Summer Solstice is the meteorological start of summer. It’s time to enjoy vacations, great weather, pools, baseballs, and everything else that goes along with the favorite season of kids and most adults.
The longest day of the year had drifted without any of the events Ellis had keenly assumed would come to pass in celebration of summer solstice: no outdoor frivolities, tromping through the woods, barbequing, fishing – not even finding something to light on fire. Instead it was spent finishing as many projects as possible around the shop to prepare for a week-long vacation starting the following Monday, followed by a quiet night at home eating pulled pork sandwiches with a plethora of sides while sprawled out in bed watching action flicks on Keith’s laptop propped between them. It was arguably the quietest solstice Ellis had ever experienced since coming into puberty; in fact, it even rivaled his childhood in tameness.
But Keith was evidently very happy, because he grinned throughout dinner and let Ellis share bites of his sandwich and cuddle without complaint; he even dismissed Riggs’s whined begging without much annoyance, allowing him to sit beside the bed and eye their food in envious silence.
Daylight was slow to dim but when it finally did, Ellis hauled Keith outside to sprawl out in the grass with him and watch the first soft blue hues of night overtake the sunset, calling forth the first scattered glitter of stars. Riggs settled with his chin resting on his masters’ held hands, tail wagging lazily, as Ellis pointed out some of his favorite stars – constellations he made up on the spot, much to Keith’s amusement – and the preposterous stories of their origins.
They shared a beer and Keith named a star of his own, Shortcake, settled bright and content in the north, outshining all of its softer-lit brethren. And it was the star’s namesake that took Keith’s hand in his own and lead the way inside, turning out every light on the way so when they finally came together in Keith’s room, they were shrouded in darkness.