It's a story about losing and gaining trust...added with a little romance. I got this idea from past experience so hope u like it.


My life used to be like everybody else; simple, happy and filled with love. My mother was a professor in our local university and my father was a wealthy, intelligent and competent businessman. I also have a brother seven years older than me. He was everything a guy wants to be; strong, tall, handsome, intelligent and rich. I was the last member of my small family, but not by blood. I was told at eight that I was adopted by my parents since I was a baby and was given the name Sherrianna or as people preferred to call me Sherry. It makes me uneasy knowing who I really am but later I got used to it. Nevertheless, people loved me and they used to say I was the most 'Happy-go-lucky', friendliest, and trusting child ever seen. I loved the people around me and they in turn love me.

We used to lead a great and happy life in Chicago. During the holidays, my father used to rent a lodge at the top of the hill south of Indianapolis. It was the only house on sight there, so we get to have a chance to get out of the busy life of the city. We used to have barbeques or picnics up there and dad used to bring us hunting with him. We used to catch so many rabbits and squirrels but once we caught a fox, but we had to let it go away. It was really an exciting, enjoyable, but exhausting time of my life. We loved the place so much that dad decided to bought it. We had so many memories in that place. That was the only place and time I ever found great peace and happiness...

I used to think that nothing could ever spoiled my life but it was not until reality starts crushing down on my life. I was 12 years old at that time and I just got home from my school. Before I even entered the house I have heard shouts coming from the kitchen. It was a rare thing in my life. My parents never quarreled, even if they ever did they never showed it in front of us. They were always smiling and laughing not shouting and screaming. I went to the kitchen to find out what happened. I walked gingerly, slowly and softly. My mind kept thinking, this must have been a joke. Mom and Dad were maybe thrilled about something. When I nearly reached the door of the kitchen, I hid myself behind the wall. My mother's voice was the clearest, "How could you not think before trusting him on something so important?" She asked with the unbelievable expression on her face, "Now look what your stupid action has done to us."

"I did think! I saw what he has done and I know he's the perfect person to do it," replied my father, "I just didn't believe he could do this to me". He was sitting on the wooden stool behind the island while my mother was standing opposite him. Since his back was to me I couldn't see his face but from the look of his bent head and shoulders I know he felt miserable. I never saw my father like this before. He was always strong, confident and intelligent. Now he fidgets on his chair and his shoulders were sagging. "Well that's what happened when you trust someone so much," my mother cried as she placed her hands in her head as if tortured by something.

"Well, what am I suppose to do now?" replied my dad, heartily. Looking at my mother for some form of punishment as to his crime.

"I don't know," my mother whispered. Then she just got out of the kitchen and went upstairs. She looked as tortured as my dad but there something in her face that shows great disappointment. I couldn't really understand it. The pain... it's just different. I went up to my dad and hugged him. I don't know what else to do. I felt hurt seeing them like that but my dad only looked at me with his sad-looking eyes and cried "I'm sorry". Then he hugged me tighter too. My heart felt as if it was squeezed very tightly, my throat was tight and tears were clouding my eyes. It was the beginning of the ending.

Months passed by and everything got from bad to worse. My fathers bankruptcy was known to us and he was struggling to put the pieces of his life back, but it was hard. My mother could not finance us all with her share of salary. It was the critical moment of our life. With all the demands my parents have to face, we decided to move away from the fancy, expensive house to a smaller, cheaper and normal place. It was hard to get used to at first. I had to lose all my life to make room for a new one but the least I could say is that we survived. My brother was a little shocked about the move. He couldn't handle the pressure and this changed him as time moved on.

Everytime I thought life couldn't get any worse things starts happening. My parents won't stop quarrelling as if they would find mistakes everywhere. My brother began to move away from us. He always ignores everything and do whatever he likes. It's easy for him he could drive. I was the one stuck at home trying to comfort two battered, bitter and moody parents. It was not a pretty sight. At first I could stand with all the crying and shouting but later it began to grow on me. I felt scared and yet I have to be tough for both of them. Sometimes I couldn't take it anymore that I shut my self in my room. Hiding from all the dark, bitter, cold and dismal atmosphere outside my door. I once asked myself 'who would help me?' but there is never an answer.

I never could understand what happened but it seemed to happen so fast. One minute they're there the next they're gone. It was as if a dark cloud had just passed by. It was raining that night and my parents finally found their few minutes of peace. It's the time when they began to see things like adults are supposed to do; more calmly, more maturely and with less noise. During that night dad got his salary so he decided to treat us to the restaurant. My brother wouldn't come because he got a date. I decided to let them both have the time on their own. I was hoping it could make them remember the old days when they were on their first date. So, that night I made up an excuse about doing some kind of project for school. They bought it, and went ahead with their plan. After they were gone I couldn't help feeling uneasy as if something would go wrong somehow. I was right. In the middle of their journey the car crashed with a huge and fast moving truck and slid down the bridge to the cold, fast-flowing and deep river...

It was a real tragic to me. I couldn't help thinking that I could have saved them that night. The question 'what if...' kept repeating itself on my mind. I kept on crying the day we placed my parents underneath the ground. I couldn't stop... I never will. My brother never shed one tear. He always blamed them for what had happened to his life. It was always about 'him' never about 'us'. That night after the burial of my parents my brother and I sat in the living room silently, not speaking to one another... there was nothing to talk about. My brother stood in front of the fireplace with his head bent forward while his expressionless eyes gaze unmoving on the blazing red fire. However, I kept holding my parents pictures and cried silently. I kept on thinking; 'were they happy that night?' I couldn't bear it if they weren't.

I heard footsteps coming closer and closer to the living room. Their shadows crept slowly until it reveals two people. It was our old, distant and great aunt who always frowns and looked at us with distaste, and the sad, nicely-suited, middle-aged lawyer who handles my parents money. They have finally decided what to do with us. I hold my breath waiting for the inevitable words that will sentence my fate. My brother was to be sent to the police academy where he would stay and learn to be a police which was his ambition. While I will stay with my aunt and go to a nearby high school. I couldn't say anything, I couldn't believed it... everything seemed unreal.

My old aunt Carol's house was like a small cottage it was small, compressed and smelly. I could see so many cats lying around the dark and dusty old house. My bedroom was even smaller. It consists of a small bed, a small window, a small trunk and a door that leads to the small bathroom. Everything was dusty but I haven't got the energy to clean them up so I lay down on the bed and just closed my eyes. I was trying to shut away every image I saw that day. I was willing it to be just another nightmare but when I opened my eyes the next morning everything nightmare came back. Reality washed over me. I decided to make the best of everything, at least someone was willing to take me.
I stayed with my old aunt Carol for six years and in those years I learned so many things about her and I began to understand her feelings so much that I really felt attached to her. She was once a beautiful woman and men everywhere adores her but fortunes do not favour her. She got pregnant at the age of eighteen to her abusive boyfriend. They got married by her father's insistent and because of the shortage of finance, they lived in a small house far away from her family. Her boyfriend wasn't very satisfied with the marriage so he decide to abuse her in so many ways unimaginable to me. After the birth of her daughter who was sickly her husband began going out with other women. Leaving her to take care of their daughter. Sometimes, at night when he got drunk he would come home abuse her again. For her daughter's sake she took up a job at a small restaurant as a waitress but it wasn't enough. Her husband began asking money from her and when she tried to hide them he abuse her even worse.

One day she decided to fight her fate. She took her baby and was going to move out to stay at her parents place instead. However, before she could even step out her husband found out her plans and hauled her and the baby into the house. He started to abuse her but she was trying to protect the baby. Then, everything suddenly happened so fast. The baby was taken by her husband from her grasp and thrown like a rag doll onto the wall... the baby died instantly. She couldn't believed it. A rage seemed to grow in her. She couldn't felt her husband's beatings anymore, her body seemed to grow numb. She pushed her husband away with all her might and he fell on the burning fireplace, took the baby's small, light and dead body and ran away. She never looked back. The small house burned down leaving no traces. She moved far away in a remote place where she lived the rest of her lonely life. She could never trust anyone ever again.

Hearing her story made me realize that sometimes it hurts to trust the wrong people and sometimes life is so unfair to good people. I was so touched by her that I spend everyday trying to make her happy. I even make small parties with her and her old friends just to brighten up her days. We had great fun together. At night when I was alone in my bedroom I would think of the beautiful things that I have experienced in my young life. I felt honoured to have such lovely parents who welcomed me with open hands into their small but happy life. I was lucky...or so I used to think...

After years of living in great pain and strange happiness, Aunt Carol ended her life with a big smile... It was a lovely day that morning, and Aunt Carol was sitting in her rocking chair looking at the bright blue sky and hearing the sound of the twittering birds. She looked calm and serene. I just got back from my Graduation Day at school. When I reached the front porch, she opened her eyes and asked, "How was the Graduation Day, Dear?" she asked in her shaky old voice. Smiling up at my bright and cheerful face.

"Oh! It was lovely...just perfect! Aunt Carol... you are now looking at one of the best, intelligent and talented student of Harrington High and also the best student in Art, Psychology and History! And for this I am given a full scholarship to go to the Harrington college where I could further my studies of Psychology and Art. Isn't that wonderful?" I said in a single breath. My face was glowing with joy and happiness and I felt that nothing could spoil my day.

"Ooh! That is lovely Dear. I couldn't be more happier! This must call for a celebration!" Aunt Carol replied happily. However, we never really get to celebrate, when I got inside to change and prepare her dinner she has passed away with a smile on her withered face. When I remembered that face again I couldn't help smiling too. She was like a mother to me. My dear old Aunt Carol was the best that ever happened to my life... well second after my adopted parents.

My brother came during the burial and I was surprised to find that he has gotten married to a beautiful, rich and haughty looking young woman named, Annabelle Glenmoor. What was even more shocking was that I was to be under his care now that he was married. I told them I could take care of myself and that I was going to college at Harrington College but he object by saying, "Your scholarship has been changed. You can choose any college and yet have your full scholarship. We decided you could go to a college in Chicago where you will be near to where we live. You have no say in this, it has been arranged," he replied tartly before summoning his chauffeur to take my luggage. Not only that, he also sold the small house which was inherited to me in Aunt Carol's will for my expenses, without my knowledge!

I should have known living with my brother would be terrible but I didn't know that it be just like hell and it got worse when there was a holiday. Every Saturday night my brother and sister-in-law would host a party and I would be locked in my bedroom. Everytime any of my sister-in-law's relative comes to visit or stay there I won't be allowed to go out. Food would be given to me through a hole the size of a medium-sized-dog. I felt so sick and tired of being locked in. It feels as if no one even realized I was alive in there. This tortuous treatment got even worse when I started to get sick because of the lack of fresh air available. That was when my brother started to complain of how I was 'the burden of his family' or that 'I was going make his favourite sick and further hurt the baby she carried'. Sometimes alone in my room I would cry thinking how great it was when my parents or Aunt Carol was alive. I felt tortured mentally and physically that I couldn't stand it.

By the time I finished college both my brother and his wife decided that if I am to stay in their house, I would have to work and live just like the maids in the house. At first I had wanted to go away but thinking that since my brother controls most of my finances and that I have no where else to go I chose to do as they bid. But I did doubt my answer was the right choice I ever made. At first my work didn't seemed bad enough I was asked to clean things, wash the dishes and do the chores that I used to do at Aunt Carol's home. However, just when I thought I was going to be alright, things started happening. My brother's wife heritage money was moving away faster than it was produced because of my brother's bad management and her father would not help them because he was also facing bankruptcy. My salary was cut down bit by bit and later none was left. There was also no maids or butlers or servants left in the big house. My brother was left in his doom with his wife being pregnant and me taking care of them both.

This reminds me of the time when my parents got bankrupt and we were left to survive with my mother's salary and tons of bills hanging around our neck. However, there was a difference it was my brother's small salary that his family had to depend on. My brother had to face the second biggest shock of his life. For the second time he had to face the fall of his family from the stage of richness to the stage of poorness. However, the second shock might have been the worse for him because he couldn't blame anyone else except himself.

Everytime I looked at him he grew bitter and bitter. Later he got worse he starts to abuse his wife and me, hitting us, torturing us and blaming us for what can only be defined as his problems. His wife got scared and tried to run away but he caught hold of her and locked her away. Then he bade me to watch over her. I had to follow his inhumane orders to survive or else I would be abused even worse. Each night he would come home drunk, furious and in despair. Sometimes I caught him in the act of talking by himself, shouting crazy things, while drinking bottles and bottles of alcohol. At first I got scared looking at him like that and I got worried of what would happened to his pregnant wife. Sometimes I would sneaked some food that I brought from my savings to the room where his wife was locked. When I am positive that he was gone for the night I would talk with my sister-in-law just to comfort her. Anna would cry to me and ask me to unlock her but I told I do not know where my brother placed the key and if I ever tried to break down the door he might kill me. We were scared but there was nothing to do but comfort each other.

One fateful night, I was bringing food to Anne' s room when suddenly I heard the front door opens. It was my brother. I was shocked that he would come home so early. Then I heard there were other voices I leaned down on the veranda to see who came to the house. I saw in the living room a fat and short man wearing a rich-looking, white, sleek tuxedo with matching hat. He had a small mustache underneath his nose and a triangle-shaped beard. Ha also wore a black shades with golden trim and he holds a golden plated cane on his right hand. His companion was a tall, tough and serious looking man with bald head wearing black shades and a black suit. They were talking smoothly but I saw my brother seemed to be fidgeting on his seat and he looked as if he was worried about something.

Then, all of the sudden the tall man took out his gun and fired at my brother straight on his head. The shot hit his brain and that had caused his death. Then the tall man placed the gun on my brother's hand so that it looked as if he killed himself. They then went away. I couldn't move. My hand were cold and sweaty and my heart was beating so hard that I heard blood being pump into my ears. I couldn't believe what had just happened. Everything was starting to become darker by the minute... Time seemed to stop and everything went pitch black.

Suddenly, I felt something hard my shoulder and my head aches. I got up and opened my eyes... I just realized that I had fainted. I looked around everything seemed quiet. I went downstairs to the living room slowly, step by step. There I saw my brother sitting on his chair with his head falling forward limp and dark red blood dripping from his head. I went nearer to him but as I got closer I felt more likely to barf. The stench of death surrounds him. Then I saw it, just peeking on the front of his jacket pocket a bunch of keys hanging like silver medals. I tried to reach it before his body started to fall. At first it got stuck but when I began to move it around it went lose. I avoid touching his body. I got hold of the key and went straight to my old room where Anna is still inside. I tried every key but all seemed not to work. When I tried the last key the lock turns and the door opens. I was a little relieved.

I open the door and there I saw her. Anna was sitting at the end of the wall. Her long, black hair was in total disorder. Bits of hair was hanging out everywhere. Her face was bruised and her hand were thin and fragile-looking as if it would break anytime. Her clothes were torn and cuts were everywhere. Luckily her baby was still surviving. I took her hand and placed them on my shoulder then I bade her to stand. Her legs shook life aspen leaves but she tried with all her might to stand. She asked me over and over again, "Is he here? He won't hurt us won't he?" as if she needs reassurance. I kept saying "No Anna we're safe, ". When my words finally sank in, she quieted and cried silently. I tried to sooth her by saying, "Don't cry Anna we will be safe". In my heart I really hoped we would be safe.

I placed Anna in the kitchen stool and told her what really happened. Her reaction was that of confusion, a struggle between delight and sadness. I called for the ambulance and the police while Anna watch my brother's dead body. I saw her shoulders shook silently while tears started to run down her face. I realized that despite what my brother had done he had once loved his wife and Anna must have loved him too or else she wouldn't have married a nobody.

When the police came I had to told them what happened again. I also described to them in great detail who had killed my brother. They asked for Anna's permission to search the clues for as to why my brother was killed. Anna gave her consent but I know it's because she too wanted to know the real truth behind this and besides she wouldn't have any strength left to deny anything not when everything is lost. When the ambulance started coming I helped Anna to get into one of them. When I started to got out Anna cried for me to come too. I told her I need to take care of my things that were left but the paramedics also insisted on me coming. He said smilingly, "By the looks of your cuts and bruises I believe you also need medication." So I had to agree but I realized that from the day my parents died I found myself really hard to trust other people. I believed that this had to do with the things I've been through.

My brother's body was taken to the morgue for a check up and Anna was taken to the Chicago Hospital and was told to stay there until her baby was out that would be happening anytime soon. After my medication I was able to look after Anna at the hospital while trying to get my scholarship back so that I could go to the Chicago University where I further my studies in psychology. I hoped everything went well from now on. I hoped and hoped and finally I got my answers. After two weeks of agonizing patience, I finally got my results for my scholarship. They were willing to renew my scholarship and I would be able to further my study and perhaps get a degree.

Not only that Anna also gave birth to the most handsome, healthy and cutest baby ever. Anna was in tears when I saw her that evening after I got my results. I asked her what happened, "tomorrow they will bury David and I couldn't come. David junior also won't be able to see his father..." She cried while tears were falling down her beautiful face. I smiled sadly and told her, "Anna...tomorrow I will be your eyes and I will see my brother and I will tell him that... he is so bad ...because he left a handsome son and a beautiful wife and that ...they love him so much." While I was said this tears starts to fill my vision and they fell down from my eyes while my mouth was hurting just trying to keep a happy smile. Anna giggles and cried, "Thank you Sherry!" Then we both hugged each other just like when I once hugged my father, letting every pain moves away.

The burial the next day was to me a different thing. It was not like my parents or Aunt Carol's burial where so many people came. This burial was one of the saddest, most quietest and torturous burial I ever witness. For I have mixed feelings for my brother. I loved him for what good things he once done for me and for what good deeds he once done for Anna but I also hate him for the bad things he had done to my parents, Anna and me. But one thing is for sure, I can feel the pain he felt all those years and I understand why he did what he done to us. This was the reason why I was willing to forgive him...

It's been a year after my brother's death. Now I felt my life was going to be fine. I lived on my campus but on holidays I stayed at Anna's house. Anna now work as a local school teacher. She said that she wanted to raised David Jr. by herself. Life was good. Sometimes I wonder if I just could kept them this way forever. Our small little group of family, just Anna, me and little David. I wonder if I ever could trust anyone else to enter my small but happy life. I bet I wouldn't which was why I always have no real friends at school. I get along well alright but I hide so many things from them that I feared they question my loyalty, especially Michael.

I once thought I may not have another challenge after what happened a year ago... but I was wrong. The men who killed my brother starts hunting me again as they realized that I was the one who witnessed the whole scene with my brother and that I know everything that had happened between them. I found this out when I was sitting on the café near to my University, a man was sitting behind me and he told me everything. He also told me that If I do not wish to be killed I must bring $100,000 to the old factory by next week on the first of July and that no police should be included or I would be killed before I knew it. My mind brings out questions like 'what am I going to do?' or 'where can I find that much money?'. My heart beats faster and faster. I cannot think well... I had to go back. My life was turning back to darkness...

When I reached my room my friend told me I have two letters. I checked them out thinking who would sent me a letter. The first one was red in colour, it was hand mail. When I opened it my hands shook again it was a letter reminding me of the appointment, it's place and time. I crumpled the letter and drop them onto the floor. Tears started falling on my face. I was scared... I was really scared. My body crumpled onto my bed and I cried my heart out. Michael knocks on the door, I tried to gain my composure but it was too late. He went in and saw my puffy looking eyes and wet face and his face turned from smiling to great concern. "Sherry, what's wrong?" he asked. His funny face now full of deep concern. "Nothing. It's just a bad day." I lied, smiling. But deep down in my heart I wanted to tell someone and ask for help. I only know I couldn't because this was my problem I won't have anyone in this, not even Anna and especially not Michael.

"Are you really sure? Do you want anything to cool yourself down, like tea?" He asked, in his friendly kind of way. "Sure...tea would be nice" I replied smiling slightly. After he got out my eyes moved to the second letter, I reached for it and opened it. Inside was a letter from the lawyer who once handled my parents money. He wrote that my brother never touched one cent of my parents money and now it belongs to me which is about... $50,000. I stared at the money and two questions disturbed me; 'how did my parents got the money?' and 'why didn't my brother spend it?' The answer was still lost to me up till now. Then the lawyer wrote again that I also inherited $500,000 from my Aunt Carol and this has been placed in my bank account.

I was shocked...I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. 'Thank you!' I thought clutching the letter to my chest and looking up. That was how Michael found me as he entered my room with the cup of tea on his hand. "Are you Okay?" he asked surprised to see me like that.

"I think fate have just given me a present... I need to go out!" I replied as I stood and started to took up my bank book and my shoes. "What about the tea?" he shouted back, scratching his head.

"Just put it on my desk! I have to go." I replied hurrying down the stairs and out to the door. When I reached outside the wind blast on my face blowing my brown hair. I never felt more free than that day. I went straight to the bank and ask the man to withdraw $100,000 in cash. The man was shocked so I had to lie saying 'I wanted to shop for my wedding'.

When I got out of the bank I hurriedly put the money in my suitcase and locked them up and got ready for the day to come. I spent the whole week planning how to set a trap on the bad guys, but first I had to throw down every icicles, every untrustworthy feeling, every frightening feeling that surround me for years and throw myself into trusting the one person who has been working hard trying to be my friend, Michael. So, that week I told what happened in my whole life and I told Anna what happened the day before. They both supported me with all their heart. It was so weird. I never felt that I could trust anyone anymore but these two people have shown me great support, friendship and trust.

That day came, I was a little scared. My mind kept frightening me with questions of 'what if...'. I was getting really nervous. The old factory seemed more deserted and haunted. I walk slowly until I reached the middle "Hello!" I cried. Then, I heard footsteps coming straight at me. I saw the fat man and the tall man who once killed my brother. Suddenly, all the memories came back to me. Sweats started to fall down my head. I faced the men with what pride and courage I got left.

"Well...well so, you are David's sister," The fat man stated, "you are the one who put us in jail." He sneered.

"Step sister...I'm his step sister and I only describe what I saw to the police, there was no crime in that I was just telling the truth!" I replied trying to show my courage and hid my fright behind a determined face. I stood there with the bag of money in my hand looking at the tall, frowning man who was holding a gun pointing straight at me.

The man look at my prideful face and decided to end the small chat. "Alright! Enough is enough!" He said, "Why don't you just put the bag---" he began. "Boss, we found someone interesting lurking around the factory," another man said cutting his boss words. The man was holding Michael's hands at his back while Michael struggled to get away from the big man's buff hands but his struggles were futile.

I then saw who it was. "Michael!" I cried, "Let him go. He has nothing to do with this." Then the buff, big man push Michael straight to me and I caught hold of him.

"So, you brought company... didn't I mention that if you ever try to bring anyone into this you'll get killed... so, why don't we begin with your friend" With that he aim his gun straight at Michael and shoot. I didn't know what else to do so I threw myself in front of Michael. The bullet hit on my shoulder with enough pressure to make me fall to the ground. With my last ounce of strength I heard the siren of the police and Michael carrying me, then there was nothing left.

I opened my eyes and looked around. I was lying on the hospital bed and daisies were arranged beautifully in a flower pot in front of my bed. I look to the side and I saw Michael's head lying on his arms. He looked fast asleep. I smiled inwardly. Then Anna came inside, "Boy, he must be tired of waiting for you to wake up" she whispered "Anyway, I got good news. To make a long story short... we caught the bad guy and we still got the money and I think they won't be bothering us any more." Anna smiled. "I'm glad you're still alive. I don't I could handle losing you."

"Thank you!" I said, but I was surprised to find my voice croaking. This in the end brought Michael up. "Oh! You're awake I was...ah..." He stammered, feeling surprised and shy.

"I think I should leave you two alone. I need to take care of my baby," Anna said, "I'll see you tomorrow"

"Goodbye Anna, don't forget to say hi to little David and thanks for everything" I replied, happily.

When we were left alone Michael starts to fidget. I began to break the silence by saying, "Thank you for everything too Michael. I owe you so much."

"Oh! It was nothing" he replied, then he looked at his hands "Um... I want to ... why did you throw yourself in front of me ...when ... you know?" he stammered, nervously.

"Because all my life I've lost so many great people, people who loved me, people who trusted me and people whom... I loved the most... I don't want to lose another when he meant so much to me" I replied, looking at him with my heart in my eyes.

He look back at me with his heart in his eyes, "I love you" he only said. But somehow I understand what he was actually saying. He took hold of my hand and we looked at each other for a long time. "I trust you." I said, smiling.

No matter how many bad and sad things revolves around me, from now on I would remember to go to those trust in me because trying to face something alone... really hurts. But to trust the people who trust us... brings us new experience that we never could imagine. That was what I have learned from the sad, difficult and happiest times of my life. I remember that I used to ask myself, 'who would save me?"... now I know the answer. To 'Trust' is to 'Love' and to 'Love' is to 'Trust'.

Short story by syer
Read 609 times
Written on 2006-06-23 at 10:03

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