Fall has returned to Pine Street. Trees are edged with crimson and gold The first home football games are now in the win (or loss) column. Sunflowers, once straight and tall, lay prone in yards and alleys, toppled by the weight of their seed heads. Magpies circle above as quail scratch out a meal in the dirt, spring babies transformed into plump, chattering adults.
Franny’s question hangs in the crisp air, along with the scent of woodsmoke and ripening apples. Kassandra, mystified be her own fearful reaction to David, had only shrugged her response. David had put his comments about “summers long ago” down to “pure coincidence.” And no one else in Marilyn’s old living room that evening had offered any answers, or questions, of their own.
Once again, summer had separated the Pine Street friends, sending them off on work, travel, and other diversions. Kassandra took a full load of art classes, and keep an eye on the street during her shifts at the coffee shop. Allison had been called away shortly after the evening of Kassandra’s story, leaving to help her father recuperate from a sudden heart attack. She discovered this meant helping her mother, who was so shaken by seeing her husband as anything other than hale and hearty, she could not focus on his needs in recovery.
While Allison was with her parents, Leo house sat and worked on the many projects they’d started in the old green house. His own recovery complete, he rebuilt his strength rebuilding the back porch, preparing the double-hung windows, and installing a salvaged, solid-wood front door, painted a cheerful bright blue.
Douglas and David lived together in Marilyn’s house. Douglas made regular visits to the coffee shop, old dog Precious in tow, always visiting during Kassandra’s shifts. David seemed to disappear from Pine Street, although Douglas always answered “fine, busy,” when asked how David was.
Franny wrote. She rose early all summer long, writing for an hour or two in the peace and quiet of the morning. Her book was taking shape, and the glorious feeling of words pouring out almost made her forget about the mystery of David’s past, and connection (if any) with Kassandra.
Oh, and did we mention that Franny and Leo are now lovers?
Yes, love has come to Pine Street, too.