It was our last night of summer before we went back to school. Carl, or Kingsworth as I prefer to refer to him, was captured in his usual state of aloofness while Sam blazed fearlessly before us. I was taciturn as expected. I like to think of myself as reflective, but no one else agrees. Anyway, Sam had taken us to an undisclosed and foreign location. Nothing but a hobo was going to stop her assault of the pavement.
I could only think about how we were leaving again. Kingsworth was to head back to Ohio on Friday and I to Nebraska the following morning. Sam would have a few weeks alone before she left as well. We had already said goodbye in our own ways. Kingsworth brought us mementos: a marble and a one pound British coin. The thought of Prescott, the fourth to our group, brought us to the pier where we gazed at stars and tossed sand into a melancholic lake. Sam had to have her way now.
We hopped a fence onto a gravel path to cross a wooden bridge. Sam just wanted to stop by before our real goal- a surprise she said. So, we went back to the road. Two lefts and a right later we were trespassing into a backyard. I nervously followed, but Sam didn't hold back. "Don't worry," Kingsworth said, "this must be the Mastersons." He was right of course. For all his randomness he is always stunningly accurate.
Sam sat on the back porch for Kevin to arrive barefoot and bearing scissors as a gift. We were awkwardly and briefly introduced before Sam tended to the real matter of the visit. There they were, our surprise. Late blooming Surprise Lilies, one stem for each of us. They were beautiful.
It was almost as if Sam knew all along. There was nothing better to commemorate our friendship. A Surprise Lily, our sudden relationship. Four strangers that just happened to meet. Four people that were meant to be. The bloom only happens for two weeks in August, but it's wonderful every year. The kind of pleasant surprise that lasts forever.
Thank you for everything. I love you all.