Peanut Butter and Jelly Days / Bethanie Humphreys

Jenny picked up a twig and squished an ant with it. “Come on,” she said to Mike, and started down the trail without looking to see if he followed.

Mike pushed off the rock and grabbed his pack, looking back the way they’d come. Jenny’s jaw tightened when she caught his backward glance. “Quit worrying about the stupid dog. She’s fine.” He’d brought home a puppy the week after she’d miscarried. The squirmy thing was worse than cut flowers. She couldn’t throw it in the green waste like sunshiny daisies after a week of the petals curling into themselves.

He was giving his best hangdog face, but she didn’t look back. “I was just thinking we should’ve brought some PB&Js like we used to. You know, eat on the trail.”

“We can afford to eat out every once in a while now.” She kept moving, quickening her pace.

“I know,” he said. “More of a sentimental thing.”

But she didn’t hear the last part. Peanut butter and jelly, character lunchboxes, a thermos of tepid milk. She pictured him with an infant carrier strapped to his chest—and was secretly glad it would never fill the space between them.

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