Nasty Things, Orchids

Boy Meets Girl
They have desynchronized, more than ever before. Solon is barely 18 when he meets Quiana in her 90s, which raises a few eyebrows and gets them run out of a few towns before they resign themselves to merely lying. She is his aged grandmother, which isn’t even a lie from a wide enough perspective, he her doting grandson. “The poor boy,” they say, the incurious townies in the yellow brick houses on the plains, “to carry so much responsibility so young.” Who cares what they think, honestly; they don’t know.

Boy Loses Girl
She dies in April, he buries her in May.

Boy Gets Girl Back Again
Solon ages. Past youth, past adulthood, past middle age, past retirement. He is himself 90 when Quiana appears again, fresh and blooming, male and newly bearded, leaning against the door of the greenhouse insolent with youth, a long lean torso in a nautical sweater. He twitches the rug tucked in around his legs and waves away his granddaughters irritably. “Come in, come in,” he snaps, “I’ve got a job for you.”

Quiana smiles.

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