We climbed up to the second story of the lighthouse on New Year’s Eve and dangled our toes over the edge of the balcony, sipping Diet Coke and Ginger Ale from aluminum cans instead of martinis from fancy hand-blown glasses. That was the way it had always been between us.

He looks at me for a long moment. His soft brown eyes take me back to the time when we were both a great deal younger. I feel his fingers intertwining with my own.

“Norah,” he says. “You know we would have never been any good together. You know that, don’t you?”

“I know,” I say, because I am the dutiful friend, and because this is what I am supposed to say, even though it may not be true.

He raises his Ginger Ale to the sky in a toast. “Here’s to you.”

“No,” I say, looking out at the ocean, and raising my own can in salute, not so much to him, but to the ocean and the whole general landscape. “Here’s to sunrises. Here’s to days on the beach. Here’s to good books, cozy days, and stormy nights. Here’s to life. Here’s to love.”

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