from Wild Thoughts: A Floral Guide to Feeling by Garrett Huon

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The gazebo at the park was barely ten feet across, never mind the fact that the benches had been scratched so thoroughly they were impossible to sit on without getting a splinter. It didn’t matter anyway because Caspar always took his spot leaning against the second beam on the right. That way he could see when Louis came running across the field. He was always first to arrive.

And Louis never sat if he could help it. He jumped and shuffled and paced even when there were free, comfortable places to sit. There was even a worn stripe across the floor of the gazebo as evidence of how often they were here. It was what he did as soon as he stepped onto the wood without a word.

“That’s it then?” Caspar asked. “You’re leaving.”

Louis didn’t bother to look at him, only began walking faster. “Pretty much. The paperwork will be done by next week.”

It didn’t make Caspar angry or upset. He was more resigned than anything else. This divorce was inevitable. He’d called it a year ago, not that he’d tell Louis that, but it didn’t change the fact that this would probably be their last night at the gazebo. He didn’t want to waste it throwing a tantrum. Not when Louis was so obviously falling apart.

“Where are you going?”

“My mom’s taking us a few hours south.”

“Well, that’s not too bad.”

Louis stopped walking to look at him. He had a look that meant he disagreed but didn’t want to say anything, where he squinted his eyes and pursed his lips. “Yeah, not too bad. It’s still going to suck though.”

It was easy for Caspar then to push up from his place and wrap his arms around Louis. Even easier to lay his chin on his shoulder and hold him. They stood there surrounded by each other as the blue sky turned orange, a summer evening descending upon them. When the fireflies began to glow, he felt the silent promise between the two of them.

“We still have a week.”

“Yeah. One more week.”