It's strange, how a person carries around the shadow of those that matter most to her. You can always see it — that presence, or its absence — in the eyes, in the movements of the hands, in a person's laugh. You can see it — if an old woman had a father who loved her when she was a child; if a teenage girl has a best friend she knows she can run to. You see it in the way people move and speak, in the subjects they choose and the things they avoid, in the way they appear solid or hollow, certain or plagued with doubt.
— from Caspian Rain, by Gina B Nahai.