|The Man from Swift Current|
|© 2011 Russ Nielsen
All Rights Reserved
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|Chapter 30: Rickís Parents|
†"Glenn, are you awake?" Rick whispered as he caressed the bare skin of my back and reached down to cup my buttocks with his huge hands.
"Yes," I responded sleepily with my eyes closed against the sunlight that was streaming through the window, "Why?"
"We need to talk about our trip to North Carolina this weekend.†† Iím really nervous about outing ourselves to my crazy red-neck uncles and cousins," Rick said as he brushed his lips gently against mine.† Rick rolled me onto my side and looked me in the eyes.
I looked deeply into his beautiful eyes and saw the worry he felt reflected there.†† "Why are you so nervous?†† Do you think they will try some crazy stunt with all of the family around?" I asked fully awake now.
We had planned our trip to North Carolina so we could be at Rickís family reunion.†† He wanted to introduce me as his life partner to the whole clan at the same time.†† I knew it would a risky thing to do but it would be better than doing it one at a time or letting the rumor mill spread nasty things about me and Rick.†† I would just as soon have everyone hear it directly from us.†† I cringed to think of the reaction of some his red-neck cousins and even some of his uncles to the news.††
†"Well, letís just say Iíve heard some pretty bad things about them from others in the community.†† Iím afraid that they will try to hurt one or both of us.†† My cousins arenít very open-minded about homosexuals or anything like it.†† In fact, they arenít very open to anything that doesnít fit their idea of normal," Rick said.
"Sounds like your cousins arenít any different than people anywhere else.†† I didnít come out to my classmates during high school because I was afraid of being harassed every day and beaten up on the way home from school.†† I came out to my family but not to anyone else except Ian and that happened by accident.†† I kind of had a huge crush on Ian and didnít hide it very well just like how I didnít hide my desire for you when I first met you," I laughed at Rick as he ran his hands over my chest and played with my nipples.
"So you are okay with being "outed" to my whole family?†† I donít want to put either of us at risk of bodily harm because of my family," Rick said as he bit my left nipple.
I leaned my head back enjoying my loverís ministrations.†† "Iím okay with it as long as you think itís a good idea.†† Maybe the best thing to do is to tell your mom and dad and then decide what to do.†† If they are okay with us as a couple, we can ask them what they think we should do," I replied looking my lover in the eyes.
"Glenn youíre a genius!†† I love you!†† I think you are right when you say we should tell my parents first and gage their reaction to our news and ask for their support.†† We need to get up and get on the road soon.†† Are you ready?" Rick asked as he rubbed his steel pole against me.
"I am always ready for youÖ," I said but didnít get any further before Rickís mouth captured mine in a very passionate kiss.
We lay exhausted from our love-making with our limbs intertwined enjoying the touch bare skin to bare skin.†† After a while Rick said, "Glenn we need to get showered.†† Come with me lover boy!"†† Rick pulled me up with him and led me into the shower and we quickly cleaned each other up.†† We toweled each other dry, got dressed and headed downstairs where my grandparents were already having breakfast.
As we sat down at the table, Grandma said, "Donít forget to be back in time for Keithís wedding next week.†† We need you two to help us set things up for the wedding."
"Yes Grandma.†† We havenít forgotten about the wedding.†† Do we need to stop by here or should we go directly to Kerryís parentsí home?"† Rick asked.
"You donít need to come back here, Rick.†† We will take care of everything we need from here.† You should check with Keithís folks before you leave Selma to see if they need any help.†† We will meet you in Clemson, South Carolina," Grandma said smiling.†
Grandpa looked over at us and smiled, "I warned you two that you would be dragged into the middle of the wedding plans."
"And so they should be dear.†† They are part of this family and as such should be part of the preparations for the celebration.†† Everyone will have a great time at the wedding once all the preparations are complete.†† Besides, Keith and Kerry have planned a much more relaxed ring ceremony for just the family at the beach when they return from their honeymoon.†† Katie and Joe have invited us down to their beach house to spend the last week of summer with them before college classes begin."† Grandma smiled at us and ruffled my hair.† "While Keith and Kerry are on their honeymoon, your Grandpa has bought tickets for you to fly Regina where your parents will pick you up, Glenn.†† We told them that Rick would be accompanying you.†† You will spend a week at home before returning for our last trip to the beach of the summer.†† How does that sound boys?"
We looked at each other and said at the same time, "Great!"†† Rick grabbed my hand and gave it a squeeze to let me know he was excited to meet my family.
We finished eating breakfast and helped clear the table.†† Grandma said, "Iíll wash up these dishes.†† You boys had better be on your way.†† I know you have a long drive ahead of you."
"Thanks Grandma," I said hugging my grandma.
"Ditto," Rick said and gave her hug, too.
Rick led me back upstairs and grabbed our bags and headed back downstairs and out the front door.†† He loaded our stuff in the back of Rickís Jeep Wrangler and climbed into the driverís seat as I was buckling my seat belt.††
Just like Rick had done on our trip up from Atlanta, he leaned over and kissed me and said, "I love you."
Rick started the engine and pulled out of the driveway.†† He had butterflies in his stomach.†† The thought of introducing his lover to his parents had him so anxious he was gripping the steering wheel so hard his knuckles were turning white.
"Rick itís going to be okay!†† Relax!†† Iím sure that your parents will be very understanding," I said soothingly trying to get Rick to settle down.
"I know youíre right but I still canít help thinking that my Dad is going to go totally off the deep end when I tell him I have fallen for a guy.†† Iíve heard him talk about gays before and his thoughts about them werenít favorable.†† I can hear him now, "Rick you know how I feel about gays and how can you expect me to accept that you are a homosexual!"†† I donít have an answer for him Glenn."
"Youíll tell him itís not about accepting you as gay but itís about accepting you for who you are and that you have fallen in love with the best person in the world for you," I said patiently knowing that it wasnít going to be as easy as I made it sound.
"But what about the military issue?" Rick asked glancing at me.
"What about it?†† Have you decided how we are going to handle it?†† You know we havenít really talked about it.†† We have avoided the subject since our first night together when you asked me to let us enjoy our time together without spoiling it with negative thoughts about things such as your militaryís anti-gay policy," I said.
"I know!† I know!" Rick exclaimed with feeling.†† "I have been too afraid to face up to the complications being in the military has for our relationship.†† I know how you feel about hiding our relationship from other people and I agree we shouldnít hide out.†† However, can we just keep things less obvious in public for now?" Rick pleaded with me.
"Rick, do you realize that you still have six more years before you can be free of the militaryís restrictions?†† You are asking me to refrain from showing how much I love you in public for six years?† How can you expect me to simply pretend that we are good friends when I am so physically attracted to you that I canít keep myself from reacting to the nearness of your gorgeous body?††† How can I just look the other way when I want to kiss you passionately and hold your hand as we walk down the street together?" I said letting my frustration show in my voice.††
I know my statements hit him hard.†† I could see his reaction to my words on his face.†† He knew I was completely right to be frustrated with him.†† Rick knew I wasnít going to be happy with him when we talked about this and we had deliberately avoided talking about it.†† I guess I had tried to pretend that if we ignored it long enough that it would resolve itself.††
†"I feel the same way Glenn," Rick said hoping to head off an argument with his lover boy.
"Then why are you asking me to stop showing my affection for you in public?" I asked.
"I didnít ask you to stop showing me affection in public.†† I just asked you to refrain from being so obvious about it," Rick responded defensively.
"Whatís the difference?†† You are still asking me to pretend that you arenít my boyfriend and lover!†† Do you know how hard thatís going to be?"† My voice had risen with anger as I finished speaking.
Rick said, "I know I am asking you to make a sacrifice for me but I think our love for each other is strong enough to get us through it.†† I know six years is a long time but it will go pretty fast since we are both going to be in school during most of those six years.†† Glenn, I know it seems like a lot to ask but I donít have any way to get out of the obligation I have to complete six more years in the reserves."††
Rick paused before continuing, "Iíve thought a lot about my commitment to the military.†† It seemed to be pretty straight forward to me when I signed up for the Marines.†† Now, it seems more like a millstone around my neck weighing me down and keeping me from being the partner I want to be for you.†† Iíd hoped you would agree to keep our relationship a secret from all but our closest family and friends."
"Maybe you should have thought about that before you decided to make me your lover!" I said angrily.† "You know I canít just turn my love for you on and off like a water faucet.†† Iíve fallen so hard for you that itís too late for me to try to pretend I donít love you!†† Rick, I love you too much to just turn away from you because of this situation but it sure makes me angry."†† I paused to try to get control of my emotions.†† "I am not so much angry with you as I am angry at myself for getting into a relationship that requires me to pretend to be someone I am not.†† You know how much it means to me to be able to be honest about who I am!"
Rick said in a distressed voice, "I know how important to you it is to be honest about who you are.†† Iím sorry, Glenn, can we at least reach a compromise?† I donít like it anymore than you do.†† Can you please look at it from my perspective?† Okay?"
"Iím listeningÖ.." I responded, still angry about the whole situation.†† Rickís begging me to compromise makes me even angrier!
"I know that youíre really angry right now but can we agree that we both went into this relationship with our eyes wide open?†† You knew I was in the Marines and even asked me about it the first night we went out together.†† You have to admit that you agreed with me when I asked you not to talk about it that night and we havenít talked about it since then.†† We havenít even talked about it when I have done my reserve duty and I leave you alone at the apartment."
"Yes, I agree that we both knew what we were doing and chose to ignore the elephant in the room.†† That still doesnít change the fact that you are asking me to pretend to be something Iím notÖ..and that is straight!"
"Iím not asking you to pretend you are straight.†† Iím not sure you could pull that one off even if you tried!" Rick said laughing at me trying to reduce the tension between us.†† He continued, "Iím just asking you to refrain from being so affectionate with me in public so itís a little less obvious to outside observers.†† Iím thinking that now would be a good time to put that into practice since I donít trust my cousins to leave us alone.†† I donít want to take the risk of either one of us getting hurt."
"Do you really think your cousins would do us physical harm?" I asked in alarm.
"Yes I do.†† I know my cousins!†† They are pretty prejudiced against anyone who isnít of the same religion, race, color and socio-economic status as they are.†† They have done some pretty bad things to other people.†† Iíve overheard them bragging about it when they thought no one was around.†† They may seem like nice people when you meet them but they are not nice at all!" Rick warned me.
"Wow!†† I thought people in the United States had resolved those kinds of problems with the civil rights and womenís rights movements.†† We donít have those kinds of problems in Canada.†† We have a pretty open society that believes in letting people live their lives."
"I hope you are right about Canadians being more open to different people since youíre Canadian.†† We Americans can be pretty closed minded when it comes to gender, race and religion despite our claims of tolerance and acceptance."
"Back to the matter of your cousins, what are we going to do?" I asked.
"Can we agree that we will be VERY discrete while we are at the family reunion?" Rick asked me very pointedly.
"Yes, I think I can do that.†† What about telling your parents?" I responded.
"I want to tell them but let me decide the best time okay?" Rick said.
"Alright, I will wait until you are ready but donít wait too long.†† We need their support as well as the support of my family to make this work.†† We canít hide the fact that we love each other from our closest family members.†† They are going to figure it out eventually," I said looking over at Rick as he concentrated on the road ahead.
"I guess youíre right Glenn.†† Iím just not quite ready to confront them on the issue of me being gay, yet," Rick said.
"I am here for you Rick.†† Remember I love you very much.†† I will support whatever decision you make with regards to your sexuality and your coming out to other people.†† I may not agree with you and I may not like it.†† In fact, I may even get angry but I will always love you and support you the best I can," I said trying to overcome my feelings of frustration.
Rick said, "Thank you Glenn for being so supportive.†† I know how angry you were a few minutes ago.†† I want to understand you better and I will try to remember to not offend you regarding your sexuality and the importance you place on being true to yourself.†† I havenít come to terms with who I am, yet.†† Iím glad you are willing to back off a little bit about showing affection for me in public."
†Rick quickly glanced over at me.†† He could see I was still struggling with his request.
"Glenn, I know you are still troubled by this issue.†† What more do I need to do to help ease your mind?" Rick asked sincerely.
"I donít know Rick.†† I am okay with not being so demonstrative in public but I am really disturbed by what you have told me about your family.†† I experienced that kind of hatred towards gays personally in my own family when my Dad threw my brother and his lover out of his house and completely disowned him.†† It wasnít physical violence against them but it was just as traumatic and caused a lot of emotional damage to our family," I said.†† I had thought the wounds from that experience had healed and was shocked at how much the memory of that time still hurt.
Rick, hearing the pain in my voice said, "Iím sorry to cause you to remember such a horrible time in your life, Glenn.†† I donít want you to have a repeat of that experience with my family."
"I hope we donít either.†† I guess I will have to be more on my guard than I thought," I said with resignation.†† "Itís just that I have really enjoyed being with you around my family and not having to worry about hiding my love for you.†† I love the fact that even my grandparents have accepted who I am and the fact that I have fallen in love with the greatest guy on the planet.†† The thought of having to always be on guard, always watching my words and actions to prevent harm to myself or those I love.†† I donít want to have to live in fear of being discovered and being persecuted for loving you."
"Iím sorry Glenn.†† I feel the same way as you do but we donít have a choice in the matter.†† We live in a society that doesnít value the freedom of human expression.†† They only value conformity to their own ideas of what is acceptable and arenít willing to let others live their own lives.†† They live to force their morals and values on others in fear that they might stray from their own.†† Itís that fear that drives them to violence to enforce their standards.†† It makes them feel invincible and somehow immune to those things they fear.†† When it comes down to what they feel deep down inside, they are cowards and have huge insecurity and inferiority complexes that prey on their feeble minds," Rick said.
"Wow!† Rick I didnít know you were such a philosopher!†† Since when did you have these deep thoughts?" I said trying to keep a straight face and failing.
Rick reached over and grabbed my thigh, "I will make you pay for that comment.†† You just wait, smart ass!†† Remember, I donít get mad I just get even." Rick said with an evil grin as he continued to run his hand up and down my inner thigh, groping my equipment each time he moved up my leg.†† I started to squirm in my seat as he kept it up.
"Iím going to cum in my pants if you donít stop!†† Rick!" I exclaimed as I tried to get away from him.
"Say youíre sorry or I wonít stop," Rick replied grinning from ear to ear.
"Okay, Okay you win!†† Iím sorry for teasing you!†† Just stop!"
He removed his hand and with big grin said, "See you can be taught to behave!"
†"You are so cruel!†† Why did I fall in love with you?" I asked laughing at Rick.
"It was my good looks and charming personality!"
"Well, I will give you the good looks but not the charming personality!"
Rick reached his hand over to my thigh, again, threatening to repeat his performance.
I tried to move away from his hand as I said, "Alright, alright, Iíll give you credit for a charming personality just keep your hands to yourself and concentrate on driving!"
"I am concentrating on driving.†† I learned to multi-task very well in the Marines so donít underestimate my abilities!"
"Iím sure you wonít let me forget how talented you are, especially in the sex department!†† In fact, Iím counting on unlimited repeat performances for the rest of our lives together!"
Rick loves it when I talk dirty to him.†† It always turns him on.†† He said, "You know we will have to pull over to the side of the road if you keep talking dirty to me!"
"Speaking of pulling overÖ..why donít we pull into that rest stop?" I asked.
"Sounds like a good idea," Rick said as he signaled his intentions to exit the freeway.†† He pulled into a parking spot close to the restrooms and turned off the engine.†† We jumped out and headed towards the restrooms.††
The rest of the drive to Rickís home was uneventful.†† We chatted about inconsequential things to pass the time.†† Rick pulled into his Mom and Dadís driveway and shut off the engine.†† Before Rick had a chance to get out of the Jeep, his dogs, Rusty and Shep, came bounding up to greet him.†† He climbed out and gathered them both in his arms getting a dog bath as they licked his face.†† Rusty and Shep are beautiful Irish Setters and have been with him since they moved back to North Carolina.†† He has told me how much he missed being with them.
I retrieved our bags from the back of the Jeep and came around to see what all the excitement was all about.
Rick looked up at me and said, "Let me introduce you to Rusty and Shep." Rick pointed to each one as he named them.†† I dropped the bags on the ground and knelt down to pet each dog.††
I said, "Hello Rusty.†† Iím glad to meet you."†† Rusty immediately took to me and let me scratch him behind the ears.†† Shep wasnít about to be left out and pushed his way under my hand too.† "Hi Shep.†† I havenít forgot about you so donít worry."††
Both dogs sniffed my crotch before wrapping themselves around my legs.†† This made Rick laugh, "It seems they know what part of your body is my favorite!†† It also appears that they have accepted you into the family, Glenn."
It made Rick happy to see that both of his dogs liked his boyfriend.†† Maybe we could take the dogs back to Atlanta with us when we returned to school.†† I would have to remember to talk to his Mom and Dad about that later.
Speaking of Rickís Mom and Dad, here they come to welcome us home, "Hi Mom," Rick said giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
His Dad held out his hand and I took it and gave it a firm handshake.† "Dad, it feels good to be home."
"Welcome home, son.†† Why donít you introduce us to your friend here?" Dad said smiling.
"Dad, this is Glenn Nielsen.†† He is Keithís cousin."
"Itís good to meet you, Glenn.†† Where are you from?í
"Iím from Swift Current, Saskatchewan.†† Iím spending the summer with my grandparents in Georgia," I said firmly shaking his hand.
"You have a firm handshake, Glenn.† I admire that in a man.†† So how do you like being here in the states?"† Dad asked.
"I love it.†† Itís been great to meet new people and to see the sights.† Rick has been a great tour guide.† Heís taken me to all the tourist sites in Atlanta." I said grinning at Rick from ear to ear.
Mom said, "Welcome to our home, Glenn.†† Iím glad Rick has made a new friend especially if you are related to Keith.†† Keithís family has been very good to Rick.†† We certainly are glad to have you visit us."††
Rickís Mom pulled me into a warm embrace and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Thank you, Mrs. Lernier for the warm welcome." I said.
"Please call me Mom or Vickie," Rickís Mom said smiling at me.
"And call me Dad or Jim," Rickís Dad chimed in, "we donít stand on ceremony around here.†† Rick, Glenn will be sharing a room with you so take your things on up and then you both can freshen up.†† Iím sure you are both tired from the long drive up from Atlanta."
"Come on, Glenn.†† Iíll show you my room," Rick said grabbing the bags and climbing the front steps to the door.
I followed Rick up the stairs to his room.†† He pushed open the door and said, "Everythingís just like I left it except that my Mom has been in to make the bed and close the closet doors.† Just throw our bags on the floor in front of the closet."
Rick jumped on the bed signaling for me to sit down beside him.†† Rick seemed a little nervous for me to see his room.†† He said, "I wasnít sure what you were going to think of all my posters.†† As you can see I have more than one poster of sexy looking chicks in my room along with posters of my favorite football team.†† I guess my room reflects what a typical American teen male thinks aboutÖ..cars, sports and sex."
Rick stopped and waited while I scanned his room.† When I didnít say anything, he spoke up trying not to sound nervous, "So what do you think?"
I looked at Rick and reached over and kissed him and said laughing, "I think it looks like your room.† I know you are an avid sports fan.†† I know that you really liked having sex with girls.†† And I know that you really are into cars.†† So, you have posters on your walls of those things:† sports, cars, and women.†† I am not surprised at all to see those things here in your room.† What did you expect me to think?"
"I wasnít sure.†† Iíd forgotten about all the posters of sexy girls Iíd put up.†† I thought maybe you would be offended or upset by them."
"Iím not upset or offended.†† They reflect who you were before you met me and swept me off my feet.†† You shouldnít be ashamed of who you are Rick.†† You and I both know that you are still attracted to women."
Rick looked shocked to hear me say he was still attracted to women.†† I know he has tried his best to show me that he only has eyes for me.†† "How can you say that, Glenn?†† Havenít I shown you that I love only you?"
I could tell Rick was trying hard not to get angry at me.† "Be honest with me, Rick, please.†† I know that you love me but you still notice the girls.†† I have watched your head swivel around to catch sight of the gorgeous babes that walk by us when we are at the pool.†† Now donít go trying to deny it!"
"I wasnít going to deny it but you have to admit that Iíve stayed faithful to you and Iíve tried not to be obvious about it when a gorgeous babe walks by us," Rick said defensively.
"I agree that you have been faithful to me and I appreciate the effort you have made not to make me uncomfortable.†† You have to admit that you arenít entirely gayÖ..bisexual maybe but totally gayÖ.I donít think so!"† I smiled as I said this last statement and took his hand in mine.
"I guess I have to own up to that fact.†† Youíre right Glenn.†† Iím still attracted to women but I promise to be faithful to you.†† Are you okay with that?" Rick asked looking deeply into my eyes.
"Yes, if you are.† I have been giving it a lot of thought ever since we left Atlanta.†† I must also confess that I am attracted to women too.†† I noticed those gorgeous babes walk by us just as much as you did.†† I was trying to be even more discrete than you were because Iím the one who is supposed to be gay not you," I said laughing.
"So all this time, you have been playing possum with me?†† Do you mean youíre attracted to girls, too?" Rick said staring at me.†† "I thought you were completely gay!"
"I still havenít decided if I am really completely gay or not, yet.† I know that I am highly attracted to you, more than I have ever been attracted to anyone else in my life.†† I do appreciate physical beauty when I see it.†† Do I get a hard on every time I see a gorgeous girl?†† No, I donít!† I donít know if Keith told you about Kerryís sister, Ruth Ann, or not?"
"He told me about her coming home from Italy but thatís about it.† Why?"† Rick asked feeling a hard knot of fear start forming in his gut.†† He had a bad feeling about this.
I answered, looking Rick in the eyes, "Ruth Ann and I had a lot of good sex while we were at the beach and at my grandparentsí house before I left for Texas.†† Keith was very surprised because he thought he and Kerry were the only ones messing around and not getting caught.†† You should have seen the look on his face when I told him that Ruth Ann had spent every night with me the entire week their family stayed at my grandparentsí house."†† I laughed at the memory.
"So what you are telling me is that you like Ruth Ann, too," Rick asked with just a tinge of jealousy in his voice.
"Yes, I like Ruth Ann, too, but not in the way you are thinking.†† You donít have to be jealous of her.†† You are the only one I really love.†† I had a great fling with Ruth Ann but it wasnít about love like it is between you and me.†† With her, it was more about the sex and helping each other out, kind of like being friends with benefits.†† Ruth Ann may have read more into our relationship than I did but thatís how I feel about it especially now that I am with you."
"Do you really mean that?†† I donít want to "out" myself to my parents if you are just going to jump ship and run into Ruth Annís arms next time you see her," Rick said just slightly miffed.
I place my hands on either side of Rickís face and looked deeply into his eyes, searching them to make sure I had his full concentration, "Rick.†† Listen to me!†† I am not going to abandon you.†† Remember, I am the one who has already come out to my entire family.†† They all know I had boyfriend in high school.†† And I havenít been shy about introducing you as my boyfriend to them as well.†† I am not going to run into Ruth Annís arms the first chance I get.†† You are the only one I love.†† Try to remember that sweetheart."†† I kissed Rick gently and sweetly trying to communicate to him all the love I feel for him.
Rick pulled back from our kiss and said, "Iím trying to let go of my jealousy and to move past it but Iím not being very successful at it.†† I know Iím being unreasonable but I canít help myself.†† Iíll try, Glenn, to remember that have said you love only me.†† These last few weeks have been pretty amazing to me.†† I just donít want it to end, okay?"
"It wonít end if I can help, my lover boy," I said passionately kissing him.
It still amazed me how much Rickís body responded to mine.†† I could feel him growing harder as we continued kissing.† Even if I wasnít in love with him, I would still want to have sex with him!†† He is so hot!††
Rick pulled back reluctantly, "We should be getting back downstairs before my parents come looking for us."††
"Okay, but before we do I want to know what this is," I asked pointing to Rickís scout shirt that hung on his bedroom wall.
"Thatís my Boy Scout shirt," Rick said, "Mom framed it and put all of the awards I have earned as a Boy Scout inside the frame with it."
"Why did your Mom want to frame it?" I asked.
"She is very proud of the fact that I earned the rank of Eagle Scout.†† Both Mom and Dad were very happy when I finally finished my Eagle project and turned in the paperwork.†† Keith and I earned our Eagle Scout award at the same time.†† In fact, we had a joint award ceremony to honor us.†† Keithís parents really made a big deal of the whole event.† I remember that day standing next to my best friend as we both received our Eagle Scout awards.†† Our scout master is an old retired Marine sergeant who encouraged me to join the Marine Corps.† Heís one of the main reasons why I decided to join the Marines."
"I wondered why you decided to join the Marines.†† Now I know," I said.
We both washed up and shared one last passionate kiss before heading downstairs where Rickís parents were waiting for us.††
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