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2

Passage

He came to town in the middle of an old-fashioned New England winter. The only person he knew even remotely was the real estate agent who had rented him the apartment above the store in what passed for a downtown. He was almost 60 years-old, and nearly every one of those years had been spent living in New Jersey. And even though he had moved to be closer to the woman he loved, he felt utterly alone.

Time passed, as time does, and he learned to look at the cycle of the seasons from a new perspective. He found the people different, harder somehow, and they found him different too. But three years later he was still there and he wasn't sure where the time had gone so quickly. The terror that he felt about forgetting where he was from seemed to fade, although New Jersey would always be a part of him. More importantly, the love he came to town to explore had grown stronger, just as he had intended it to.

Although he was determined not to die so far from home, as each day ended he made a silent agreement to stay for one more. In that way the years flew away, and when it was time to say goodbye, he was at peace, and he saw his love reflected in her eyes at the end. It was all he ever really wanted. He was home at last.

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