When I’m empty she feeds me little morsels of care and reminds me I was starving. I still sigh too much but she’s as patient with me as she’s ever been, always asking what’s wrong with actual concern. Once, I told her I was scared that love might have an expiration date, that I might wake up one day unknowingly disqualified from standing next to her. She took my hand, shook her head, and looked at me seriously. ‘Love doesn’t work that way,’ she said, ‘it’s got a longer shelf life than any ration and only spoils from mishandling.’

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