Denise Callaway’s Picture Choice: 2
Tyler stared out at the sea, its water lapping at the beach in cheerful greeting. He came down to the islands to escape the memories but they found him, and continued to haunt him. Dad, he reflected, it seems as if I always failed you. Even when you wanted me to come home right before you passed away, something always came up. Now, it is too late and I missed that chance. He picked up the rock and tossed it across the surf. It skitted across but it seemed rocks skipped much more on still waters. His dad would take him to the lake and they would talk about life and skipped rocks across the lake. His dad could always find the best rocks for skipping. A sigh escaped his chest and he felt his eyes mist up.
Laughing down the shore caught his attention and he quickly wiped away the barely presented tears. A child kicked at the waves as her mother stood sentry nearby. Recognizing his neighbor, he waved their direction and Trish beckoned him her direction. Time with others seemed the best cure, or escape, so he accepted the invitation.
“Hello, Tyler. How are you today?”
“Father’s Day. It’s amazing how important it seems, now.”
She smiled tenderly, scooping her toddler up and walking up the beach towards their picnic. “Good dad’s are so rare these days.” Trish had shared her story with him about how Mattie’s Dad had skipped town when he learned she was pregnant. Her own father, however, had made sure she had a place to live and job at one of his resorts, the same one where Tyler worked. “Having seen what a good man is like, I don’t know how I found myself with Mattie’s father.”
“We all live with regrets. Mom says it shouldn’t keep us from living life, to learn and move on.”
“I think I’d like your mom.”
“She’s amazing, knows when to give advice and when to let you figure it out on your own. Sometimes, she says, the lessons speak louder with experience.”
“I suppose she is right. I know I’ve been much more cautious with my heart since Mattie came along.”
Tyler squatted down to help Mattie pat the sand into the bucket before turning it over to reach another turret for her sand castle. “Sometimes, we just need to live in the moment and enjoy what we have right in front of us.”
“True,” Trish responded, digging a small hole thoughtfully with her toe. Tyler watched the simple movement, a small ring decorating the second toe and polish adorning the tips. “Tyler?” He lifted his eyes slowly to meet hers. “Would you like to...join us for dinner tonight?” He knew she didn’t let men into her home and the trust she was offering him.
Nodding, he stood, dusting off the sand. “What time?”
“We eat early, so Mattie can go to bed. Sixish...perhaps we can watch a movie afterwards, or sit on the patio and talk.”
“I can’t think of a better way to spend the evening.” Life is too short to live with regret, he thought as he walked up the beach. His dad would want him to move on and take a chance.
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Denise finds herself lost in a field of dandelions. With one blow, her dandelion dreams transform into the words on a page. Some of those dreams have found their way to her website: https://lostinafieldofdandelions.wordpress.com/