Playing with Fate.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Penelope and Carter- the perfect couple, were best friends before dating, and fell in love with each other quickly. At 18, Penelope fell pregnant, and though hesitant at first, Carter soon came to be just as excited as Penny was. Until he walked out during the birth of his daughter, Danielle, not to be seen for months upon months on end.

Now, 18 months later, he’s come back to the little town of Little Ferry, New Jersey, realizing the mistake he made the day he walked out of the hospital.

He’s hoping to talk to her again, to get her forgiveness. Will he be able to get what he came for, or will she keep that longing for him hidden under the mask of hatred?

Submitted: August 10, 2011

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Submitted: August 10, 2011

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This is the short story I've been talking about! I hope you guys like it! :) I'm open to constructive critisism, so if you see any errors or any ideas as to make my writing better, I'd love to hear what you have to say!

 

“Push, baby girl, push, just one more time and we’re done!” The familiar voice of her crazy mother said as Penelope clutched onto her hand with all her might- knuckles white as snow already.

An extremely feminine groan escaped her mouth but before anybody could say anything, an oh so earth shattering cry fell from below, as a beautiful baby girl was born.

“Oh honey, you did so well, I’m ever so proud of you, you’ve done so much but bringing me my first grand baby has outshone everything. I’m so proud, baby, so proud,” her mother said, tears running down her face at an unimaginable speed.

“Sweetheart, you’ve always been my little star, and now you’ve got your own little one. Your granny would be so proud, even more than the emotional wreck that is your mother” her father said as he winked at her mother, and then smiled at Penelope once more.

“Is mommy ready to hold her perfect baby girl for a picture?” The nurse asked, bringing the new baby towards Penelope. She nodded furiously, reaching for the perfect baby who was hers. Hers. And Carter’s, of course. “Let’s get baby daddy in the picture too!”

But, by then, he was already gone.

“Carter? Where’d you go? Danielle is so cute, come back!” She screamed from the crammy hospital bed. 

Probably went to the bathroom, right?

The minutes passed, and as beautiful as Dani was, Penny couldn’t think of anyone but Carter. Though not married nor engaged, the two were madly in love, and after 9 months of Penelope’s pregnancy, she would expect Carter would be there, but where was he? Thinking back to the gruesome 18 hours of labour, Penelope suddenly realized she hadn’t seen Carter there for at least the last 2.  But, where did he go? He wouldn’t have needed the bathroom for two entire hours, and if he did, wouldn’t he have sent a text message, maybe called Penelope?

But, nothing.

No messages, no missed calls.

Remembering that his phone often lost his contacts, Penelope decided to call him herself.

“Sorry, no cell phones allowed.”

“I’m sorry, I really am, but I need to call my boyfriend, Danielle’s father? I’m not sure where he is; may I just call him a couple times to see what’s going on?” Penelope pleaded.

The nurse reluctantly nodded and took Danielle to clean her off.

After five rings, the sound of Carter’s voice sent Penelope into bliss.

“Hi, how are you? Well, I expect you to ask me how I am now, right? Well, sadly, I can’t answer right now as this is my voice mail. Sorry! I’ll get to the phone as soon as I can, and I’ll make sure to call you back.  Please leave your name and your phone number as I don’t have caller I.D. Thanks!”

And, again.

“Hi, how are you? Well, I expect you to ask me how I am now, right? Well, sadly, I can’t answer right now as this is my voice mail. Sorry! I’ll get to the phone as soon as I can, and I’ll make sure to call you back.  Please leave your name and your phone number as I don’t have caller I.D. Thanks!”

Once more, Penelope thought.

“Hi, how are you? Well, I expect you to-“

Ugh.

What could be going on?

Why isn’t he answering the phone?

Why isn’t he here?

Is something wrong?

Then, it hit Penelope like a stack of bricks.

He was throwing a surprise party.

He always talked about how we would have a party the day we brought our baby home, so he probably decided to make it a surprise for Penny.

Holding Dani once again, she was suddenly happy and excited for the party soon to come.

*

He never came.

Never threw a party.

After weeks of calling, of messaging, of trying to scout him out, he was still not to be found.

Penelope called his parents, his friends, his other family, the restaurant where he worked as a waiter, and the university where they had both just finished their first year.

But nothing.

Nada.

Zilch.

*

18 months later.

“Danielle, you silly, silly girl!” Penelope squealed at her daughter- who was currently sitting in her high chair and painting on Penelope’s face with her baby food.

“Mama, uppeh!” Dani gurgled out and raised her arms.

Sighing, Penelope picked up the little one and put her down on the floor, sitting in front of her cross legged.

“Well, princess, what would you like to do today?” She asked her daughter.

“Cwayons, cwayons!”  Dani screamed out, stepping to her feet and walking towards the box of crayola crayons.  “Open, mama, open!” she screamed again.

“Alright, sweetie, but remember, we don’t live here alone, no more screaming. Got it?” She tried to put on a serious face, but looking at Dani, it was highly impossible. She immediately smiled when Dani nodded, and opened the crayon box for her daughter.

She gave Dani paper right away, as not to cause another accident.

The first time that Penelope gave Danielle her brand new 64 pack of crayons- with the sharpener, Dani was so excited that she just had to use them, and fast, so the second Penelope turned away Danielle was already colouring on the white walls of their apartment.

Putting the paper in front of her daughter, she had a second to relax. And just when Penelope was getting somewhere, already moulding into the couch, she heard a knock on the door. She sighed, picked herself up, and walked towards the door. But, opening it, she didn’t expect him to be here.

Carter.

The man who broke her heart when he walked out on her when she was in labour, who hadn’t even tried to talk to her or continue any communications for a year and a half.

He was here.

She couldn’t understand how, in his right mind, could he leave, and then bear to show his face, showing up at her apartment?

Closing the door, she scowled at herself and sat down with her back against the chestnut door.

“Mama, what  wong?” Her darling daughter piped up when she saw the slow cascade of tears running down her face.

“Nothing, sweetie,” she mumbled standing up while trying to ignore the consistent knocking on the door.

“Mama, open door! ‘Der’s someone der! We no want them to wait!” Danielle told Penelope, pointing a little finger in her direction.

Penelope smiled, despite everything that was going on inside her head.

Why was he back? If he left, couldn’t he stay there and let her live her life? Did he have to come back after everything he’s done?

Opening the door once more, Penelope’s heart almost broke at the sight of how venerable he looked.

“Lopi,” he said softly, calling her by her old nickname.

“I don’t know what you’re doing here, Carter, please just go- we know you’re good at that,” Penelope muttered sadly, turning her head. “Dani, could you go play with the crayons in mommy’s room?” She asked of her daughter, letting one tear fall.

Danielle nodded, her blonde hair bouncing as got up to her feet and walked.

“She’s walking? Already?” Carter asked, watching Dani as disappeared inside.

Penelope nodded- looking into Carter’s eyes for that emotion she so desperately wanted.

And there it was.

Just aching for her to smile at him, to do anything, to show some sort of happiness- not resentment.

“Lopi,” he said sadly again, reaching for her hand.

“Carter, please, just go.” Her eyes were already starting to water and the only thing she wanted to do was to be able to sink into a bed and watch rom-coms, with no responsibilities.

“Lopi, please- I can’t, I need to talk to you,” He rebutted, trying to come inside the apartment.

“No, carter, you need to leave.” Penelope said sternly, finding a new confidence.

“Lopi, I need to!” He yelled.

“No, you don’t! You don’t need to talk to me. You needed to talk to me when I was giving birth to Danielle. Or, you needed to talk to me when I called thousands of times over three weeks. Or, you needed to talk to me when you called to ask about your daughter? Remember her? You needed to talk to me then, you don’t need to now!” Penelope screamed at him, tears already flowing freely down her cheeks.

“Penelope! I’m sorry, alright? I’m sorry, there’s nothing else I can say!” He screamed back, and with noticing Penelope crying, couldn’t help but let a tear slip by as well.

“Nothing else you can say? What about a fucking explanation as to why you left?” She was done with being angry, even done being upset, she was downright furious now.

While screaming at each other, neither realized that their daughter, Dani, had heard and had walked back to the doorway.

“Mama?”

And that was the limit for Penelope, who let out a large sob immediately.

“Carter...please, go,” she cried out, picking up Danielle and walking back into the living room with her.

“Lopi, baby, let’s just talk for a bit. I need a minute of your time, I promise that’s it,” Carter said quietly.

Penelope couldn’t even resist, walking inside and letting him come in as well.

Why, why did he have to come in?

Sitting down on the couch and cradling Danielle in her arms, she sighed and looked at Carter once more.

“Well, what did you want to talk about?” She asked, softly.

And then, he decided to be silent.

“Umm...”

Penelope couldn’t believe her ears.

After 10 minutes of fighting her to talk to her, he fell silent?

Coward.

“I don’t know.” He sighed, picking himself up, and walked out the door.

And just then, after he left and you could no longer hear the door slamming, she fell onto the floor crying- still hugging Danielle.

*

“-You know I have a job interview today, right? I can’t go to my job interview with my daughter still here, so pick up your butt or you can say goodbye to being paid for babysitting!” Penelope yelled into the phone, outraged.

It was 9:01, and she had an interview at 10, but the interview was at least 45 minutes away, and she had to make a good impression.

Her friend’s younger sister, Katheryne, was supposed to baby-sit Danielle, and she was supposed to be here at 9, 8:55 even, but she wasn’t! And, although it was an issue for her, she was also still angered from her meeting with carter the other day, so her mood was just awful.

“I’m here, I’m here!” Katheryne squealed from the door, running over to catch Dani in her arms and bounce her on her hip.

“Aunty Kathy!” Dani screamed, latching onto Katheryne.

“I’ll be back by 1- tops.” Penelope blew them both a kiss and ran out the door, trying to catch the 9:03 bus, but obviously, it had just left.

“Late, as always?”

Oh god- Carter.

Somebody let me throttle him.

“Carter, if you don’t move out of my fucking personal space, I will take a brick and throw it at your head this moment.” The words left her mouth before Penelope could stop herself, and she sat down on the bench, trying to wait patiently for the 9:09 bus.

“Lopi, listen, I’m sorry about yesterday. But, even if you’re ignoring me, I’m going to tell you what happened when Dani was born, alright?” He sat down next to her, resting his palm on her knee.

“No, Carter, you’re not going to tell me when we’re sitting at a bus stop. You’re not going to tell me something I’ve been waiting a year and a half to know on a fucking bus stop bench. Do you understand how important this is to me? If you want to tell me, stop acting like I don’t matter- like everything that happened that between us didn’t happen!”  Penny screamed, pushing him away from her and turning to the right, crossing her arms.

“Baby, please, I’m not doing that- I swear. I didn’t want you to be upset, I wanted to bring it up lightly, please don’t be upset. I just want to tell you what happened; I just want us to be back to normal.”  He pleaded to her; about to reach for her but realizing she would just push him away.

Don’t look up. Don’t look up.

Penelope’s eyes betrayed her, and looking at him so vulnerable and gorgeous, she gave in immediately.

 “Meet me for coffee at the Tim Horton’s over by the university at 12?” She asked shyly, the anger already passing her.

“Of course,” He whispered into her ear.

Waiting for the bus to come, Penelope and Carter had never been more awkward in their entire lives. 

When the correct bus pulled up, Penelope frantically searched through her purse for her tokens. Where had she put them?

“Don’t worry, Lopi, you can repay me later,” Carter said softly, walking onto the bus and paying her fare.

*

Sitting down on the old couch in the book store, Penelope fidgeted with her fingers and waited for the manager to see her.

“Hello, it’s nice to see you.” The manager said, taking Penelope’s hand and shaking.

“You as well, I’m Penelope, I’m hoping to apply for a job here?” She said with a raise in her voice.

She needed this job.

Desperately.

Being a single mother, having to drop out of uni, struggling to pay the rent, she didn’t know what she would do had she not gotten this job. Sure, she could always go to her parents complaining, but when moving out of their house into this apartment, she told them she was older- more mature, and she could handle this on her own.

“Sure, do you have a copy of your resume?” She was asked.

Nodding, Penelope pulled a folded piece of paper out of her large, obnoxious gold bag.

At 16, when Penny went though the ‘crazy’ stage, she bought this bag because she wanted to be different, she wanted a real personality- unlike all the other girls she knew. She didn’t want to seem as cookie cutter as everybody she knew, therefore going out with Carter and buying the most obnoxious, weird things she had seen- blowing off hundreds of dollars at one go. Now, realistically, she would never use this bag, but she had no other bag that could hold all her stuff.

While the manager looked over her resume- that she put together last night, Penelope was as nervous as a pig.

“Well, it seems you have many of the qualifications to work here.  We will call you if you get the position.” The manager said, rudely. She obviously wasn’t very impressed with Penelope’s carefulness.

Well, that’s just perfect.

Penelope nodded, gathered her things, and left the store with a quick goodbye.

*

Hmm. What to get, what to get? She could get the frappucino, but then she’d look too bubbly, or she could get the sophisticated coffee, or the preppy latte, or the ever so lame tea?

“Hello, gorgeous,” a sultry voice said from behind her, an arm instantly draping around her waist.

“Carter- just because I invited you to coffee doesn’t mean anything is back to the way it was.” Penelope said, pushing him away from her and un hooking his arm.

Carter nodded sadly, standing next to her as she skimmed the menu.

“Green tea latte with the chocolate muffin, as always?” he asked her, pulling a bill out of his wallet.

“Regular coffee with 2 pints sugar, 3 sweeteners, no milk, and an apple fritter?” Penelope responded with a question, smiling to herself as the memories came back to her.

Nodding at each other, they ordered for one another and sat down at a quaint table with a gorgeous view of the city park.

“Well, Carter, are you ready to finally tell me why you walked out on me?” She asked slyly, sipping her latte and looking at him under her lashes.

With a nod, Carter began.

“Believe me when I tell you this, I was head over heels in love with you for so long, and I didn’t want this to happen. I was paranoid, I was scared, I wasn’t comfortable, I didn’t want to deal with my fears so I ran, I ran away from the Uni, from my job, I lived in multiple places, but nothing seemed to work for me. I didn’t know what was wrong, you know? It may have seemed like I wanted to get rid of you, that I didn’t want you, but- honestly, that’s not it. At all. It never was about you, or I’d like to think that.

I was scared, babe, you don’t know how terrified I was. I didn’t want to disappoint you, I didn’t want to disappoint Dani, or your parents, because you’re perfect, and nothing means more to me than making you proud. I couldn’t be a father to Dani, yet, I wasn’t ready for it, and I didn’t want you to be angry at me for making a mistake, so I ran. And now I realize that I did exactly what I didn’t want to, and I’m so incredibly sorry, love. Please, nothing would mean more to me than you forgiving me. And I know I might not deserve it, or you, for that matter, but I just need you to forgive me or I won’t be able to live with my self.” With a cracking voice, carter masked through his sadness, and hoped, ached, for Penelope to forgive him.

“Okay.”

And with that, Penelope leaned over swiftly and pulled carter into a kiss.

And so, they were kissing.

And it was just like old times.

And the sparks were back.

But swiftly, Carter pulled away from her.

“Lopi, I’m engaged.”

“What? Then why have you been dropping signals that you might want me back this entire time? Are you just going to play me again, is that what this is? A fucking game to you? Are you insane? You mean so much to me, and now you’re engaged and you’re going to leave again?” She screamed, tears already pouring out of her eyes.

“Baby, don’t be upset, I wanted to tell you what happened so maybe I was a bit too nice, so I’m sorry for that,” he said sadly.

“There you go again, Carter! If you don’t want me back, stop acting like you do! Don’t ever, ever call me baby again, or I will put glass shards down your mouth. Just stop, and let me do the leaving this time.” Penelope said, grabbing her things and running out.

“Lopi!” He called after her, running towards her and capturing her in his arms.

“Stay with me for a while. I’m not trying to lead you on, Penelope; I just want to get to know you again. I want to know what’s been going on the past year and a half, spend time with you.” Carter whispered in Penelope’s ear.

Nodding, Penelope leaned into him and smiled blissfully.

“Would you like to come back to mine, or go to yours?” He asked, hooking his arm around her shoulders.

“Yours, I think.” She whispered, wondering where he was staying at the moment.

Walking next to each other, they made their way to the hotel suite carter was living in currently. With a quick movement, Carter opened his suite door and lead Penelope inside. Sitting down, Penelope looked at his expectantly, wondering why all of a sudden he wanted to talk to her.

“Why now?” She asked.

“Why now what?” Carter asked again.

“Why did you decide to come back now?” Penelope asked again.

“I was finishing off a course in Toronto, and I needed to finish it. But believe me, I wanted to come faster. Sam didn’t want me to leave, and I didn’t want to upset her more.” He said slyly.

“So, you didn’t come because you didn’t want to upset Sam, but at the same time, you knew how much it was already upsetting me?” And then, Penelope was crying again.

“No, no, no, that’s not it. I’m sorry, Lopi.” Carter reached for her, trying to patch things up.

Penelope nodded through the tears, but continued crying- much to her dismay.

“Hey, hey, don’t cry sweetie,” He mumbled, forgetting that she didn’t want the pet names.

Forgetting about everything, Carter gave her a kiss on the temple. Penelope smiled at him, and leaned into his chest. He sighed, wrapping both arms around her and hugging her, trying to get her to calm down. But, the tears kept flowing.

So he did the only thing he could think of.

And he kissed her.

And this time, he didn’t pull away.

Neither of them did.

Getting more into it, Carter leaned over her and lightly pushed her down onto the bed, raking a hand through her hair and kissing the daylights out of her. And, as terrible as it was to be kissing someone- while engaged, he enjoyed it, more so than he ever had. Getting more and more into it, he let most of his weight rest on Penelope, moving away from her lips to kiss down her neck.

“Carter,” Penelope mumbled, trying to push him away.

“God, Lopi, I’m so sorry, I never should have done that and I’m sorry and I know you’re probably repulsed by it and all I was trying to do was to help but I guess it didn’t work and I’m so sorry, and even though I do still love you- as much as I did before, I shouldn’t because I have Sam and you probably have hundreds of guys who are fighting to the death for you and I’m so sorry, sweetheart, I really am.” Taking a breath, he finished his rant, but couldn’t look Penelope in the eye. He didn’t want to see how upset she was, or how much she hated him now, or any of the thoughts going through her head.

“Carter, I know it was just a foolish mistake when you kissed me, but by any chance do you maybe...do you maybe want this? Or was it just a mistake?” She asked, trying to meet his eye.

“A complete and utter non-mistake,” Carter mumbled, finally meeting her gaze and suddenly feeling so foolish for leaving all those months ago.

With a nod, Penelope continued.

“So, what does this mean?” She asked.

“I’m going to hope it means we can continue what we were doing,” He mumbled shyly, suddenly as nervous as a child.

“What about Samantha?” She asked again.

“Who cares about Samantha?” He muttered, capturing her in another kiss.

*

Never in her life did Penelope wake up this happy. She was in bed next to a gorgeous man, their room was at a perfect temperature, and even after doing naughty things to one another ‘till all hours of the night, they both still slept for 9 and a half hours.

“Good morning, gorgeous.” A hoarse voice said from beside Penny, wrapping a naked arm around her.

Giggling, Penelope placed fairy kisses around Carter’s shoulder, letting her head rest in the crook of his neck.

“Carter? What’s going to happen after this?” Penelope asked nervously.

“Well, I’m going to go back to Toronto, and I’m going to break up with Sam, and I’m going to come back here, and then we’re going to be a happy family with Dani,”

Sadly, Carter didn’t say that, but Penelope sure hoped he did.

“I don’t know, my sweet, I don’t know,” He said, hugging her and rubbing her back.

“I’m not going to just wait for you to make up your mind,” She said, suddenly angry.

Getting out of bed and getting dressed, Penelope grabbed her things and walked to the door.

“Let me know when you’ve decided.” She called out, slamming the door and running out of the hotel.

Sure, it was a bit melodramatic, but he left her once, and she wanted to be in control this time, she couldn’t let him do it again.

Oh, fuck.

She forgot. She stayed over with Carter. She stayed past 1. She forgot about Danielle! Now, she wouldn’t have enough money for the extravagant amount of money Katheryne would most definitely charge her.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Running towards the bus stop, she finally found her tokens and dropped one in, then got on the bus with her heart beating rapidly. When she finally got to her stop, she ran out of the bus and sprinted towards the door of the building. Though in heels, she raced up the steps and when she got to the door, opened it to find a sleeping Danielle being cradled by Katheryne.

“I’m so, so sorry, I got caught up and then Carter came back and I talked to him and I was upset and we went back to his suite and talking became kissing and things happened and I’m so sorry I didn’t call or anything, I feel so bad about it.” She let out, dropping her bag and taking her coat off.

With a smile, Katheryne nodded and gave Dani to Penelope. “Well? What happened? Did you guys...you know? Do the nasty?” She said with a wink, putting her shoes on.

Penelope nodded nervously, rocking Danielle at the same time.

“So scandalous! Well, seeing as you may be pregnant, I won’t charge you very much, but only if you promise I can baby-sit Danielle and your future children.” Katheryne said.

Nodding sheepishly, Penelope put Danielle down and looked through her wallet for money.

“So, how much do I owe you?” She asked.

“50?” Katheryne suggested.

Penelope smiled and pulled out two twenties and one ten, giving them to Katheryne and taking Dani back in her arms. Katheryne called out a quick goodbye, and with that, she was out the door.

Sighing, Penelope put Danielle in her crib and walked back to the kitchen to make some breakfast for herself, as she had run out of the suite so early in the morning she didn’t have time to eat. Taking out two eggs, bacon, and orange juice, Penelope started cooking. Once she cracked two eggs, mixed the egg yolks and whites together, added pieces of bacon, and poured the goo onto the pan, that was already sitting on the stove.

*

Weeks passed, and there was no word from Carter. Penelope guessed he just forgot about what happened and went back to Sam. Realizing this, Penny frowned at herself and sat in front of the TV to watch TV, while Dani played with her dolls next to her.

But, a familiar knock took her attention away from the soap opera she was interested in.

She stood up and walked to the door, to see a kneeling Carter there.

“Lopi, I need you to not speak for a second.” He muttered, taking her hand.

Penelope stopped herself from talking and nodded.

“Penny, you know I love you. You know I’ve never stopped loving you, right? You mean the absolute world to me, and when you asked what would happen after the night we spent together, I didn’t literally not know- I didn’t know how I would break it to Sam. And I didn’t know how I would be able to go and break her heart like I did yours, a year and a half ago. But I hope you know that I love you, and that I’ve just came back from Toronto, and I broke it off with her, my love. Please, please forgive me.” He pleaded, his eyes already rimmed in tears.

“Carter,” She mumbled, bending down with a smile.

And then, they kissed.

And kissed.

And kissed, again.

“Mama? Eww, you lips touching him lips! Ewwie!” Dani squealed from beside them, trying to pull her mother away.

Both Penelope and Carter laughed, and Penny picked up her daughter.

“Dani, I’d like you to meet someone. This is Carter; he’ll be spending a lot of time with us. Carter, this is Dani, my- our daughter.” Penelope said, holding Dani on her right hip and leaning into Carter on the left.

“You dadda?” Dani asked, preciously.

“Yes, I’m dadda,” Carter said with a laugh.

“Do you want to pway with cwayons?” She asked, latching onto his pinky.

“I’d love to, sweetie.” He took Danielle from Penelope, winking at her, and sitting down with Dani on the floor.

Looking at the two of them playing together, Penelope now realized she had never been happier.

*

3 years later.

“Mommy guess what? Jaimee asked me to be his girlfriend! And he kissed me! Colleen says boys have cooties, but I don’t think so! And after school, daddy bought me ice cream and he let me get two scoops and then I got chocolate chips and jelly beans!” Danielle screamed, jumping onto the couch next to her daughter.

A shy Carter walked inside after parking his car and sat next to Pam.

“You let Dani get two scoops, chocolate chips, and jelly beans? Caaarteeer! She’s going to become as big as mommy!” Penelope scolded him, resting her hands on her round stomach.

“Babe, it’s not you who is big, it’s Fiahna!” he responded.

“Oh shush, you,” She rebutted, elbowing him in the rib.

“Ow!” Carter screamed, getting off the couch and taking Danielle’s hand.

“Come on, sweetheart, let’s go do something with out mommy.” He said, winking at Penny.

Penelope scowled at him.

“I love you!” She yelled, hoping they would come back.

“I love you too, Lopi,”

And this time, he came back right away.


© Copyright 2019 EmilieHail. All rights reserved.

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