The couple were enjoying the late summer afternoon. A “long distance relationship” was going to be hard they were told. John was going off to university at the beginning of September, but the summer for now was theirs.
They spent the day picnicking, holding hands, and just “being them.”
“I hate that you have to go,” said Toni.
“I know Sweetie, but it’s only till Christmas. Besides this time next year you will be getting ready to come too,” he reminded the soon to be high-school-senior.
He stroked her long hair, and fiddled with one of her purple highlights as they walked along the trail.
She suddenly stopped in her tracks.
“Is that blood?” she exclaimed, looking at the dark red on the pavement before them.
“No. Look up a bit,” he comforted. “See all those berries?”
He gave her a comforting hug, and she relaxed.
“That’s a relief,” she said, as the resumed their stroll. “I had such terrible thoughts. They were really . . . ,” she trailed off.
There, in the long grass, just on the other side of the berry tree lay the body of the homeless man, his throat cut, staring up lifelessly before them.
[Apologies for the dark twist on a Sunday morning].