Henry froze, his face going stoically solid. Time ground nearly to a halt. Martin just huffed and returned his gaze to the darkness before them.
“It doesn’t have to be that way,” Henry protested.
“Not about s’posed to be, or what we want it to be. It just is.”
“But…” Henry tried to protest, the pebble speaking back to the ocean wave with desperate indignation.
“Boy,” Martin chided, his voice a booming baritone to rival the bullfrogs’ croaking, “the madness is gonna’ come, sooner or later. It just does.”
“Maybe it won’t. David says…” Again Henry paused. Somehow quoting his boyfriend didn’t seem like the best way to restore a calm to the discussion. Martin did not return his gaze to his son. The pair breathed in the muggy air, tasting the night and the possibilities within it. Time eased back to pace in tempo with a chorus of crickets.
“That David,” Martin said, paused to swat a mosquito, then finished with an air of indifference, “He ain’t half bad of a kid. I like him.”