[Varela+Round [size13 [b Shouji] recently found out that his boyfriend of two years has been cheating on him. With a female, no less. Their relationship was built on lies. It sent [b Shouji] into a spiraling depression. He spends his days drinking, eventually fired from his dead-end job. Lost and broken, he believes suicide may save him.
[b Muse B] is a wealthy and cold man. He's currently going through a rocky divorce with his wife. Mostly fighting between who gets what. This makes him bitter and angry. He frequents a bar almost every night. Drinking and smoking his troubles away.
[b Shouji] and [b Muse B] get into a drunken conversation and sleep together after agreeing that relationships suck. [b Shouji] becomes obsessed with [b Muse B]. [b Muse B] only finds [b Shouji] as a worthy distraction. There's no love between them.. but they seem to both find comfort in each other. One-sided love. One man who finds pleasure in the other's blindness to accept the truth. The only thing they have in common is: to forget.
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[Varela+Round [size12 The room slowly came together. It looked better than it did this morning, for sure. He blushed at the fact his male company saw his place in such a state. First impressions are everything! He thought. He opened the window to his room, letting some fresh air inside. Two linen baskets sat on the floor, full of clothes. He had some serious washing to do, then needed to iron his good shirts and slacks.
Arin stood in the kitchen, offering to cook breakfast for them. Shouji [i could] cook, though he had no energy or the will to. He scrolled through the phone in the meantime, one company in particular catching his eye. They were accepting interns. The perfect job for him! Hmm, the name of the sounded familiar. [i Akito Co.] he thought. [i My father worked there at one point, I believe...] His eyes widened at the number of looks and applications sent in. Wow, a hotshot company, huh? It may not be what he's looking for, but as a copywriter, he can easily write proposals and advertisements. Anything with writing. [i Yes, this'll be perfect!]
He decided to call directly. A woman answered the phone. Shouji explained he wanted to go there in person, instead of sending in an application. He explained he's freshly out of college and needing an internship. His previous job was an internship anyway. He had plenty of time to gather all the things for his portfolio and resume, placing them in a minalla folder. [i She said 2:00, so I can continue to clean up around here..]
[b "You were having a serious conversation in there, everything okay?"] Arin asked. [b "Job opportunity?"]
Shouji nodded, sitting down at the counter to eat. [#ff8d00 "Yeah, at this company called Akito Co. They are needing interns, so I might as well go for it... need a distraction..."] He sighed, flicking at some rolled eggs with his chopsticks.
[b "Don't overwork yourself..."] Arin said. [b "I know how you get."]
[#ff8d00 "I need a distraction and not be cooped up in here.."] Shouji placed his chopsticks down, not hungry anymore. He thanked Arin for breakfast and they ended up talking about last night. He still couldn't remember anything, except the fact they had a good time. Nothing more would come out of it. A one-night stand. Becoming attached is out of the question. Eventually, Arin left, inviting him for a poker game at his house tonight. Guess being with friends is what he needed.
Shouji stepped out of his car, looking up at the building. Ah, he was nervous. He looked into a sideview mirror, fixing his hair a bit more before walking up the stairs to the door. He stepped inside and adjusted his tie, swallowing hard. He closed his eyes and exhaled deeply. He emptied his mind of all negative thoughts. He walked towards the receptionist's desk, giving his name and appointment time for his interview. The woman seemed enthralled with his overall appearance. Shouji did stand out with his blonde hair and blue eyes, especially for someone living in Japan. He was Japanese-American, able to speak fluently in both languages. It served a good purpose for when he traveled to and from the states.
[b "Please follow me, sir."] she said.
Shouji nodded and followed behind her, watching everyone working intently. Not one person seemed to slack off. They also looked like they enjoyed their jobs. Their boss must be a very respectable guy. He was led towards a waiting room.
[b "He'll be with you shortly. Can I get you something to drink?"]
He politely declined, drumming his fingers on his knees. He looked over his resume and examples of his work with some various companies. He got paid good money for all of his work, when life was good. Now everything is shit. Shouji frowned, sitting back as he crossed his legs, lost in thought.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/WrQ75aO.jpg]]
Illian closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose between thumb and index finger. After the third interview, his second came back in, still holding her clipboard close to her chest.
Illian opened his eyes and looked over at her, annoyance clear in his blue-gray eyes. She sighed and made a few notes on her clipboard, marking x’s beside the names of those that were offered interviews.
[#335e8a “None of them care,”] Illian said impatiently, turning to the side to look out the large window that spanned the entire wall at the back of the office. Marian made a soft noise of agreement, even as she shook her head.
“It’s not being advertised as a guaranteed position. It’s more of an internship, with little prospects of promotion. Do you expect the young college graduates to care about such a position?”
[#335e8a “It’s more than that,”] Illian insisted, still looking out the window across the city.
“Maybe if you opened the position to older individuals, or told them the true purpose-”
[#335e8a “No. I want it to be an opportunity for the right person, something to give them a foothold into a successful company. What is the turnover here?”]
“Extremely low, considering the job,” Marian admitted, still making notes. Illian turned back to her and shrugged lightly.
[#335e8a “Exactly my point. I am offering exceptional pay for a less than exceptional job. They don’t need to understand my reasons. They just need to [i care]. How could I leave the branch to anyone but the best?”]
“If the interviewees knew the stakes, I imagine they would care.”
[#335e8a “Then I would have all the wrong people at my desk. I want someone young, someone new to the field, someone who cares without knowing the true intent. Find more prospects. I want at least three more this afternoon.”]
“Yes, sir.” Marian inclined her head and left the office again, the door closing behind her with a soft click.
When he was alone again, Illian found himself thinking about his strange, uncharacteristic night with the young Shouji. Memories flooding back in pieces, but he was understanding more and more of what interested him so completely. They had been able to talk, to bond over lost love, and his heart somehow felt warmed in his presence.
Illian was surprised to find a notification on his phone from an unknown number. Although the message did not offer a name, he could infer from the context exactly who it was. So he not only found his note, but felt the need to message. If Illian was more the type, he was sure the message would have brought a smile to his face.
[b [#335e8a No, you were fine. I’m glad you enjoyed the night as well. Perhaps we will run into one another again.]]
Such a prospect was not unlikely. Illian had been spending almost all of his time either at work or at the bar in which the two met; having idle time alone at home was always hard on his frayed nerves. The house was too empty, too full of broken memories, and, though he would never admit it, it hurt to spend time there without his wife.
[Varela+Round [size12 Shouji remained on the bed, staring at the floor with his hands resting against his forehead. He heard the male leave but didn't bother to say bye. He remembered him mentioning something about having a good time. He wished he could remember that much. Some memory came back of him laughing a lot. Guess they did have a good time together. Maybe he didn't act like a complete fool then. A slight smile appeared on his lips, then quickly disappeared. Not bothering to close the door, he finally stood to his feet and walked into the kitchen to see the cup of coffee waiting for him. He picked it up and drank some of it, despite it being cold. That man is really nice. He felt like he acted like a jerk, almost ignoring his presence.
Closing his eyes, he silently drank his coffee. He started to feel somewhat awake. Something caught his eye on the counter, a paper with a name and number. Blinking a few times, he remained speechless for the longest time. [i He left his number....? Why..?] Deep within his heart, he felt some excitement. He could possibly hang around him some more. The silence within his apartment made him feel lonely again. He hated being alone, because his mind would go back to that dark place. He picked up the paper and immediately saved him as a contact. [i I'm sorry for being rude, I had fun too.] He sent a quick text to Illian.
His friend Arin barged in. [b "OH SHIT DUDE.. THIS PLACE IS A MESS.."]
Shouji averted his eyes and sighed. [#ff8d00 "Just shut up and help me please..."]
Arin scratched the back of his head. [b "Ivan really messed you up,] he said, then patted Shouji on the back. [b "Don't worry, your friends will be here for you, so don't go all crazy on us, okay?"]
Shouji shrugged. He's back in his unstable state again. While Arin took care of the front, he went back to his room and organized his clothes. An email alert caught his attention, a list of openings for jobs. He could try to go to some of these interviews. His money was getting low and he didn't want to use any of his savings. At least one good suit he had was hanging up and smelled clean. He needed to do it, but he had to organize his space first. Hopefully, he wouldn't miss any of them. He even applied for some internships. Paid, of course. He had no time to work for free with no money coming in.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/WrQ75aO.jpg]]
Illian was turning to grab more from another box when the other male stepped close. The hug felt strange for some reason, like the faded edges of a forgotten dream felt strange when trying to remember it. Illian rested his hand between the smaller male’s shoulder blades, holding him there for a moment, before allowing him to retreat to his room with a different box labeled [i clothing].
Perhaps the night had not been an entire waste. Illian found himself watching Shouji until he went out of view, wondering if there could have been something more if perhaps he was a little more open to it. The blond was attractive, to say the least, and [i something] had grabbed his attention long enough to convince him that such a night was worth his time, even when his personal life was in shambles.
This just was not at all like him. He could count on one hand the times he woke in a room that wasn’t his own, and one of those instances had been after his fourth date with the woman that would later become his wife. He was not an open, affectionate person, but he desired intimacy like anyone else might...
He was deep in thought, still organizing the kitchen, when he received a notification from his cab driver, who was waiting outside. Illian looked to the bedroom and considered saying something more, but Shouji had made it rather clear that he was busy with his own situation, so the black haired male merely pulled some supplies from an errant box and wrote his name and number on a small slip of paper, leaving it in a clear space on the counter near the sink. It was up to Shouji, now, whether they would have further interactions.
Illian checked his belongings, making sure he had everything he needed, then exited the apartment to get into the waiting cab.
The drive to his house was atrocious, the traffic worse than normal, giving him very little time to shower and ready himself for work. As expected, he was late, later even than he had originally expected. No one said anything, however, when he finally walked through the gathering of desks to his office against the back of the building.
Before he could turn on his computer, someone was already knocking lightly at the door. With a sigh, Illian beckoned them to enter.
“The prospective assistants are waiting,” the woman said after she entered, holding her clipboard close to her chest. Illian rubbed at his face, leaning back in his chair.
[#335e8a “That’s today? Yes, fine, send the first one in.”] This was going to be a terribly long day.
[center [Varela+Round [i I'm gettin' there as fast as I can, traffic is crazy for some reason! D:<]
Shouji's eyes narrowed. Good lord. Traffic is the last thing he needed to deal with today. If he needed to get around somewhere, he'll call a taxi or pay his friend to carry him to where ever he needed to be. [i Fine, just hurry!] He sent off his last text, giving no mercy to his friend. He threw his phone down on the heap of clothing and let out a loud sigh. The loudest of sighs. Everything came crashing down within such a short time. At least he had some friends. Even though him and his ex ended on bad terms, he was still friends with two of Ivan's co-workers. He ran both hands through his wet hair, messing it up. He listened to whatever his male companion of the night did in the kitchen. Oh right. He really hasn't said anything to him except those few words. He was curious as to how he acted last night. Sex obviously happened, he knew that much.
Blue hues focused on the male more closely. He was definitely very handsome and attractive. He wondered if the guy was single? He'd feel bad if he forced him to cheat. He remained on his bed and rested his chin on his hands, watching him unpack some of the boxes in the kitchen.
Exhaling deep, Shouji swallowed hard and stepped into the kitchen. They were now close to each other. He suddenly hugged him out of nowhere. No reason behind it. He'd probably think Shouji to be crazy doing this randomly. Shouji had the urge to. A quick hug which meant nothing. A deep blush formed on his cheeks from embarrassment as he scratched the back of his head. [#ff8d00 "S-Sorry.."] he said. [#ff8d00 "But thanks for helping me a bit..."] He walked into the living room again, picking up another box filled with clothes, carrying it into his room. Again, he just dumped it onto the bed. All of it was wrinkled, he'd have to wash all of his clothes again anyway. He packed so quick, there was no time to actually fold them.
[#ff8d00 "What's happening to my life..?"] he murmured to himself and sighed.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/WrQ75aO.jpg]]
Illian watched the other male for a few more moments, lightly tapping fingers against the warm mug. It was clear that he was an unwanted presence and he understood the sentiment. The dismissal did not hurt his feelings and he nodded once, moving to place the mug into the sink. After a moment of consideration, he turned on the facet and washed the cup, watching the water drain with a thoughtful expression. He was already thinking about work, wondering again if he was going to be late. He pursed his lips and leaned back against the counter, pulling his phone out again, this time to order a cab.
[#335e8a “Give me a few more moments and I will be gone. As long as you don’t mind me waiting for the cab?”] Illian lifted his head and looked over at Shouji, his eyes cold. There had been a moment, when he had first seen the other male, that he was thinking of him in a soft light, but now he was seeing him only as another person to distance himself from, just another person that he saw nothing in. What a waste of a night.
He was slowly waking up now, thanks mostly to the coffee, and he could remember more and more of the previous night. He remembered the feeling of meeting the other male, how the alcohol had made them both rather bold. He could even remember the light feeling of excitement he experienced at the idea of experiencing something other than quiet loneliness after countless nights alone. If only he had expressed something this morning, perhaps there would have been something more there than the feeling of a business transaction. It was a shame.
[i I will be over later this afternoon with paperwork.] Illian looked over the text, received that morning, and he sighed. Seeing his estranged wife was hard enough without whatever this was between himself and this other male. This was a messy smudge on his otherwise organized life, the first time in a long time that he was unsure what to think, or what to say. Illian locked the screen of his phone and slid it into his pocket.
[#335e8a “Ten minutes,”] he guaranteed, looking around the kitchen at the boxes. [#335e8a “Let me see what I can accomplish in that time.”] Working, organizing, this is what made him feel like himself. Without saying anything more, he started opening the boxes nearby, putting glassware and pots away with precision. It was nice, being able to clear his mind and focus on a task.
[center [Varela+Round [i Never know how much stuff you have until you move... shit..]
Shouji never thought he had so much junk. Most of it was his clothes and kitchen stuff. Also some picture frames he must look through, throwing any with him and Ivan away. Why should he keep them? They'd only bring back bad memories which he still had. The boxes seemed to multiply the more he looked through them, rather roughly at that. He was in a emotional state at the moment. He felt like throwing everything away at the moment. Ruffling his hair in frustration, he ended up kicking a box as it tipped over. One full of his shirts. He also had no help. This would take even longer.
[#ff8d00 "Hey, are you going to help or wh-.."] He stopped mid-sentence at the sound of a man's voice. Not a familiar one either. Blinking a few times, he looked over his shoulder at the male in question. Oh my. So, he did something stupid last night. That was never good. He probably acted a fool, because he knows how he can get when he's drunk. He wondered if he went to the bar alone or with friends. Tch, some friends he had if they did not stop him. [#ff8d00 "..Sorry..."] he murmured. He couldn't think of anything else to say, embarrassed. They were complete strangers, best to forget this ever happened.
He looked like someone doing good for themselves unlike himself right now. The worst mistake is hanging with a emotional wreck like Shouji. He doesn't know how this week will pan out for him. So many emotions going through him, he can't function correctly. [#ff8d00 "Um... hmm... I guess you should go then..."] What else can he say? Shouji picked up a box and brought it to his room, emptying the contents of it on his bed. All his shirts were wrinkled and a mess, probably needed to be washed again. Ugh, he felt like doing nothing today except deal with this throbbing headache.
Shouji sat on his bed and scrolled through his phone, texting his friend once again. He needed help with all this shit or it'll never get done in the current state he was in.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/WrQ75aO.jpg]]
[p Everything was out of place in the disheveled apartment, but Illian found what he needed to brew a cup of coffee. He watched it brew for a moment, the machine making soft noises that complimented the sounds of the other male’s extended shower. Illian sighed again and leaned against the counter, turning to look around at the mess. There were half-unpacked boxes everywhere; it was as if the occupant of this small apartment had more items than space. Illian wondered at the meaning behind this as he moved to search for a pair of mugs, meaning to make a cup for the owner of the apartment as well as himself.]
[p Illian was perched at the end of the table, blowing softly against the streaming liquid in the cup he cradled between his hands, when the shower finally cut off. It was then that Illian realized he had no idea what to say to his late night companion. Talking about the night before felt strange, especially with him remembering only the smallest bits and pieces of their conversations and actions. How much did the other male remember? Was he just as intoxicated, waking up with little to no memory, or did he hold his alcohol well, giving him a crystal clear view of everything?]
[p The longer Illian contemplated, the more sure he became that the other occupant of the apartment was not going to show himself. Even though it mattered very little, Illian had felt a sort of comfort in sharing himself, and he had hoped to find the feeling mutual. If the male chose not to come out of his bedroom, however, conversation would be impossible and Illian would simply go back about his life having neither gained nor lost anything in the transaction.]
[p Illian took a slow sip of his coffee, crinkling his nose at the taste. He was mid sip when Shouji entered the room. The black haired male lowered the mug, meaning to offer a greeting, when the blond male started talking of his own volition, steamrolling anything Illian might have thought to say. About time? Unpack? Illian watched Shouji move into the room, his right eyebrow arching over cold blue eyes as he frowned.]
[p [#335e8a “I think you are mistaken,”] Illian replied, keeping his gaze focused on the other male’s face. Although he could remember very little as the night progressed, he could clearly remember meeting Shouji and being enraptured at the blond’s beauty. He was struck again, to his amusement; even in sweats, with disheveled shower hair to match the chaos of his trashed apartment, Shouji nearly glowed with a soft beauty that could not be denied. It was clear why, after countless nights of refusing the advances of many others, Illian had chosen him. Though the real reason for choosing [i anyone] still eluded his sober mind...]
[p [#335e8a “I just wanted to say something, as opposed to running off. I enjoyed spending the night with you, Shouji.”] Even though his words were kind, the tone of his voice was characteristically cold. Distant. Just as his wife claimed it to be. Illian took another long drink from the coffee mug, still watching the younger male over the rim. [#335e8a “Regarding the problem of your many boxes, however, I can not be of assistance. I have to get to work.”]]
[center [Varela+Round Shouji let the warm water rain down on his head. The water running down in streams over his face. He sat in the tub, hugging his knees to his chest. A pathetic and sad sight for a grown man to look like a hurt child. If anyone were to walk in and see him like this, the embarrassment would be too much. For the moment, his thoughts about the male company in his room disappeared from his mind, thinking himself to be alone once more. A loud sigh fell from his lips. He wondered if he'd make rent next month. He can see himself being homeless before even finding a job. A job. He needed one fast. Maybe a good company who had their own dorms for the employees. It's exactly what he needed. These big shot companies were hard to apply for. Like what would a copywriter bring to the table? Maybe he should go back to college and get another degree in business or at least marketing.
He remained in his spot in the tub. Steam filled the bathroom and blurred his vision. Shouji had no energy to do anything today. It's no surprise the male was depressed, having lost his boyfriend all of the sudden. This began to impact his life within a few days; he had to move out of their apartment since it was way over his budget, fired from his job for not showing up to meetings or meeting deadlines, and barely able to stay afloat both mentally and physically.
Minutes turned into an hour, Shouji looked up at his hands, skin wrinkled from staying in the water for too long. Letting out another huff, he finally turned off the water and stood to his feet. He wrapped a towel around his waist as he opened the door. Ah, his room really needed to be cleaned as soon as possible. He walked around to his closet, slipping on a loose-fitting tank and some sweats. He dried his hair the best he could, then lost interest and threw his towel on the bathroom counter. He used to be so much more cleaner than this, yet why should he care to clean this small apartment. Ugh, he still needed to unpack some more. He stepped into the living room to look through some boxes, noticing a presence there.
[#ff8d00 "About time you got here, you can help me unpack. Though I probably won't be here long.."] He texted one of his friends to come help him, so he assumed the guy was his friend. [#ff8d00 "I have more boxes in the car.. no room for shit in here..."]
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/WrQ75aO.jpg]]
[p [i It had been a long night of heated texts. Illian knew that the messages would be copied and printed, used in the courtroom to further the process of the divorce in his estranged wife’s favor, but he couldn’t help but be goaded into the confrontation as she accused him, yet again, of distancing himself. He growled at the inanimate phone, his fingers flying over the keyboard as he responded, as always, in the negative. He was naturally a distant, cold person, she knew this from the moment she met him, but yet she stuck around, he married him, she had claimed to be happy. No, he knew the real reason for her anger and he resented her for it.]]
[p [i After sending yet another seething, frustrated text, he shoved the phone back into his pocket and left it there, even as it vibrated angrly, begging for a reply. Instead of feeding the growing fire, Illian sat down at his favorite bar and started to drown his emotions in copious amounts of potent alcohol, that burned its way down his throat and soothed him with false warmth. Slowly, he forgot about the phone and the messages. Then, he started to forget about everything. With his mind swimming, another male had joined him, and the two conversed about the unfairness of love, the sheer fairy-tale that it was, and he found comfort in the ability to freely share his frustrations with another. Of course, given the amount of alcohol consumed between the two, one thing lead to another and he was being ushered into a cab…]]
[p Illian woke up slowly. He was a heavy drinker, especially recently, but even he felt a pulsing pain in his head, courtesy of the night before. With a groan, the male rolled over and would have returned to sleep… except this wasn’t his bed. The sheets smelled different, sweet but wrong, and he opened his eyes again to look around.]
[p The room was smaller than he was used to, the bed pushed into the corner nearest the single window. Illian slowly sat up, searching the room for clues as to what [i exactly] had happened the night before. He remembered leaving the bar, stumbling over the threshold of this particular place… then nothing but bits and pieces of what had occurred.]
[p With a sigh, he pulled himself from the warmth of the blankets and placed his bare feet on the floor. A moment later, he realized that he was nude, thus confirming his suspicions. Whoever this male was , they had shared a bed the night before and, as attested to by his lack of dress, shared their bodies as well. Illian sighed again, silently chastising himself for wasting his time in such a way. This was never the intention of his late night bar trips, and waking up in a stranger’s home was going to make him late for work. Again.]
[p Illian dressed quickly, noting the sound of a distant shower. He wasn’t the type for one night stands, he had been with his wife for so long he could hardly remember a time when he had slept with anyone else, so the act of running out without a word left him uncomfortable. He was pulling on his shoes when he decided that he would give the other male another ten minutes to return before he left; he still had to get back home, shower, and dress for work. The clock on his phone alerted him that he had an hour, longer than he had figured, so he only hoped he was close to his own house and could put himself together with enough time for the commute]
[p Unwilling to sit still and wait, Illian stood from the bed and wandered into the kitchen, searching for the items required to brew coffee. If nothing else, drinking coffee here would make the time he required to ready himself for work that much shorter.]
[center [Varela+Round [i Crystal-blue hues stared at the half-full glass of whiskey setting on the bar counter. The ice cubes inside began to melt down, giving the whiskey a bad, watery taste. He picked up the glass with dull eyes, lifeless with no kind of expression. His thoughts of three days ago began to haunt him again. To forget, he knocked back the rest and slammed the glass down on the table. Like he had the money to be pissing away on drinks. Oh well. He got fired from his job a day after. He wanted to forget.. everything.
Sixth glass of the night. The poor man was already plastered and couldn't think straight. He spoke to someone, another man. They seemed to have something in common as far as when it comes to thinking about relationships. They laughed, joked around, got a little touchy-feely. Everything went blank after that. He does remember feeling good at one point.
At one point, he murmured his ex's name. It brought nothing but pain back to his heart.]
The sound of birds chirping awoke the slumbering male. He forgot to close the blinds of his room, the rays of the sun blinding him for a quick second. It triggered his painful headache, the pounding so intense, it felt like his ears may burst. He felt sick to his stomach. At least he may it back to his apartment in peace. His apartment was very small. Only enough space for one person.
He sat up for a second, crystal-blue hues scanned the room. Everything seemed to be in order. Nothing out of place. He laid back down and turned over, a deep blush forming on his cheeks at the handsome face in front of him. Oh god. He didn't! Was there another man in his bed? It's like a cliche moment. Definitely not his ex. What even happened last night? He rolled over onto his back and stared at the ceiling, trying to search his memories. Nope, nothing but static of the events that took place. How can he explain what happened? How will this man react? Shouji felt almost nervous and frightened, hoping this man wouldn't be too harsh on him. He may have acted a fool, but it wasn't on purpose. He knew he probably threw himself at the man.
The young male slowly sat up in bed, holding his head. He should take some medicine and then a shower. He got out of bed with a soft groan, stroking his fingers through messy, blonde locks. Bed head. He looked at his messy floor, cursing himself. He should at least clean, so the male didn't consider him to be a slob. He lost interest in cleaning his room, still in the process of unpacking his things. Shouji walked into the bathroom and took some medicine. Once he closed the door, he started the shower. Maybe he should hide out in here..
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