As I’m packing away my things, I find the engagement ring I bought. Suddenly I’m flooded with the plan, how I was going to take you to the bridge that overlooked the harbour, when the time was right. The many nights I spent lying next to you, working out what to say, what would be perfect, heart brimming over at the thought of our forever. The time was never right, and now all I have is this ring. I put it back in place, at the bottom of the box, in a tangle of earrings and necklaces.
Coffee with your mother at the table. She smiles, I smile, but we are speaking through a fog. Your father is behind us, adjusting the paintings on the wall carefully. I see lines that jump from one painting to the next, the thread of an untold story, and there and then I understand so much. What unfolds, for a moment, is beautiful. A ramshackle home made of twigs, buttons and shoelace. Crystal clarity. I smile, she smiles, he smiles.
You will arrive in a field. The field is empty. There is a barnhouse by the field. There are four bales of hay in the barnhouse. Move the bales into the field and arrange them in to a line directly down the middle of the field. When the sun is at its highest point, the shadows of the bales will converge.
Find the shovel in the barnhouse. Dig where the shadows meet. There is the body of a man buried thinly in the soil. Extract his silver tooth, and take an envelope from his left jacket pocket.
This is the ritual.