At some point, she stopped wearing the ring. I noticed when I came home from the library, helping her peel wax off the kitchen counter. When I asked, she told me that it had slipped off while she was swimming and sunk to the bottom of the lake. They searched for it, a gold glint in the mud and pebbles, but soon gave up.

It made sense that way; there were two things that she had been given by her mother and presumably her mother before that; two things that she managed to find wherever she went; the two things that she would eventually give to me, her eldest daughter: water and loss. Keep reading at

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