Without her, the house seemed empty and foreboding. The sun didn’t shine as brightly—the entire world seemed faded, as if it had been bleached.

Marshall looked out the second-story window and sighed. “Where are you?” he said.

The treeline at the edge of the yard undulated in the light summer breeze, answering the question with another.

“What am I supposed to do now?” Marshall asked. “I…I never thought I’d say this, even to myself, but I’m lost. And I don’t know if I can stand to lose you.”

Boughs rocked back and forth gently, as if nodding.