I climb back into the pickup and drive forward parking parallel to the barn. I know you can't change time and space. I know that David is at a loss over Brenda, and that he will jump. But I can prevent him from jumping on this side of the barn. I noticed when I pulled into the yard there was a huge pile of hay on the back side of the barn, and unless he wants to land on my truck, he'll jump off the other side.
I climb from the truck and back away until I can see David scamper up the slope until he is at the peak of the barn. From there I know he can't see the hay mound. My eighteen year old self is still yelling at him to come down. But I know he won't. He leaped years ago and he will leap again today.
David stands on the peak of the roof, his arms out-stretched, the setting sun behind him. In silhouette he looks like the cross of Christ. Then, without warning, he propells himself down the roof.
My eighteen year old self and I break into a run. Rounding the corner we were in time to see David, buried up to his chest, trying to stand. I stop and watch my younger self fight his way through the hay to his friend. They imbrace, both sobbing. I turn and walk back to my pickup. What has just happened I no more understand than space flight, but David is alive, and I have to move on.