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It had been almost forty years, and the memory of what Billy’s father had done to him still haunted him, often waking him from a deep sleep, drenched in sweat. Memories he’d kept to himself, not wanting Katie exposed to the darkness lurking deep within him. It was the stuff of nightmares, yet he’d actually lived every minute of it.

But now, after willingly examining it, it felt different. There was a hint of promise beneath the ugliness. He hadn’t just relived his worst memory; he’d seen it through the lens of maturity. There was an end effect of his parents’ actions: the resolve he’d gained.

The happiest possible ending for the shittiest situation.

The sun climbed higher over the distant pines, its rays stronger, brighter.

It was a new day. A fresh start.

He had a debt to pay. A role to play.

Yeah, he’d sucked at being a father the first time around, but this time?
This time he’d do his very best.

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