Michael came into Maddie's kitchen, grabbed a beer and sat down at the dining room table. He put his head in his hands and stayed that way for a few minutes. Michael didn't notice that Maddie and Sam were sitting at the table also. Maddie and Sam were playing gin, but they stopped their game and exchanged worried glances.
"Umm...Everything ok Mikey?" Sam asked. He had never seen Michael in this condition.
Michael shook his head in his hands. "NO! Everything is not ok. I just...I did something and I don't know why I did it and I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't think I can take this back. I'm screwed. All my years of training and suppressing my impulsive side have gone out the window." Michael was circling the dining room table now.
"Michael Westen! Do not tell us you cheated on Fiona. That woman loves you more than life itself and doesn't deserve to be treated like dirt." Maddie started another cigarette while Sam got up and got something strong than iced tea to drink.
Sam was truly worried. Michael was the calm one and here he was rambling like a mad man. "Brother , tell us what you did. We won't tell Fiona and we won't judge you. You gotta tell someone before you lose the rest of what little mind you have left."
Michael stopped pacing and sat down again. He started to speak very slowly. "I...bought...a...house...today...for Fiona and me. Fiona has no clue. I went 2 houses down from here to fix Mrs. Colletti's sink like Mom asked me to do. There was a real estate lady there and she asked me to move something upstairs from one room to another, which I did. When I was up there I saw this height chart on the wall made with pencil and I thought 'I want that. I want that with Fiona. I want the house, the fence, the kids, height charts...I want it all'. Next thing I know, I'm negoctiating prices and then she has me sign papers. Supposedly I close on the home in two weeks. What the hell did I just do?"
Sam laughed and Maddie smiled. She got up and gave Michael a hug as he sat in the chair. "Michael, you are settling down! I am so happy for you! You have to tell Fiona, we have to discuss decorating, furniture..." Maddie rambled on and on for a good five minutes before her phone rang, interupting them. She went into her room while she talked to her friend.
Sam leaned over to Michael. "Don't worry. It's a big step you are taking. Pretty scary and I admire you for it bro. Fiona's a good woman." Sam took a sip of his beer. "Don't tell her I said that though. She thinks I'm getting soft in my old age."
Maddie emerged from her bedroom with a big smile on her face. "Michael. I want you to do something for me."
"Mom, I just bought a house and I'm going to be in debt for the next 100 years. I don't think I'm of sound mind to help with anything right now."
She pulled out a ring. Michael remembered the ring being in her jewelry box when he was a little boy. He loved how the rose-gold ring looked. There was a center stone with for diamonds on either side of it. Maddie told him that when he found the perfect woman, she would let him have it to give to her.
"Grandma's ring! Mom, I can't take her ring. This is the last thing you have of Grandma's that Dad didn't sell." Michael put the ring into Maddie's palm and closed her hand around it.
"Michael, you bought a house. You see a future with Fiona and are ready to start that future. Take the ring. It gave Grandma and Grandma 65 years of happiness. I hope it gives you both that much happiness." Maddie unfolded her hand and stuck the ring out in front of Michael. He took it.
They heard sniffling coming from Sam's direction. Both of them noticed that Sam was wiping his eyes with the back of his hand. "What are you looking at? Damn smoke from the cigarette got in my eyes and made them water!"
Michael smiled. "Neither of you say anything to Fiona about the house."
Michael got up to leave. He gave Maddie a kiss on the head and whispered. "Thanks Mom."
"No problem sweetie. When do you plan on popping the question?"
Michael paused for a moment. "I guess in two weeks. Once I get the keys to the house, I'll show it to her and then I'll go from there."
Sam and Maddie watched Michael walk out the door.
"Maddie, I have to tip my hat to you. I thought Mikey would have sensed something when he was there and that real estate agent was there at the same time, but your little plan to get him out of the loft and into a proper house worked. You are truly a talented woman." Sam raised his beer bottle towards Maddie.
"Sam, I learned the art of deception from you guys. Let's just hope Fiona reacts well to all this."
Maddie picked up her pile of cards. In her mind she thought "This is going to be a loooong two weeks".