Conversation sparkled, at a pretty nighttime party with friends, drinking wine. Alone together in the kitchen, I asked him about his daughter with the bubblegum-pink cheeks and braces on her legs, her time known to be short.

“Fine…you know, fine,” he said with a brief smile, until our eyes met and locked. The room began to lurch and spin, a horrible swirling tunnel forming around us.

“…How? How do you…?” I blurted, heartbroken.

 “I…don’t…know,” he stuttered, terrified, eyes pooling with tears.

Another joined us, laughing in anticipation of sharing a good story, and we straightened up. No one could tell.