After the divorce, he traveled a lot, flying off to the corners of the world to avoid his part of it. To avoid her. Emily followed her around her house, asking her where her father was and what he was doing there. As much as she loved her daughter, the questions grew tiring and each "where's Daddy now" hurt a little more than the previous one. So she bought her a map, a large brightly colored map that she framed and hung on Emily's wall, and blue pushpins to track his progress.

Over the years, Emily added to it. It contained pins marking her mother's travels, marking her father's. Even though her daughters hadn't realized it yet, it became a timeline of her life. Pale green, because Emily didn't like olive, marks the places where she grew up and the parts of the world she saw on her own. Yellow pins, bright and cheerful, sit in the places where they went together. Orange - for where they all traveled as a family. Emily added new colors when they remarried, adding her stepparents and their pasts to the map. It's a bright coded family history told through a series of pushpins.

A collection of memories was growing on the deck. She added to it occasionally, when someone triggered something in her mind. But mostly, she was content to listen to them unravel the tangle of years. Sitting next to him, on a wooden bench at the edge of the deck, she found it hard to believe that she'd known him for twenty years. Over a third of her life had involved him in some form. Over a third of her life, and so much of that time had been spent in silence.

"It's a shame," she said quietly.

"What is?" he asked.

She looked up, startled. "Oh. I hadn't realized - I didn't mean to say that out loud."

He nudged her in her side with his elbow. "What's a shame?"

"Nothing." She shook her head and waved her hand. "Just thinking."

"I take it, it wasn't good."

"No," she said softly, "not good or bad, just.... I was thinking about us."

"Oh." He nodded and watched the light from the torches flicker over the trees and house. Through the window, he could see the television's shadows shift and reform on the ceiling. There was a pair of feet in one of the windows. They rocked back and forth, keeping time to the shadow's movements.

"Yeah," she agreed.

"It's been a long time," he said after a minute.

"Can you believe it?"

Shaking his head lightly, he said, "No." He looked around the deck, studying the people sitting on it. "When did we get so old?"

"I don't know," she said. She shrugged and looped her fingers around her knee. "Did you ever think things would end up this way?"

A hand appeared in the window and grabbed the foot, pulling it sideways. The accompanying shriek sifted through the screen, followed by echoing cries as more children joined in the melee. "Partially," he said, "I suppose."

"Partially?" she repeated.

He angled his body into a corner of the bench and faced her. She smiled at him, a corner of her mouth tilting up. The firelight moved in waves over the deck and her skin. He could feel his own mouth turn upwards in response to her smile.

Her hand reached up and her thumb brushed over his cheekbone. "Dust," she told him.

His fingers circled around her wrist, cuffing it in his hand. "I always thought I'd be here with you," he said.

Her mouth opened, then shut, and she looked away. "You are," she said lightly, studying the arm of the bench.

"No, I meant," he rushed to explain himself.

"I know what you meant," she interrupted, her attention drifting to her left hand caught in his. Their wedding bands no longer matched and the light refracted differently in them. "I understand."

He let go of her wrist and sat back.

"I think," she said. "I know we said this once before, but I think - I think I'll always be a little bit in love with you."

He nodded and exhaled slowly. "Me too."

She gave him a shaky smile and laughed a little, the sound catching in her throat. "No wonder Bill always looks so nervous if I mention you."

"Rachel acts the same way," he confided. He hooked his ankle over his knee and leaned back, stretching his arm across the back of the bench. "We could always prove them right and run away together."

"Where would we go?" She relaxed against the seat.

"We could buy that bungalow on the beach somewhere, live off the land."

"We could," she agreed.

"But," he said.

"I think I'm going to stick around here," she said, "and see what happens."

"That certainly sounds easier." He grinned. "Who knows? Maybe when we're both in retirement homes, I'll come in on my walker and sweep you off your feet."

"You never know." She laughed again, this time the laugh broke free, and patted his knee. Maybe someday, when they were old and their children were grown and their lives were different, the wind would shift and he would wander back in her direction. But someday was a long way away and it was only a whisper of a promise. "I should get the girls home if you want them awake for the trip tomorrow."

"I'll be by around ten, okay?"

"Sounds good to me." She stood up and stretched. Bending down, she kissed his cheek lightly. "I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow," he said quietly.

The radio switched songs and Bobby Darrin's voice eased on to the patio. She glanced in its direction, listening to him sing "Beyond the Sea." Cocking her head, she looked down at him again. "Remember this song?" she asked.

"Of course." He pushed himself off the bench and cupped her elbow, leading her to the house. The girls were lying on the floor, eyes half-closed, watching a movie. She nudged Emily awake and he picked up Audrey, following her through the good-byes and hugs and out to her car.

Her phone rang as she shut the car door. "Hello?" she answered.

He could tell by her face that it was Bill. She smiled at him and held up a finger. "I'm leaving now. Can I call you back? Okay." She hit the end button and looked up.

"I'll see you bright and early," she told him.

"Yes, ma'am." He held her car door open for her. "Drive carefully."

He waited until her car was gone before pulling his own cell phone out of his rental car. "Hello? Hi, Scott. How was the game?"

A bright yellow pin sits squarely on the island of Bermuda. On their honeymoon, they went on a cruise. One night in port, the ship had a cocktail hour on one of the decks. The sun was setting and the sky was a light pink that was fading slowly to blue and the first stars were just beginning to show on the horizon. A breeze made the tablecloths snap and flutter. Across the harbor, a lighthouse sat on the edge of the bay and its light flashed silver over the water.

She told him, as they stood side by side at the railing, watching the sailboats motor into the harbor, that she didn't want to leave. She snuggled into his side and listened as the brass band played a mix of oldies and standards. She told him that she wanted that moment to last beyond the night. But the next morning, when the sunlight filtered through the curtains, they woke up in the next port. Things - time, ships, people - had a way of moving on, and so, it seemed, did they.