This is to the artist that drew pictures of everything he found beautiful but only ever heard what he wanted to hear. This is to the singer that braided the girls' hair but became blind to everything except the big picture. This is to the writer that drank tea in a white dress with untouched cigarettes but never opened her mouth to speak. This is to the deaf, to the blind, to the mute—to the dead.


1. prologue

To the boy that drew pictures of Celica with his chewed pencil and tainted yellow paper, that kissed her under the moonlight with a certain gentle touch that felt like feathers because he was so scared he would drop her and shatter her—to the boy that treated her like the priceless doll she was and fell in love with her silence.

To the girl that saw everything Celica didn’t with a single touch and held her when she cried because she didn’t have any friends in the house she was trapped in, that braided her black hair gently as she hummed and sometimes sung Dragonfly—to the girl that never left her side even when she said nothing for days at a time.


To Celica, the girl that became everything and nothing to everyone at the same time—to the girl that slipped between fingers like ice water under the sheets of ice over the ocean in Antarctica and was as quiet as falling snowflakes in the dead of winter.

To the girl that died before she was ever alive because she was nothing but a ghost from the first day she took a poisonous breath of the world’s tainted air and left it to absorb deeply into her black lungs.


This is to the deaf, to the blind, to the mute—to the dead.

To Elijah, to Lottie, and to Celica.

You’ll be missed.

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