I open my eyes. The horizon is glazed with the gray haze of dawn. Everything is suffused in this half-light. The taste of metal blossoms inside my mouth, copper-like in its intensity. I swallow once and exhale but it lingers still, like an unwelcome guest. My breath hangs on the air for a second before disintegrating. Somehow, this makes me laugh. Yes, even now I can laugh. Even in the midst of my own descent.

All I have before me is a pile of stones, each one smoother and more iridescent than the last. All I have before me is this moment, its perfections and imperfections glittering with resolve. All I have is now. So I take this glittering, imperfect shard of now and hold it in my hand. I take this stone, and then that one, and yet another. Soon my pockets are laden with them. An impossible weight.

When my pockets are full to bursting, I take the first step. I take one last breath and then step further into water, sinking with the weight of lost dreams and lost hopes. Of lost everything. I close my eyes.

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