The woman wraps her arms around her fiance’s broad shoulders. “‘Once upon a time there was a girl and a guy. Always one of each. They fall in love, but there’s someone or something between them,'” says most stories.”

He stares at her, lips pressed thin.

She traces a heart across his chest. “We retell the same things over and over again. We like habits and routines and normal. But we fool ourselves. We try to hold our lives stable. Then everything shatters. Death and destruction invade our normal, repetitive lives.”

His finger twists her engagement ring, still on her hand. “So, what do we do?”

“Stop striving for normalcy. Stop pretending that things will stay the same forever.” She puts her ring on the beside table reluctantly.

“Can you do that?”

“No.”

“I’d leave this part out of the wedding vows.”

Fiction

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