“Do you really have to go?” Though her voice is not much more than a whisper, it still cracks on the word, “go.”
“I’ll be back,” he replies. “And, anyway, Autumn is coming to stay.”
“Right. For three whole months. Then what? I’ll be left in the cold.”
He turns to face her and she notices that the daisy hanging from his pocket has wilted, the few petals remaining faded from white to yellow.
“Look, I’ll be back in May. June at the latest. You know we go through this every year.”
She lets her head drop, giving it a slight shake. “I know, I know. But it’s so hard to let go. And May seems to take forever. I just wish it could be different.”
He smiles, gives her a hug, then tosses the pack over his shoulder. “May. I promise.”
“May.” A single tear finds its way down her cheek. “But I’m going to miss you, Summer...”