CHICAGO: "... still processing it"
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I missed Casey. I believed there was still a chance at reconciliation. I got home from work at night and checked my answering machine, hoping she would leave a message.

My stomach swirled at each voice I heard on the recordings - Lainey, Gordon, my mom, my boss, a telemarketer, even Brad from Pittsburgh, who now lived in Virginia - but no Casey.

Finally, I couldn’t take it much longer. I wrote Casey a letter and told her the story of the time she gave me her coat to borrow on a 30-degree morning when I had to catch the shuttle to UMass for a lecture. It was a beautiful designer men’s peacoat she'd saved up her work-study money to buy in Boston, and I wasn't getting my winter coat until I went back to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving.

"I am indebted to you," I...

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