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Sara’s eyes take in the familiar streets around her flat, streets which have been made new again by the profound stillness freezing the neighbourhood. The sun is rising slowly, lazily. Rays of sunlight are stretching out, caressing the city’s unloved grey buildings. The air is warm against the skin, carrying with it the premonition of the day’s heat ahead. The streets are lonely yet expectant, as the centre will soon be heaving with a constant flow of people. Returning from yet another night spent scouring bar after bar, she isn’t sure how much more her body can take. Her tongue feels like sandpaper as she licks her parched lips, and the pressure in her head is making her nauseous. Succumbing to a general feeling of deflation, tinged with a certain self-indulgent despair, she got to thinking about Sam. She had met Sam only a few weeks prior, during a night of tequila at a bar at the other end of the city. Since moving to the city nine months ago, such nights were steadily increasing in frequency. Indeed, her recklessness had established a familiar routine, a monochromatic pattern of blurry evenings and fumbles in the back of taxis. This particular evening, she remembered, she’d stashed a cheap bottle of vodka in her bag, from which she liberally sipped when she thought no one was looking.

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