I climb down the trellis. There, in the Garretts’ driveway, is the Mustang, the shredded seats replaced by smooth brown leather, the front part painted a dazzling racing green.

“She’s beautiful,” I say.

“I wanted to wait till it was perfect, new paint job everywhere. Then I realized perfect could be too long.”

“No dancing hula girls yet,” I note.

“If you feel like dancing—or doing the hula—be my guest. Although the front seat is kinda cramped. You might have to go for the hood.”

I laugh. “And scratch that paint job? No way.”

“Come on.” He opens the side door with a flourish, ushering me in, then jumps in himself, vaulting easily over the driver’s-side door.

“Suave,” I say, laughing.

“Right, huh? I practiced. Key to avoid landing on the stick shift.”

I’m still laughing as he turns the key in the ignition and the car roars to life.

“She runs!”

“Of course,” Jase says smugly. “Buckle up. I’ve got something else to show you.”

The town is still and quiet as we ride through the streets, too early for stores to open, too early for Breakfast Ahoy to unfurl its awning. But the paper boys have already done their job.

We drive down the long shore road and wind up in the beach parking lot, near the Clam Shack, where we had our first date.

“Come on, Sam.”

I take Jase’s hand and we walk on the beach. The sand is cool, firm, and damp from the receding tide, but there is that shimmer of heat in the air that tells you it’s going to be a scorching day.

We walk out on the rocky path to the lighthouse. It’s still fairly dark, and Jase holds a steadying hand to my waist as we clamber over the huge crooked stones. When we get to the lighthouse, he pulls me toward the black enameled pipes that form the ladder that takes you to the roof.

“You first,” he says. “I’m right behind you.”

At the top, we duck into the room where the huge light faces the ocean, then climb out on the gently slanted roof. Jase looks at his watch. “In ten, nine, eight…”

“Is something going to blow up?” I ask.

“Shh. Perks of being a paperboy. I know exactly when this happens. Shh, Samantha. Watch.”

We lie back, hand in hand, look out over the ocean, and watch the sun rise over the roof of the world.