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Last Night in Montrealby Emily St John Mandel
No one stays forever. On the morning of her disappearance Lilia woke early, and lay still for a moment in the bed. It was the last day of October. She slept naked. Eli heard the sounds of awakening, the rustling of the duvet, her bare footsteps on the hardwood floor, and she kissed the top of his head very lightly en route to the bathroom — he made an agreeable humming noise but didn't look up — and the shower started on the other side of the almost-closed door. She stayed in the shower for forty-five minutes, but this wasn't unusual; the day was still unremarkable. Eli glanced up briefly when she emerged from the bathroom. Lilia, naked: pale skin wrapped in a soft white towel, short dark hair wet on her forehead, and she smiled when he met her eyes. "Good morning," he said. Smiling back at her. "How did you sleep?" He was already typing again. She kissed his hair again instead of answering, and left a trail of wet footprints all the way back to the bedroom. He heard her towel fall softly to the bedroom floor and he wanted to go and make love to her just then; but he was immersed so deeply in the work that morning, accomplishing things, and he didn't want to break the spell. She came out dressed all in black and carrying the three pieces of a plate that had fallen off the bed the night before; it was a light shade of blue, and sticky with pomegranate juice. He heard her dropping it into the kitchen trashcan before she wandered past him into the living room. She stood in front of his sofa, running her fingers through her hair to test for dampness, her expression a little blank when he glanced up at her, and it seemed to him later that she'd been considering something, perhaps making up her mind. But then, he played the morning back so many times that the tape was ruined — later it seemed possible that she'd simply been thinking about the weather.
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