Spence rose to his feet. I need some air. Yeah. I, um, got put on birth control.

A thousand coin. Almost twice the amount Bay left me.

We’re both quiet as we walk out into the deepmarket. I listen to the people laugh and talk, and I try to catch the sound of Atlantia breathing in the gaps.The two of us pass Cara’s stall. A new cluster of people has gathered around my mother’s ring.

We’ll get it back, True says. Don’t worry.I feel another needle of guilt. He doesn’t even know that I’m not trying to buy the ring, that I’m saving for an air tank instead.He doesn’t even know that I’m going to leave him.

A woman has bought the chance for her child to touch my mother’s ring. This makes me nervous. What if the child drops it? What if the mother is a crook and has another ring like it to palm and trade back?But then I see the girl touch the ring, reverence in her expression.

Maybe it’s not so bad that the ring is here for now, I say to True. It’s a way for the people to remember her.

As I say this to True, I realize that this might have been exactly what Bay intended.Funny how things we thought we couldn’t live without suddenly become superficial when faced with the truth.

The truth that we entered this world with nothing and left with the exact same sum.The only one who didn’t suffer the dreaded curse of pining for their past was Coconut.

She had sand for blood and wind for breath. She could swim before she could walk (not that a few stumbles could be called walking), she craved more and more solids, and my milk was drying up, unwanted.Unfortunately, her naps that’d allowed me time to fish or tend to our camp were few and far between as was the cooing and babbling. Her little vocabulary had transformed into a well-versed conversationalist.