It starts like this. The guests begin to gather. The gathering grows into a circle of well-wishers. Friends and strangers. Meeting. Greeting. One question leading to another. And another, as small talk swells into more small talk. After a while, someone speaks the name of a person from your past. A person you remember. Vaguely. Your childhood neighbor. A person who, you recall, had a father who occasionally strolled out into his back yard, across from your back yard, dressed only in an undershirt and boxer shorts. A chain link fence divided you from him.
And her. His daughter. The person you never took the time to know. The person who you discover, quite by chance, died some years ago. Suddenly.
bonfire flames curling into darkness