Until they weren't anymore.
I looked up from my handful of soggy fern. Jamie ambled out of the woods with a frown. I’d grown so used to seeing him scowl that for the briefest of moments, I couldn’t recall what his smile looked like.
“Can’t a girl get a moment alone on fifteen acres?” I muttered, shifting my body so that I was facing the lake and not him. “Everywhere I go, you’re there. Don’t you have summer school to teach?”
He stopped walking and stood about eight feet away. We both stared out at the rippling water. “I skipped teaching it this year. Figured this was more important. Little did I know…”
When Jamie’s words dropped off, I snapped, “What?”
He sighed. “Little did I know this was a set up.”
We sat in silence for a beat. I watched a jet skier down on the water getting one last run in before it was too dark. “Well, I had nothing to do with it. It was all Bree. I was as surprised as you were. So blame it on her.”
“She was sneaky.” Jamie sat down on the grass and propped his elbows on his knees. “The second to the last time I went to see her before she… you know. She told me that she was going to get us back together.”
My head snapped in his direction. “She what?”
He glanced at me, his green eyes tired. “She said she was going to work some magic, and make it happen. Her words, not mine. I assumed she was high on morphine.”
Looking away, I tried not to picture Bree in her last days, all frail and sallow in her bed. “She was. Otherwise she wouldn’t have asked Sue and Owen to do this.”
“Well, I’m here. And that’s what she wanted. I guess I’ve done my part.”
I swallowed. “You want a congratulatory plaque? Maybe one of those blue ribbons they used to hand out when we won the three-legged race?”
He laughed humorlessly. “Ah, there’s the drama I’ve come to expect. Definitely Brenda’s daughter.”
Without thinking about it, I reached down and grabbed a handful of dirt and pine needles. They hit the side of Jamie’s head before I even realized I launched it. “I’m not being dramatic.”