Born in December, Lila was warm as a soft wind and safe as a house built without foundation. She loved love, and hated money. She gave promise where needed and withheld little truth. She was perfect and handsome, at least through most eyes, and she knew this.

His birthday forgotten, Charles was angry and reckless. He loved passion and freedom, he hated diversion. He gave nothing when asked and bared his soul, clean when not prompted. He bore a crooked nose and shining teeth, and at least through most eyes, he was indifferent. He came to learn this.

They did not fall in love. Not, indeed love, but instead shared a pain and a mind and a future. They would instead learn to live on opposite sides of one pillar of strength, a forgettable friend named Thomas. Thomas, blind without glasses and a teller of stories, knew both of the…

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