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He picked an apple from the top of the nearest tree, eyes moving from the deep fires of the dusky sky to the bright red skin of the fruit under his fingertips. The sweet, fresh smell reminded him of his first home, of the soft blush of his wife, June, when he proposed to her so many years ago. She was gone, but her memory still hung from every branch, in all the labors of the trees they had planted together, as if she were the sun breathing life into every leaf.

Yes, she would always be the apple of his eye.

 

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