I have been missing Mike and Callie lately!!
Life has become so busy with my new Girl Guide Leader responsibilities, that I fear I had left my two maybe friends, maybe lovers, stuck on the beach.

But I heard the beach and the power of second chances calling me back...

If you need to catch up:   One,   TwoThree , and Four.

Also, I am so pleased to present an exciting and beautiful collaboration between my wrangled words, and the always amazing imagesbyCW. 
Have you visited Claudia?   Why haven't you visited?   You need to go check out her beautiful photography and digital art.    But... then, you know - come back.  

*Photos will be tagged to indicate my own, or Claudia's images.*

Part 5

The first brilliant rays of the morning sun filtered through the bamboo shades, casting shadows in perfectly parallel lines across the brightly decorated bedroom; and the still soundly sleeping form upon the bed.    Like a fine fingered thief, it picked upon his tightly closed eyelids, until with a deep moan, Mike turned away from the window, dragging the spare pillow over his head.  A night spent in restless slumber, recalling and replaying old conversations in his head, saw him promptly drift back to an uneasy sleep.    

courtesy of imagesbyCW

 It was some time later, when the rosy fingers of dawn stretched further up the walls, that Mike awoke, and with a big stretch and yawn, rolled over upon his back to stare up at the ceiling fan counting time in slow, easy circles above.  Round and round, much like his memories and carrying voices of the past upon it’s gentle breeze.  It felt cool upon his naked torso… but the memories and voices burned as though forever branded upon his mind.
This isn’t simply a little problem to be solved with a quick and easy solution Angie.  I think we should talk about it more.”
The woman’s eyes glared, while her voice rose in anger, “No Mike, it’s not a problem for YOU.   But it’s a big problem for me.   I don’t want this!
This?!” Mike’s eyebrow lifted, and his jaw clenched as he hissed out the word once more. “THIS?!  That’s all it is to you…. A thing?  An inconvenience?   You have no feeling at all?
Angie shook her head, and raised her chin to meet his gaze.  She knew her next words would hurt.  Cut deep, and that there was no way to avoid the resulting pain.   But it was the truth and she would not be bullied, or judged out of her decision.
No.  I don’t Mike.  You know this was never something I wanted.  I told you when we first started dating.  I’m sorry, I know it hurts to hear, but you know it was never my plan.   She reached out to lay a hand on his shoulder, as though a gentle touch could ease the stab of her words.  The harsh truth she must make him see.  Understand that this was not simply a choice easily made in the moment of fear, uncertainty, or confusion.
It had always been the choice she would make.  And she would not apologize for making it.
I thought you were okay with this.  That because you stayed, you accepted that it would be my choice to make.  That you respected my right to make the choice… was that all just bullshit Mike…..just another way to get a woman into bed?
His nostrils flared and the spot on his jaw clenched dangerously.
Angie folded her arms defensively around her body, and raised her own eyebrow, “So much for your feminist stance.  What… will you put your foot down Mike?  Has it come to this? Really?
Mike stood in the dying light of the evening that crept in their patio doors, hardly believing the words the woman he loved with his whole heart was flinging in anger towards him.  That hit hard.  Her aim was true. 
He wanted to put his foot down!!
As he looked upon her accusing face, beautiful even now in anger, the swell of conflicting emotions made his head spin.   He loved her.  He hated her.  He wanted to protect her.  
And he wanted to hurt her back.  The surprise of that hit him like a punch in the stomach.
She was right.  And she was so wrong.   In his mind… it was the wrong decision.  His heart ached at the mere thought.   At the heavy price about to be paid, and that could never be purchased back.   Did she really have no feeling: at all?   How could he love someone like this?   How could she not want this?
The real truth hit him even harder; it was her decision.   There was nothing he could do, or say to change her mind.   He lowered his head in defeat.   Shoulders slumped, he picked his wallet and cell phone off the table that stood between them, and brushing past her, not daring to meet her angry eyes, but only with an anguished whisper; “You’re right Angie. I can’t stop this.  But I won’t lie to make you feel better.  I want this with all my heart.   And this thing you’re about to do, it will never heal for me.  Not ever.”
And he stepped past her out into the night, the soft cries of his name carrying out over the city sounds…
Mike. Mike. ..... 
The blurring motion of the ceiling fan slowly cleared, as he became aware of knocking on his bedroom door, and the calling of Edan from the other side.
Uncle Mike!!  Get up!  You said we’d go fishing today.”
Dragging his fingers through his hair, and silently wiping his eyes, Mike rolled from the bed and his feet hit the cold tile, snapping him back to the present.
Sure thing buddy!” his voice cracked slightly with the emotion of the memory still lingering.   Hey.. did you get those worms like I asked?
Yep!!  A whole box of them Uncle Mike!!  Why?
Mike walked to the bedroom door, pulling a faded college t-shirt over his head, as he suddenly yanked open the door to his nephew’s surprise.   Scooping him up over his shoulder, he started down the hallway towards the kitchen area of the rented condo.
Why?!  Well… what else do you thing we are eating for breakfast! 
His laughter rose up at his nephews outraged shrieks and protests, and once more the past was put away for quieter, sweeter moments.  He stepped fully into the present moment, and even looked forward to sharing a bowl of Lucky Charms with the still slightly apprehensive boy.
With a glance outside the window towards the beach area, he saw that the sun was now a gentle, warming presence upon the world.   Though it seemed like he could reach out and touch the golden drops of sun dappled through the palm trees, he wondered if those ever piercing rays might still be too distant to thaw the persistent chill of his heart. 

Is a fishing trip with Edan just what Mike needs to life his spirits?
Will they ever see Callie again?
Stay tuned dear readers!