The Journey of Jacob and Kyle
by Andrew Davis
Chapter 12: This Cold Heart (Cont.)
Time line: Monday
In the midst of Jacob’s emotional outburst, Amanda stood her ground and hadn’t been offended by his off the cuff, split second responses. In her mind she could easily understand his frustration and believed that if it had been her, she would’ve reacted in the same manner.
After Jacob had left her field of vision, she took a moment to think of her next course of action. In the back of her mind, she felt that it would’ve been disastrous to follow Jacob at the risk of making everything worse. Things were already black and white in Jacob’s eyes, or so she suspected; he was already on edge and she didn’t want to somehow make his guard mechanism do anything stupid. She concluded that it was best for her, and anyone else who cared to bother Jacob, to leave him to his own devices so he could get a grip on the dragon that meant to lash out and do harm. She then decided to proceed to the principal’s office to speak directly to Mr. Matthews.
As she made her way down the empty halls, she walked at a brisk pace, and in no time at all she found herself at the main office. She quickly approached the abnormally high countertop and placed her elbows down upon it.
“Hello, Mrs. Appleton, do you think that I could speak to Mr. Matthews for a moment? It’s rather important that he and I speak,” she requested ever so politely.
The secretary looked up from her computer screen. “What could be so important that it couldn’t wait until after class?” she requested sternly, staring up through her moon shaped spectacles. Her tone wasn’t abnormal to Amanda; this was her everyday attitude and she knew it wasn’t meant to be taken as a rude gesture.
“I’m sorry, but that’s a private matter. Now if you could please let him know that I’m here, I’d really appreciate it,” Amanda urged, smiling.
“Very well,” Mrs. Appleton replied, picking up her phone to call the principal.
A few moments later, Mr. Matthews opened the office door and walked out looking as if a burden was weighing down his broad shoulders.
“Do you think we could step into your office for a second Mr. Matthews?” Amanda requested.
Mr. Matthews waved her in and so she entered to talk in private. “Sorry to bother you Mr. Matthews, but I wanted to come here to let you know that Jacob left class due to an incident that happened. Nothing dramatic or anything, so please don’t worry about that, he’d asked for permission to leave. I also think that we should let Kyle know what’s going on.”
Mr. Matthews put his hand to his forehead and rubbed it. “My God, how do you know about this? Has it already reached the entire student body?”
“Yes, unfortunately is has,” Amanda said, sounding agitated that this entire situation was even occurring. “But I’m sure you already know about Nick and James being sent down here to speak with you.” She quickly looked back at the door to where a pair of plaid chairs sat on the other side, and where she’d seen James and Nick waiting for Mr. Matthews’ heavy hand. She was glad that justice would soon be had. She then smiled and returned her attention back to Mr. Matthews. “Anyway, do you think you could tell me which room Kyle’s in right now?”
“I do believe he’s in gym class at the present moment, but I think it’s best if I went and told him. This is a difficult situation as it already stands.”
“No, that’s okay, really Mr. Matthews, I’ll handle this. I promise.”
Mr. Matthews gave considerable thought in allowing Amanda to be the bearer of bad news. He had already concluded that this situation was a slippery slope, and one he’d rather not get too deeply involved in. Unless he was specifically asked to do so, he would prefer to remain passive and keep the issue at arm’s length. As it stood at present, he was already more involved than he wanted to be, and having someone else doing the dirty work would make things easier on him. Finally, after several minutes of silence, he settled on letting her do it, as he knew she wouldn’t be able to take no for an answer; she was determined as ever and there was no way of changing her mind.
“Okay fine, but don’t let me down on this. Once you’ve spoken to Kyle and told him what’s going on then I want you to return to class. Understood?” Amanda simply nodded and ran off towards the gymnasium.
One might suggest that Amanda had some ulterior motive and pegged her as just another dumb blonde, but they would be severely mistaken; she was in no way, shape or form some typical, nonsensical, blonde. She genuinely cared and loved everyone, especially Jacob and Kyle, because she thought she understood the emotions of being ousted from the closet; intentionally or not. In some ways, she felt responsible for what had happened; had it not been by her own explicit suggestion to Mr. Matthews to celebrate anti-bully week, this situation likely wouldn’t have happened to begin with. Though in her own right, she wasn’t your typical girl either, she was courageous and would fight tooth and nail for anyone at the sake of justice and rightfulness in the world. At around five feet four inches tall, one might scoff at her small stature, but she was a lion under a cover of thick fluffy wool.
When Amanda reached the gymnasium, she found it empty and void of any human life. She found this rather unusual, and frantically began looking around for a clue of the class’ whereabouts, but when her eyes saw that the doors leading outside had been left open she went to investigate. Walking through the doors, she spotted a bunch of students sitting on the grass, listening to a health lesson. It appeared to Amanda that they were having a CPR training lesson as she saw numerous sets of mannequin lying on the ground. After a quick search of the twenty or so students she spotted Kyle and walked over to sit down beside him. She then tapped him on the leg and whispered into his ear. “Hey Kyle, my name’s Amanda. I’m in the same class as Jacob, and I thought you might like to know that he left class because some boys were picking on him.”
“WHAT?” Kyle exclaimed loudly. “Oops, sorry about that Mr. Morris, but I really need to leave.”
“Why what’s the matter?”
“It’s kind of a family emergency.”
Kyle swiftly jumped to his feet when Mr. Morris nodded that he was allowed to leave. He then offered a hand to Amanda and helped her onto her feet. Together they walked back through the gym doors, at a fast pace and stopped just inside. “Thanks for coming to get me Amanda, I appreciate it, but do you have any idea where he’s gone off to?”
“Well, all I know is the direction he went in, if that’s what you mean,” Amanda explained. “But, just let me clarify what happened so you have a better idea; during class I tried to protect him and I think it’s my fault they said the things they had. They were whispering at first and after I spoke up and called them out on it, they called me a slut. I don’t really care what they think of me though, because they know nothing about me, and what they were doing to Jacob was wrong by my standards. But I believe he went out the doors between the cafeteria and our math class, so I wish you luck in finding him. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to help you find him, but I need to return to class now.”
“I understand, and thank you for coming to get me. It means more than you know, but I should really go talk to him, that’s if I can find him,” Kyle said, sprinting away to get changed into his normal clothes.
Kyle quickly grabbed for his clothes from the locker room bench and rapidly stripped off his gym clothes. After removing his socks, shorts, and t-shirt, he put on his clean boxers, blue jeans, black t-shirt, and white socks.
Kyle rushed in getting himself dressed, though he wasn’t about to run off to God knows where without having any sort of plan in place. He then sat down on the bench directly behind him and leaned his body forwards; his eyes stared aimlessly towards the floor and his hands rested directly on the back of his neck. It was a desperate situation and he knew if he didn’t have a plan in place on what he was going to say to Jacob, whenever he happened to find him, then all might be lost. What that meant he wasn’t sure, but his gut told him he needed to figure this out. In the end, things had turned out far worse than he could’ve ever imagined them to be. He wouldn’t wish this even on his worst enemy; it was a deeply serious and dangerous situation for all those involved. He also didn’t know what to expect from Jacob, would he also be attacked if he confronted him?
After all of the problems that had presented themselves today, specifically the bullying ones, he hoped that all of this would soon change for both their sakes; but more so for Jacob and his current lack of sanity. As Kyle’s mind took him deeper into thought, he concluded that he wasn’t sure how much longer Jacob could handle this continual barrage of hatred. Not only had Sarah hurt him, but now Thomas and these two other boys had attacked him verbally, the list seemed to be ever growing in Kyle’s eyes. If this hatred was to continue without any reprieve then Jacob’s emotional state of brokenness and lack of will power will be the end of him; and boy could Kyle see the cracks already starting to form.
Kyle eventually decided that enough time had been spent thinking and swiftly got himself up to leave the locker room, with no real plan on what he was to say. He then made his way towards the east wing of the school to find Jacob; this is where he had been told Jacob was last seen. Upon opening the first set of doors he came across, he popped his head out and looked around, and only after the sun had stopped shining in his eyes did he manage to see a small figure sitting off in the distance.
Kyle was deeply relieved to have found Jacob so quickly and started making his way towards him, but he didn’t rush towards him because he didn’t want to startle him in the process. As he got closer, he could see that Jacob was upset; he was crying and had his arms wrapped around himself. Kyle could almost feel the pain radiating from Jacob; it felt like fire was burning deep inside his lungs, destroying all that it could to bring the building blocks tumbling down.
“Jacob?” Kyle beckoned ever so faintly, extending his hand onto Jacob’s shoulder. “Baby, are you okay?”
“Does it look like I’m okay?” Jacob sobbed. “What am I going to do? Everything’s gone to the shitter. I don’t want this anymore Kyle; I don’t want this pain or this burden of having to protect Matthew. He deserves to know the truth. I just feel so overwhelmed right now and I don’t think I can carry all of this much longer.”
“No it doesn’t look like you’re okay, but you also don’t seem to be in the right frame of mind either,” Kyle said hesitantly. “I mean yes, I know it’s hard and all, but we need to stand tall and prove all these haters wrong. I just hope you’re not ashamed of us now, because personally, I hope you’re not. We’ve already been through so much together and as I’m sure you already know; we’ll get through this mess together, as always, and I’ll continue saying that until my dying breath.”
“I would never be ashamed of us, I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for what we have, well the good stuff and all, but I would trade anything for the bad stuff to go away. I just wish people would stop making fun of me; I know I made a mistake flipping out on Thomas and all. I guess I kind of dug myself a grave with that – you know?”
“It’s not your fault,” Kyle explained. “It was bound to happen sooner or later. You’ve been letting it all build up inside and you haven’t had a moment to vent about all the things that’s been going on at home. Although let me say that you went about this in the wrong way. It will get better eventually, just stick to your guns and stand tall beside me, and no that doesn’t mean your fists.” Kyle smiled. “Hey, that reminds me, I want to show you this video I saw on YouTube tonight. It talks about standing up for what you believe and I think it’ll help us.”
Kyle leaned forward, placed his hands onto Jacob’s neck and tried to comfort his beloved. With this touch came Jacob’s scorn, but he soon relaxed when he felt Kyle massaging his shoulders. Jacob was rather enjoying this as he became putty in Kyle’s hands; it was a much needed release of tension and anxiety.
“You know that I love you very much Jacob,” Kyle spoke in a small voice. “There’s just one thing that’s missing, and I really miss seeing it.”
“What do you miss, seeing me naked?” Jacob shot in the dark, shuffling his feet in the grass.
“Well yes, but that’s not what I’m talking about.” Kyle smiled and continued on. “Your eyes Jacob, they’ve lost their bright youthful glow! All I see now is darkness and a sad boy when I look deep within them. I know why you’ve lost it, but I’m hoping it will return soon.”
Suddenly Jacob flung his arms around Kyle and embraced him tightly. Inside Jacob was screaming, but on the outside he desired to be close to Kyle where he knew without any doubts in his mind that he was loved and accepted. He also felt comfort in knowing that no one would attempt to hurt him while in Kyle’s presence.
Kyle rubbed Jacob’s back while he whimpered into his shoulder. Ultimately, Kyle accepted that he was the only one that could comfort Jacob this way, which made him happy, and gave him a sense of worth.
“Jacob, I think we should get going. I’m guessing it’s almost lunch time. But if you want to sit here still then that’s perfectly fine as well,” Kyle mentioned, still holding Jacob.
“No we should probably get going, I’m really hungry,” Jacob said, loosening his grip from around Kyle’s body to wipe his eyes. “Thanks for coming to get me, I feel a lot better now.”
“Anything for you babe,” Kyle said, looking down at his watch. “The bell’s going to ring any moment now and I want to beat the lunch rush, so why don’t we get going.”
Jacob nodded his head and they walked through the east wing doors to head to the cafeteria. The walk was rather uneventful as they were the only ones out of class. Once they reached the lunchroom they headed for the lunch line, to which they were the first to arrive and order their lunches. Kyle ordered the special; chicken pot pies, and Jacob ordered a cheeseburger and fries, and after paying for their food, they went off to sit at a corner table to eat.
Soon after, the school bell rang and their fellow students began filing into the cafeteria in droves, ordering their lunches, and filling the room. As everyone entered, Kyle kept an eye on the door, looking for Thomas, and those two other boys to make sure they weren’t going to start something again. But when he spotted Amanda off in the distance, he waved at her to come over. She quickly gestured one minute with her hand and disappeared into the lunch line.
A few minutes later Amanda reappeared and approached their table. “Hey, sorry about that, just wanted to get my food before everyone else arrived. I see that you’re feeling better Jacob; that makes me very happy to see.”
“Why does that make you happy? I already told you that I didn’t want to be your little charity project for the week,” Jacob said forcefully.
“JACOB! She’s only trying to help so give her a break,” Kyle commanded. Kyle returned his attention to Amanda. “Sorry about that, he’s still filled with venom, as he likes to call it. Would you like to join us for lunch?”
“Well, I’m kind of expecting to meet some of my friends, so if it’s okay for us all to sit together then sure, I’d love that.” Amanda looked at Kyle and waited for a response.
“Sure that would be okay. Wouldn’t it Jacob?”
“I suppose so. Listen I’m sorry Amanda, I just need some time to cool off,” Jacob explained.
“That’s okay, but listen I’ll be right back, I think I see some of my friends,” she said before walking away.
Kyle’s attention stayed on Amanda as she went to meet up with a group of two boys and two girls, who were standing at the entrance to the cafeteria. He wondered if they’d all fit around this table together, but he thought they’d somehow manage. Kyle also recognized three people in the group; the two boys were on his wrestling team, and one of the girls was in his and Jacob’s computer class. Kyle soon lost sight of the group as they made their way through the crowd of students.
It wasn’t long after, that Kyle returned his attention to Jacob; who he found scarfing down his lunch like some sort of animal. Jacob appeared to be in a world of his own making, lost in thought, with his eyes staring pointlessly across the room. Kyle deeply wanted Jacob’s attention, and without any forethought, he placed his hand over Jacob’s and gripped it firmly in his palm.
“Oh shit, look!” yelled a male voice in the background. “They’re fucking holding hands. They sure have got some nerve.”
The lunchroom fell so eerily silent that you could’ve heard a pin drop. Kyle reacted with lightning speed and stood up. The force in which he stood, forced his chair to glide across the floor, screeching as it went along, and hit the wall full force. Jacob’s eyes remained staring down towards the floor; he was beat and undetermined to fight back. Kyle on the other hand, had enough and quickly started scanning around the room for the source of the voice. “Who said that? SHOW YOURSELF NOW!” Kyle yelled in a large resounding tone of voice.
The time for games and bullying was now over. No more was he going to sit idly by and watch as others tried to destroy what hope Jacob had left. He was ready for a fight, but would someone be dumb enough to try and take him on?
“I did,” sneered a boy with reddish hair, stepping forward from the crowd that had formed. “Do you have a problem with that?” There wasn’t any fear within his voice, he was bigger than Kyle, but that didn’t much faze him.
As Kyle went to open his mouth to rebut this dimwitted boy, he heard the sound of footsteps slapping across the linoleum floor; they were getting louder with each step taken towards him. “LET ME THROUGH GOSH DARNIT!” yelled a feminine voice.
“Yeah get out of the way,” said another.
Amanda then forced her way through the group of students who had been unintentionally blocking her way. She didn’t come alone though, as Kyle soon found out. It surprised Kyle to see not only Amanda, but her friends as well come out of the crowd. What was even more striking was that they stopped directly in front of him and acted like a pack of wolves protecting their young.
Amanda smiled from ear to ear as she stood her ground in front of this boy, who was nearly twice her own size. There wasn’t any fear in her blue eyes, and there was no way of moving her; she was a rock, pure and determined. She quickly looked the boy over, giggled at his attempt at looking tough, and threw down a box that lay in her hands.
“Ahem, please forgive me, but I seem to have missed your question,” Amanda stated in a demeanor of pure disgust. “Did you just ask my friend, ‘do you have a problem with that?’ Cause if so, then yes. One hundred percent do I have a problem, and it’s mostly with you.”
“I wasn’t talking to you –”
“Is that right? Well I don’t care who you THINK you were talking to, but you my friend are a fool! What gives you the right to talk to my friends like that? Huh?” Amanda paused for a response, but when she didn’t receive one in a timely manner she let him have it. “EXACTLY, you don’t have a right!”
“But they were holding hands! Have you not heard the rumor? I –” the boy stammered.
“So, they were holding hands? You’ve got to be kidding me. OH WOW!” Amanda said exaggerating her words. “I hold my friends’ hands all the freaking time; it’s my favorite pastime, didn’t you know? Here watch,” she added with some extra enthusiasm, extending out her arm to grab Joann’s hand.
Yet it didn’t stop there, because even the two boys on Kyle’s wrestling team followed in Amanda’s lead, as well as some of the spectators who’d watched this commotion unfold. Soon almost half the cafeteria had joined in; it was spontaneous and without pressure on anyone’s part. Amanda was beside herself, she’d never expected this type of response; the only thing she expected was to stop this boy dead in his tracks and stop the bullying once and for all.
The firm stance by those around him, left the boy feeling disarmed. The boy had lost his will to speak, or to make fun. “Now who feels like a fool?” Amanda questioned, reaching down for the box that lay in front of her. She quickly opened it and pulled something out. “Now seriously, does this shirt mean nothing to you? Because to me it means everything! It’s pink, it’s proud and I want you to wear it so that you’ll always remember this moment.”
The boy stood in silence, refusing to say a word. He let his eyes glance from left to right, eyeballing everyone around him. He could feel their eyes on him, and in that moment he feared he was about to get mobbed. The boy quickly retreated, forced his way through the crowd, and got as far away from Amanda and her troupe as possible.
“Typical,” Amanda muttered under her breath. “Anyway, the show’s over everyone, so why don’t you all go finish your lunches.”
Jacob jumped from his chair and ran towards Amanda. “Wow, that was freaking amazing! Thanks for that – I just might have been wrong about you, and believe me that says a lot coming from me.” He concluded, excitement flowing from every syllable.
“Hey, no problem Jacob, I’m glad that I was here to help. Oh, I also wanted to give you one of these shirts, for free of course.” Amanda smiled, before looking towards Kyle. “Don’t worry I didn’t forget you. It would mean so much to me for you to wear them, and stand proud knowing that not everyone is like those jerks. I can only hope that one day they’ll be smart enough not to pick on you, or anyone else for that matter.”
“One can always hope I suppose. But honestly, I don’t believe they’re that smart,” Kyle giggled. “But thank you for the shirt; I’ll wear it proudly.”
“I couldn’t be any prouder than to wear this,” Jacob’s voice came from deep within, his excitement overflowing, and it echoed throughout the cafeteria. “I’m just so happy right now! Like shit, did you see what just happened in front of us Kyle? O – M – G. Okay, breathe Jacob, breathe.”
Jacob was then grabbed by the wrist and dragged back to their table. “For crying out loud Jacob, sit down!” Kyle instructed, pulling out a chair, before turning his head to look at Amanda. “Do you not see what I’ve got to deal with?”
She laughed, and placed her hand over her mouth. “Yeah I do!”
“Oh gee thanks Kyle! Some pal you are,” Jacob exaggerated. “You’re always such a joker, now why don’t you sit your ass down beside me so we can talk to these amazing people.”
The sound of chatter filled the air around them; the dull, indistinguishable voices meshing into one nonsensical sound. For Kyle this was a good thing, the whole bullying issue seemed to be done and over with; for now at least. A battle had been won this day, and no one dared to be watching them any longer, or try anything. Kyle finally went to retrieve his chair, which he had previously forced against the wall and dragged it back to the table to sit down.
“Um … what do you want to talk about Jacob?” Kyle inquired.
“Amanda … so can you tell me why you’re helping us, and that goes for the rest of you too. So if you could please tell me why you’re doing what you are and a little about yourselves, because I know nothing about you all,” Jacob requested, curiously.
“Well Jacob, I’m glad that you asked,” Amanda stated, gleefully, staring Jacob directly in the eye. “Let me start by saying that I’m not originally from around here. For the better part of my life, I grew up in San Francisco, that’s in California if you didn’t know. At any rate, equality has always been the norm for me. And with how I’ve seen people treating each other here, especially with gay, bisexual, transgendered people; it saddens me deeply. I just love everyone Jacob, it shouldn’t matter who you like; it’s the person deep down inside that I look for.”
Jacob’s and Kyle’s eyes became wider with each word from Amanda’s lips; they never knew a person with such a big heart, especially one that loved unconditionally or without even knowing them on a personal level. This was something that was unique and surprising for both of them; all they’ve ever known was pain and anguish within themselves. Non-acceptance was the norm in their lives. Equality, what was that?
“Do you mean because we’re gay we wouldn’t be teased in California?” Jacob asked intrigued. “I mean, holy shit! Kyle we should move there.”
“Not totally, but things are very different where I come from. Just understand this, both of you; we all need our own little support system, and we’d like to be that for you. But I can also see that you’re both very strong; I can see it with my own two eyes. You’ve gone through so much, your eyes are deep and your strength is endless like the waves in the ocean, it tells a story, and boy do I see you, I really do.”
“Did I happen to mention that I really like you Amanda? I feel privileged to call you my friend. So what about you guys?” Jacob stated, looking around the table. “I mean, I know where she stands, but where do you stand?”
“I’m behind you both no matter what,” said the boy named Andy. “That includes you especially Kyle, I don’t care if you’re gay; you can be my wrestling partner any day.”
“You’re both just so sweet and cute I might add,” Lisa hinted. “And if you hadn’t been gay, hell I’d take a run at you both. Either way though, I think you’re both wonderful and I don’t think you deserve this type of treatment from anyone. I’ll always have your back as long as you need me.”
“I’m with you and along for the ride,” Bryce said, throwing up his hand for a high five. “I mean, how couldn’t I be; you’re the coolest of all Kyle, you’re like a brother from another mother damn it, and I personally think our friendship is more than your sexual orientation.”
After everyone had agreed upon Amanda’s point of view, and stood by it with their actions, Jacob became lost in thought. His heart and mind agreed that this was what acceptance was all about. It was pure and simple for him to realize considering what he’d been through these past twenty-four hours. He likened this newfound acceptance to being like the Knights of the Round Table; all in chainmail armor, and with swords. It was as if they were all proclaiming loyalty to a common cause or point of view, they were seven all together, boys and girls, standing on firm ground, ready to fight for what was right, no matter the cost.
As Jacob was still deep in thought, he suddenly stood up and placed his hand in mid-air. “Seven Knights, fighting for what is right, no matter the cost. I’ll do what’s right and true. I will seek justice and truth for all to see. This is my pledge to do what is right, holy and sanctified. I take this to my grave to uphold and keep what’s sacred. This is my vow.”
Everyone looked at Jacob peculiarly, Kyle especially. This was rather unexpected and so out of left field, and yet Kyle totally agreed. He quickly leapt to his feet, extended his hand over Jacob’s, and said the pledge to the best of his recollection. Amanda also followed, as did the rest of the group. Kyle couldn’t help but to giggle; it almost seemed childish, but maybe Jacob was right, seven was better than one or two.
“HOLY SHIT!” Amanda suddenly proclaimed, looking at the clock upon the wall. “We’ve only got ten minutes left to eat – let’s hurry up and get finished eating, and hopefully we’ll have enough time to get our shirts on before the next period.”
Both Jacob and Kyle nodded in agreement, even though they only had a few bites left, whereas the others had yet to start eating. During this time, Jacob continued to keep an eye on Amanda while she ate; he was so intrigued by her that he couldn’t help himself from staring and wondering why she’d come from California to Florida. “So, I’ve kind of been thinking. Why did you move to Florida anyway?” he questioned.
“Well since you asked, I moved here when my father got promoted and we were transferred here. I’m not going to lie though, I miss home, but it’s not so bad here. I think what I miss the most is the wonderful beaches, yes I know you have them here too, but it’s just different back home, the whole atmosphere is so diverse. But most of all, I miss my little cousin Aaron and my Uncle Mark and Aunt Tammy, we used to go visit them every two weeks or so. Typically if you were to drive, it was a seven hour car ride from where we lived, but my father has his pilot’s license, so it’s a very short flight to go and see them.”
“Oh, okay, well that’s so cool, thanks for clarifying that for me. I was just curious is all,” Jacob explained. “But thank you for telling me, that’s very cool.”
“No problem,” she said, scarfing down what remained of her lunch.
By the time the bell came around to ringing, everyone had devoured their lunches. But before they were to leave, Jacob wanted to thank them all once more for what they’d done for him and Kyle today. Kyle too reiterated this same sentiment with a round of handshakes and even a few hugs. They then all said their goodbyes and went about with their day.
Kyle quickly collected their lunch trays and headed towards the garbage cans. They then left the cafeteria and started heading towards their computer class. However, along the way, Kyle felt the need to pee and swiftly headed towards the boy’s washroom. Jacob figured he might as well go too and followed with his new t-shirt in hand.
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