Philip knew exactly where he was, but he never felt like he was there. He set the watering can down, held one of his flowers. It was dying. There was enough sunlight, enough water. It should be doing fine. He thought maybe it was sick.

Kip was acting strange lately. His stories were all unfinished, self-deprecating works. The characters were all miserable. Philip worried about him. He wished they would talk more, or that what he said would be heard.

He wondered if maybe the flower needed to be outside. The weather had not been great this past week, but he brought the flowerpot outside anyway.

The last story Kip wrote was about two men who were deeply in love, but would never be together. Philip asked him, after he’d read it twice, why. It was never explained. The writer stormed off, tearing the pages up in a fury as he went. That was four days earlier, when the weather began to turn.

Inside the house, the telephone rang with importance, and Philip did not hear it.

Outside, the flower wilted.

It would have wilted anywhere.