The sinister thwacking in the night turned out to be the cord to draw the blinds, tracing circles in the stale exhale of the AC unit. The self-portrait turned out as well as it could have. The drinks turned out to be a date after all. After all that time we spent together I still didn’t think I knew her at all. It turned out we weren’t in love. It turned out there isn’t a purgatory, according to the Catholics, according to my mom. The cough turned out to be cancer, returned. The last day of school came around sooner than I thought possible. Her last day was sooner than we all had expected. Her son would turn out just fine, we all said, as he cried silently in the first pew of the too-big chapel, in his too-big suit, a hand-me-down. I turned my face up towards the light, hoping for anything, anything. I turned out my pockets at security. I turned into stone. Emptied, I turned into crystal, lit from within, dim like the salt lamps they sell at museum gift shops, touted for healing properties but in truth just a desk-light that’s slowly eroding, leaving a film of white dust on your fingers when touched.

Tracy Fuad