Adam didn’t have any pets as a boy, though he loved animals almost to obsession. Butterflies were an early fascination; his mother once found a dozen fuzzy black, white, and orange caterpillars crawling around on leaves and sticks in a sticky mason jar. When she asked him about them, he said he had been hand-feeding them sugar water.
When Justine and Adam were together and alone, the quiet that lived between them was taut, warm, and expectant. But she was having lunch in town with Blake and the mine owner and his wife. Adam had seen the four of them leave in Blake’s glossy black Model T, dust billowing underneath the tires, growing smaller as it winded down the treeless tundra road. The day was unusually warm, so Blake had the windows down. Adam’s chest constricted a little when he saw Justine grab her floppy grey hat (the one with the guinea feather on the right) and lean in tightly into Blake as he drove.
We made triangles
and diamonds with our fingers,