Niles Crane...

What a wonderful man. He gave me the perfect gift for my birthday.

Well, it would have been perfect if there hadn't been a slight change of plans...

"Well, come on! We don't have all day!"

I blinked, realizin' that I was still starin at the cars lined up in the loading zone of Sea-Tac airport, dropping people off for trips they'd probably never forget.

I was certain I'd never forget this trip.

"Daphne! Are you coming or not?"

I wanted to say no, but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't let Niles down; not after the sweet gesture of givin up this trip to Maui so that me mum could come with me.

I had to open my big mouth and tell him that I was worried about leavin' her alone for a week.

Oh I was worried, but I had no idea that Niles would want Mum to go in his place.

She'd been so upset ever since my father left and it was becoming more and more obvious that he wasn't coming back.

"Do I have to drag you into this airport?" Mum was yellin' now.

"No, Mum. Let's go!" I said, dreading this trip already.

Boarding passes in hand, we walked to the security line which was at least a mile long, which of course caused Mum to start complainin'

By the time we'd gone through the entire screening process I was ready to pull me hair out.

"Where's the gate?" Mum asked.

I looked at me boarding pass. "N7"

"N7?" Mum repeated. "My God! And here we are at Gate C! We'll never make it in time! The bloody plane is going to leave without us!"

"Oh Mum, for Gods sake! We've got plenty of time!"

We'd no sooner made the long trek to our gate and sat down when me cell phone rang.

"Good God! Who's callin' you here?" Mum asked.

"I don't know." I replied. "Why don't I answer it and find out?"

"Don't get smart with me." Mum mumbled.

I opened me phone and ignored her rollin' eyes.

"Hello?"

"Hello, my love."

My heart skipped a beat and I smiled.

"Niles..."

"I know we just dropped you off a little while ago, but I miss you already."

Tears filled my eyes but I quickly brushed them away.

"I miss you, too." I said, tryin' to keep my voice from trembling.

"Is that Niles callin you already?" Mum asked.

"Shhh!" I said, quickly coverin the mouthpiece so that Niles couldn't hear.

"Is something wrong?"

"No, Darling. Mum is just anxious to get to Hawaii."

It wasn't a lie but it wasn't exactly the truth, either.

"Well, in just a few hours, you'll both be there soaking up the sun and having the time of your life." Niles said.

"I wish you were here." I said, not caring what Mum thought anymore.

"I wish I was too, but your mother needs this trip more than I do. And like I said before, we have a whole lifetime to take romantic trips together."

"I love you, Niles."

"And I love you, Daphne."

"I'll call you from Hawaii."

"I'll be waiting by the phone."

"I love you." I said one last time before hanging up and returning me cell phone to my purse.

"Well, did you have a nice chat with your fiancé?" Mum asked; the annoyance heavy in her voice.

"Yes. Thank you." I replied with a smile.

"I had a fiancé once. I married him and had beautiful children. And look at me now; old and alone."

I saw the sadness in Mum's eyes and I softened a bit. "Oh Mum..."

I reached out and took her hand. "Daddy still loves you. He just..." My voice trailed away; at a loss for words. It hurt knowing that my parents had split up.

I guess I hadn't really realized it until just then.

"But I'm old and alone." Mum said again.

"Mum, you're not old and you're certainly not alone. You have me and your sons."

"Thank you, Daphne."

"And you have Niles too. Don't forget that." I added.

"Well, I just hope you know what you're doin." Mum said.

The sudden change of subject surprised me.

"I beg your pardon?"

"Gettin' married. I didn't say anything when you were about to marry Donny but I think you're rushin into this."

"Mum, I've known Niles for years. How could I possibly be rushin into anything? He loved me for seven years and I didn't even notice! I feel terrible that he held back his feelings for me for so long. It must have been so painful for him. And when I finally found out the truth, he'd married someone else."

The memories made me cry. Oh I hated cryin' in front of me mum, but I couldn't help meself.

"Don't you think that's a little peculiar? Who loves someone for that long and doesn't say a word?"

Slightly hurt by the insult to my fiancé, I looked away.

"Donny was such a nice man." She was sayin. "Successful and handsome and-."

Unable to take anymore I rose from me chair. "Will you excuse me?"

"Where are you going?"

Without another word, I went to find the loo. Minutes later as I washed me hands, I looked in the mirror, wonderin' how in the heck I was goin to survive a week alone with me mum in Hawaii.

"Well, it certainly took you long enough!" Mum yelled when I returned to me seat.

"Mum they're just boarding small children and people who need extra help. They haven't even boarded First Class so just calm down, okay?"

"We'd like to board our First Class passengers at this time."

"That's us." I said as we gathered our luggage and got in line. "I don't know why you were so worried. I got back just in time."

"Just barely." Was Mum's reply.

I sighed. This was definitely going to be the longest week ever.