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Seamus held his breath as the comet traveled upwards, leaving little sprinkles of light in its wake. Then, it exploded into a thousand speckles of white. He screamed and covered his ears in shock.
John tore his eyes away from the spectacle to look at Seamus, his brown furrowed with concern. “Are you ok?”
“I just – oh my god!” Seamus laughed. “It’s so loud! Fireworks are ridiculous!”
“I can’t believe you haven’t seen fireworks before,” John marveled, putting an arm around Seamus.
“Well, not a lot of 4th of July celebratin’ going on in ol Ireland,” Seamus noted. A trio of explosions went off and he gasped. “Oh it made a spiral thing!”
John smiled. He had a hard time deciding what to watch – the fireworks show or Seamus’s face. He had been smitten with that charming, shy boy who came to study at Harvard from a distant, green place. Every since John had spotted Seamus in the library, he’d been infatuated. When John heard that Seamus didn’t have any plans for the 4th of July, he insisted that he come with John for a picnic on the roof of his dad’s work building. They could see nearly every firework in the city of Boston.

And it was just Seamus and Jonathan, up on the roof, all by themselves. Seamus squeezed John’s hand tight and squealed. “I love this!”
John squeezed back. “I do too. Ah, look it made a heart!”
“It did!”

They snuggled close, watching the show. After the display wound down to just puffs of colored light, Seamus looked at Jonathan. Jonathan swallowed. They were so close. Jonathan gazed at Seamus’s handsome face, admiring his sweeping cheek bones and strong nose, and those light brown eyelashes that went on forever. He felt himself lean in toward Seamus as if pulled by a magnetic force. Their lips met, and a swell of happiness filled Jonathan from head to toe. He couldn’t remember a time in his adulthood or life when he’d felt the bliss of love so fully, or experienced a kiss that left him feeling like he could float.

They parted. Jonathan licked his lips. Seamus tasted like flag cake. Seamus was blushing hard. “That was my first kiss in America.”

Jonathan was about to respond, when a long whistling shriek caught their attention. They both looked up as a massive firework exploded in a shower of red, white, and blue. They both jumped at the noise.
In ainm Dé!!” Seamus shouted in surprise.
“Wow!” Jonathan said at the same time.

The finale left them both captivated and slack jawed as the pyrotechnicians let off everything they had left. When it was finally over, they could hear applause ring all over the city. Jonathan joined them, whooping and clapping.

Then, it was over. They gathered up their picnic, the roasted chicken and potato salad and green beans that Jonathan prepared had almost all been eaten. The two held hands as they rode the elevator down to the first floor.

On the sidewalk, Jonathan called a Lyft despite the price. They dawdled and talked until the car finally came. Seamus pouted after their goodnight kiss. “I had a lot of fun tonight, Jonathan.”
Jonathan glanced at the car, and at Seamus’s face. “Would you like to come back with me and stay the night?”
Seamus brightened. “You mean it, lad?”
Jonathan rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t want you to go,” he admitted.
For a moment, Seamus looked like he might cry. “Me neither.”

They got into the Lyft together, and went back to Jonathan’s place. They went on to make their own fireworks that night.

Captions are fictional. Happy 4th of July.


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