Welcome to Whisper Pines
Author's NoteHere's Ch.6, I almost forgot to update today. I got busy with a great deal of errands this morning and it completely slipped my mind. This chapter is a continuation of the last one. It also partially takes place in Gym class, that's why the picture is a basketball. The picture is also connected to something else but no spoilers from me lol. I'd once again like to thank ashleigh for editing this tale for me :).
The class after lunch was History. So far it was the only class of the day that I actually kind of liked. Mr. Greene was a pretty cool guy. For one thing, he didn’t call me a girl as soon as I walked through the door. For another, he knew the English equivalent of the name Karolos. As soon as he met me, he shook my hand and asked, “Do you want to be called Charlie?”
I thought that was kind of cool actually.
His lesson wasn’t boring either. It didn’t matter that the guy was clearly older than my grandfather, he made learning fun.
At least for me anyways. Most of the other kids in class seemed disinterested.
As class was winding down, he called me to the front of the room.
Mr. Greene was tall, taller than most people I’d seen. He kept his head clean shaved, his glasses perched on his long nose and his goatee neatly trimmed.
“So Charlie, how has Whisper Pines been treating you?”
“Strangely” I answered honestly.
He nodded. “Small towns like this are always a bit on the strange side. I know when I first came here in the 60s, I swore that the squirrels were plotting war in my front yard. It was the strangest thing too. Of course, it was just me being crazy.”
He laughed. I laughed along with him.
“Oh that reminds me,” he said, opening his desk. “I was in Greece, in the 1950s, back when I was in school. I did a summer abroad there and I found something interesting.”
He came out of his desk with something wrapped in a red handkerchief. He slowly unwrapped it in front of me. It was a coin, a pretty old one by the looks of it. There was a woman’s face on it but it was pretty worn. She was wearing a strange hat but I couldn’t make anything else out.
“I found it snorkeling off the coast of some Greek islands,” he said, holding it up for me to take a look. “Go ahead, you can touch it.”
I gripped one edge of the table and with my other hand, I slowly reached my finger forward to touch it. As soon as I did, a bit of static build up zapped me from the coin. Well, actually it was probably from my clothes or me touching the desk. It was something that happened sometimes. I pulled my hand back nevertheless. Mr. Greene gave me a strange look before chuckling slightly.
“It's the cloth I think. It's gotten me a few times too.”
“Do you know who is on the coin?”
He shook his head. “I know it's made of bronze and she’s a very prominent figure to be featured on a coin like this. I’ve taken it to quite a few people but none of them have been able to tell me much. Similar coins like this one have been dated back to the third century, though. Its a real ancient mystery.”
He folded it back up in the handkerchief, a small look of excitement on his face.
“That’s kind of cool.”
“I thought you might like it,” he said with a smile. “Have you ever been?”
“To Greece, no,” I said sadly. “At least not that I can remember anyways. My mother said they took me there as an infant but of course, I don’t remember that far back.”
“I’ve been there a few times in my life,” he said “it's such a lovely country. I used to live there for a time but that was a long time ago.”
He looked at the wall clock. “Look at the time, you’re gonna need a pass for your next class I think.”
I didn't even hear the bell ring.
He wrote me a pass and told me if I ever wanted to talk Greece with him that he’d been in his office down the hall. I thanked him for showing me the coin before rushing off to my next class. Thankfully it was only Study Hall. My first of the day apparently. It gave me time to catch up on my reading and do some of the light homework I’d been assigned. School was never a problem for me. I’m not trying to gloat or anything but I always got straight A’s. The work here didn’t seem all that different. In fact, I think they were a little behind us in some subjects. So it wasn’t all that hard to get it done easily.
I was just finishing up the last of it when I noticed Clara watching.
How many classes did I have with this girl?
I waved like a fool.
She huffed and quickly looked away.
Study Hall was pretty slow and boring. I wanted it to last forever though because I knew what was coming next.
My least favorite class of all time.
The bell finally rang and I couldn’t help but groan. The class quickly started to file out. Clara got up and made a mad dash for the door. She was pretty fast but I wanted to talk to her. I wanted to apologize for earlier and try to explain things. Thankfully she wasn’t as fast as she was pretending to be. I caught her only a few feet out the door.
“Hey,” I said, slipping in beside her.
“Look I just wanted to say I’m sorry about earlier.”
“Fine you’re sorry, now go.”
“What’s the big deal?”
“You’re friends with them.”
“Who is them?”
She stopped and turned, giving me a look. She had these intense eyes. They were really pretty, a violet color which I knew had to be fake. Probably contact lenses. It wasn’t the color of them that drew me to them, though. It was something behind them, something smoldering there. She was trying to scare me off with her glare and her dark eyeliner and purple eye shadow. Honestly, though, it was actually doing the exact opposite. It was drawing me in, wanting me to stay here with her.
“Look, Connie already has her hooks in you.”
“Oh Them,” I said and waved it off. “Connie thinks I’m hers or something. I spent one night at her mother’s B&B and somehow we’re friends. I barely know her. I thought she was pretty cool but she’s kind of superficial if you ask me.”
Clara smirked. “You don’t know the half of it.”
“I’d actually rather be friends with you.”
That surprised her I think. From what I could tell, no one wanted to be friends with her.
“Why?” she asked, clearly confused.
She bit her lip then shook her head. “Go away, I’m poisonous.”
She pushed past me, her head down. I didn’t bother to run and catch up with her this time, though. I knew she’d shut me out if I tried. Not that I was going to stop though. She intrigued me. There was something about her, something that I couldn’t quite place. She was so different than any other girl I’d ever seen. I wanted to know more about her. I had to respect her wishes though and leave her alone. It was a shame though because I knew the two of us would have been really good friends.
“Hey Coach, I think we have a problem.”
Here we go.
I’d just walked into the boy’s locker room and the dicks were already starting. This was nothing new. It didn’t help that most of these guys were in my classes. I used to get the same thing back at my old school. Or at least I did at the beginning of the year. Once the year started to progress, the name calling and the jokes stopped. It took about a month or so, though. Most of the guys back home learned to live with it and found other things to laugh about.
I ignored the laughing and the pointing.
I walked to the far corner of the room and found a locker.
I’d been through all this before.
As I was taking off my hoodie, I noticed someone standing behind me.
“This is the wrong room, princess,” he said, giving my shoulder a shove.
Great, physical contact.
It's not like that hasn’t happened before either.
I turned and found the perfect neanderthal specimen standing behind me. Tall, muscular, head buzzed so close to the skull he was pretty much bald. I’d met these types before too. He had chiseled good looks, piercing eyes and one of those chins. I liked to call them Gastons. You know from Beauty and the Beast. Arrogant pricks who swaggered around and thought they owned the place. This guy was a definite prime example of one. The fact that he was standing there without his shirt made it even worse.
I rolled my eyes. “I’m a boy.”
“And I’m the King of England,” he said, laughing.
Several others around him laughed too.
I was proud to be a boy. I liked being a boy. In situations like this, though, I couldn’t help but wonder why boys were so stupid. Did they honestly think that if I was a girl, I would want to walk into the boy’s locker room? Or that I was blind. I mean I could clearly tell that the room was full of boys because well they’re boys. A real girl would have never been stupid enough to walk this far into the room. She would have stopped at the door, said something like “oops” and walked away. These guys were either total idiots or enjoyed being total dicks.
“He’s a boy,” said a voice from somewhere behind them.
I think it was Rex.
“What’s going on here?” asked a large man as he pushed his way through the circle of people behind me.
“Coach,” said Gaston #1, pointing at me. “That’s a girl.”
I groaned. “I’m a boy!”
I reached into my pack and took out my schedule, I handed it to the Coach. He took it and scanned it. He looked from it to me and back again. Then he smacked Gaston #1 in the back of the head.
“Hunter, finish getting dressed.”
That seemed to end things. The others laughed. Gaston #1---Hunter---glared at me before he wandered off.
The Coach shook his head. “Sorry about that...umm...Karo...”
“Charlie,” I said.
“Well sorry again, Charlie, sometimes I think these boys have taken one too many hits to the head.”
“This from the man who just smacked him in the back of it?”
The Coach laughed. “I like you kid. I’m Coach Moore, if you need anything, let me know.”
He turned and started to walk away when I realized there was something I actually needed.
“Ummm Coach, I wasn’t expecting to have Gym today,” I said, realizing that I didn’t have any gym clothes.
“Right, new kid,” he said, nodding. “I’ll see what I can find.”
I took off my hoodie and stuck it in my locker. Then I sat down and waited. The locker room slowly started to empty. Pretty soon I was the only one there and the Coach still wasn’t back. Feeling a little abandoned, I thought about just leaving. Sitting on the bleachers was nothing new to me after all. Like I said before, Sara was the athletic one. Back home, we didn’t have to participate if we didn’t want too. Of course, it docked our grade a lot but seeing as the PE wasn’t tallied into our overall GPA, I warmed the benches a lot. Especially when it came to swimming.
Finally, the Coach returned.
He cut a huge, imposing figure. The man was broad, all muscle and very little neck. His head was shaved clean and there was an interesting scar on his chin. I’m sure that had a good story.
He approached me carrying some folded clothes. The look on his face though told me I wasn’t going to like what he said.
“Ok so I went looking for some spares, we usually have them lying around,” he said, rubbing the back of his head. “But well you’re kinda a little guy so...”
I looked at the clothes in his hand.
“You had to get those from the girls’ locker room, right?”
He nodded. I’d been here before too.
At my old school, they provided the gym clothes. Because of my size, none of the ones that the boys usually wore actually fit. So my PE teacher, Mr. Norris, had to get some from the girls. Thankfully they were pretty gender neutral so it wasn’t too much of a problem. I only had to wear them for a few weeks too. The school was able to take my measurements and order me a set that actually fit. The embarrassment though was enough. The ridicule was just as bad. Like the locker room ribbing, though, it eventually went away as well.
“You don’t have to wear them, you can sit in the bleachers today.”
“How does the PE grade work?”
Coach sighed. “It gets worked into your GPA.”
Well, one day probably wouldn’t hurt that much but it would still be a zero. I’d never really gotten a zero on anything. Even when I didn’t participate in PE back home, they marked it as Incomplete. The school I went to back home catered more to the students than it should have. It was a private establishment that relied on the parents’ money to keep it running. So if a student didn’t want to participate in gym class, he or she didn’t have too.
I groaned. “Hand me the clothes then.”
“Sir, I’ve never failed and I’ve never taken a zero for anything in my life. I’m not about to right now.”
He nodded and handed them over.
Call it stupidity, call it Hubris.
I just didn’t like to be a loser.
Looking at the clothes, though, I couldn’t help but groan. In what school were these considered suitable for gym class?
I held up the tiny shorts and tank top.
I looked at the Coach.
“The girls voted last year. That’s the outfit that won apparently. You can still sit on the bench if you want?”
I shook my head. “I’ll be out in a few minutes, Coach.”
He nodded with a smile then walked away.
I stripped quickly and got dressed just as fast. Thankfully I was wearing briefs today or else my boxers would have been sticking way out. Yes, the shorts were that small. They were a bit tight too and I hated the way they seemed to hug my body. It was almost as if they were designed that way. Ignoring them, I put on the tank top. It was a little loose in the chest region for obvious reasons and it was a bit short at the bottom too. Putting my shoes back on, I stood up and felt exposed.
Girls actually voted on this?
Trying not to think about it, I slowly walked through the locker room and out into the gym. As soon as I stepped through the door and into the gymnasium, I tried to go unnoticed. It didn’t last long. A second later there was some whistling and cat calling. The usual crap. A lot of the boys were laughing too. It all stopped when Coach Moore shouted at them, even threatening to kick them off their perspective teams. On the other side of the gym, I noticed the girls. Most of them were wearing their own gym outfits. My borrowed top and shorts were gray with the school name on each. I spotted Connie and her Heart club then Clara off by herself. They were in the middle of playing basketball and hardly noticed.
Which was good because I didn’t want to give Connie any more ideas.
Rex came walking up.
“Why are you dressed like that?”
I groaned. “Because apparently it's Humiliate the New Kid on his First Day of School Day.”
I felt a bit inferior standing next to him. Rex wasn’t much to look at honestly but even he had some muscles. He was also taller than me. Benefits of farm living probably.
The coach blew his whistle. Everyone quickly started to gather around him. There was a large group of boys here, a lot more than in the locker room I noticed. The school must have had more than one locker room. Ms. Willis had said PE was 7th period. I hadn’t realized she met it was 7th period for everyone. Then again this was a small school so I could see where something like that was possible. The gymnasium was rather large too. Bigger than the one at my old school even. So it was definitely big enough to fit all these guys and girls in it together.
Looking at the faces, I saw Lucas too.
He nodded, I returned it.
A minute or so after blowing his whistle, the coach told us what we were doing today.
Everything went well for a while. He told us to pair off. I went with Rex. It turns out it wasn’t his sport either. What we did while paired off was up to us so Rex and I just started shooting hoops. There was nothing wrong with it. About ten minutes into it, though, the coach blew his whistle again.
Which apparently meant switch partners.
And my new partner was none other than Gaston #1.
Fate hated me.
“Hey Girly Boy,” he said with a smirk, throwing the ball hard at me.
I barely caught it. My hands stung, though.
“Charlie,” I said, even though I knew it wouldn’t matter.
Dicks like this Hunter guy were a dime a dozen. I’d dealt with them before. They liked to swagger, they liked to talk big. They liked to throw their weight around. He was no different. Apparently, something about me bothered him. It was probably nothing he could even pinpoint either. He was a dick and dicks like him didn’t need a reason. I’m sure he could give me one if I asked. He could give several but in truth, it was all about his own insecurities. Something about me brought out something in him he didn’t like. I’m not sure what it was and frankly, I didn’t care.
“You might have the coach fooled, Girly Boy but I’m not an idiot.”
He caught the ball I threw at him without a problem. Apparently, we were only going to be playing catch. Then he returned it even harder than before.
Wow, that really hurt.
“Why do you care?” I asked, tossing the ball back.
“I don’t care,” he said, whipping it at me again.
“Well you’re sure doing a lot of whining for someone who doesn’t care.”
Ok so it wasn’t the smartest thing to say but I was getting sick of this crap. I’d been dealing with it all day and this guy wasn’t helping. I couldn’t help it that I was short or thin or “girly” as everyone called it. I didn’t like the way I looked either. Mother Nature had not been kind so far and hopefully, the problem would correct itself in time. Right now though I’d have to deal with it. I was dealing with it. It was other people who couldn’t seem to deal.
“What did you say?”
“What’s the big deal anyways?” I asked, pushing it. “Why are you so convinced I’m a girl?”
It hit me the second I said it. It was his face. First surprise at my words then confusion. It was only there for a second before it disappeared into his sneer. It was there, though, I saw it. He’s was another convenient store idiot. He thought I was a girl because he wanted me to be a girl. Me being a girl was the only way he could explain his attraction to me. It was weird, though. I wasn’t even androgynous looking. At least I didn’t think so. Everyone always mistook me for being a girl. Even before the hair. Mom once told me it was the way I sometimes acted. When I asked her to clarify she didn’t really answer or at least it was an answer I couldn’t quite understand:
“It's just the way you are.”
What did that even mean?
“What are you looking at, freak?”
Oh so now I’m a freak.
“Are you coming onto me?”
The anger was there. It was building too. I should have backed away but of course, I didn’t. I’d never really been in a fight before. I knew the principles of them of course. One moron pounding on another with his bare fists. I’d seen quite a few of them. I was just never really in a situation where I might get into one. Back home I stayed below the radar. There were a lot of kids at my school and I could easily blend into the crowd and disappear. Here there was a lot less and I stuck out a lot more. I apparently stuck out enough to this Hunter idiot that it was making him question his sexuality.
“Why would I be coming onto you?”
That only seem to anger him even more. The ball he threw wasn’t toward my hands anymore. It was so fast I didn’t have time to react.
Now I’ve been hit in the head by many basketballs.
I’m not sure why this one hurt so much.
I’m also not sure why the world was spinning around me as I hit the ground.
Someone shouted my name, though.
I woke up disoriented, confused and in pain.
Yeah, lots of pain.
There was also this bright light.
Gods I hope that wasn’t what I thought it was.
“Careful, sweetie,” said a kind voice as I felt a hand on my shoulder. “You got hit pretty hard.”
The light went away and the room came into focus. Everything was white. For a second I thought the light was still there until I realized I was looking up at a ceiling. The white came from the ceiling tiles and the walls on either side of me. I turned my head slightly and saw a pretty young blonde woman in white scrubs sitting next to me. Her hair was pulled back in a tight bun and around her neck was a silver necklace, the pendant dangling from it was two snakes wound around a winged staff.
“Who are you?” I asked, trying to look around the room but finding most of my view blocked off by what looked like a shower curtain. “Where am I?”
She smiled. “I’m Mia Bright and you’re in the Nurses’ office.”
Bright, her name fit her nicely.
“He hit me with the ball, didn’t he?”
“Yes he did,” she said with a sigh. “Got himself into quite a bit of trouble for it too.”
“He’s a dick.”
“Well, bullies always get theirs in the end. Give it time, that boy does not have a good future laid out for him.”
I couldn’t help but smile at that.
I really liked her.
Nurse Bright helped me sit up a minute or so later, telling me to take it slow. My head still hurt and the room was still slightly spinning. I tried to remember what happened but it was a bit fuzzy. I remember Hunter getting angry and him throwing the ball at me. I fell backward maybe…
“Did I hit my head too?”
“According to your friend, Reginald,” she said, looking at an iPad she was holding. “You got hit in the face with a basketball and fell backward, hitting your head on the gym floor. So yes you hit your head. You’ve been in here for about an hour, unconscious. There’s no bump back there so that’s good but you might have a mild concussion.”
Concussion? Shouldn’t I have been at the hospital then?
And who’d Reginald?
His name is Reginald! No wonder he calls himself Rex. Not that I could complain, though. I am the Pot calling the Kettle black after all.
“Shouldn’t I be in the hospital?”
I still couldn’t see anything beyond the curtain around the bed but it was clear this was still the school. Usually, in situations like this, the person with the concussion would be in the hospital. They would run a battery of tests to make sure there wasn’t brain damage or something. There was a football player at my old school who had something similar happen to him during a game. Then again he was sacked by this massive linebacker. Both of them were going pretty fast too. It was all pretty messy. He was out of school for a month, most of the time spent either in bed or the hospital.
“You were only mildly concussed. Besides we don’t have a hospital in town. The nearest one is Edgerton. I have spoken with Dr. Riley---the town’s physician---and he’s agreed to monitor the situation. You have an appointment with him later this week.”
None of this made sense.
I was about to ask more when I heard the door open. Nurse Bright excused herself and stepped through the curtain. I heard voices, one of them sounded strangely like my grandmother. A moment later the curtain was pulled back and I was correct, it was her. The first thing she did, of course, was hug me then asked if it was ok to do so.
“He’s fine. Just make sure he gets plenty of rest and tries not to do anything too strenuous. Dr. Riley wrote him a prescription for some pain medication if needed. There will more than likely be headaches and possibly some nausea.”
“What about this boy? Hunter Phelps?”
The nurse smiled. “Mr. Phelps has already been dealt with.”
The way she said it made me wonder.
“Well, his father is going to be hearing from our lawyer.”
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.”
Nurse Bright then helped me get off the flimsy school cot. I was glad to be off of it actually. The thing was as hard as a rock. I was still a little woozy but I could walk. Not that that stopped Grandma from standing next to me as I did so. I took a look around the nurse’s office as I walked to the door. It was white and very bright like I suspected before. There was a desk over by the window, devoid of personal items. There was a poster on the wall, though, a little kitten hanging from a tree branch. Below it were the words HANG IN THERE in bold, green font. Opposite to that was a picture of an idyllic looking landscape.
In the hallway, Connie and Rex were waiting.
Had they been waiting the whole hour?
Why weren’t they in class?
“Hey guys,” I said with a weak smile.
“You ok, Charlie?” asked Rex, looking concerned.
“I’m good, just a bump.”
Connie wiped her eyes. They were slightly puffy and red. Had she been crying? Was a girl actually crying for me?
She rushed forward and gave me a hug. I winced a bit but only because it took me off guard.
“Ok dear,” said Grandma, after a few seconds. “The nurse wants him to avoid anything strenuous.”
Grandma must have seen the wince.
Connie finally let go. “Oh, sorry. I didn’t hurt you, did I?”
She smiled at that.
“You two should be in class,” said a voice as I heard the clicking of heels coming toward us.
Behind them, walking our way, was Ms. Willis.
Behind her---trying to keep up---was that hall monitor from earlier.
“Mr. Banks will escort you both to class, no need for passes,” she said, looking directly at the Hall Monitor.
He looked a little peeved that she was undermining his job but he nodded. Without saying another word, he motioned for Rex and Connie to follow him. They quickly said their goodbyes, both agreed to call later and then they were gone. I watched him lead them down the hall and around the corner.
“First of all, Charlie, I’d like to apologize,” said Ms. Willis, drawing my attention back to her. “Coach Moore will send you his apology tomorrow, as will Mr. Phelps as soon as he gets out of his month-long detention,” She said that last bit with a slight smile.
“So the boy is being punished then?”
‘Oh yes,” she said sternly. “He knows the rules very well. We have Zero tolerance for bullies here at WPH. This isn’t Mr. Phelps first offense either. There will be consequences to this one, I assure you of that.”
Grandma smiled happily. “I will definitely be speaking to that boy’s parents too.”
“I’ll make sure you get the number, Mrs. Miller.”
“Thank you, Patty.”
Ms. Willis blushed a bit by being called something so informal. The blush was out of place for her, she usually looked so stern and put together. It was also weird. You don’t often see adults blush like that. I looked from her to Grandma. She didn’t seem phased by it in the least. After all hadn’t Ms. Willis just told me this morning that she and my mother were best friends. It was only natural that my grandmother knew her on such a casual level.
Ms. Willis put on her stoic face when she spoke again. ‘Now, Charlie, I’ve already spoken to your teacher from your 8th-period class and excused your absence. 9th period is already in session but seeing as its study hall for you I see no reason why you can’t go home now. If you feel the need, you can take the next few days of school off as well.”
“That might be a good idea.”
“No,” I said “I’m fine. I’ll be back tomorrow.”
“Charlie, that’s hardly...”
I loved Grandma and she met well but not on this.
I shook my head. “I’ve never missed a day of school in my life and I’m not going to start now. I’ll be here tomorrow, bright and early. I’m not going to let a bump on the head stop me.”
Ms. Willis nodded. “Just like Penny.”
There was pain in her voice as she said it. There was a pained look on grandma’s face as well.
I could feel it in the pit of my stomach.
I don’t think it was ever going to truly go away.
None of us said anything for a few minutes.
Finally, Ms. Willis agreed to walk us to the door. I guess there wasn’t really anything else to say. The hall was empty and quiet, the only sound was our footfall. Of course, mine and grandma’s was drowned out by the clacking of heels. I couldn’t help but wonder how she managed walking around in those all day. She must have been on her feet a lot and yet she chose to wear such high, thin heels. It was insanity if you ask me. Looking at my own feet, I knew I could never pull it off. Not that I wanted to wear heels of course. Though, they would probably make me taller?
Wait, no, where did that come from?
I shook my head which of course made me wince.
Stupid tiny concussion.
“Something wrong, sweetie?” asked grandma, looking concerned again.
“Nothing, just thinking of something stupid.”
When we rounded the corner and started down the main hallway toward the front entrance, I was surprised to see my Sentinel there waiting. Argos was sitting in front of the glass doors, staring into the building, not moving. Like a large, black dog statue. As we got closer, he broke character though as his tail started to wag.
“I locked him in the truck, how did...” Grandma sighed. “Never mind, that dog truly is something else.”
I smiled at that.
Ms. Willis watched Argos with a wary eye as we approached the door. She stopped about ten feet from it too I noticed. Well, he was a very intimidating looking animal.
“I believe I’ll leave you two here then, it was nice seeing you again, Mrs. Miller,” she said then turned to me. “Again I want to apologize for all of this, especially on your first day too. It doesn’t make a very good first impression of us, does it?”
“It's ok,” I said and meant it.
It was a foolish misunderstanding. Not that I condoned what Hunter did but it wasn’t all his fault either. I goaded him a little bit after all. Tomorrow I’d make sure to talk to someone about that, see if I could get his sentence reduced. After all, it was a mistake and his stupidity that lead to it. He was still a dick of course but not even dicks deserved to get punished for dumb things.
I watched as Ms. Willis turned and walked away, clicking as she did so.
So much taller.
“What say you to a nice cup of tea when we get home?”
“Sounds good Grandma.”
We walked out the door, Argos snapped to my side as soon as we got to him. I patted him on the head and followed grandma to the truck, my Sentinel at my heels.
Author’s note: As I’m sure all of you know, comments are life blood to an author. I’m not begging or demanding, but I certainly would appreciate anything you have to say (or ask). It doesn’t have to be long and involved, just give me your reaction to the story. Thanks in advance...EOF
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