DEPARTED

At the séance, there was another couple who had lost a child. They were older than us, parental-looking, I guess. The wife had on a long red ribbon, tied into her hair and let fall all the way to the backs of her knees. I asked her if the ribbon was a special sign, and she simply started crying. We took our places at the table, each couple side by side. You never let go of my hand. Even as the medium asked us to stand and move around the room, even as the husband from the other couple began to shout animal sounds, even as the temperature dropped and grief cracked at the edges of our eyes—even then, you held my hand, tight, as if to let go would be to lose that last part of us.

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