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The rooftop garden

At sunrise the air was crisp. For the first time in longer than I could remember I detected a touch of gold at the very borders of the sky. Some touch of the sun had penetrated the heavy soot that surrounded my planet, encasing it in a frozen drear.

There was one other thing besides the thought of Lysander that could lighten my heart, I discovered that morning. It was a hope for reprieve. An idea, even one small thing I could do to stave off the monotonous, identical days, to visit old Agatha on the roof, if there she still lived.

Dust motes drifted like vapor in the dawning light as I softly climbed the carpeted stairs. There were leaves blown across the landing through a broken window. The debris was withered and colorless, turning the carpet to a forest floor, where things decayed.

The wind stirred my hair across my neck as I ascended, growing more breathless at each floor.

The building was generic. My apartments might have been anything: a hospital, a school, a dorm. Memories of all these assailed my senses. I felt how vulnerable was my heart, that I was prey to any seduction, any vice, but there was nothing to console me but that by wish I had no wish to die, my overwhelming unhappiness.

When I arrived at the rooftop garden there was no one. The wind blew the tufts of half-grown, withered plants flat like hairs.

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