For thirteen long years, Shane has carried around a picture of a boy, which he found at the bottom of a mall fountain. During that time, Shane has had a few relationships and some serious boyfriends, but it’s the mysterious boy in the photo that has really carried him through some of his toughest times. When Shane attends a baby shower for a friend, he is shocked to see the boy turned man standing across the room. As they converse and get to know one another, Shane realizes how intimately they are actually connected—it’s like a six degrees of separation that ultimately will lead to Shane making the hardest decision in his life and setting loose something he cherishes.
Jay Bell has released a truly lovely short story entitled The Boy at the Bottom of the Fountain. Beginning thirteen years prior and interweaving three lives that all, by fate’s hand, have magically interconnected, the story maps those lives and brings them together for what is admittedly the sweetest yet saddest of love stories. Since this is not a ménage love triangle, someone is going to lose and that person must be willing to sacrifice so much in order for the other two to be happy and there, in a nutshell, you have a sweet, romantic ending while also having a real sense of loss. However, the way in which Jay Bell crafts this tale allows for lots of hope, even as you realize that one of these men will go away empty handed and a bit heart sore.
I really enjoyed how the author interwove these three lives and allowed each one of them to tell their story. Instead of this only being Shane’s moment, we had a real glimpse into how Ryder and Luke coped with a bittersweet moment in their past that neither ever really recovered from at all. There was so much emotion and love in this small package of a story and I raced through the reading of it, fascinated and drawn fully into these three lives.
The Boy at the Bottom of the Fountain reminds us that it is never too late to rekindle a relationship and recapture the moment you first fell in love. It is a story of second chances and hope—lovely to the core.