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"The light we carried was the only light on earth, although above us, the brightness of the moon shamed stars."

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“The age of exploration is long over, amira. Now it’s the age of globalization. And once everyone agrees something is one way, all the other ways it could have been disappear.”

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“When I was young, I learned to expect loss. Every time you slept, something disappeared. Whenever you woke up, someone else was gone. But . . . I also learned that every day, you created everything anew. And whatever you had, you enjoyed as long as it lasted. Spend money when it’s in your pocket.” He took my hand and put the orange in it. “Eat fruit while it’s ripe.” His other hand found my cheek, his thumb brushing the corner of my mouth. “Paradise is a promise no god bothers to keep. There’s only now, and tomorrow nothing will be the same, whether we like it or not.”

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I bit my lip to keep it from trembling; he'd let me go a long time ago. After all, you can only hold one person tight if you're holding on with both hands.

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"Well. I'll leave the morality for those that like the taste of it. I always preferred bread."

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"Not as precious as a pocket watch."

"Not as priecy, perhaps. Who said it was thieves who know the price of everything and the value of nothing?"

"Oscar Wilde," I said. "And it's cynics, not thieves."

"Ah! That explains it, then."

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Kashmir flung his arms wide. "Happy theft day!"

"Glad we stole you," Rotgut added, raising a bottle of Brooklyn Lager in his bone fist.

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"You're blocking the view."

"I am the view, amira", he said, framing himself with his hands - his crisp linen shirt, his careless hair - then laughed.

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I opened my mouth, then closed it. In Sanskrit mythos, they say breath is life, and I didn't want to give life to my fear; I didn't want to say it aloud. Then what will happen to me?

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