She met him outside a taqueria wafting tortilla cooked fresh and earthy into the December air. It was the shortest day of the year, which she might’ve read as a sign, just like the crystals she wore for protection or the the stars she’d later query — a sign that he, too, would be only a short light. She wasn’t superstitious, but she knew some paths were best crossed with an X, a prayer, and forgetfulness. Never fall in love, especially with a stranger on the shortest day of the year. He held a styrofoam cup to her lips, and she drank even though the cup was dry. A cursed simulacrum of the act, for shortest days have the longest nights.