Niles held up the sweater that he'd bought at the fascinating store called The Gap. After the fight he'd had with Daphne, however, it didn't seem like such a great purchase anymore. How could he have been so stupid, going on a useless shopping spree, being so frivolous with their money?
It was true that they were well-off (Daphne hated the word "rich"), but the extra money they had was to be put in a college fund for their child. However, once Niles discovered The Gap and an even more exciting place called "Pottery Barn", his ethics had flown out the window. When he happily took his purchases to Café Nervosa, he expected his brother to criticize them but he expected Daphne to be pleased. That definitely was not the case. She was livid.
"How could you, Niles?" She'd shouted when he'd told her how much the sweater had cost.
He was taken aback by her reaction, having no idea why she was so angry. Until she tearfully told him that she was worried about having enough money for their children's education.
And then his heart sank.
The sweater and receipt in hand, he returned to The Gap the following day and promptly asked for a refund. After much discussion with the store manager (and the assurance that he would return one day to make a much larger purchase), he was able to get a refund in crisp new bills instead of a credit on his Platinum Visa. And then he did the same at The Pottery Barn.
He was surprised at how much it hurt (physically hurt) to take his purchases back, but in his heart he knew it was best. He could hardly believe that he'd managed to get all of his money back in cash. After thanking both store managers profusely, he took his money and stared at it. He felt like a millionaire and he couldn't wait to tell Daphne what he'd done.
But on the way home, he'd passed a rare sight; a sidewalk vendor selling flowers. Unable to resist passing it by, he promptly stopped and purchased the biggest bouquet of pink and purple flowers and headed for home.
He walked in the door and she rose from the fainting couch at once, laying down the book she held in her hands. She looked so beautiful (as always) that she took his breath away.
But the anger in her eyes was apparent. "Where have you been? She demanded. "You were supposed to have been home hours ago!"
He nodded, feeling a sense of remorse. "I know, but… I was at the store." The moment the words were out, he knew that he'd said the wrong thing. The anger in her eyes turned to fury and he almost recoiled in fear. "I-I can explain…" He stammered.
"Damn it, Niles... why are you doing this?" She yelled her voice breaking. "You know we need that money for our child's education and-."
He handed her the flowers, silencing her at once. "Niles…"
"I'm so sorry, Daphne. You're right. We do need to put money aside. And we will. I just… I got carried away. You understand, don't you?"
She nodded tearfully. "Yes, I do. I'm sorry, Niles."
"Don't apologize. The fault is mine. And that's why I decided that it was time to make things right."
"What do you mean?"
"Close your eyes and hold out your hand."
She tried unsuccessfully to suppress a smile. "Niles…"
He smiled and laid the stack of bills in her hand. "Okay, you can open your eyes now."
She gasped, her free hand flying to her mouth. "Oh my… Where did you get this money?"
"From the stores. I took back the purchases that I made at The Gap and Pottery Barn."
"Niles, you didn't have to do that."
"Of course I did. I was a fool, Daphne. Our child's education is much more important than some silly sweater that will be out of style in two weeks."
Daphne laughed, staring at the large amount of money in her hand. "I can't quite believe this."
"I did it for you… for us…" he laid his hand on her swelled stomach. "For all of us."
She pulled him toward her and kissed him deeply. "I love you, Niles…"
"I love you too, Daphne. And I can't wait until we become a family."
She rested her head against his chest. "We are a family. We always have been. And we always will be."