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Daniel could only let go of Lily when Aunt Miriam appeared in the scene.

"What have you brought, Daniel? Seems like a lot." She smiled at him as she approached them.

"Only some fruits and vegetables from the hill," he said as he carried the bags inside.

They sat in the living room and chatted for a while as Rachel made them tea. Lily asked him about his school and for a brief time, he saw the light of childlike excitement return in her eyes as she listened to him tell her all about it.

"Sometimes, even in the morning, the smell of their sweat from playing in the sun during the break just kills me." Daniel chuckled as he spoke. "They play anytime, any chance they get, and they laugh so loud..."

"I can't wait to see them." Lily beamed at him.

"You would really love them. They're all so dirty and adorable." He grinned at her, making her laugh.

After tea, Lily asked him to take her to the house. "I've never been home since the accident."

Daniel looked at her pale face and he recalled the time he went to the house alone. It had taken every ounce of strength in him to stop crying and leave the house. He wondered if he should give Lily some time to accept her loss first... But then he didn't think it would be right to deny her when she asked.

Shortly after, Lily slipped on a jersey and followed Daniel into his truck. He drove slowly and carefully down the blacktopped road and parked in front of the wrought iron gate. Daniel killed the engine and turned to Lily who was silently staring out the window on the locked gate.

"Do you wanna go in?" he asked her.

She answered with a faint nod and moved out of the truck. Daniel unlocked and pushed open the door section of the gate. He waited for Lily to pass through and followed suit. Lily remained quiet as she watched Daniel open the main door too and led her inside. Lily stopped at the threshold and turned from shoulder to shoulder, slowly scanning the area. The windows remained shut, and so did the curtains and Lily sensed the lifelessness of her house choking her up. The TV set and the furniture were covered with white linen. The only thing that seemed to move was the old, circular, white clock on the wall just above the television. Her father had told her he bought it the day she was born and it had been in the house ever since. The master of the house was gone but the clock remained faithful to the owners in its duty as if it had decided to honor them until the end of its hour.

"It's so empty," Lily whispered barely above her breath but Daniel heard her.

He stepped up and stood next to her.

"It won't always be," he said, putting an arm around her as he tried to cheer her up. "There will come a time when this house will be filled with people."

"I don't see it," she replied obstinately.

"I do. One day, you would live here with your family. Your kids and grandkids." He smiled at her and she scoffed at him, tears in her eyes although she was smiling.

"What a stupid idea," she laughed, trying her best to divert her mind from the people who'd left her. "I won't get married," she added jokingly but the tears kept coming and she wiped them off.

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