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“In the cemetery, not far from The Black Angel, was a park bench that faced out to the lake that served as a tombstone for the grave of a teenager. I never knew her, but she had been a friend of the boy I was with and she had died a year or two earlier. Her name was April, and the boy and I sat on the bench on a sunny summer day looking out toward the lake and the campground on the other side.

I don’t remember what he said about April, but he got kind of teary as he said it. I patted his leg and we sat, looking forward, in silence. We sat there holding hands, saying nothing, listening to the far-off noises of children playing on the beach and the sound of birdsong. I’m sure my mind drifted, thinking of nothing, wondering when the quiet moment would stop. I hated silence. I hated not knowing what to say or do in this moment of grief I couldn’t understand. I could not comprehend why he wanted to share that moment with me.”

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