I stood in the grass under the shadow of the gangling stone gray tower. The sun blinded my eyes as I stared up to the sky, waiting for the thick rope of kinky hair to unravel and thump against the side of the tower, my ladder.

“Ranaé,” I called, my voice barely above a whisper. I knew she would hear me. The day was still. The only sound to cut the silence was the rustling of the long blades of grass and the solitary bird couple, in love, singing to…