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I guess it never really hit me that my life wouldn’t always be like this. One day here, one day, and the next, locked in a prison down Babaya. Time changes people. Like Cynthia. She changes, she moves with the crowds, holding onto her spot with grace and diligence. One morning I awoke not to the thundering crowds of people stomping and hooting outside in the area, but to silence, to nothing but my own breath. A couple years ago this would have been a welcome thought. No more than a tiny wish, one of the many, that might be or never will be granted by God. I guess that’s how I should have thought of it, holding onto that last resolution in my bones. But no. Like I said, time changes people. And no morning in fifty years has been silent in my world. My cold, iron and rust-clad world. Cynthia and I would’ve loved a morning like this. Walking down to the beach, holding hands, the wind caressing her hair. Never more than memory, she is. And in my darkest moments all I can recall is her face. The way her eyebrows arched in a you-don’t-know-a-thing way that always made me second-guess myself. The glow of her eyes in the moonlight and her hair in the sunlight. Her lashes, long and graceful, her cheeks curved perfectly. This all sounds very cliche, I’m sure but its all I have. All I had. And now I don’t. One day in the arena I couldn’t pull anymore and sat down, looking at the sky. I knelt, my hands clasped. I pictured the blood on her hands, the gun, the gown (splattered) and his face. His face was like someone had told him a secret that blew his mind and he couldn’t move. The shot, the smoke. The horror on Cynthia’s face. She looks at me. The gun is dropped. I run. I run. I run. My breath. The scenery. Our house getting smaller and smaller. Then a hand on my shoulder and the whip in my back brings my back to the arena and the forty million faces staring at me from the stands. The whip again. And the black. I'm gone.

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