“Yep.” I nodded. I really didn’t appreciate the lack of communication between us, but I didn’t know how to fix it. “With Jack. I won’t be out too late. Cause of school in the morning.”

“Whatever,” Milo said noncommittally. There was no lecture or disapproval, and I sighed.

“Okay. I guess I’ll see you later.” I started walking towards the door, but he didn’t say anything, so I waited to leave until he responded. He grunted something that sounded vaguely like “bye,” but I figured that was the best I would get, and I headed outside.

Jack had driven the Jetta again, and I wondered how he decided which car to take. He was singing along very merrily with Kanye West to “Stronger,” and he barely seemed to notice me when I hopped into the car. We sat outside the apartment building until the song finished, and then he turned down the radio and grinned at me.

“So, I was thinking we would take a walk tonight,” Jack said brightly.

“Okay. Where?” The night was a bit chilly, but it wouldn’t be unbearable. He wore a hoodie and pants today, forgoing his normal tee shirt and shorts combo that seemed highly inappropriate for March.

“Loring Park.” He had started pulling away as soon as he said it.

The park was only about half a mile from where I lived, but because it was on the other side of the highway, it made it almost a necessity to drive to it. I-94 had split it in half, but it used to be connected to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, where they had that giant spoon with the cherry (Spoonbridge and Cherry) along with lots of other fancy little sculptures.

We ended up going to the actual Loring Park, without all the sculptures but with lots of paths and trees.

After he parked, I got out of the car and admired the stars shining brightly above us. They were usually hard to see, thanks to the city lights, but the cold, spring air made them stand out sharply.

I looked around for Orion, the only constellation I really know, but Jack started walking down a trail, so I followed him, vowing to search the skies later on.

“So you really have school tomorrow?” Jack asked grumpily once I caught up with him. He shoved his hands in his pockets and stared down at his Converse as he walked, while I tended to admire the scenery and the stars.

“Yeah,” I grimaced.

I had a whole paper due on the War of 1812, and I hadn’t done anything. In fact, the only thing I knew about the war was that it had happened in 1812. If Milo and I had been on better speaking terms, I’d probably go home and bug him about it until he just gave in and did it for me.

“So what time do you have to be home?” He kicked a stone with his foot, reminding me very much of a little boy who had just been told he’d have to go to bed early because he’d been bad.

“I don’t know. Before midnight, I guess.” That really wasn’t that much earlier than when I normally went home, but Jack sighed and grumbled something unintelligible. “What?”

“Nothing,” he mumbled, still looking at the ground.

“Did you have some big plans for tonight?” I asked, trying to figure out what had him so depressed. I was the one that had to get up at seven in the morning, not him.

“No. I just don’t like it when things are finite.” He sighed again, and then looked up at the sky.

“That’s kind of weird,” I said. Milo had a phobia of wet sand, and Jane hated the word kumquat (it sounded too perverse, even for her), but it was pretty strange to dislike anything that had a definite ending. “Everything ends.”

“I know. I mean, we don’t hang out forever anyway. It’s just…” He shook his head, and then stared off at the Basilica of St. Mary. It was this huge, beautiful cathedral, and we could just see the top of it, arched out into the sky above the trees. “Mae wanted to get married there.”

“What?” I asked, confused by his sudden topic change.

“My brother’s wife.” He nodded at the church. “But Ezra didn’t want to.”

“Why not?” It was a stunning piece of architecture, so I understood the urge to marry there. I personally wouldn’t want to, but most of the time, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to get married.

“They’re not Catholic, for one thing.” There was more to the story, but Jack seemed hesitant to tell me about it. Finally, he continued, “It just didn’t seem right. It was Mae’s second marriage. So they found something else, and it worked out better anyway.”

“How long have they been married?”

“I’m not really sure,” he shrugged.

Pulling my hoodie tighter around me, I shivered. Jack glanced over at me, and he didn’t seem even slightly bothered by the cold. Nothing really seemed to bother him, except my bedtime.

“Do you want my sweatshirt?” He started pulling on his sleeve, like he was going to take it off, but I held up my hand to stop him.

“No, I’m okay.” Since he had actually bothered to put on something warmer today, I wasn’t about to take it from him because I thought my jacket was ugly.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I insisted. Flipping up the hood over my head, I smiled up at him. “See? Fine.”

“If you say so.” Jack pulled on his sleeve, adjusting it back to normal. “Let me know if you change your mind.”

“I won’t.”

“I know,” Jack said, sounding a little exasperated. “You never change your mind about anything.”