Today marks 17 years since you first put the bracelet on my wrist. It's a simple piece, comprising a ten-dollar jade rabbit looped on a ribbon of red. I was still so young back then. You were watching me during some of my most fragile moments, as I bushwhacked through university, careers, and false promises of love. I still had so much mountain to climb, and I forgot you held me before I even walked.

The bracelet adjusts with a drawstring that needs two hands to operate, and that was your mistake. Once the rabbit tightened around my wrist, I had no way to take it off with my other free hand. So I wore it day in and day out: in the shower, the pool, and the skydive. 1 year passed without fail. At 5, you joked that I should get a different one. Those jokes stopped at 8 after you got sick.

The operation was to be done in a cleanroom that forbids cosmetics or jewelry. Dad helped me take off the rabbit before we entered. I remember his fingers, frail and trembling from the sleepless nights we spent crying together. When I flexed my wrist and felt nothing, it was like a part of you had hopped away.

The next few days were such a blur, and I only remembered about the rabbit a week after your funeral. I found it stuffed away in a duffle, along with the dozens of other things we had moved out of your hospice room. It's funny – you only realize how much stuff people own once they die. If you saw our living room floor that week, you'd probably make a few less trips to Winners.

Your mistake is a two-sided one. What was once a piece of you I could never take off is something I can now never put back on. But, I still cling desperately to that rabbit like a foolish man. Right now it's in my left jean pocket, other times it's in my backpack, or even clenched in my hand if the day is rough. I have to keep it on me, because I know I'll see you again one day. And with your hand on one drawstring and my hand on the other, we'll tighten the rabbit onto my wrist for the last and final time.

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