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Cindy had warned me that Jack was a little eccentric and a bit of a recluse. And I got that sense during our phone conversation. Before the introductions were done he interrupted me to explain that he would not be able to see me in person but he’d arrange for me to pick up his four pictures from Cindy. He told me that I was the only person on this planet who should have them and it was non-negotiable.

This was forty-five seconds into my relationship with Jack and I again wondered if I was intruding. But he calmed my concerns when I asked him about birds. He excitedly told me how he and Zoë had hiked for days to help a condor’s nest from falling off a tree. He even more emphatically recounted their numerous bird watching adventures in far away places. It’s easy to see these themes in the pictures he gave me. I felt honored that he and Zoë shared their memories with me.

I thought of Cindy outlining the Three Parakeets with her finger, and I wondered if there was more to the connection Zoë and Jack shared — more than just birds.