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Chicago in November was cold and lonely. The leaves had fallen off the trees and a hard wind came off Lake Michigan. I’d been told that the water was the most uncharacteristic shade of blue I had ever seen, bluer than I could ever imagine, darker than the water in Miami, but I never saw it. The lake was grey as the clouds hung over the city, and as the wind picked up, the waves became stronger as they hit the shore. In college, Lainey called it “an angry lake, full of hate.”

Chicago was a beautiful city, and I looked out at the skyline every night from my tiny apartment in Andersonville. During the winter, I walked the streets of my neighborhood by myself, wrapped in my long blue overcoat, hiding behind the big mirrored Dior sunglasses Jamie bought me our second Christmas together, my...

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