how wrong this was and yet somehow this moment, the rightness of it, the chance that through this I could still be right eclipsed everything.

I got bold.

“What,” I broke the silence, “Would you say is the likelihood we marry?”

He loved a question like this, a daring one. And this was the most daring thing I’d ever asked him. He thought for a moment.

“Thirty-five percent,” he said.

The number hung.

He extinguished a cigarette. The lawn was green and the table white.

“I love you,” I said, which I hadn’t actually said to him before.

“I know,” he replied.

He scooted his chair a bit closer to mine.

We kissed and kissed.

At some point he started to cry.

“I just am so sad inside,” he said, as if this explained anything.

“I know,” I lied.

We went inside and had brief sex one last time. We curled on the couch and watched Godzilla, the old one. I was very happy. The bugs had finally stopped chirring and that night was cool in the way that announces that next everything will be dead.