K.C.
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Shepherd's Crook - 21. Epilogue – (10 Years Later)

Epilogue – (10 Years Later)

The woman, sitting in the plush leather chair, patiently waited.  Her long blond hair was pulled into a sleek ponytail.  Pale shimmery eye shadow and the slightest hint of pink lip gloss was a smart choice.  She looked posh and confident, waiting for the man on the other side of the wide wooden desk to finish reviewing her qualifications.

“Well, Mrs. Mitchell,” The man said looking up from the papers.

“I’m sorry, Sir, but it’s Ms. Mitchell,” Shelby politely corrected him as she looked down at her hands resting in her lap, observing her perfectly manicured nails and long slender fingers that were presently absent jewelry; however, small pearls hung from both of her ears, as well as a strand of pearls, formed a dazzling collection at the base of her slim throat.

“Yes, Ms. Mitchell, your qualifications are impeccable and the letter of recommendation from the Chief of Staff at Shepherd’s Crook Hospital is exemplary. Dr. Jonathan Robinson speaks very highly of you.”

A faint blush crept across Shelby’s cheeks.  “Thank you, Dr. Chaudry, but to be honest, Dr. Robinson is a tad biased.  Jonathan’s a very dear family friend and he’s always dreamt that I would go to medical school someday like his son, Gibson.”  Shelby smiled thinking about her best friend, Gibby.  He had been through a lot over the last few years and she was glad that he was finally happy and in love with his boyfriend, Scott Becker.

“But instead you chose a career in nursing?” A crease fell over Dr. Chaudry’s forehead as he listened to her explain.

“I know that Gibson Robinson will make a wonderful doctor, just like his father, but I’ve always felt that my place was in the nursing field, that’s where I can make the most impact.  My mother’s a nurse and it has been such a pleasure following in her footsteps these last few years.”

The elderly doctor smiled at her thoughtful answers.  “Tell me, Ms. Mitchell, why do you want to work here at The Beauchamp Psychiatric Hospital when you could have your pick at any number of positions in the medical field, and far more glamorous ones, too, I might add?”

“I have always been fascinated with the human mind and working with patients such as yours, will be extremely challenging, but very rewarding.”

Dr. Chaudry couldn’t hide his delight with her successful interview.  “We would be pleased to offer you a position here in the women’s ward.  You will be a wonderful asset to our team.”

Shelby slowly nodded her head.  “Would it be possible to tour the facility and maybe speak to your staff and some of your patients before accepting your offer?”

Picking up the telephone as he answered her, “Of course, of course, I wouldn’t expect anything less; after all, you need to learn about us, just as much as we need to learn about you, before making such a big decision.” He turned his attention back to the receiver. “Tammy, would you please show Ms. Mitchell around?”

Within moments, Tammy knocked on the door before stepping inside.  Her turquoise scrubs were bright and cheerful.  She looked far more casual than Shelby in her sharp business suit and expensive heels.  After a quick introduction, Dr. Chaudry turned Shelby over to Nurse Tammy.

The facility looked like every other in-patient mental facility across the country.  Shelby smiled as the young woman explained the daily duties as they walked through the secured hallways.

“So why are you moving clear across the country?” Tammy asked, glancing down at Shelby’s ringless finger.  “You’re obviously not chasing after a guy?” The nurse’s sarcasm shined through.

Shelby’s grin widened as she stepped closer to the woman and lowered her voice, “Maybe, I’m still looking for the right girl.”  That remark had Tammy stumbling to put some distance between them.  A look of horror flashed through the woman’s eyes, unaware that Shelby was just teasing, but Shelby didn’t care.  She had traveled halfway across the country for one reason and it had nothing to do with Nurse Tammy.

The woman looked relieved when they reached the Day Room.  Dozens of patients sat in the bright sunshine, enjoying games, reading and drawing. Their ages ranged from late teens to elderly patients barely breathing, but one of them immediately caught Shelby’s attention.

Greasy locks of matted blond hair hung over the woman’s face.  Her hands were contorted into gnarled claws, clutched against her chest.  Sitting alone in the far corner, her lifeless eyes stared out the big window.

Shelby needed to get closer. She had to be sure.  From this distance the woman looked more like a homeless vagrant than the remnants of the spoiled selfish princess, she remembered from childhood.  Her pulse raced with anticipation.

Tammy noticed Shelby staring at the patient and continued towards her lonely corner.  “Mandy, darling, I want you to say hello to Nurse Shelby for me.” Shelby flinched when Tammy spoke.  Her heart pounded in her chest.  She had spent the last few years searching for Amanda Grady and it looked like she had finally found her.  Stepping closer, Shelby could tell there was no way this patient could say hello, the woman apparently couldn’t even keep from pissing her own pants, the smell of urine was so strong.

“This is Amanda Shepherd.”

“Interesting,” The word slipped out before Shelby could stop it, luckily, Tammy just kept on rambling without missing a beat.

“Interesting? No, not really.  Amanda here is paralyzed from the chest down as the result of a tragic fall when she was a teenager.  She’s been in a catatonic state for years, long before she was transferred here to Beauchamp a few months ago--”

A crash in the hallway interrupted Tammy’s explanation, but Shelby had already heard enough to know that the woman sitting in front of her was Amanda Grady.  Excusing herself to go investigate the commotion from outside the room, Tammy left them alone.

Shelby dropped down to one knee to bring Amanda’s icy stare to eye level.  At first Amanda’s gaze stayed fixed as she stared through the window, but as Shelby started to talk, her hallow eyes slowly shifted towards the familiar voice.  “I got to hand it to Daddy Grady; that was very clever of him to change your name.  I almost didn’t find you this time.”

Noticing that she had Amanda’s full attention, Shelby smiled.  The girl’s eyes widened with fear and she began to moan.  “Shhh, Mandy, don’t get yourself all worked up.  You know I’m not here to hurt you.  On the contrary, I want you to live a long and miserable life, trapped in this rotting body for as long as possible.  Death would be too good for you.  I want you to suffer each and every day for the rest of your miserable life, and I want you spend every second think about all of the lives you have destroyed.”

The noise in the hallway stopped.  Shelby only had a few seconds before Nurse Tammy returned, so she quickly finished what she had to say.  “I’ll be back again someday to check on you.  Until then, just so you know, Tanner’s in Heaven and Ethan is in Hell, so when your pathetic body decides to finally crap out on you…when you die, wherever you go…either way, you’re fucked!”

~The End~

I can't thank everyone enough for all of the support you've had for Shepherd's Crook.  This has been such an emotional story and you've stuck with me and Gibby and Tanner through it all.  Your reviews have been great and kept me going, trying even harder to bring you the best story I can.

I hope that I've answered all your questions and haven't left any loose-ends.  Please feel free to coment and review and ask as many questions as you want! If something wasn't answered in the story, I promise to answer everything in the reviews.

http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/34479-shepherds-crook/page__st__75#entry378259

KC :D 

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Chapter Comments



I loved the epilogue and I'm happy that Gibby found love later in his life. The ending was great and I'm really sad to see this story come to an end.

 

Is there another story in the works? Are you going to continue your draconian tactic of posting just one chapter a week? (kidding).

 

Thank you so much for writing this. It was amazing.

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Again, Wow. You should be totally proud of this...great stuff and Amanda got what she deserved, her fate was worse than death. And Gibby found love again. I'm going to miss him, so I won't be mad at ya if you do another story featuring him.

I know all good things must come to an end, that being said it was a wonderful, exciting journey.

Sign me up in advance for your next story....just sayingthumbsup.gif

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On 08/21/2012 07:19 AM, Rebelghost85 said:
I loved the epilogue and I'm happy that Gibby found love later in his life. The ending was great and I'm really sad to see this story come to an end.

 

Is there another story in the works? Are you going to continue your draconian tactic of posting just one chapter a week? (kidding).

 

Thank you so much for writing this. It was amazing.

It sad to see this one end. This story meant a lot to me and I'm thrilled that it has gotten the response that the readers have given it. :)

 

I am working on a new project for this fall. It takes me so long to write, edit, polish and get each chapter ready that I don't think I could post more than once a week, I think you understand ;) I want to make sure that I'm posting my best quality work. Thanks for reading and enjoying this adventure with me and Gibby! :D

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On 08/21/2012 07:19 AM, Naptowngirl said:
Again, Wow. You should be totally proud of this...great stuff and Amanda got what she deserved, her fate was worse than death. And Gibby found love again. I'm going to miss him, so I won't be mad at ya if you do another story featuring him.

I know all good things must come to an end, that being said it was a wonderful, exciting journey.

Sign me up in advance for your next story....just sayingthumbsup.gif

I like that Amanda is still suffering 10 years later and hope she continues for the rest of her life. She deserves it! ;) I plan on writing more with Gibby, if it do it will be far down the road. I have too many other projects already lined up. (hope you come back to my new story...hint, hint) :P I'll start posting my next story this fall.

 

It's sad to see this one end but it was time and I hope everyone walks away satisified with the ending.

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On 08/21/2012 08:43 AM, charlieocho said:
Yes!!
One word reviews are....AWESOME!!! ;) Thanks Charlie!

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i am in agreement with everyone else here LUV LUV LUV this story

great ending also with everyone getting what they deserve

 

but (yep there is a but )

WHAT AM I GOING TO READ NOW ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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On 08/21/2012 10:33 AM, gregg said:
i am in agreement with everyone else here LUV LUV LUV this story

great ending also with everyone getting what they deserve

 

but (yep there is a but )

WHAT AM I GOING TO READ NOW ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Hahaha-- there a rumor floating out there about some Novel length "Secrets Kill" anthology that should be posting very very soon :P

 

I actually didn't participate in the anthology (this has been a difficult year) But I'm really looking forward to having some time to get caught up on my reading too ;)

 

Thanks for really liking this story. It means a lot to me. :D KC

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Kc, get it published.... honestly. That was the best damn story I've read in a long time. It's an honor to have talked to ya in chat when I see this level of talent. Bravo, and I fully expect a signed first edition. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif Def. my pick for story of the year. Guess it's time for a re-read...

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On 08/21/2012 11:45 AM, Houdinii said:
Kc, get it published.... honestly. That was the best damn story I've read in a long time. It's an honor to have talked to ya in chat when I see this level of talent. Bravo, and I fully expect a signed first edition. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif Def. my pick for story of the year. Guess it's time for a re-read...
:*) thanks Brian! I put a lot into this story, I'm just so happy to see how many people really liked it. You're honored to talk to a goofball like me? :o I'm just glad they let me stay around this place :P I fly below radar so I don't think they know that I'm here (wheew) or I would have deff been kicked out by now! LOL

 

Thanks for reading and sticking with me and the story! :D

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OMG! I sooooo love that. Amanda got what was coming to her. That was way way better then just killing the bitch! Your amazing KC!

worshippy.gif:worship: :worship:

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On 08/21/2012 09:29 PM, Shadow Runner said:
OMG! I sooooo love that. Amanda got what was coming to her. That was way way better then just killing the bitch! Your amazing KC!

worshippy.gif:worship: :worship:

Fate worse than death (Robert's idea actually) he read the original ending and said "OMG you suck!" :P He really helped me hammer out the details then I ran them all through Rustle for his approval so this really was a group effort. Even the readers played a big part with their encouragment! Thank you for reading!! :D :D KC

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Yeah, at the end of the last chapter, I thought that was too easy on Amanda..... I wanted her to suffer.....good job. evil.gif

I hope Gibby and Scott are happythumbsupsmileyanim.gif

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About the epilogue - I'm in the corner hiding from the lynch mob, although it got what it wanted so maybe I'm safe!

 

I would have enjoyed the story even without the epilogue, but now when it's here I want to say I liked the switch of point of view, from mainly Gibby's to Shelby's. And ... this part also made me almost-cry, but not of joy like it seems everyone else are doing, but because I feel awful about both Shelby and Amanda.

 

Shelby has spent ten years of her life to track down Amanda and make sure she is as miserable as possible. She has spent ten years set on some kind of revenge/ pay back obsession, when she should have spent that time trying to find closure and move on with her life. Still she is an interesting person, and even though she doesn't get much screen time I liked this last image of her.

 

And then there's Amanda. I still don't get her. Those almost-tears I didn't shed was for her. And her poor parents, what about them! Of course her father changed her name; even if they're repulsed by her actions she was once their little girl. Actually, she still is.(Just like your daughter will always be your little girl, no matter what.)

 

All in all this was an entertaining read. The first chapter captured its reader with just the right amount of hints of Gibby's and Jonathan's troubled past to keep the reader going.

 

The tone set in the first couple of chapters is the one of an average middle or small sized town with an idyllic outlook. The turns and twists further along the story provides for an even more interesting story. It never gets predictable or boring, and the tension you're creating last till the very end.

 

Gibby is a sweet character, who despite his horrible past is capable of connecting and loving other people. In comparison to Shelby he forgives and moves on. And how to categorize it? I'm not sure yet. It has a little bit of the best.

 

Thanks for a great story KC!

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On 08/22/2012 12:37 AM, Gulab Jamun said:
Yeah, at the end of the last chapter, I thought that was too easy on Amanda..... I wanted her to suffer.....good job. evil.gif

I hope Gibby and Scott are happythumbsupsmileyanim.gif

:o you don't think that's a good amount of suffering? Jeez, hate to see you hell-bent on revenge to know what evil stuffie you come up with! :P

 

I'm glad you like it. Thanks, GJ so much for reading :D

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On 08/22/2012 04:04 AM, sorgbarn said:
About the epilogue - I'm in the corner hiding from the lynch mob, although it got what it wanted so maybe I'm safe!

 

I would have enjoyed the story even without the epilogue, but now when it's here I want to say I liked the switch of point of view, from mainly Gibby's to Shelby's. And ... this part also made me almost-cry, but not of joy like it seems everyone else are doing, but because I feel awful about both Shelby and Amanda.

 

Shelby has spent ten years of her life to track down Amanda and make sure she is as miserable as possible. She has spent ten years set on some kind of revenge/ pay back obsession, when she should have spent that time trying to find closure and move on with her life. Still she is an interesting person, and even though she doesn't get much screen time I liked this last image of her.

 

And then there's Amanda. I still don't get her. Those almost-tears I didn't shed was for her. And her poor parents, what about them! Of course her father changed her name; even if they're repulsed by her actions she was once their little girl. Actually, she still is.(Just like your daughter will always be your little girl, no matter what.)

 

All in all this was an entertaining read. The first chapter captured its reader with just the right amount of hints of Gibby's and Jonathan's troubled past to keep the reader going.

 

The tone set in the first couple of chapters is the one of an average middle or small sized town with an idyllic outlook. The turns and twists further along the story provides for an even more interesting story. It never gets predictable or boring, and the tension you're creating last till the very end.

 

Gibby is a sweet character, who despite his horrible past is capable of connecting and loving other people. In comparison to Shelby he forgives and moves on. And how to categorize it? I'm not sure yet. It has a little bit of the best.

 

Thanks for a great story KC!

:sword: I'll protect you! I know the crowds got stirred up at the end but I don't think they'll lynch anyone! :P

 

I hoped readers would like the change of POV. I wanted Gibby's story to end with chapter 20 but I felt that I needed to do the epilogue to tie up loose ends. Shelby hasn't spent all 10 years tracking Amanda, her father changed her name and got her transfered.

 

The friends and families of the victims have been keeping track of her, shelby was the one who went to track her down. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. :)

 

The Grady's will do everything to protect Amanda even if she's a monster. (Yeah, there's nothing I wouldn't do for my kid...that would be such a tough situation!)

 

I'm so glad that you read my story and took the time for all of your very intriguing reviews! :D It has been such an adventure and the readers response has been amazing!

 

Thanks so much!

KC :D

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I only discovered the story today and you had me gripped from the opening of chapter one all the way through to the end of the epilogue. Thanks for a wonderful story.

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On 08/22/2012 08:35 AM, andyboi said:
I only discovered the story today and you had me gripped from the opening of chapter one all the way through to the end of the epilogue. Thanks for a wonderful story.
You read the whole story today? :o Wow, I haven't even read it all in one day :P

 

I'm glad that you liked it! thanks for reading! :D

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I just got back from a holiday and read the last few chapters. So it did end sad. And good at the same time! It's good to see Gibby find love with Scott and to see Amanda punished (horribly by the way!). She DID get dragged to hell I think! Thanks for a wonderfull story, I'll definitely keep following your stories!

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On 08/23/2012 01:35 AM, Rocarules said:
I just got back from a holiday and read the last few chapters. So it did end sad. And good at the same time! It's good to see Gibby find love with Scott and to see Amanda punished (horribly by the way!). She DID get dragged to hell I think! Thanks for a wonderfull story, I'll definitely keep following your stories!
Thanks Rocarules, sad yes and no! It still leave hope for the afterlife but Gibby has to live his life and we also got to see that Scott, even the idiot he started out as, was a good guy and Gibby and he are happy :D

 

:thumbup: awesome, to have another fan!

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OMG... KC! u evilbutnice I didn't see it coming... Gibby n Scott together.. I know i call him prick when they first meet, n how mad Tanner feel when Scott give a telephone number to Gibby... Well if they happy together.. I APPORVED! haha... As for the bitch she deserve it... THXS KC FOR AMAZING STORY. Looking forward for new one from u..

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On 08/23/2012 06:18 AM, unlikelyu said:
OMG... KC! u evilbutnice I didn't see it coming... Gibby n Scott together.. I know i call him prick when they first meet, n how mad Tanner feel when Scott give a telephone number to Gibby... Well if they happy together.. I APPORVED! haha... As for the bitch she deserve it... THXS KC FOR AMAZING STORY. Looking forward for new one from u..
Haha- I was getting ready to say something about Amanda when I answered the last review but then I saw that you were still reading the epilogue...Didn't want to give away a spoiler! :P

 

I think Tanner approves now, he want's Gibby to live a full and happy life. Scott on the other hand had a lot of making up to do to Gibby but I like that the worked it out and got together in the end :wub:

 

Amanda will suffer for a long long long time.... :D

 

Thanks so much for reading!! KC

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I'm so glad Gibby is happy with Scott.

 

I'm sad to see that Shelby never sort of moved on from her brother's death. I don't want to say 'got over' his death b/c I'm sure that's something you can never truly get over. But I agree w/Sogbarn that it's sad that Shelby spent so much time (even if it wasn't ten years, she still was thinking about it) finding Amanda. Will her words to Amanda help her (Shelby) come to terms with what happened and finally try to move on? I'd like to see her work through all her anger so she doesn't carry it with her for the rest of her life. But who am I kidding? If it were me, it probably wouldn't matter how many years passed, I would still want revenge.

 

But it was certainly a shocker KC to find out that Amanda is still alive. And miserable in a useless body. What a horrible existence. Gives her plenty of time to think about all the things she did wrong. All the lives she destroyed. I'm glad you didn't kill her off. lol

 

As I said in the last review, I'm glad Gibby found closure with his mom. Still wondering though if he remembered the love he shared with Tanner. I think that would have made it especially hard to let go and move on. But I'm glad he found love and Scott redeemed himself.

 

This was a wonderful story KC and as I said, I will definitely miss the characters. Each chapter was better than the last and kept me wondering how will he ever top this? How will he explain that? What's gonna happen next?

 

I look forward to reading your new story. You are an extremely talented writer KC.:)

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On 08/24/2012 10:20 AM, Lisa said:
I'm so glad Gibby is happy with Scott.

 

I'm sad to see that Shelby never sort of moved on from her brother's death. I don't want to say 'got over' his death b/c I'm sure that's something you can never truly get over. But I agree w/Sogbarn that it's sad that Shelby spent so much time (even if it wasn't ten years, she still was thinking about it) finding Amanda. Will her words to Amanda help her (Shelby) come to terms with what happened and finally try to move on? I'd like to see her work through all her anger so she doesn't carry it with her for the rest of her life. But who am I kidding? If it were me, it probably wouldn't matter how many years passed, I would still want revenge.

 

But it was certainly a shocker KC to find out that Amanda is still alive. And miserable in a useless body. What a horrible existence. Gives her plenty of time to think about all the things she did wrong. All the lives she destroyed. I'm glad you didn't kill her off. lol

 

As I said in the last review, I'm glad Gibby found closure with his mom. Still wondering though if he remembered the love he shared with Tanner. I think that would have made it especially hard to let go and move on. But I'm glad he found love and Scott redeemed himself.

 

This was a wonderful story KC and as I said, I will definitely miss the characters. Each chapter was better than the last and kept me wondering how will he ever top this? How will he explain that? What's gonna happen next?

 

I look forward to reading your new story. You are an extremely talented writer KC.:)

I guess I didn't exlpain it as well as I could have. Shelby hasn't been searching for Amanda for 10 years. She has been living her life in Shepherd's Crook, she's a nurse and works at the hospital (like her mom) but she has been keeping tabs on Amanda until her father moved her again. He's moved her several times but this time he changed her name and tried to "hide/protect" her only 6 months earlier. Sorry for any confussion.

 

I know that if it was my brother/sister, i don't know if I could ever get over it. I would want revenge too!

 

Gibby will remember Tanner. I don't want him to lose those memories of him, but he will live a full life and be happy, and yes Scott redeem himself, he had to, to be with Gibby. Gibby deserves the best ;)

 

Thank you so much for your wonderful reviews. I'm so glad that you have enjoyed my story and that I kept it interesting from start to finish.

 

KC :D

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The change of character was unexpected. I got the feeling this wasn't originally how you planned it. Amanda is damned any way you look it at, but still not sure if I see it as punishment enough. She was directly responsible for two if not three deaths, and nearly killing Gibby. Gibby got Scott? I would have hoped he found someone who could accept him from the start. Scott would have had to work extremely hard. In many ways I was expecting Gibby to find love after he left there, but as long as the character is happy.

 

I will agree with others that I feel sorry for Shelby. Not because she has hunted after the killer of her brother or any of that. I wonder if she ever knew what had happened when he died and spent time with Gibby and even watched over her. Did she ever have the chance to reconcile that part of his afterlife with her image of him. It is nice to know she stayed close to Gibby though. She became a nurse like her mother and that is a testament to her parents and her desire to help others.

I did hope there would be something about Johnathan finding love again. The poor man had been through so much you sort of hoped he would find a chance at life and love again. He was still young enough that Gibby could have had siblings.

 

Anyway enough of my comments and rants. Nice job on your story KC and can't wait for you next one.

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