“Stop looking at your phone.”  “Oh shit - didn’t even realize I was doing it again,” Mel said, slipping her phone back into her purse. Shannon took a long drag on her cigarette while Mel looked around at the crowd, avoiding Shannon’s accusing gaze.  Groups of people were clustered around tables, standing together by brick planters full of flowers, or leaning up against the ornate, black gate that enclosed the entire patio. The patio blended with the open-air restaurant, Diaz, so that any clear distinction of inside and outside was blurred - Mel could smell the fragrant flowers and the fresh food anywhere she went. Within the restaurant a live band was playing to a full dance floor, their music filling the air as much as the flowers and food. Looking up, Mel noticed strands of white lights stretched from the top of the perimeter gate to the restaurant’s overhang.  “I like these lights overtop of us. They look like

fireflies,” Mel said, her eyes jumping from one light to another. They swayed gently as a breeze passed by, as if they were also moving to the music. She smiled, turning back toward Shannon. “You remember my grandparents house? Sitting on their back porch watching the fireflies come out? I used to love that. They would come right up to us.” “I remember,” Shannon said. “We’d capture them in glass jars. I thought it would be fun to keep them as pets. It would have been really cool having firefly lanterns in our bedrooms. You always made us let them go before going back inside.”  “I just felt bad. Even as a kid I knew they’re meant to be free,” Mel laughed. “Imagine that … letting something go to be free,” Shannon said.  Mel nodded, knowing the jab was deserved. They were like sisters, and Mel knew that while Shannon could be pushy, she was never mean-spirited. Shannon had her…