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datatime: 2022-10-03 10:55:32 Author:mSXyKIyu

To me, Richard, I have something left to prove to me.

I stared back into the hole and let myself acknowledge just how afraid I was. So afraid that I could taste something flat and metallic on my tongue. So afraid that my pulse was hammering in my throat, like a trapped thing. My voice came out calm, normal. I was glad. It doesn't matter that I'm afraid. I touched the flashlight, tried to pull it from his hand, but he held on. And, short of playing tug of war -- which I would probably lose -- I wasn't getting it away from him.

Why? He studied my face like he'd memorize it.

If I can crawl down into that hole.

I held my hand out for the flashlight.

I shook my head. I have to do it, Richard.

If I can crawl down into that hole.

Why? Why do you need to know that? You've proven to me and everyone here that you're tough. You don't have anything left to prove to us.

I shook my head. No. He's mine.

Why? and his voice held the first hint of anger, like a slap of warmth.

Why? Why do you need to know that? You've proven to me and everyone here that you're tough. You don't have anything left to prove to us.

Then why do it?

Why? and the anger was more than a faint hint now.

Why? and the anger was more than a faint hint now.

Why? He studied my face like he'd memorize it.

Why? He studied my face like he'd memorize it.

I looked at him, at the puzzlement in his face, his eyes, which had bled back to their normal, perfect brown. I'd been trying to explain shit like this to Richard for a few years now. I finally realized that he would never understand and I was tired of trying to explain myself, not just to Richard, to everybody.

Why? and his voice held the first hint of anger, like a slap of warmth.

He shook his head. I let this happen. I'll get him out.

Because it scares me, and I have to know if I can.

I shook my head. I have to do it, Richard.

I held my hand out for the flashlight.

I sighed. Less and less scares me, Richard. So when I find something that does bother me, I have to test it. I have to see if I can do it.

I sighed. Less and less scares me, Richard. So when I find something that does bother me, I have to test it. I have to see if I can do it.

What difference would it make if you couldn't climb down in that stinking hole? You'll never have to do it again, Anita. Just don't do it.

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