“Do you think he’ll show this year?” Travis asked his brother as he flipped another steak. The meat popped and sizzled as the raw side made contact with the grill. Travis leaned back a little as the coals flared up, a little bit of fat dripping down into the embers. The sun was setting behind the elms, their shadows stretching out into the yard, ghosts in the Kentucky bluegrass.

“I don’t know if I even care at this point,” Ricky answered, finishing off his beer and grabbing two more from the cooler. He tossed one to Travis.

“You don’t mean that.” Travis closed the lid to the grill, pried the top off the bottle with an opener, took a sip. “Losing mom was hard on all of us, but especially him.”

“I know, but that doesn’t excuse what he did.”

Travis nodded to himself. “I suppose you’re right.” He raised his bottle. “To Mom.”

“To Mom.” Their bottles clinked and they each took a swig. Travis looked over to see tears flowing freely down his brother’s face. Ricky sniffled and wiped his nose. “Goddamn cancer.”

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