Status: Thank you for everything x

Footsteps for a Bride-to-Be

#7: "Mr Phelps turns 26"

June 20th, 2011

2:13pm - Downtown Baltimore

"Four months old, Baby Phelps, and in ten days, it's your Daddy's birthday, what do you think we should get him?" I asked my son as I pushed him in the stroller while we strolled around Downtown Baltimore in search for a present for his Father, since he was turning 26 years old in ten days. Last year, because I had gotten out of surgery, I couldn't hold him back from partying, so I sent him to Las Vegas with a few of his buddies to enjoy himself. Though it caused a bit of a riff-raff in our relationship, Baby Phelps became the result of it all, and there we were, together, strolling through the streets looking for a present.
Michael said that he didn't want to do anything grand, just a quiet time at home with his fiancée and son, but you know me, I felt guilty when I heard him say it, so once he left for training, I made my way there.
I already planned most of his birthday. It was the time before the actual party that I worried about. His Mom wanted a mini-gathering for lunch, but she went to support a fundraiser in Chicago with Hilary, and Whitney went with her husband, Bob, and their kids to Los Angeles later on this week for some family time. Although Hilary did mention that it was good for our small family to spend some time together.
I didn't know what to do. Someone help me...

Then my phone rang. I stopped to the side by a bench and took a seat. A small huff came out of me as soon as my bottom landed on the bench, and I turned the stroller around to find that Baby Phelps had been too busy playing with the toy that dangled above him that he didn't take notice of me at all. I smiled at his innocence, but that train of though was disrupted by another ring from my phone.
"Hello," I greeted after the third ring. I cleared my throat and waited for a response. "Um, hi..."
"Oh, my bad, is this Roxanne? Roxanne Miller?" A younger male voice spoke on the other end.
"Um, yes, this is she. May I ask who's speaking?" I was pretty confused, I mean, come on, who would want to get a hold of me other than Fulton, Family and Friends (The three 'F's)?
"I got your number as one of the emergency contacts," The male explained with a shaky tone, which made me feel a bit shaky. "I'm John, I work at the Hospital, and you were listed as the number one emergency contact for a Mr Michael Phelps," He continued. I gasped and listened to him reveal what happened to Michael on the course of three hours since he left my sight to go to the Aquatic Club for training.
I got a bit teary, and as soon as the man finished speaking, I practically threw everything in my bag and tossed the bag over my shoulder. I apologized to Baby Phelps as I rushed away to where the car was parked, probably shook him a bit while he sat calmly in the stroller.

What the heck happened to Michael??

3:30pm - Maryland General Hospital

I entered the hospital entrance while holding tightly on the car seat with Baby Phelps inside, he was sound asleep and I didn't want to wake him. I had to walk gently and tried hard not to shake the car seat a lot or bang it against me so that he wouldn't be bothered. I rushed towards the reception and asked for directions to where Michael was admitted in. The closer I got to the room, the more worried I got about what happened. The man on the phone, John, he didn't really describe what happened so well, that or maybe I blocked it off while I was in a state of panic.

I turned a corner and reached the door. A loud sigh escaped from my lips as I reached for the door knob and twisted it to open the door. Inside was Coach Bob, with his arms crossed and had a disappointed look on his face from what happened. I covered my mouth to hold in a gasp as I walked in and gently placed the car seat on the side before I walked closer to Coach Bob.
"Roxanne, Michael returned home from his trip from Florida yesterday, right?" He questioned me with a stern tone. "Do you know what he'd eaten or if he'd been doing something?" He continued to ask me all these questions, but the whole time he did, I only shrugged and shook my head in response as I kept staring at the exhausted Michael who lay in the bed sound asleep.
"He arrived in the NBAC fine, and he probably looked fine this morning too, but halfway through the session, he looked drowsy and his eyes droopy, and out of the blue, he dashed out of the pool and didn't come back," Coach Bob explained. "I found him slumped on the bench in the locker room and we took him here to get him checked up. The Doctor said that he's got a stomach bug and would be out of action for the next week or two. They gave him medicine, but when he wakes up, the Doctor agreed to discharge him from here and then you'll have to take him home." He gave me a pat on the shoulder and added, "If there's anything else that happens or if you need help, don't hesitate to call me, okay?"
"Alright, Bob," I nodded as he made his way out of the room. As soon as the click of the door echoed in the room, Michael's eyes opened and he called me. I didn't waste a second and sat on the area beside him, my hand on his as I slightly furrowed my brows and growled him. "You had me worried when I got the phone call!" I hissed. "I thought something worst happened to you! Don't make me worry like that ever again."
Michael chuckled, though it ended with a cough. "Oh Anne, you always know how to cheer me up," He groaned as he tapped on his stomach. "I feel so crap. I got sick out of nowhere," He complained.
I shook my head. "Don't ever scare like that ever again, okay?"
"I promise," He chuckled once more. "But now you'll have to take care of me-"
"-I always take care of you, Mr Phelps."
"And that's why I love you," He weakly smiled before he pushed himself up to take a peek at the car seat to see his son. He smiled brighter. "What did you two do today?"
"Um, not much, we went for a stroll to the park, then got a phone call, and now we're here," I replied while rubbing my arm. "Anyway, before I came here, the Doctor said you're going to need a lot of bed rest, which could be a week or two..."
"I guess my birthday will have to be celebrated at home, right?" He didn't give it a second though at all.
"Whatever you say, Honey," I said in defeat.

Actually, no, I lied. I was determined to throw him a birthday party no matter what.
I just needed him to get better first.

11:14pm - Our Love Nest

We arrived home roughly around six o'clock in the evening, and thankfully, Derek and Lia went to visit and they helped me out with aiding the weakened Olympian to bed. He couldn't even walk properly because his stomach was in pain. I didn't like seeing him like that, but whatever he ate or got infected by, which I hope he learned his lesson. I actually got a bit emotional thinking about it that I couldn't even go to sleep straight away, but he did, Baby Phelps was already asleep by eight o'clock. I watched Michael as slept so peacefully and I sat there fiddling with my phone and skimmed through all the photos I've saved in it. I got teary and sniffed quite loudly.
"Anne," I heard Michael groan and he made me jump from the fright. I dropped my phone on the blanket and turned to him with my hand on my chest. He turned around and tapped on his stomach followed by a yawn, and his eyes were half-closed, his lips dry and were licked by his tongue. He looked sick.
"Did I wake you?" I stuttered while picking up my phone and turned the screen off and placed it to the side table. I also turned off the lamp as soon as I realized that it was on the whole time, which could've been one of the reasons he woke up - other than my random sniffing.
"Why aren't you asleep?" He mumbled as he closed his eyes.
"Because... Well... Um, uh, I can't sleep," I confessed. "When I got that phone call today, it reminded me of the time when my Dad was still in the army and my Mom would always have panic attacks whenever a higher ranked army man went to our house or called her," I explained. "And I know you're not in the army, I'm sort of thankful for that, but you're always out and about all over the place and made me think about getting that kind of phone call-"
"-You won't get a phone call like that, ever," He interrupted. He reached for my hand and gave it a peck before he slapped it on top of his chest where I felt his pacing heart. It thumped against his chest. "If you can feel it, then I'm alive. It won't fail you, I promise."
"I don't want to be a single Mom to Mitch, Michael."
"Yeah, you won't." With the amount of strength he had left, he dragged me down to my bag and closer to him, his arm tossed over me and his body turned to the side. Our faces were just a few inches away from each other as we stared into each other's eyes. "I won't ever leave you," He whispered.
"And if you do?" I negatively grumbled.
"I won't," He debated.
"But what if you do?"
"Anne, I won't."
"Like, what if you find a better, hotter girl?"
"Anne, stop it," He chuckled and pecked my forehead. "I love you, and only you, got that?"
"It's a hypothetical question..."
"No it's not, you're being difficult."
I giggled. "So you won't leave me?"
"Never ever," He yawned.
I focused on him and watched him fall asleep. "You better not," I whispered before I closed my eyes.


June 30th, 2011

Michael got a lot better within a week, but under Doctor's and Coach Bob's orders, he remained in hiatus from training and cancelling all his busy celebrity commitments for another week, which helped me a bit for my plans for his birthday because then I didn't have to ask permission from Coach Bob if Michael could have a day off. I planned a few things that day, and it would be something he probably really wanted, but didn't want to personally ask for. And knowing Michael, he didn't like to ask when he could do it himself.
In that case, he actually planned a little gathering at home with his Mom and Sisters for his birthday, and as I told you, they all told him that they were busy. So instead, he planned to take Baby Phelps and me out to lunch and that was it. He really didn't want anything to big.

My fiancé was asleep until noon, and we went to lunch after he woke up. He spent the night before out and about with Derek and his other friends for a pre-birthday celebration downtown because I asked my best friend's husband to take Michael out of the house so that I could get some proper sleep after I lacked some hours due to taking care of him and Baby Phelps. It was for the sake of his party, and he probably still got the hangover because throughout lunch, he seemed really out of it. Since he wouldn't appreciate the things I did for him until he recovered, I didn't want to give him his gift until the day was nearly over, and I wanted to pile it up with the gift that I bought to say it was from Baby Phelps. We also went around downtown for a while after lunch, we shopped and had a good family time, and that included dear ol' Herman. By the time we got home, it was roughly around five o'clock, and Michael crash landed on the bed again.
That gave me time to get on with my plan for him.

"Good evening Daddy Phelps," I greeted as I carried Baby Phelps while walking in. He held onto the gift between his little fingers as we entered the bedroom and met with Michael. The Olympian sat up and grinned as I took a seat on my side of the bed and sat our son against the pillow. "Come on Birthday Boy, we have to be somewhere," I teased and gave him a quick kiss.
"Where are we going?" Michael asked with a curious tone. "I thought we were just staying home?"
"I thought you knew me so well?" I tapped on his arm. "I won't tell you, so get up now."
"I don't want to get up if you're not going to tell me."
I shook my head. "Mitch is going to bed," I changed the topic. "Say good night to Daddy, Mitch," I smiled to the baby, who smiled back as I tapped his feet against each other. He was so adorable, and though people said he had my looks, he reminded me of his Father every day.
Michael nodded and leaned down to give his son a kiss on the top of the head. "Good night kiddo," He whispered while he wrapped his arm around the baby to keep him steady and used his free hand to hold on the gift that was flat on the bed. "And what do we have here?"
"A little something from Baby Mitch that we forgot to give you this morning," I explained.
"Alright, let me see this," He said with excitement in his voice as he ripped through the wrapper and threw it off the bed without holding a breath. He opened the box and found a wallet and a matching Rolex watch that he's always wanted, and he's always hinted it to me anyway since I told him that I knew the guy who worked at the store and got it at a cheaper price.
"Open the wallet," I egged him on, which he did. He opened the wallet and found his initials embedded along the bottom, and in the photo pocket was a printed picture of his favourite photo of the three of us. I saw him smile, he brightened up and in a second, he leaned forward and forcefully pressed his lips against mine. I let out a moan before we had to part when we heard a coo come from the side. Our heads turned and saw Baby Phelps giggle as he fiddled with the wrapper.
"Sorry kiddo," Michael laughed.
"I've got something else for you as well, but, you know, later on, when Mitch is asleep," I whispered into his ear and bit on it lightly. "You need to be a bit patient though, okay?" I winked. "Now get up, we need to be somewhere and the babysitter is here in a few minutes," I added while lifting Baby Phelps out of his grasp and walked out to the front door, just in time for the doorbell to ring. I couldn't wait until I saw his surprised face. It was probably the same as when I announced I was pregnant - hoping it was the same.

7:00pm - Bill Bateman's Bistro

"Okay, come on, nearly there," I guided Michael as there was a blindfold over his eyes so that he wouldn't know where I took him. I held his hand and opened the door for him. His goofy grin peeked through, his chuckles seeped through every few steps, and he sounded very excited every time he begged for me to tell him. We entered Bill Bateman's Bistro that I hired just for the occasion. Everything was dark and it looked dead empty, but I knew that there were roughly fifty people there as I was the one who invited them.
"Come on-" He mumbled, but he stopped when I began to pull out the knot behind the handkerchief and as soon as the material uncovered his eyes, the lights turned on and everyone jumped from behind the booths and chairs. I laughed when his face showed his surprise.
Michael's lips were shaped like an 'O', his eyes widened and his goofy grin. He then turned his brown eyes to me, his arms tossed around me as he gave me a big smooch on the lips. "Holy crap, Anne, I told you not to pull something like this for me," He said, but his voice said otherwise. He sounded so happy.
I let him roam off to thank his Mom and Sisters first - who were all present to surprise him - followed by his friends all gave him a rowdy greeting. I met up with Debbie, who gave me a big hug as well and said, "I knew you could pull it off. Seeing Michael look like that made me more excited and more certain that I want to have you part of our family."
"I can't wait to marry your son," I replied while I also went to roam around by myself towards the mutual friends and their partners who thanked and complimented me about the surprise party that I pulled off.

We spent most of our evening apart though, since I played host and Michael played birthday boy, we couldn't reunite without being pulled into a conversation midway through our walk towards each other. I did have moments where I was able to approach him, but I didn't want to disturb him each time I saw him laughing and enjoying his talks with his old friends.
A majority of those people were invited to the Wedding.

"Oh, Anne, I've got the key to your house," Lia whispered into my ear as she sat next to me at a booth. She tapped on her purse and added, "I'm good to go on sleeping over to babysit Mitchie. I'm really excited... Anne, are you even listening to me?"
The whole time I was staring at Michael, he was only a few steps away, gulping down a bottle of beer and nibbling away at the French fry in his hands. Each time the lip of the bottle touched his... I would end up licking my lips and sighed as I watched his every move.
"You look like some girl stalking her crush," My best friend laughed as she forced me to turn to her. "I know you two won't get some rest tonight, so I'll stay another night if I have to," She suggested followed by a wink. "And I hope you two won't forget about protection," She continued. "Or are you two already planning on giving Mitchie a sibling already?"
"Oh, God, not yet!" I exclaimed while shaking my head. "He's not one yet, I’m not married yet, and Michael hasn't competed in the Olympics yet. You're mad for even suggesting such a thing."
"Hey, I thought you said you'd wait until marriage and go another two years before having a baby, and-"
"-Lia, Mitchie is the best thing that's happened to me, even when it drove me crazy trying to get him out of me for two damn hours," I explained. "But he's my little man and he's changed me for a better person."
"I know," She smiled while tapping on my hand. "Being a Mom made you grow up."
"When's a Fitzgerald kid coming?"
She laughed. "Maybe after the Olympics," She answered.
"Make sure you have a girl, so Mitchie has a girlfriend," I joked.
Which she took seriously.
"That's an awesome idea! Then we'll be in-laws for sure! Then we'll officially be related, Anne!" She excitedly said as she clapped her hands together in delight. "Alright, deal, baby girl for Mitchie!"
I laughed at her sudden burst of excitement, even though she commented that she'd try for one after the Olympics, she probably hasn't realized that we were nowhere near 2012 just yet.
But if that were the case, I wouldn't mind if Lia and Derek had a daughter and end up with Baby Phelps, because like she said, we'd officially be related! Then again, if she had a son first, I wouldn't mind trying for a daughter afterwards.


10:30pm - Hilton Hotel Room

The party concluded at around ten o'clock in the evening, although some of the guests went on towards the bars and clubs to continue partying, Michael and I went towards the Hilton Hotel, where the my birthday present for him was waiting. I had to remind him about it because he wanted to continue on partying with his pals, but I gave him a choice though, and I was surprised that he chose to follow me.
I didn't mind him going with his friends, really!
We arrived in the hotel and went twelve floors up to a Honeymoon Suite that I booked last week. And while he slept earlier that day, I secretly packed all his necessities and kindly asked Derek to drop the bags off to the room. Michael's hold wasn't off me since we left the party, fortunately, it was late, so there weren't any people straying around in the lobby or in the elevator to see him being a bit touchy-feely. By the time we actually reached our room, he didn't wait to plant his lips onto mine and left me off my feet to carry me in a bridal style. He walked towards the bed and lay me down before he crawled on top of me and gave me a very passionate kiss.
"Wait," I stopped him.
"What?" Michael asked in confusion as I slithered away from beneath him and rolled out of bed, to my feet and told him to wait for me as I rushed to the bathroom. The last I saw him do was roll onto his back, chuckle and rubbed his palm against his face.

I reached the bathroom and roughly pulled off the band that kept my hair up in a ponytail for most of the night and tossed it to the side, and I wrestled my fingers through my hair to give it a sexy look and slowly undressed. My clothes and undergarments piled up on the side, just beneath the towel rack as I rummaged through the laundry hamper where I instructed Derek to place the small backpack for me. I pulled out a familiar outfit and slowly slipped it on.
It had been five years since I last wore that particular outfit, and I was surprised that I fit back into them, well, except the breast area as it seemed to have gotten tighter around that area since I gave birth.

"Anne, come out already!" I heard Michael whine as I finished up with my outfit.
I straightened up a few things before I stared at myself in the mirror, my cheeks tinted so red as I had a sudden memory flash through my mind of the night I first wore that outfit. I touched my cheeks and let out a heavy exhale before I turned around towards the door. I licked my lips, gulped, inhaled and exhaled as I touched the doorknob and twisted it. The click of the lock made me nervous, and even more when the door creaked open and I revealed myself to my fiancé.
"A-Anne... Wow..." I saw his jaws drop.
I rubbed my arm as I commented, "I can't believe I can still fit in it!'
"Happy Birthday to me!" He nearly yelled as he rushed towards me, lifted me from the ground once again, tossed me over his shoulder and scurried off to the bed.

The rest, well, let's just say that the birthday boy was really happy with his present.
♠ ♠ ♠
As you may have noticed, with my lack of updates and everything, I can no longer promise the "Once a Day" thing, but I am still determined to see this story completed! I'll try to get the chapters up as soon as I can.

Side Comment:
Zittalicious showed me links of photos that made her think about Baby Mitchie, so am sharing it with ya'll to give you a hint of what he may look like!
This one's probably the closest out of all of them.
So adorable.
Naww, maybe when he's older.
Thanks Zittalicious!