Loose Ends-Part Four

by Greek Warrior (Joan)


Disclaimers-see part one.

Poem: The poem that is used in this part was written by Edgar Allan Poe and is used without permission.  No copyright infringement was intended.


Part Four

Chapter Twelve


When a half hour had passed, Cody tried to call Amanda back, getting her voice mail.  “Damn it.”  She knew it would do no good to call the house phone; they always left the ringer off and just checked the answering machine.  “She purposely didn’t tell her.”


Cody paced in her small room.  ‘But why is she cooking Sabrina dinner?’  The question nagged at her.  She knew she needed to get back home so they could talk.  “One more day.”  She spoke to the empty room.  “If I can’t find the problem tomorrow, I’m outta here anyway.”


She was too restless to stay in the small space, so she clipped her phone to the waistband of her jeans and headed outside to the helipad, the only open space on the rig.  At the top of the stairs, she recognized the lone figure sitting cross-legged at the far edge.  “Can I join you?”


Eddy looked back over her shoulder and smiled.  “Be my guest.”  She waited for Cody to sit down.  “I thought you were going to get some rest.”


“Couldn’t sleep.”  She watched the flashes of lightening in the distance.  “It’s beautiful isn’t it?  As long as you’re not in the middle of it, that is.”


“Yes.  There’s nothing quiet like a storm at sea.”  Eddy leaned back on her elbows.  “The latest report said that it might strengthen into a category one hurricane before it makes landfall, but it should stay well to the south of us.”


“Would you have to evacuate if it was closer?”


“For a tropical storm, no.  For a hurricane, yes.”  Her eyes lingered on the profile of the woman beside her.  “I rotate off in a couple of days and if you happen to be around Corpus Christi anytime after that, I’d love to buy you dinner.  Doesn’t have to be a date,” she smiled, “unless you’re single and want it to be.”


Cody was quiet for several seconds, then looked at the woman sitting next to her.  “Thanks.  I do have a partner though.”  She bent one leg, wrapped her arms around it and rested her chin on her knee.  Starring back out at the storm, she whispered, “At least I think I do.”


Eddy wasn’t surprised the beautiful woman was taken, but the whispered statement confused her.  “I’ve been told I’m a good listener.”  She quickly offered.


Cody wasn’t sure why, maybe it was knowing that Eddy had been willing to come to her rescue earlier or maybe it was just the shitty day she’d had, but she decided to tell her the whole story.  “You might regret saying that by the time I’m through.”


Cody started her story with her early teen years and finished with her phone call home a little over an hour ago.  Eddy had been silent throughout the account.


“That’s a tough one, deciding for or against kids; especially when one feels strongly for and one strongly against.”


“The voice of experience?”  Cody had detected a hint of sadness in the statement.


“Yes.  My last steady girlfriend wanted kids.”  Eddy answered.


“You didn’t?”


“Someday I’d love to have a couple of kids, but not now.  The way I work, three weeks on the rig and then two weeks off, isn’t a good way to be a parent.  At least I don’t think it is.  I had a part-time dad growing up; he was a trucker and was gone a lot.”  She explained.


“How long were the two of you together?”


“Eight months.  We had started talking about moving in together and she asked about kids.  I told her I wanted to wait and she didn’t.  So we went our separate ways.”


“Do you regret it?”  Cody turned her head to look at her companion.


“Ah, you do ask the tough questions, don’t you.”  Eddy was thoughtful for several minutes.  “Right now I can honestly say no, I don’t.  But who knows, five years down the road I might.”  She met the thoughtful gaze of the blue eyes.  “Not much help, am I?”


“Actually just listening is a help.”  Cody turned her stare back towards the storm.  “You know, Eddy, I think your ex might be the one that regrets her decision not to wait.”


Eddy looked puzzled.  “Why?”


“Because she let one of the good ones get away.”  Cody grinned when Eddy blushed.


The two women sat in companionable silence, content to watch Mother Nature’s awesome display of beautiful destruction, until Cody’s phone rang.


“Lawson,” she answered out of habit, even though she knew it was Amanda.


“Sorry I didn’t call earlier.  Sabrina forgot to tell me you called.”


“And I’m sure she turned your phone off, so I couldn’t call back, by accident.”


“Cody, it was an honest mistake.  She didn’t know how my cell worked.”  Amanda stated; frustration in her voice.  “Did you need something or did you just want to talk?”


Cody bit her tongue to stop another sarcastic response about Sabrina.  “To talk.  I just wanted to hear your voice after the lousy day I’ve had.”


“What happened?”


Cody didn’t feel like re-hashing the incident with Bobby now.  “It was nothing important.  Look, it’s late and I’m tired, and I wouldn’t want to keep you from your guest.”


“Sabrina and Rosie just left.  Are you sure you don’t want to talk about it, I can tell something’s wrong.”


“I’m sure.”


Eddy had moved away to give Cody privacy during the call.  When she saw the phone being returned to its holder, she moved back over to Cody and saw the tense expression.  “I’d offer to buy you a drink, but they don’t allow liquor on the rig, for obvious reasons.  How about I offer a cup of hot chocolate instead?  It’s guaranteed to sooth what ails ya.”


Cody managed a small grin.  “Yeah, that sounds good.”  She stood up and placed her hand on the shorter woman’s shoulder.  “Thanks, Eddy.”


“Ah sucks, ma’am.  T’weren’t nothin."




“She wasn’t mad when you called her, was she?”  Sabrina asked when she and Amanda sat down at their table.


“Oh, no.”  Amanda lied.  “But we didn’t talk long, she was tired by the time I called.”  She ordered tea before heading for the buffet tables.


Amanda had beaten Sabrina back to the table and had started eating by the time she returned.  “Good, I‘d hate to be the cause of another problem between you two.”


Last night while they sat on the beach, watching Rosie play in the sand, Amanda had told her friend about trying to get pregnant and Cody’s opposition to it.  It wasn’t until later, after Sabrina had left, Amanda had wondered how Sabrina had listened to her talk about Cody all night, but forgotten to tell her about Cody’s call.  But now, hearing the concern in her friend’s voice, she knew it had been just one of those things.


“Would you like company tonight when you do the pregnancy test?  I mean since Cody’s not here, I’d be glad to come by so you don’t have to be alone.”


Amanda hesitated, but then thought, ‘Why not?  There’s no reason I should have to be by myself tonight.’  “Yeah, that’d be great.”




After working like a demon all morning, Cody had found Clint’s problem.  She had run back-to-back reports and found different figures for the readings on the storage tanks.  They did have a glitch in their computer program, which meant that she didn’t need to stick around and wait for it to be resolved.


By one o’clock she had packed, said good-bye to Eddy and Clint, exchanged phone numbers and promises to stay in touch with Eddy and was waiting on the chopper to land.  With any luck she’d make it home not long after Amanda did.  As long as she made her connection in Houston, that is.




Amanda pulled into the garage, parked her car and ducked under the door as it was closing, to meet Sabrina, who had pulled into the driveway behind her.  Unlocking the front door, she entered with the brown haired woman following.  “If you want something to drink, you know where the kitchen is.”  She headed back towards the bedroom.  “I’m gonna go change before I try to work up enough courage to use this.”  She held up the small sack from the drug store.


“Okay.  You want me to pour you some juice or something?”


“Please.”  Came the muffled response.


Sabrina walked into the living room to put her briefcase next to Amanda’s and noticed the blinking red light on the answering machine.  “She forgot to check.”  She turned to leave, but stopped.  “I wonder.”  She knew Cody hated to call Amanda at work unless it was an emergency.  Looking at the machine, she bit her bottom lip.  “If I listen to them I’ll have to erase them, otherwise she’ll know.”


She glanced around the corner and heard a door close.  “Probably bathroom.”  She hurried back and pressed the new message button.


“Hello…hello…” Click.


“Um, telemarketer.”  The machine beeped and the second message started.


“Hey Amanda.  Found the problem and I’m headed home, I hope.  I just landed in Houston.  Its five after three and I’ve got ten minutes to make my connection, so I should be okay since it’s the next concourse over and I don’t have to go back through security.  Don’t worry about picking me up; I’ll take a shuttle.  See you, I hope, about seven or so.  Love you.”  Click.


“End of final message.”  The machine replied and Sabrina pressed the erase button.  “Press erase again, to erase all messages.”  It helpfully supplied and she pressed the button once more.  “No messages.”  She hurried into the kitchen to pour two glasses of juice and tried to shake off the nagging guilt.


Amanda changed into a pair of lightweight cotton pants and shirt, then joined Sabrina.  Leaning back against the counter, she accepted the glass handed to her and took a sip.  “Amy’s back I take it.”


“Yeah.  She called this morning.  Said she was going to sleep all day and she’d pick up Rosie this afternoon.”  Sabrina drained her glass.  “I’m gonna miss the little rugrat.”


“You okay?  You seem nervous.”


Sabrina stuck her hands in her pockets, trying to will them to stop shaking.  “I’m just anxious for you.  Have you done it yet?”  ‘I will not feel guilty.  Amanda wouldn’t be with Cody if I hadn’t let her go.’  She kept telling herself.


“No.  I keep telling myself if I don’t do the test, I can continue to imagine myself pregnant.”


“How long has it been since your period was due?”


Amanda smiled.  “Only a week.”  She was embarrassed by her eagerness.  “I know it could be the stress making me late and I know I should wait awhile, but I think I’ll go crazy if I don’t know.”


“That’s true.  I know Amy missed two months before she went to the doctor and found out she was pregnant.”


“Oh god, I’d be climbing the walls if I had to wait that long.”


“Go on and try.  Maybe you’ll be an overachiever.”  Sabrina suggested as she glanced at the clock.  ‘6:30…I still have time to comfort her if she’s not or celebrate with her if she is.’


Amanda came back and joined her friend.  “I’ll know in a couple of minutes.”


“We’ll know.”  Sabrina corrected.


Amanda smiled.  “It’s nice to have someone to share this with, who’s just as excited as I am.”


“Come on.”  She took Amanda’s hand and led the way to the blonde’s favorite room.  “Let’s go sit down.”


Amanda sat on the couch and stared at the little plastic stick.


“Is it time yet?”


“Yeah.”  She picked it up and took a deep breath.  Sliding the two pieces apart, she looked at the inanimate object that could possibly change her life.


“Well?”  Sabrina had imagined disappointment or exhilaration, but Amanda was just sitting there.


“It’s negative.”  She said turning to face Sabrina, who had leaned over to look at the reading.


Sabrina hesitated a second before she leaned forward and closed the slight distance between them, joining their lips together.  Feeling no resistance, she deepened the kiss.


Cody stood in the doorway, stunned.  “Well, I guess you didn’t get my message.”  She said loudly when her surprise quickly turned to anger and hurt.


The two women broke apart.  “Cody…” Amanda jumped up starring wide-eyed at her partner.  “Um…there wasn’t any message” was the only thing she could think to say, “I checked.”


Cody looked at the guilty expression on Sabrina’s face.  “Did you erase it before or after you listened to it?”  Sabrina looked at the floor, refusing to meet the cold blue eyes.


Amanda looked between the two women.  She was extremely confused.  The kiss had stunned her and now Cody and Sabrina seemed to know something she didn’t.


“You know,” Cody let out a self-deprecating laugh, “Tracy asked me if I thought the two of you were having an affair.  ‘Of course not, Tracy, Amanda wouldn’t cheat on me,’ I said.  Shit, I feel like such a fool.”


“An affair…we’re not having an affair.”  Amanda stated.  “Cody, it was one kiss…it just happened.  It didn’t mean anything.  Please, you gotta believe me.”


Cody remained silent and turned to leave.


“Wait…Sabrina, tell her.”  Amanda pleaded.


“Christ, Amanda, of course it meant something.”  Sabrina stated.


“What?  What are you saying?”  Amanda turned her attention to the person she thought was her friend and didn’t see Cody walk away.


Jesus H. Christ…you were right.”  She said to Cody, without turning around she had no way of knowing that she was speaking to an empty doorway.  “She tried to tell me all along, that’s what you wanted and I didn’t believe her.”  She looked sadly at the brown haired woman.  “Sabrina, there was never an ‘us’, we were friends who slept together occasionally, that’s all.”


“Cody.”  She yelled when she heard the motorcycle start and ran for the garage but was too late.  She yelled for her lover once more only to watch her disappear after she turned the corner at the far end of the street.  Tears ran down her face and she collapsed onto the driveway when her legs refused to hold her.


Sabrina watched as the blonde sat crying.  “Shit…what have I done?”  She asked as her conscience kicked in.  “Come on, Amanda.  Let me help you back inside.”


“Leave me alone.”  The tears continued to run down her cheeks as she ineffectively tried to wipe them away.


“No.  Amanda, I’m sorry.  I’ll help you explain everything to Cody.  I’ll tell her all of it was my fault.  I’m sorry, so sorry…I didn’t think…  Please…let’s go back inside.”  Sabrina reached down to help her up.


Amanda knocked her hands away, angrily.  “Don’t touch me.”  She walked back through the garage and into the kitchen, where she spun around to face the woman trailing her.  “Why don’t you start by explaining things to me?”


Chapter Thirteen


Cody was just south of Los Angeles on US 1 when she pulled over.  Taking out her phone, she pressed one of her preprogrammed numbers, listened to the ringing and waited until she heard a familiar voice answer.  “Hey.”


“Hiya stranger, you still in the middle of the gulf or are you home?”


Home to Cody had never necessarily been where she lived; it was more a place where she felt comfortable and happy, where she felt at peace with herself and her life.  That place had been the beach house, first because of the ocean she loved and then because Amanda had been there.  Now she wasn’t sure if it would ever be home again.  “I’m back.”


Tracy furrowed her brow.  “What’s wrong?”


“Can I come over or do you and Wren have plans?”


“No plans, come on over.”


“It’ll take me awhile to get there, I’m just south of LA.  I…um, I just don’t want to be alone.”


“Okay, we’ll be waiting, just be careful.”  She ended the call.


“What’s going on?”  Wren asked as she marked her place in her book and closed it.


“Something really bad from the sound of her voice.”  She laid her head down in her lover’s lap and wrapped her arms around Wren’s leg.  “I love you, baby.  I don’t tell you that enough.”


Wren ran her hands through the silky hair.  I love you, too.”  She smiled down at the head in her lap.




“Let me get this straight…you purposely didn’t tell me she called last night until you were leaving and you not only listened to a personal message, but also erased it.”  Amanda ran her hand through her hair and paced.  “Did you wait until she walked in to kiss me, was that planned too?”


“No.”  Sabrina said.  “I never planned to kiss you.  I wanted you to know that I would be here waiting.  I figured the two of you would break-up over having children and I thought that meant you didn’t belong together.”  She looked at the angry and very sad woman.  “You really love her, don’t you?”  Sabrina asked sadly.


“Yes, I do.  And I’ve got to find her and explain everything, if she’ll let me.”


“How?  She could be anywhere.”


“I can make a pretty good guess at where she might have gone.  I need to hurry it’ll take me awhile to get there, though.”


“I’m coming with you.”  Sabrina stood up.


“Absolutely not.”  One look stopped the impending protest.  “No and that’s final.  You’ve caused enough trouble.  I’m almost as angry with you as I am with myself.  You need to go home and let me handle this.”


She hung her head and started for the door.  “Will I see you tomorrow?”


“No.  Tell Lawrence and Steve I’m taking a personal day and I’ll explain later.”  Amanda refused to look at Sabrina as she left and busied herself collection her wallet, keys and phone.




“You want a beer?”  Tracy asked her friend as she watched her slump down onto the couch.


Wren came into the room and handed over two bottles without being asked.  “I’m gonna head to bed and read for awhile so you two can talk.”  She placed a quick kiss on her partner’s lips.


“Thanks, love.”


“I’m sorry about this, Wren.”  Cody stated.


“Don’t worry about it.  I’ll see you in the morning if you decide to stay.  Goodnight all.”


Tracy handed over one of the dark bottles and sat down on the other end of the couch, and waited.


Several minutes passed before Cody took a breath to speak.  “When I got home tonight…I walked in on her and Sabrina.”


‘Bitch.’  Tracy inwardly seethed.  “You walked in on them…”


“Kissing.”  Cody explained.


“Ah honey, I’m sorry.”  She turned to face her friend and squeezed her shoulder.  “What are you gonna do?”


“I don’t know…that’s the problem.  I can’t decide if I’m more angry or hurt.”


Tracy sat silently, giving her best friend a chance to continue.


“She said it was just a kiss and it didn’t mean anything.  But if it didn’t mean anything, why’d she kiss her in the first place?”  Cody looked sadly at Tracy.  “I don’t understand how someone that says they love you, could cheat on that person and then expect them to forgive.”


“I don’t have an answer, I’m sorry.”  ‘But I do have questions.’  She said to herself.  ‘Like, what was Sabrina doing there in the first place?  Have they been continuing their relationship all this time?’


“Maybe I should tell you everything that’s been going on.”  Cody broke into Tracy’s thoughts.  “Starting from the last time we had lunch.”


It took awhile, but Cody finally finished.  “Shit on a shingle.”  Tracy reverted to one of her father’s favorite expressions.  “I…I don’t know what to say.”


“Me either.”  Cody drained her second beer.  “But it’s a shame there’s not a lesbian soap opera on TV, I’m sure I could sell this to them.”  Cody wasn’t a drinker and two beers on top of being exhausted and not having eaten since breakfast, she had a fairly large buzz going.


“Come on.”  Tracy smiled in spite of everything.  “You’re sleeping in the guestroom.”  She left Cody in the room to get ready for bed while she headed to the kitchen for a bottle of water.


Cody changed into a sleep shirt she had left at her friend’s house many years ago when they use to go out for a night on the town every once in awhile.


“Here, you might want this in the middle of the night.”  She handed over the water.


“Thanks…for everything.”  Cody slid into bed and pulled the sheet up.


Tracy smiled.  “No need.  This is what friends do.”


“I know.”  Cody yawned.  The day was finally catching up with her.  “But thanks just the same.”


“Goodnight, Cody.  Try and get some sleep.  We’ll talk more tomorrow.”  Tracy closed the door and headed for her bedroom and Wren.




“Hell.”  Amanda said, dejectedly.  “What possessed me to think I could find her up here?  Especially in the dark.”  It was now after one in the morning and she was tired, frustrated and very worried that Cody wouldn’t listen whenever she did manage to find her.


Giving up for the night, she backtracked to find a motel.  She decided she‘d call Tracy in the morning to see if she might have heard from the missing woman.


Chapter Fourteen


“Morning.”  Cody headed for the mugs and coffee pot.


Wren smiled.  “Morning.  That’s about an hour old, I can make fresh if you can wait a few minutes.”


“This is fine.  Tracy go to work?”  She blew on the hot liquid and took a sip.


“Yes.  She said there were a couple of things she couldn’t put off, but she’d be done and home before lunch.”


“I don’t want her to take off work just to babysit me.”  Cody sat down at the kitchen table across from the dark brown haired woman.  “She tell you what happen?”


Wren hesitated for a second, wondering if it would sit well with Cody if she knew something so personal.  “Um, yeah, she did.”


“Good.”  She saw surprise in the grey eyes.  “I don’t want to be responsible for any insecurity between the two of you.”  She explained.  “I know Tracy cares very much for you, and you’re good for her.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen her this happy.”


Cody’s cell phone rang, interrupting any further conversation.  Checking the number, it wasn’t Amanda, and she wasn’t sure if she was disappointed or relieved.  The one message the blonde had left on her voice mail last night, Cody had erased without listening to.  She hadn’t been ready to listen to the excuses.




“Cody, its Rochelle, are you available?”


“Yeah, I am.”  Cody thought this might be what she needed to distance herself from her problems for a while.  “Where and when?”


“Not far from you actually, that’s why I called you first.  Mexico, the Guadalajara area was just hit with a 5.2 earthquake.  And with the hurricane hitting the east coast, most of their emergency personnel is there, so they gave us a call requesting a bit of assistance.”


The ‘us’ Rochelle was referring to was an organization established back in the 60’s that was made up of all kinds of trained rescue personnel, engineers and medical people that offered their time and expertise in all types of disasters all over the world.


“You need to get up to Miramar and they’ll fly you to the Military Air Base northwest of Guadalajara, where everybody will meet a Dr. Mendoza who will coordinating the operation and know where you’ll be needed.”


“Okay, give me a couple of hours to get some gear together and get up there.”  Cody was already walking back to the guestroom to get dressed.


“Sounds good, you’ll probably be one of the first ones there since you’re so close.”


“What’s going on?”  Wren asked when Cody came back into the kitchen.  “That’s adding insult to injury, what with the hurricane that just hit them.”  She said.


“Yeah, it is.  Will you explain to Tracy?  Tell her I’ll try to call tonight, but not to count on it.”


“Why don’t you call her while I get dressed, then I’ll give you a ride up to the Air Station.”


“I need to stop by the house and get a shower and some cloths and stuff.”


“It’s okay; I’m off today so I don’t have to be anywhere.”




Amanda woke up disoriented.  Finally remembering where she was and why, she felt like crying again.  Looking at her watch, she wasn’t surprised to see it was just past 10 am, since it had been daybreak by the time she had fallen asleep.


She hurriedly splashed water on her face and got dressed.  She was determined to find and talk to Cody today, even if it meant camping out on Tracy’s front porch.  She decided last night, not to call first and give Cody a warning in case she still didn’t want to talk to her.  Not returning her message was a dead giveaway that she was avoiding her.




Wren headed back to her girlfriend’s house, not looking forward to explaining Cody’s absence.  The tall woman had not been able to get past her best friend’s bulldog of a secretary.  Tracy was in a meeting and left instructions not to be disturbed.




It was after lunch when Tracy pulled into her driveway.  She got out of her car and glared at the blonde that also got out of the car that had been parked in front of the house.


“I need to talk to her…please.”  Amanda added when she saw the stony expression that greeted her.  There was no need to ask if Tracy knew what was going on, Cody’s bike was in the garage and her expression told Amanda the answer.  “I rang the bell, but no one answered.”


“Maybe she doesn’t want to talk to you?”  Tracy assumed that to be the case since she had expected Cody and Wren to be there.


“She probably doesn’t right now, but I have to know if she’s safe and I have to let her know that I never cheated on her and never would.  Please, Tracy, I know her bike’s here.”


“She came over last night.”  She supplied, to let Amanda know that Cody hadn’t been out alone.  “I’ll see if she wants to talk to you, but if she doesn’t, you need to leave and give her more time.”


Amanda thought about pressing the issue, but knew Tracy could have refused her outright.  “Okay.”


Tracy entered by way of the front door and called out to both women.  She was greeted by silence and quickly searched the house.  Puzzled by finding neither woman, she opened the door to tell Amanda when Wren’s car pulled into the drive.




Cody grabbed her duffle bag and headed towards a distinguished looking 50 something man.  “Dr. Mendoza?”


“Yes.  Dr. Lawson?”


“I answer to Cody a lot quicker than Dr. Lawson.”  She shook his hand.


“Very well, Cody.  And it’s Hugo.  Under the circumstances, I too feel casual is better.”  He guided her to a small non-descript building.


Cody dumped her bag inside the door and followed him to a large table that was covered with survey maps.  “I would be out inspecting myself, it I weren’t still recovering from knee surgery.”  He hooked his cane on the edge of the table.  “I’m embarrassed to say it is my own fault too; trying to play football…soccer, with men half my age.”  He got comfortable and Cody sat across from him.  “Well now, seeing as how the quake wasn’t a major one, thank God, we don’t believe there will be any damage to the area dams, but better safe than sorry.”


Cody leaned over the table looking at the maps.  “Where are the dams in relation to the epicenter?”


“Here, here,” he pointed to dams on the Lerma River and then to the epicenter, “and a reservoir here.  We are of course, most concerned with the dams.  The bridges and most buildings can be closed and can wait inspection.  But we don’t want dams collapsing and causing flooding on top of everything else.  One local team has already headed to the river and I’d like you to inspect the reservoir with one of your colleagues as soon as he gets here.”




“Where is she?” was asked by the two women, almost in unison.


“By now,” Wren looked at her watch, “in Mexico.  Hold up.”  She raised her hands to stop the barrage of questions before they started.  “Let’s go inside and I’ll explain.”




“Hi, I’m Cody.”  She introduced herself to the two other people that were waiting, like herself, for the rest of their party.


“I’m Tripp and this is my daughter Alison, who decided to come along in case she could help.


Cody shook hands with Tripp who was also an engineer and with Alison who looked to be in her early twenties.


Two other men joined them, Gil an older man that worked maintenance on the area dams and Tito, a young engineering student in Mexico City who had volunteered to help.


It took them, with all the detours, about an hour to reach the reservoir.  “Should we break apart?”  Gil asked as they stood atop the dam.


The three Americans looked at each other until it dawned on Cody what was being asked.  “Split up the inspection, yes, I think that’s a good idea, Gil.”


“Shall we start at the bottom and work our way up?”  Tripp looked to Cody for any objections.


She nodded.  “I’ll start inside, if you’ll take the outside.”




“But isn’t that dangerous?”  Amanda asked worriedly after Wren had explained Cody’s absence.


“I’m sure it can be, but she’s done this twice before and she’s always very careful.”  Tracy answered as she turned on the TV and searched to see if there was any news coverage of the quake.




Tito was leading the way with Cody and Alison bringing up the rear.  The young woman had slipped away before Tripp noticed and followed down the steep stairway.


“Are you studying to be an engineer like your dad?”  Cody asked as they made their way through a small dank passageway, made smaller by several large pipes running along the wall.


“No.”  Alison followed behind the tall woman.  “I’m about to start my second year of nursing school.  Um, should we be worried about the water in here?”  They had been walking through about an inch of water on the floor.


Cody looked back and grinned.  “Wishing you had followed your dad?”


“Only if you’re about to tell me this thing is coming down on my head.”  She grinned back.


“Believe me, if it was, I’d be running really fast way before now.  The water seems to be coming from a pipe joint back there that’s ruptured.  I haven’t found any structural damage yet.  Have you found anything, Tito?”




“Here’s something.”  Tracy turned the sound up.


“The 5.2 earthquake that hit at 7:02 this morning has caused minimal damage and so far only minor injuries have been reported.  Several aftershocks have been recorded, but none have been severe.”  The news announcer switched to a sports reporter for an update of the afternoon baseball scores.


“That doesn’t sound too bad.”  Wren said and the three women seemed to relax at once.


“Tonight, when she calls,” Amanda looked at Tracy, “please tell her I’ll be at home and I desperately need to talk to her.”




“N…no?  But…”


Tracy interrupted.  “You and I have a lot of talking to do, so you can plan on being here when she calls.”




“No, I have found nothing either.”  Tito said.  “Should we fix the leak or shut off the water flow?”


“Let’s get Gil down here and see what he thinks.”  Cody suggested as they turned to make their way back to the stairs.


Nobody was certain if they felt or heard the rumble first, but Cody closed the small distance between her and a frozen Alison, pushing her into a niche in the wall that was safer than standing in the passageway.


The violent upheaval lasted under 30 seconds, but for the three people trapped inside a concrete and steel structure that separated them from millions of gallons of water, it seemed like an eternity before the floor stopped shifting and the pieces of concrete quit raining down upon them.


Alison was scared to open her eyes, she was afraid she’d see a wall of water crashing down on her.  The realization that several seconds had past and she was still dry, reassured her, but she was grateful she had gone to the bathroom before they had left the base.  She took a deep breath and opened her eyes.  She had dropped her flashlight in her panic, but the afternoon sun was bright as it shone down through the stairwell.


“God.”  Alison shivered as she looked at the heap of twisted rubble that was once the metal stairs and sent a silent thank you heavenward that they had not been climbing them when it hit.


“Cody?  Tito?”  Somewhere in the debris were two people she needed to find.  Hearing a faint voice call her name, she responded, “Cody, is that you?”


“Yes.”  Came the answer in a stronger voice.


“Hang on and let me see if I can find the flashlight.”  She blocked the sun with her body when she tried to make her way back to Cody.  She knelt down searching through the rubble.  There wasn’t as much where she was, as there was back the way they had come.  Alison saw the flashing red locater light and moved several small chunks of concrete.  Hoping that the thing still worked, she pressed the button and was rewarded with a wide strong beam of light.  “Cody, where are you?”


“Over here.”  She raised her left arm, which wasn’t trapped, and waved.


“Oh shit.”  Alison whispered.  Cody had been knocked back down the passage and partially buried under chunks of concrete.


“I’m okay…I think.”  She let the young woman move the smaller pieces away.  “You need to find Tito, he was behind me when it started.”


“Okay, I’ll be right back to get the rest of this stuff moved.”


“Be careful, there’ll be aftershocks, probably a lot stronger than we’ve had.”  Cody warned.


“Um…yeah, I was afraid of that.”  She stood and cautiously picked her way down the passage, calling Tito.




“What do we have to talk about?”  Amanda was curious as to what Tracy would admit to about her ex-lover with her current lover sitting in the room.


“I’m not going to pussyfoot around because right now, I don’t give a rip about your feelings.”  She was standing in front of the slightly shorter woman with her hands on her hips and a frustrated expression gracing her face.  “You are being a complete and total fool.  And if you don’t wise up, you’re gonna lose Cody.”


“To you, you mean.”  Amanda stood her ground, refusing to be intimidated and no longer caring that Wren was there.


Tracy gave a sad laugh.  “I told her not long ago that you were jealous.  She had absolutely no idea that you felt that way.  Or why you even would.”  Tracy sighed.  “Cody is very naive in a lot of ways, Amanda.  She feels that if she loves someone, cheating isn’t a possibility, wouldn’t even consider it and expects the person that loves her to act the same way.”


Amanda was embarrassed at being laughed at and that her feeling had been so obvious to the woman she saw as a rival.  “What about you?”  She looked at Wren.  “Are you okay with them being together so much?  Or are you jealous too?”


“At first I was.  Cody is an attractive and intelligent woman.”  She smiled at her lover.  “And in spending time with them, it’s easy to see the love they have for each other.  But their not in love, and will probably never be lovers again, even if we weren’t in the picture.”


“How can you be so sure?”  Amanda was now more confused than angry.


Wren thought, then said, “Their like my brothers are with their friends.  Their pals, buddies…they watch the game, or go out drinking together, or go out ‘cruising girls’ as they call it.  My brothers that is, not Tracy and Cody; although they’ve probably done that a time or two.”  She smiled at the blush on her lovers face.  “I know if you had spent time with us, you would think the same way.”


Amanda sat down on the couch and buried her face in her hands.  “What am I gonna do?”  The question came out muffled.


“First of all…” Tracy was interrupted by Wren’s hand on her arm.


“Wait, turn the sound up.”  She saw the ‘Special Bulletin’ message on the TV screen.  Tracy grabbed the remote from the chair cushion where she had tossed it earlier and quickly hit the mute button.


“This is KXRT with a special report.  We just received information that a very strong aftershock has been recorded in the Guadalajara area and we’re going live to our reporter Benjamin Cash who has been on the scene since mid-day.  Benjamin, can you tell us what’s happening?”


The scene switched over to a tight shot of a blonde haired reporter.  “Well Martin, I’m not sure if this was an aftershock or maybe another earthquake, but it was a good bit stronger that the original, I’ve been told.”


“Yes Benjamin, it was a 6.6 on the Richter Scale.”  Martin the co-anchor interrupted with the information that had just been relayed to him through his earpiece.


“You can see from these shots,” the reporter motioned the cameraman to pull back and pan around the downtown area, “that the damage was certainly more pronounced.”


The camera picked up broken windows, crumbled building facades, people sitting injured and people wandering around seemingly in shock.  An emergency siren could be heard in the background slowly moving closer.


“We’re going to try to find someone in charge that will have more of an idea as to the damage and injuries from this latest development.  Back to you Martin.”


Wren took the remote from Tracy’s slack hand and muted the TV, which had gone to a commercial.


“How do we find out if she’s okay?  Who can we call?”  Amanda broke the silence.


“She is okay, she has to be.”  Tracy stated firmly.


Wren’s voice broke the silence that had descended.  “Call her.”


“Who?”  Amanda asked.


“Cody, call her cell phone, see if you can get through.”  Wren responded.  “It’s worth a shot.”


Chapter Fifteen


Alison found Tito; he was covered in debris and unconscious.  She made her way back to Cody.  “Let me see if I can get the rest of this off you.”


“You can’t lift it, it’s too heavy.”  She caught and held the young woman’s hand.  “It’s reinforced concrete and it’s got steel rods running through it.”  She explained.  “All these chunks are probably connected together.”


The larger pieces had Cody’s legs and right side pinned down.  The only visible injury was a small cut above and below her right eye.


“Alison…can you hear me, honey?”  A voice shouted from above.


“I’m here, dad.”  She answered as she moved to what was once the base of the stairs.  “I’m okay, but Cody and Tito are pinned under the concrete that fell.”


“Are they hurt?”  Tripp asked, then in a quieter voice, “That was probably a stupid question.”


“Tito’s unconscious and has a bad laceration on the back of his head.  I can’t get him to respond to me.  And I was just about to ask Cody if she could tell if she was injured.”


“My leg and my side, but I can’t tell if anything’s broken or not.”  Cody said.  “But it’s really starting to hurt.”  She grimaced.


Alison relayed the info.  “Dad, there could be internal damage; we need to get them to a hospital, quickly.”


“I was able to contact Mendoza, he’s sending help.  Gil’s tied off a safety line, I’m gonna come down, honey.”


Tripp released the line from his harness.  “I want you out of here.  Gil’s got this line hooked to a winch and can pull you up.”


“No, dad.  I’m not leaving them.  I might be able to help.  Besides, Cody saved me, she’s the only reason I’m not hurt…or worse.  And I won’t leave her down here in danger while I run to safety.”




“I’m still getting the ‘trying to locate customer’ message.”  Tracy pressed the end button and tossed her phone onto the couch in disgust.


“Try the land line.  Everybody’s probably trying to use their cell phones at the same time.”  Amanda suggested as she paced.


“Good idea.”  Tracy grudgingly admitted.  She dialed Cody’s number and held her breath waiting while the other two stared intently at her.  She gave them a thumbs up sign.  “It’s ringing.”




“It’s a phone ringing.”  Alison headed towards the sound.


“My cell phone.”  Cody said.  “I’m surprised it’s still working.”


“Found it.”  Alison said as she flipped it open.  “Hello.”


“Cody?  It’s Tracy.”  She didn’t think it was her friend’s voice but the connection was bad and she had the speakerphone on so Amanda and Wren could hear.


“Um no, my name’s Alison.  Cody’s here, she’s…hang on, she wants the phone.  It’s someone named Tracy.”  She explained.


“Hey.”  Cody said.


“Oh thank God.”  Tracy said when she heard the familiar voice.  “Amanda and Wren are here too.”


“We’ve been worried sick.”  Amanda added.  “What was that?”


“That was an aftershock and what was left of the metal stairway collapsing.”


“Where the hell are you?”  Tracy asked worriedly.


“This is Alison again.”  She had taken the phone from Cody.


“What’s going on?  Where’s Cody?”  Amanda’s voice revealed her nervousness.


“She was inspecting a dam when the second quake hit and she’s pinned under some concrete and stuff.”


“God…is she hurt?”  Amanda asked.


“Why aren’t you getting her out?”  Tracy yelled. Both questions came almost at the same time.


“Help is on the way.  We can’t tell about her injuries, but her leg and side are hurting her.  And she’s in a little more pain now; the last tremor shifted the rubble.”  Alison explained, hoping to calm the upset women.


“I’m coming down there.”  Tracy stated.


“We’re coming down there.”  Amanda corrected.


“Um, I don’t know if you can get here.  Hold on a minute, my dad wants to talk to you.”  She passed the phone over and moved to take his place beside the hurting woman.


“You should head for Mexico City, that’s probably about as close as you can get.”  He explained after introducing himself.  “I don’t know if they’ll take her to a hospital here or not.  Some of the injured might even be headed there.  Give me a number where I can reach you and I’ll call when I know more.  Hang on.  Honey, get me something to write on outta my pack.”


“Dad, I hear a helicopter.”  Alison handed him a small notebook and pen.


“The cavalry’s here.  Give me your number.”  He paused and copied down both women’s cell phone numbers.  “It might take you a while to get a flight, if they haven’t cancelled them all.”


“I know a pilot that can get us there.  We’ll expect a call from you later.”


The woman’s voice left on doubt in his mind that she would track him down if she didn’t hear from him.  And he was sure it wouldn’t be pleasant.




“Thanks, Frazer, I really appreciate this.”


“No problem.  My dad knows one of the high mucky-mucks in Mexico City, so he’s gonna radio me once he gets the okay for us to land.”  He taxied toward the runway awaiting clearance to takeoff.  “You know someone down there hit by the quake?”


“Cody’s down there.”  Tracy stated.  She was sitting up front next to Frazer.


“Cody…is she okay?”


“We…hope so.”  Tracy said quietly and glanced back at Amanda who was sitting in the seat behind Frazer, staring out the small window.  She was beginning to worry about her; she’d hardly said anything after hearing that Cody was hurt.




Tracy had tired to persuade Amanda to eat something once they had checked into a hotel, but she didn’t have much of an appetite either and couldn’t see forcing her to eat when Tracy herself, only picked at the food on her plate.


The room service tray had long since been placed in the hallway, outside their door.  Tracy paced while Amanda stood and stared out the window at the sinking sun.


“Did you mean what you said?”  The blonde refocused her eyes on the reflection in the glass when Tracy’s voice broke the long silence.  “That you’d never cheat on her.”


“Yes.”  Amanda held the questioning eyes.


“Then what was that kiss?  You don’t consider kissing you ex-lover cheating on your current lover?”  Tracy crossed her arms over her chest and glared at the back of the blonde head.


“I didn’t kiss Sabrina.”  Amanda slowly turned around, doing a little glaring of her own.  “She kissed me.  And,” she hurried on, stopping whatever Tracy had taken a breath to say, “no, that doesn’t make it okay.”  Her jealously and distrust of the woman in front of her faded and her shoulders sagged.  “She caught me by surprise.  I swear I had absolutely no idea that she thought she loved me.  It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.”


“You know you’re guilty of doing exactly what you’ve been afraid Cody was going to do.  Or at least to her, it looks like you have.”


“What do you mean?”  Amanda was puzzled.


“Gone back to you ex-lover.”  Tracy explained and saw the realization dawn in the green eyes.


“But…I haven’t.  I wouldn’t.  I love her, Tracy, you have to believe me.”  She said desperately.


Tracy stared at the distraught woman for a short time.  “For some reason, I do believe you.  And…” The phone ringing interrupted.


“Okay, we’re heading there now.”  She hung up.  “She’s being air lifted to one of the hospitals here.”


“It’s about damn time.  How is she?”  Amanda asked.  She had turned back to the darkness beyond the window during the call.


“He didn’t elaborate on her injuries, but said she never lost consciousness and according to the medics, her blood pressure is good and her pulse is strong.”  She grabbed her purse.  “Let’s go.  It’ll probably take awhile to get a taxi and get through this madhouse.”




Alison had been separated from Cody when the helicopter landed and the medical staff had taken over.  She was shown the surgical waiting area, one of the staff assuring her that was where the patient would be headed after being evaluated.


A young dark haired woman was sitting alone among the groups of family and friends.  She resembled the description Tito had given of his girlfriend, when they had talked on the way to the dam.  Taking a chance, Alison made her way over to her, asking if she was here for Tito.  He had been taken out first and she learned that he was already in surgery.


“Yes.”  The woman answered and turned dark puzzled eyes to the American woman.


“I’m Alison, I was with Tito and the engineer when the second quake hit.”  She sat down beside the woman.  “How’s he doing?”


“I am Belinda.  I do not know: I am still waiting to hear.”


Alison learned that his family, being in southern Mexico, had not been able to get there yet.




Amanda and Tracy fought through the chaos that was the emergency area of the hospital to locate an information desk, which informed them of Cody’s whereabouts but not her condition.


Finding the waiting room located on the surgical floor, both women stopped at the entrance to the room and surveyed the groups of people.  Locking eyes with the only other obviously American in the room, they went through the ‘I think you’re probably the person I was told to look for, but I’m not completely sure’ ritual.


Alison stood up and when to the two women.  “Are you here for Cody?”


“Yes, I’m Tracy and this is Amanda.  Do you know anything yet?”


“No.  All I was told was, she was taken into surgery about a half hour ago and that it could be an hour or more depending on what else they found.”


“Why surgery?”  Amanda asked after they sat down and were introduced to Belinda and told about Tito.


“You know those steel rod thingy’s that run through concrete?”  Both women nodded.  “Well, when they were moving the debris that fell on her they found that two of them had gone through her leg and one had pierced her side, so they have to remove those and fix whatever damage they did.”  Alison watched them both turn pale.  “She was still conscious when we landed and said to tell you not to worry.”


The voices in the waiting room quieted when a doctor, still in scrubs, appeared in the doorway.  “Anyone here for Tito Garcia?”


“I am.”  Belinda responded and the doctor walked over.  The voices started again, but the tone and volume were subdued.  He spoke to her in Spanish and Amanda, Tracy and Alison only recognizing a word here or there.


Belinda translated after the doctor left.  “They believe he is going to be fine.  The brain has some swelling, but the bone was not…” she paused, searching for the correct translation, “fractured.”


“That’s good news.”  Alison said.


“They are going to move him into the critical care unit and allow me to see him, then I must try to contact his familia.”  She stood.


“We wish him well.”  Tracy said.


“We’ll pray for him.”  Amanda added.


“Gracias and I will for your friend also.”  Belinda said as she left.


A little while later, a man stood in the doorway and Alison sat up in her chair and waved him over.  “Dad, you made good time.”


He sat down beside his daughter and introduced himself.  “I’m Tripp and you must be Tracy and Amanda.”


“I’m Tracy.”  She shook his hand.


“That means you must be Amanda.”  He extended his hand to her also before he sat next to his daughter.  “No news yet?”


“Not about Cody yet.”  Alison relayed the good news about Tito.


Time past slowly as they watched the same scene play out many times.  A doctor would appear, ask for family/friends, speak with them and depart; leaving the people they talked with feeling relief or sorrow.


It was over an hour later when a tall woman appeared asking if someone was here for Cody Lawson.


“Here.”  Amanda said, nervously wiping her hands on her thighs, as the doctor made her way over.


“I’m Dr. Aznar.  Cody came though surgery fine.  She had no internal injuries, just some bruising.  She was lucky; the puncture wound in her side did no major damage.  The leg injury was by far the most severe, with a break to the femur on which we inserted two pins and repaired the tares to the muscles.  It’s going to take awhile before she’ll be able to get around without help, but she’s going to be okay.  Any questions?”


“When can we she her?”  Tracy asked.  The relief she felt was mirrored by Amanda’s expression.


“She’ll be in recovery for awhile, so you might want to wait until we get her to ICU.  She might even be awake for a few minutes at that point.  ICU is just a precaution,” the doctor explained, “she’ll more than likely be in a standard room in 24 to 48 hours.”


Chapter Sixteen


Cody was semi-conscious and not very coherent, as Alison and Tripp snuck in with Tracy and Amanda.  Father and daughter left after a few minutes of get-well wishes, leaving the two women with the patient.  Cody fell back asleep fairly quickly and not long after, one of the nurses made them leave, explaining to the complaining women that the patient would most likely sleep through the night.


It was late when they finally made it back to their hotel.  “I don’t know about you, but my stomach thinks my throats been cut.  Do you want a sandwich or something?”  Tracy asked.  Hunger pains had kicked in not long after learning that Cody was okay.


“Yeah, I guess I’d better eat something so my stomach doesn’t keep you awake.  Thanks.”  Amanda sat down on one of the chairs and waited for Tracy to finish with the order.  “I should also thank you for making this easier on me than you probably want to.  I know you don’t like me very much.”


Tracy turned around to face the bowed blonde head that seemed to find something very interesting to study on the floor.  “I don’t dislike you, Amanda.  Hell, I don’t know you; you’ve never given me a chance to.  What I don’t like is the way you’ve hurt my best friend.  You did make her happy though, in the beginning.  Happier than she’s been in a long time.”


“I just pray I can make it right again.”  Amanda looked into the hazel eyes starring at her.


“What about children?  You know now that Cody was serious about not becoming a parent.  If you still want to have a baby, it might be best if you walk away now.”


“I’ve done a lot of thinking in the past day and a half.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d convinced myself that a baby would keep us together, and that’s why I was so set on starting a family.”


“So, you’re saying now you don’t want children.”


“I’m saying that Cody means more to me than anything.  And if that means no children, then that’s okay with me.”


Tracy tilted her head and studied the woman sitting before her.  Throughout most of the day, she had looked broken and defeated, now Tracy could see the honesty in her eyes and expression.  “I believe you.”  A simple statement, but one she believed in her heart, was true.


Amanda released the breath she had been holding, it had become very important what this woman, whom she had thought of as her rival not so long ago, thought of her.  “Thank you.”




Over the next several days, Tracy and Amanda had talked more and started to become the friends that Cody had wanted them to be.  Their days and early evening were spent at the hospital with Cody in Mexico City.


When Cody had been transferred back home to San Diego, Amanda had found it difficult to find time alone with her.  She knew they both were putting off the inevitable, but there were hard feelings that needed to be aired out and explained.


It was a couple of days before the doctor had promised to release Cody when Amanda walked into the hospital room to find the patient alone.  “Hi, how are you feeling?”


Cody was sitting up in the hospital bed with an untouched dinner tray in front of her.  “Okay…past ready to get out of here.”


“Hmm, I bet you are.  I went ahead and brought you a pair of sweatpants and t-shirt to wear home.”  Amanda nervously fiddled with the bag.  “I know we need to talk…I need to explain some things…”


“Look, Amanda, you’ve been really great about being here for me, but I’d rather not drag this out…I mean if you want to be with Sabrina.”


“No.”  Amanda looked into blue eyes and said forcefully, “I don’t want to be with her, I never did.  She completely surprised me when she kissed me.  Maybe I should have seen it coming; she does have a habit of going after unavailable women.  I think that’s why she all of a sudden convinced herself she’d fallen in love with me.”  Green eyes starred intently into blue.


Cody studied Amanda much like Tracy had in the room in Mexico City.  “I believe you.”


“Thank God.”  Amanda breathed a sigh of relief and sank into the chair.


“But there’s still the problem of children and,” she held up her hand to stop the interruption, “I have a problem with being able to trust you.”


“But…you said you believed me.”


“Not about the kiss.  If I’d thought you had cheated on me, you’d have been out the door in a heartbeat.  I knew she had been after you, but deep down my heart was pretty sure you wouldn’t have an affair.  I just had to think about it for awhile.”  Cody looked into the fearful eyes of the person she loved and spared a minute to wonder which one of them was more scared of losing the other.  “You went behind my back after I’d told you how I felt about kids.  That doesn’t set a great foundation for trust.”


“I know.”  Amanda had tears in her eyes that as yet, hadn’t started to fall.  “I’ll earn it again, if you’ll give me a chance.”


“What about six months or a year from now?  What if you change your mind again and decide you do want a family?  What if you grow to hate me when you look at a woman with a baby and realize I’m responsible for making you give up something you wanted?”


“You’re the only family I need or want.  Not knowing if I had lost you when you were hurt, taught me that.  I let my jealousy take over and convinced myself a child would bind us together.”  Amanda explained.


Cody looked down at her hands that were nervously working the sheet that covered her, and asked the one question she had been scared to ask.  “Are you pregnant?”


“I…I don’t know.  The home test was negative.”  She hurriedly said, then reluctantly admitted, “But I really didn’t wait long enough before doing it.”  She looked away from the intense gaze that stared at her.  “I’ve been a little…scared to go to the doctor to be tested.”


“I guess we should’ve had enough sense to talk about all this before.”


“We hadn’t planned on me moving in with you either; I was only going to stay until I found a place.  But you know the old joke, ‘What do lesbians bring on the second date’.  I just had everything shipped instead of using a U-Haul.”


Cody leaned her head back against the pillow and starred at the ceiling.  “Did we move too fast?”


“Wha…what are you saying?”  Amanda asked; her eyes wide and face pale.


“Maybe we should have taken more time to get to know the people we’ve become, before we jumped into living together.”  Cody’s eyes watered and she blinked rapidly.


“Are you saying you don’t love me?”  The tears that had been threatening to fall now did.


“No…I love you, Amanda.  That’s why this hurts so much.”  Cody sniffed.


“You want me to leave, don’t you?  Because I might be pregnant…”


“No.”  Cody interrupted.  “I’d never make you go through that alone.”


“For the first nine months you mean.  But for the next 18 years, I’d be on my own.”


“I’m sorry.”  The tears continued down Cody’s cheeks.  “I…I just can’t.”


“I know…I’m sorry too.”  Amanda placed her hand over Cody’s.  “You tried to tell me and I didn’t listen.  I was just scared that I was going to lose you and so sure that this would be the way to keep that from happening.”


Cody took the tissue Amanda held out for her.  “I should have told you everything to start with.”


“And I should have taken you at your word and not assumed I knew best.  My mom always told me I was headstrong.”  Her tears now flowed freely.  “Maybe we don’t really know each other.”


The stark reality of the statement sank in and scared them both.




Tracy found Cody in her favorite room, starring out at the sun starting to set over the vast ocean.  A lot had happened to her friend in the six weeks since the earthquake.  They discovered Amanda wasn’t pregnant; she found an apartment and moved out. 


“I thought I’d find you here.”  She pushed off the doorframe she had been leaning against studying the grumpy woman.


Cody turned in her direction and managed a small smile.  “Hey.”


“Still haven’t heard from her?”  Tracy asked as she plopped down at the other end of the couch and turned sideways to face Cody.


“Not since she called to tell me she was settled in.”  That had been two weeks ago and Cody had picked up the phone at least a dozen times, but hung up before she had completed the number.


“Explain to me again, why you don’t call her.  Cause I gotta tell you, it doesn’t make a whole helluva lot of sense.”


Cody rubbed her injured leg and sighed deeply.  Instead of answering, she quoted a poem.


Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much lit me avow—

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if Hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.


I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of golden sand—

How few! Yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep—while I weep!

O God! Can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

O God! Can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?


Cody finished and fell silent.


Tracy glared at the brooding woman.  She wasn’t about to let it go that easily and badgered her again.  “Explain to me again why she moved out.”


Cody glared.  “You know we agreed that we need time to really get to know each other as adults.  We both jumped into this with feelings that we had for each other fifteen years ago.”  She stood up and limped over the windows.  “Now I’m wondering just why we thought this was a good idea.”


“Call her.”  Tracy simply stated.  She had said the same thing to another brooding woman not 30 minutes ago, when she had barged in on Amanda who had been moping around, much like her best friend was doing now.


“Yeah, I’ve thought of that.  But what if…she’s changed her mind.”


‘Same damn argument Amanda had used.’  “What if she hasn’t?”  The ringing of Cody’s cell phone interrupted any answer Cody might have.




“Hello, Cody Lawson, my name is Amanda Norris.  You may not remember but we went to high school together.  I now live in San Diego and was wondering if you wanted to have dinner with me and maybe we could get to know one another.”


A huge smile spread across Cody’s face.  “Of course I remember you Ms Norris.  What brings you to San Diego?”


Tracy grinned as she shut the front door behind her and leaned back against it.  “Mission accomplished.”  She said to the bird that was sitting in its nest in a bush by the porch, turning its head regarding her, as its mate joined it.  “I do believe they’re going to be okay, if they work at it.”  She grinned as she made her way down the steps, to her car and home.


The End


Note: My apologies to Mexico and her people.  I wouldn’t wish these catastrophes on anyone.

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