Justine told him to meet her at the iron gates.
Laurie wore his Sunday best and his sharpest shoes and he scrubbed at his skin with sand taken from the beach when the water from the well ran muddy from the summer rains. His mother pinned a wildflower on his lapel. Cap in hand he waited by the gilded entrance and paced back and forth, hoping beyond hope until the sun set and disappeared.
Justine met him in secret in the thicket the next week.
“Why didn’t you come?” Laurie asked as she wove his wildflowers into a necklace. Sometimes she didn’t like the look of one and would throw her work away to start afresh.
“But I did,” Justine replied noncommittally, her eyes angry and blue, “by the servant’s door.”