Two days later the precinct threw a retirement party at a local Fraternal Order of Police. It was attended by nearly everybody from the precinct. They chipped in and bought him a robe, slippers, a bronzed doughnut on plaque, a silver plated nightstick, and a gold watch.
The next morning he called Maggie from home.
“Hi, Maggie, Niles Quinn.”
“I’m glad you called,” Maggie said. “The bidding for your place was hot and heavy for a couple days, but I haven’t heard a thing for the last two days, so are you ready to accept a bid?
“I’d like to get it over with,” Niles said, “but you’re the expert, what do you think?”
“I think we should accept the last bid and you can close the books on 24th Street,” Maggie said.
“So what’s the final bid?” Niles said.
“Fifteen thousand over asking,” Maggie said.
“Well,” Niles said, “when you consider I was willing to go fifteen thousand the other way, that’s thirty thousand more in my pocket than what I expected.”
“I’lll call the folks right away,” Maggie said.
“Thanks, Maggie,” Niles said.
Two hours later Niles answered his phone,
“Hello,” Niles said.
“This is Maggie. You’re going to be upset with me.”
“What happened?” Niles said.
“I didn’t call the high bidder right away,” Maggie said. “I waited an hour and that’s when I got another call.”
“And…” Niles said.
“The next bid was another ten thousand,” Maggie said.
“Well, Maggie,” Niles said, “that just got you and your husband a steak at Delmonico’s”
“Anytime a cop buys, I’m ready to eat,” Maggie said, “and my husband loves Delmonico’s; we haven’t eaten there in years.”
“However,” Maggie said, “you must be out before the first of next week.”
“Oh no, I talked to the movers yesterday,” Niles said. “I had to beg to get them to move me by the end of the month.”
“Niles, sweetheart” Maggie said, “did I tell you how good I am? Movers will be their Friday morning at 7:00 and a cleaning crew at noon. Be at my office after the movers leave and we sign some papers and give you a check.”
“I thought this would take months,” Niles said.
“I told you, Niles,” Maggie said, “I’m good.”
That night Niles treated Maggie and her husband, Bart, the a meal at Delmonico’s
After Friday, Niles checked into a hotel. The weekend he visited a couple cousins, aunts, and uncles.
There was always the thought of one last goodbye to Annie. “I will leave it as it is. Nothing else has to be said. We’ll both be better off.”