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I understand how a word others use every day can become something whispered in the dark to soothe a wound that just won’t heal. I remember thinking I would never hear it spoken without unravelling a little, wondering if I would ever get to say it in the light. So I recognise the gift in this simple pronouncement, the promise of a beginning in this one word.

Each time I saw you, I felt like . . . I felt like I knew you a little bit better. I never talked to you but seeing you always smiling or laughing . . . or being peaceful . . .” He shook his head, and my heart spasmed. “There’s something about that . . . it drew me in, Calla. Fuck. I fell for you before you even knew my name.