He found her in the garden, lying flat on her back among the long stems of the daisies, face to the sun, eyes closed.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
He sat down next to her and looked at her face, so serene, unlined. She still hadn't moved. The freckles across her nose would deepen with the sun and her cheeks would turn rosy soon, if she didn't leave the sun.
"What are you doing?" he whispered.
"Yes. I'm being. Sometimes I feel like I'm just not anything. And today...this sun? It reminds me that I'm something. So I'm being. Come on, just try it."
He expected her to open one eye, or maybe both eyes, and he'd see the mirth that lay inside. But she didn't bother to look at him. So he glanced around the garden. The wind ruffled the leaves of the Japanese maple tree to his left and an orange butterfly danced across the phlox. Aside from that insect, though, they were alone. Had anyone even been in the vicinity they'd see two kids laying in the sunshine.
He spread the length of his body next to hers, being careful to leave a couple of inches of room. But as he lay his head back against the heated grass, and the warmth of the sunshine seeped into his skin, he realized that most of the heat he felt actually radiated from her. He shot a careful glance her way. This warmth, this comfort: he could get used to this feeling.
"Close your eyes," she said, her tone impatient.
"How did you know they were still open?"
"I just did."
He didn't know how she knew, but she was right. He closed his eyes and concentrated again on the warmth. The sounds of the garden. The whir of the lawn mower up the street and the tinkle of the bird bath. He heard a trill of a bird he couldn’t recognize and the soft purr as she breathed. He'd come to find her because he needed something from her. But what? He couldn’t remember now and this…well maybe this is what he needed. To just be.