Rituals

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The water was warmer than she expected. She had almost changed her mind about going in. The morning air had been cool when she’d stepped outside. The sun hadn’t even crested, but swimming in the lake made her feel close to Tom. It had been one of their rituals; morning swims, the other late-night popcorn and reading sessions. Mary tried to continue both but fifteen years of reading out loud to an empty room was too much sorrow. She still read but she forewent the popcorn and the words stayed inside her head. The sun lifted as Mary paddled out.

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