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Fairfield Road [ - ]
by BrookeWTBFan79
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Story Notes:

My first WTB? fic. Title inspired by charmedcherie. Many thanks!

I do not own the characters, they belong to the WTB? writers and actors, respectively. No copyright infringement intended.

This was a big night for Tony Micelli. He sat by the stage with his daughter, Samantha, listening as Dr. Graham sang his praises. Finally, he was asked to come up and be presented with the prestigious Wells College Teacher of the Year Award for 1992. Sam smiled at her father as he stood up and walked to the stage as the room erupted with applause. He had a short speech prepared but wasn’t sure he really wanted to read from it. As he took the podium, he looked down at his daughter, who was beaming at him, and he smiled back at her. His heart soared and then fell when it hit him that Sam would be the only one smiling at him with pride on this special night.

He scanned the room looking for..her. It was a force of habit. For years, every time he got in front of people to speak, she was there.  So many memories came flooding back to him in that instant and he saw her long blonde hair and brown eyes looking up at him at all those important moments of his life. She was there when he campaigned for PTA President; she was there when he gave his passionate baseball scholarship speech at Ridgemont. And on that incredible night with the Dreamtones at the Pitkin Avenue fundraiser, he’ll never forget how she didn’t take her eyes off of him. He felt like a rock star with the most beautiful woman in the room looking at him like a groupie.  

“Stop looking for her, Micelli. She’s not here. She’s gone.”

As those memories came back, Tony couldn’t help but reflect on his life. He’d found great love, not once, but twice. So many people never find it once, let alone being lucky enough to find it again. And he’d lost it both times. He knew it was cancer that took his first love but he didn’t have a legitimate reason for what had taken it from him this time around. None of it made sense. He looked down at his speech and all of a sudden, none of this mattered anymore. He read the words on the plaque, “Teacher of the Year.” How did he even get to become a teacher? Angela. How did he even have the inspiration and courage to go back to school? Angela. How did he come to take this incredible job in Iowa? Angela. No matter how great his career was taking off or how far it would go, it would be meaningless without her. He suddenly remembered what Sam had said to him on her wedding day. How she couldn’t imagine her life without Hank and said, “I can’t explain it. It’s like you being without Angela.” He remembered the thought, even for a split second, how it nearly caused his heart to stop beating. And yet, here he was, without her.

In that moment, all he could muster was a few words of thanks to Dr. Graham, the students and faculty, how honored he was and grateful for the opportunity he was given. He stepped away from the podium and walked over to Dr. Graham,

“Dr. Graham, could I speak to you privately for a minute? It’s kind of important” Tony whispered.

“Sure, Tony. Come with me. Is this about your contract extension?” Graham asked.

Tony nodded and with that he followed him out of the banquet hall. Meanwhile, Sam got up and followed them out, keeping a distance.

Once alone in the lobby, Tony reached into the pocket of his tux and pulled out the unsigned contract and handed it to Dr. Graham.

“Doc, listen. Words will never be able to express how grateful I am to you for giving me this job here. It’s been an incredible experience. It truly has been, and this offer is more than anything I could ever dream of.  But the truth is, my heart won’t let me accept it.” Tony sighed, “I just can’t..”

Graham cut him off, “Tony, I understand. Best of luck to you, son”

The two men shook hands and said goodbye.

When Dr. Graham left, Sam came walking over to her father.

“Dad, what was that all about?”

Tony faced her. “Well I wanted to thank him again for this honor and the contract extension, but I turned it down. And I resigned.”

Samantha didn’t even have to ask why. She knew.

“So, you need a ride to the airport?”