When I no longer loved her, I broke time. I meant it when I said, “I will love you forever.” Time didn’t break the way I expected. I thought I was freezing time, crystallizing it across space the way ice-nine froze all the world’s water. My love’s ending would end the universe, outward from Earth at the speed of light.

There’s more to time than I understood then. There is a grain to it, or a current, because my seed crystal of frozen time spread unpredictably. It missed me completely; I, time’s first murderer and its intended first victim. She, at least, is forever unaware that I failed to end the universe along with our love. Small mercies.

Instead, time fractured. Most of the western hemisphere is no-man’s land. Anything that goes in bleeds time until it freezes. Interstellar patches of frozen time block out the sun at irregular intervals. It is only our good fortune, or bad, that I didn’t shear the sun in two. And gravity somehow ignores the change, or it would have ripped Earth apart.

It might have been better if I had. I miss her. I think I still love her after all.