The first that Riley saw of the letter was a picture of it in an email from the post office, the morning of the day it arrived. Riley had signed up for the notification service a few years earlier, when packages were being stolen out of the lobby of the building where he and his husband lived. The thief was eventually caught, but Riley never unsubscribed. He found that he liked having a little foreshadowing of the day, at least in the case of something as innocent as the day’s mail.

The picture appeared beneath the picture of a seed catalogue, also to be delivered that afternoon. (It was going to be spring soon.) The letter seemed to be in a no. 10 envelope, and the image made an impression on Riley because his name and address were handwritten, in handwriting that belonged to someone he knew, he was pretty sure, but couldn’t immediately place. Riley hadn’t lived at the address since before law school, but someone with different handwriting had crossed it out and written in the address of Davenport & Elkins, the firm he had worked for right out of law school, and a third person had crossed that out—Riley had left the firm six years ago, to start his own practice—and written Riley and Craig’s current home address.