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Dear Caroline,

Today was the last time I’ll kiss you or even touch you for however long you’re gone. Puerto Rico seems lifetimes away. I can’t imagine how much I’m going to miss you. And it’s only day 1.

I already miss the way you smell and the way you feel. I’m already walking around, looking at the evidence you’ve left behind. Proof that you’ve been here and that you will return. Your washcloth on the sink. Your sunflower seeds in the basket on your dresser. I’ve re-read the birthday card you gave me last night (a little early, but we were celebrating while we were together, rather than doing it today, my birthday, when you would leave) until I almost have your words memorized. It’s on my nightstand. Your beer in the fridge. The glasses in the cabinet. Small notes you’ve written and left them for me to find when I needed them most today. Your toothbrush, still in the packaging.

Like everything else here, we’re all starting the waiting game. Waiting for you to come back home to us.

Don’t hurry. Take all the time you need. We’ll all be right here.

Love,
Stacy

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