Mike wasn't doing so well...
     









Mike clicked off the TV and said, "So do you feel like hanging out a bit longer? Or if you'd rather get going, I'll understand too."

"Well, how are you feeling?" I asked.

"Not so bad today," Mike sighed, his right hand gliding over the smoothness of his scalp as if still getting accustomed to it. "But if you want to get going, I'll understand. Whatever you're comfortable with is fine."

The tightness of my breathing must have betrayed me. As a career martial artist, Mike could predict an opponent's next move by his breathing. Mike knew what I was going to do even before I did.

"Well, maybe I should let you get some rest. I'm sure it's been a long day for you."

He smiled gracefully and put his arms around my shoulders, giving me as big a hug as he could manage. I hugged back silently, praying that Mike could read minds.

"Have a safe trip back to Michigan."

"Thanks, Mike," I said. "I hope you feel better soon.'"

And then I left.