling confused more than ever, the sob that Madison had been holding in finally poured out.

Roses are Red

Violets are blue

Nothing is easy

When love is true