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It didn’t bother me one bit to feel my father and mother’s arms curling around me with suffocating tightness. What was air compared to the astounding relief of knowing that against all odds, my parents were alive?! My eyes squeezed shut. I tried not to sob but little sounds managed to choke through my tightened throat. My mother was my audio mirror, mimicking my strange, strained squeaks of utter release and relief right back to me despite her own efforts to choke them back. Her hand began stroking my back, her fingertips lightly tugging on my hair in that same needy-motherly way I was trying to comfort Silver with earlier. Although I had resolved to be a grown-up – and I meant it – I allowed myself to accept my mother’s comfort because I knew how terrified she must be and still, s...

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