The old man handed him a foil wrapped Swisher, puffing away at his own from between grey teeth.
“I’m not supposed to smoke,” the boy said. He took the cigar anyway. They sat in two chairs facing off an open wooden deck. The evening was cool and dry. An electric stanchion stood between them, polluting the brittle night sky with its light.
“I used to bring your father out here,” said the old man. The boy expected more. Nothing came. He unwrapped his Swisher and held it out. The old man’s lighter trembled as it caught. The boy took a long drag and let the sweet smoke roll about his mouth. It tasted different without the bitter his friends always wrapped inside.
More silence followed and the boy glanced down at his watch. It was getting late. His mother would be back to pick him up soon. He would ask her not to bring him here anymore.
“Be patient.” The old man leaned over and tapped his leg. “They’re almost here.”
“Who’s that?” the boy shrugged.
“Friends of your father,” the old man nodded out toward the darkness beyond the deck. “Friends of ours.” Cigar still in hand he reached over to the stanchion and turned off the light.
In an instant the whole sky was alive with stars. So many more than the boy had ever noticed before. Clear, sparkling, constant, they watched him with an undeniable familiarity.
“Welcome home,” said the grandfather. The boy awaited a distant reply.