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The link-boys wait and warm their hands.
Searching, I find freedom.

Growing up I wasn't the good girl my parents wanted me to be. After my parents were asleep I would sneak out of the house. That night I stayed awake watching my alarm clock. Neither of us were old enough to drive that fall. His mother was my softball coach and if she would have known what I was doing with her son I wouldn't have been able to see him.

Nightly meetings at the baseball dugouts were my undoing. I was always cold afterwards. Like he had taken all the heat I had. The day my uncle caught the bus I couldn't wait to meet Jeff. I took the shortcut through the woods to meet him. Halfway there I realized that leaving my jacket at home had been a mistake. Heavy mud clung to my shoes as I neared the river.

Indistinct voices traveled through the fog. One sounded female but that could have been the wind rushing past. Exposed roots trapped my ankle. Decaying leaves filled my mouth when I fell. Nearby branches snapped beneath someone else's foot. A man's boot crushed my hand. Screams died in my useless throat. Unfortunately, I never did get to see Jeff.

Usually, they are pinpricks of light in the dark; tonight, they are halos of white in the mist.
To resist is to conquer.

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