They walked, as they often did, around a park near their home at night. At the question, Jerome smiled and looked up at the sky.
Tears streamed from his eyes as he spoke.
"What about it?"
"Well Earth is... about 4.5 billion years old. Modern humans have existed for maybe 200,000 years.
She reached up to his cheek, brushed away a tear.
"But then, Jer, if our lives are so small, what's the point of it all. Why get up in the morning? Why live?"
"Even though I am nothing more than a gasp...
By now they had sat on a park bench, both admiring the glittering heavens above.
The significance of the subtle shift in his expression as she spoke didn't occur to her until much later, the night after she barged, unannounced, into his dorm room.