“Untethered” by Holly Sheidenberger

He came to me like a wisp of smoke, transitory and ephemeral. He ended up leaving me the same way.

We’d loved each other years before, but he disappeared with no goodbye. I never forgot him.

One fateful day he found me again. He needed a companion.

He was dying.

He wove a tale beyond belief, yet somehow truer than the deepest truth.

“My soul is . . . untethered,” he breathed. “It escapes from my body. I can’t constrain it.”

He was becoming unmoored, his spirit exiting his body each night beyond his control.

Soon he would be too weak to return, trapped eternally in a sphere outside his body.

He didn’t want to go alone.

I held him as he fell asleep each night in fear, wondering if I would wake up to find him cold.

One morning I did.

Now I commune with the night sky, knowing he’s floating amongst the stars.