Marianne felt her heart as heavy in her chest as the sun looked in the sky. She shielded her eyes and looked one last time at what she was leaving behind.
“I shimmied up that pole when I was just ten,” she said. “My brother bet me a Baby Ruth I couldn’t do it.”
“You never were one to back down from a challenge.” Marion threaded his fingers between hers, pulling her around and facing her east. “It’s behind you now.”
“I rang the bell at the top.”
Marianne loosed his grip and wrapped her arms around him, burying her tears in his t-shirt. He held her like that, determined to stay quiet for as long as it took. When she lifted her head, an imprint of mascara’d eyelashes about nipple high remained on his T-shirt.
“Ready?” Marion said.
They walked along the track, her thumb tugging at his belt loop, his arm draped across her shoulder.
“M & M,” she said, smiling up at him.
“M & M,” he said, kissing the last tear from her cheek.
Marion adjusted his backpack, lifted his chin, and led them away.