I returned to Allie’s side, coffee in hand, fear in breath and vomit still lodged in my nostrils. She looked like the porcelain swans my grandmother had on her whatnot, except horizontal and I worried that I might break her if I said the wrong thing.

“Y’know what I realized? This was all a set-up,” Allie coughed. “Love is a set-up. Every romantic comedy we watched growing up, we mapped it out perfectly.” The lovers were never meant…