Around the corner, iron stairs descend to an atrium with several dining tables staggered across the room, fur throws draped across every other chair. An even larger fireplace takes up much of the length of the far wall. The rest is glass, and the view stretches out to the sage-colored sea and turquoise glaciers illuminated by a lighthouse in the distance. The air inside smells of smoke and shallots.
Now she simply let time pass, unable to move from the position she occupied before she had been told. As if she had the option of proceeding unchanged, as if Audrey could somehow preserve that world where Sophie was still alive, where Sophie had already lived an extra three full days after she was dead.
By evening, a German man would swear he had seen the woman in orange leave, walking quickly towards the train station where he had taken his wife, suddenly ill with a stomach ache; a Chinese couple would attest that she had gotten in a car with a strange man, kissed him and put her heels up on the dashboard; and a child would say he saw her, naked, in the trees.
The purple haze of Jupiter surrounds us in its cool-toned glow. Sparks suspended from the campfire atop our teeny tiny asteroid flicker into the air. Our own, defiant atmosphere. A passing asteroid narrowly misses us and I turn to Aaron, his smile bright against my flashlight. He’s pleased with himself. I can see why.
The sunlight is so blindingly white above us now that it seems blank, but I know that’s not true. I lift my hand toward the sky and suck the last of my ice cream through the bottom of the cone. The bright pastel covers a plain vanilla, but I can still taste the sunset.