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I can’t help but think it looks so much like snow. I want to reach out and touch it but I don’t, because I know it isn’t snow. Atrus points upward and explains that the little white puffs floating gently downward are spores falling from the roof of the cave we are in. “Aren’t spores poisonous,” I think, but I don’t say anything because it wouldn’t matter anyway.

I look to Atrus at my side and I think about his family, his wife, whom he loves very much, his sons who betrayed his trust, and I think about how I fit into that because I like to think I fit somewhere in Atrus’ life, but I know that I don’t.