An instant message window popped open while she worked, attracting no notice until a second message arrived a few moments later.

millerpond1987 (6:31:24 PM): hey sis

millerpond1987 (6:31:37 PM): hows it hangin

Sharon’s typing stopped. She groped for the glass of water at the desk’s edge, only to knock it to the floor. Her other hand hovered over the keyboard, unsteady.

That was Paul’s usual greeting—the lack of capitals that belied his degree in fine arts, the terrible pun he knew she hated that invariably accompanied all his communications, written or spoken. Even the font color and style matched.

It was almost enough to make Sharon forget that Paul had been dead for nearly six weeks now.