The Scarlett Letter

March 16, 2010

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (FINALE)

Filed under: Uncategorized — missscarlett19 @ 12:18 pm
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When we last left our beautiful and highly intelligent heroine, she was enduring the evil John’s wrath with the lure of fabulous shopping the following day. Will she survive this two-faced monster? What will become of her?


It’s Friday morning. John gets up at about 5:30am. The only reason I know it’s that time is because he turns on the TV to the local 24-hour news station and I hear the familiar baritone voice of the moustached anchor from my days working early mornings at their sister station in Capital City. He turns the volume up so he can better hear while he eats a bowl of the cereal I’d bought the day before. He then turns the light next to the futon where I’m sleeping on high. I’m forced to wake up. I ask him if he’s going to work. “No” he says between spoonfuls of cereal. “So why the hell are you up so damn early?” I say to myself.

After finishing his measuring cup full of cereal, he motions for me to scoot over on the futon so he can lay down next to me. Drowsily, I comply. I ask him if he’s feeling better. He thinks, “Hmmm… I’m about 90 percent.” He puts his arm around me. “Do you think we can go out later? I mean nothing strenuous. Like maybe to a movie and dinner?” I ask. “We’ll see” he replies and reaches for the remote to turn the TV up more. I try to go back to sleep, but my attempts are unsuccessful.

Finally, about 2 hours later, I give up all together. John’s fallen back asleep next to me. I crawl over him, put on my slippers, and head to the grimy kitchen. I flip the light switch on in the kitchen. It buzzes but refuses to come on all the way. So I search through the dark kitchen looking for a bowl and spoon. Finally, I find one, but knock a metal dish on the ground. The clunking startles the sleeping dragon.
“What are you doing?!?” John barks.
“Just trying to get some cereal!” I reply in a slightly pissed-off tone.
“Where’d you find a bowl?” What grown-ass man doesn’t own bowls? He didn’t even have plastic bowls.
“I found this yellow bowl in the drainer.”
“Oh, ok. How’d you get the light to do that?” yells John.
“It just came on like that.” I respond. “Maybe if your pitiful ass knew how to change a light bulb…” I continue in my head.

After finishing my bowl full of cereal, I ask John for the remote. He motions to it. I grab it and start flipping through the channels. I stop at BET and watch The Game.
“What the heck is THIS?” John questions. The show’s on a gym scene and on the screen is about a dozen hot and buff guys playing professional football players. He’s afraid I’m going to run off with Pooch Hall and sing songs while eating Snickers all day on a tropical island. (Y’all remember that commercial!) Pooch isn’t exactly my type, but at this point, given the choice between him & John, I’d tell Pooch to grab my bag. Shoot, I’d probably tell Jeffrey Dahmer to get my bag!

Just as the second episode of The Game is about to start, John takes the remote from me. He turns it to some old movie that was John probably saw when he was in high school. (Did I mention that John is OLD?) It looks like it’s almost over, so I lay back on the futon and start checking my email on my phone since he doesn’t have wi-fi and doesn’t even have the internet. He looks back at me. “Watch this babe!” So I watch. Then go back to Facebook. I’m capable of paying attention to my phone and the TV at the same time. He just doesn’t get it. “Watch this!” he barks again. “Your not watching this!” Finally, I put my phone down and watch the crappy movie. A few minutes later, I pick my phone back up.

John goes into the kitchen and turns on the microwave. I look over. He’s making something. Egg beaters, bread, ham & cheese. It’s been a couple of hours since I had my cereal. I’m not hungry, but sit and wait for him to ask if I want one. I wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, he sits back down on the futon with the egg and cheese sandwich on a plate. He takes a bite. I wait for him to ask if I would like a bite. And wait. And wait. And wait. Now all that’s left on the paper plate are a few crumbs and a clump of melted cheese.

I need to wash the filth of the last 18 hours off my body. I grab my toiletry bag and head for the shower. Prepare yourselves readers, this shower scene is just as terrifying as the one in Psycho. I pull back the shower curtain and… EEEEEK!!! Dark brown and black rings all around the tub, black streaks dripping down from the faucet to the drain, clumps of hair in the mat. Water is bubbling back up the drain, depositing black grains of filth on the bottom of the tub. I quickly close the curtain and think about what to do. I can’t go three days without a shower. Will the baby wipes I always bring with me be enough to do the job? No. I see a jar of Ajax on the side of the tub. It was open. But I wondered when the last time it had been used. I turn the shower on for a second to wet the tub and then liberally shake Ajax all over the tub. I then search for a sponge but can’t find one. There are some in the kitchen though. So I go back out and grab one. They’re cheap. Very cheap. I put the yellow side in my palm and try to scrub with the green side, but the grime is too thick. The sponge gives up and begins to fall apart. I get a second sponge, and it doesn’t last long either. Finally, I give up and just say a prayer over the tub. “Lord! Please protect me from the germs and filth that reside in this tub! Please protect me from disease as an attempt to cleanse myself! Amen!”

I realize I don’t have any linens. I go back into the living room where John is still laying on the futon.
“Babe, where are the towels?”
“Oh, I don’t have any. I didn’t get to do laundry. Use paper towel.”
My eyes widen in disbelief. But then he continues.
“But don’t use the paper towel in the bathroom! That one’s too expensive.” He was referring to the cheap, low-name brand, dollar store paper towel. You can buy ten rolls for $5. It wasn’t like it was Bounty. He then points to the kitchen. “Use the roll on the kitchen table by the door.”

I go over to see what he’s talking about. What kind of paper towel would be cheaper than the dollar store kind? There, on the table, is a roll of white, rough, un-perforated paper towel. The kind that you’d find in just about every public restroom. The kind that you can just barely dry your hands with without cutting yourself and this “man” wanted me to wash my face and bathe my body with this crap?

Obviously arguing with John is pointless at this point. So I clench my jaw and unclenched my fists. I tear off a length of the white paper towel and head to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, I drop that towel on the floor and begin unrolling the “expensive” dollar store towel. Passive-agressive, I know. Whatever.

After my dirty shower and eating the cold leftover chicken from last night for lunch, I grab my purse. “I’m going out for a while” I tell John. Grab the keys off the hook and make a dash for the door. FREEDOM!!! I walk, and walk, and WALK! I walk for about an hour looking for little shops to maybe browse through or a museum to check out or something. There’s nothing of interest. I think about heading back to John’s. No. I’d rather just sit on a park bench looking like a bum until sunset then go back to that hell hole. So I keep walking.

I go to cross the road and escape to the North. But as I step off the curb, I drop. I put my hands out in front of me and then quickly turn and take the brunt of the fall with my sturdier forearm and stop my head from hitting the ground. How apropos. Apparently the curb was a little higher than the others, and on top of that, there was a pothole right beneath it, making what should have been just a 6 inch step, a 1 foot drop. A portly Latino man rushes over to help me up. He asks if I’m ok. I am. I brush the dirt off my hot pink coat and black leggings. I give myself a quick check over. Just a little more of a bruised ego than anything else. Again, I consider returning to John’s. Hell no! I’d rather go to the hospital than go back there! But I’m ok. I continue my walk.

Three hours later, I find myself at the end of the Theater District. Yes, I had walked a very long way! Four hours of walking, and I’d only stopped in about 3 or 4 stores for about ten minutes each. I want to keep walking, but decide to head back to John’s because it was 4pm and the sun would soon be setting.

Climbing back up the sea-foam green and marble staircase to John’s dungeon, I run through the bus schedule for the next day in my head. I open the door. John’s still laying on the futon. I ask how he’s feeling.
“Hmmm… 90%” he responds again.
“Great! Can we go out tonight?” I ask full of hope.
“No.” he replies curtly.

I take off my coat and hang it on the back of a chair. “I took a nasty fall today.” I proceed to tell him the terrifying tale of my tumble. I was expecting him to sit up and ask if I was ok, maybe even offer to kiss my boo boo. But no. He just sat there, eyes glued on Glenn Beck on Fox News.

I sigh and try to take a different route. “I had such a great time walking and shopping today!” I show him what I bought, including a glittery ring.
“How’d you pay for it?” he asks.
What kind of question was that? “With cash. My OWN cash!”

John gets up from the futon and heads to the kitchen to make himself a sandwich. It’s about 6pm. Finally he shows some courtesy and asks me if I want one.
“No,” I reply. “What I would like is some dinner.”
“We can order something later.” he says. I grab a plum from the fruit basket his co-workers sent him that arrived shortly after I got back. I hope that will tide me over until dinner.

Two hours later, John asks me to call the Spanish restaurant we’d ordered from the night before. I’m not a big fan of Spanish food like that and they really just did us a huge favor by delivering out of their area last time. I ask if we can have Chinese instead. He says ok. Thirty minutes later, the delivery man arrives. “Just a two dollar tip! Give him just two dollars!” John barks again as I head toward the door, just as he did the previous night. I give the man three, but after he leaves, I do the math again in my head and realize I still didn’t tip him enough. I bring the bag of food into the living room and pull out the side table. I go to sit down beside him on the futon.
“Don’t sit there!” he shouts.
“Why not?”
“That’s too much weight on the edge of the futon!”
Wait a minute, did he just call me fat??? A futon’s made for sitting. It’s supposed to hold up to three people. Rather than arguing with him more, I get a chair out of the kitchen.

I give John his bowl of wonton soup. Why he ordered wonton soup when he doesn’t eat pork, I don’t know. He takes a bite of a wonton and spits it out.
“This meat’s bad.” he proclaims.
Of course it is! I think to myself. You don’t eat pork so of course it’s gonna taste funny! I offer him one of my vegetable dumplings. He takes one, dunks it in the sauce, spilling the sauce all over the table. He takes a bite. He doesn’t like it and throws the other half of the dumpling in the bag.
John asks “How much did this stuff cost?”
“$20.65” I say as I eat one of my delicious dumplings.
“WHAT!!!” He yells.
Before he can go off on a tirade I jump in. “I ordered what I wanted to eat. Besides, had we gone out tonight, you would have spent A LOT more!”
He says nothing, for once.

After dinner, he goes into his bedroom and begins cleaning out a junk drawer. I stay in the living room and watch TV. I could care less at this point. I’m just counting down the hours until 9am when I’ll leave to catch the 10am bus. I begin thinking about if I should try for the 7am bus, but I’m not a morning person. At about 11:30, he comes out of his room, fully dressed.
“I’m going to take out the trash,” He learned from the night before not to ask me that late, “and I’m going to run some errands.” Run some errands? Who the heck runs errands at 11:30 at night? I take that as code for “I’m going to find a hooker.” Again, I don’t give a rat’s ass. Just don’t wake me when you come back.

My alarm’s set for 7am, but I am awakened well before that. John got sick again and was racing from the bedroom to the bathroom. The caring, maternal instincts in me kicked in once again. Should I take a later bus to make sure he’s alright? The last few days quickly replay through my mind. “Hell no!” I say to myself and get up and go to re-pack my bag. I’m dressed and almost ready to go. It’s now a few minutes after 9. I’d planned to leave by 9 to have enough time to make it down to the train station and arrive a half hour early. At least that’s what I told John. He’s back on the futon now, curled up in a ball. It’s 9:15.
“You’re never gonna make it.” he says
“Like hell I am!” I say to myself. To him I say, “Oh, I’ll be fine.” I go over to him and give him a hug. “I hope you feel better soon!”
“If I’m not, I’ll go back to the hospital.” he tells me. He obviously doesn’t want to spend a second weekend there.
I assure him, “I’ll call you when I get home to let you know I made it safely and to make sure you’re ok baby.” I cringe internally from calling him that pet name. I grab my suitcase and my purse and head down the sea-foam green and marble staircase one last time.

I wait till I’m around the corner and out of view of his building to do my hallelujah dance. I was free from the monster! Never would I have to deal with him again! Well, I did call him as promised. He didn’t answer the first time, but a few hours later he did. He was alive. Good for him. I ripped up his business card and deleted his number from my phone.



March 9, 2010

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Act II)

Filed under: Uncategorized — missscarlett19 @ 8:03 pm
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When we last left our brave and beautiful heroine, she being wined and dined, treated like a real lady by Dr. Jekyl– also known as John Sapoloco. Over the next several weeks, the whirlwind romance between Miss Scarlett and John blossomed. Finally, the two felt it was appropriate for Miss Scarlett to visit John in his hometown. And that is where our story picks up.


It’s Wednesday night. I’m talking with John over the phone, as I had done at least every other day, sometimes twice a day, for the last several weeks. We had been discussing my coming down to Gotham to visit him for a while, but he fell ill with food poisoning the prior weekend and wanted to make sure he was 100% before what was promised to be a glorious and romantic weekend together. We both REALLY wanted to see each other as soon as possible, but he promised to take his mother to see her old church friends in the next state on Saturday. Add another badge on to his Boy Scout badge! So he asks if I can come during the week. It’s after 9 o’clock at night, and I jokingly say “I can hop on the very next bus!” “Are you SERIOUS?” John responds. “What time’s the next bus!” he asks like a kid wanting to know when Santa’s coming. I tell him, unfortunately, it’s not feasible, but I can hop on a bus in the morning. After a little discussion, I buy a ticket for the noon bus and plan to return Saturday morning so he can be the loving son and keep his promise to his mom.

About 12 hours later, I begin my journey to see my Prince Charming. Antoher 4, and we pass a sign welcoming us into Gotham. Excitedly, I call John to tell him I should be there within the hour. No answer. I figure he’s busy at work and send him a text 15 minutes later. Still no response. My bus crosses the bridge, entering his neighborhood. I call again. Nothing. Finally, my bus arrives. One more time. Nothing. After waiting at the make-shift bus station for about 10 minutes, John finally calls me. His voice is weak. “Baby, I got sick again! It’s really bad. Call this car company and have them drive you over here. I’ll give you the money for it.” Such a gentleman! I tell him I don’t need a car, it’s only four blocks. I can walk.

After walking for about 6 blocks, not including the two I went in the wrong direction, I arrive at the home of the man who just hours after meeting me said he wanted to marry me. Graffiti is all over the doorway. I shrug it off because it’s Gotham. Punks tag everywhere and the city’s not able to clean it ALL up right away. Plus, the previous two buildings had nice entrances. I don’t know which unit to ring, so I call him up. He tells me to come to apartment 3 and buzzes me in.

Lumbering with my suitcase, I climb the marble stairs lined with seafoam green textured walls to the third floor. I come to a red door propped open by a wooden kitchen chair. I peer in and in front of me is the modest kitchen. Tiny, but with a brand new, probably never used oven and a sink with a single cabinet. Ok, not bad. Expected for downtown Gotham. The “cozy” bathroom is right next to the sink. Again, small, but didn’t appear to be horrific. “John?” I call out. No response. “John!” I look to the left and see my Prince Charming a huddled shirtless mess wrapped in blankets upon a leather futon. I take in the living room. The cheap curtains drawn, no light coming in at all. You can’t tell it’s a beautifully bright and sunny day outside in this dungeon. I can’t tell if the dingy, navy carpet was once sky blue. I wonder if this apartment was one of the sites producers scouted to shoot the Academy-Award Winning movie Precious.

“Baby, are you ok?” I say to him while trying to avoid touching the grimy walls. He apoligized for having me there while he was sick, but said he was fine last night, then got violently sick again about the time I was boarding the bus. I think about if I want to turn around and go back home, but I decide no, I’ll stand by my man and help him through this!

John, in his feeble voice, asks me to do him a favor. “Can you go to the store and get me some bottled water? And get yourself some milk & cereal and whatever snacks you want. Just grab a 100 dollar bill out of my wallet.” I pull one of the many mini-portraits of Ben Franklin out of his billfold and transfer it to my own wallet.

I head back out into the bright daylight and look a familiar name, Duane Reade, Rite-Aid… But none are to be found. It’s just a sea of Chinese characters on awnings lining the block. Finally, I see “99¢-Cigarettes-Lotto.” I enter the small store, and in front of me are pallets of bottled water. Packs of 35. I ask man at the counter if they have smaller packages, maybe 6 or 12. He says no. I try to lift the pallet. There’s no way I can carry that thing to the other end of the block. Then I spy the pretty little gallons of water, not the milk jug ones, but the other ones in the crystal clear containers. So I grab two of them, plus a single sports bottle out of the cooler. I figure I’d give him the one and then refill it as needed. After paying for the waters, half a gallon of milk and a box of cereal, I haul the goods back up to John’s third floor dungeon. Then the beast begins to bare his ugly head.

Figuring John hadn’t had any fresh water to drink all day, I immediately open the single sports bottle and hand it to him. He takes a swig. Then asks “Where are the rest of the bottles?” “Oh, I they didn’t have anything smaller than a case of 35, and I couldn’t carry it, so I got two gallons instead.” “WHAT!!!!!!” John roared, and somehow through his near deadly illnes was able to rise up on the futon. “I TOLD you to get the individual bottles!!!” My mouth is wide-open, in complete in utter shock and disbelief. I try to explain the situation to John, but vicious monsters are incapable of reasoning.

Finally, I am able to tame the beast, and my Prince Charming once again emerges. John asks me to bring over the menu for a Spanish restaurant so we can order dinner. He asks what I want. “Baked chicken” I tell him. “White or dark meat?” he asks. “Dark.” I respond. He calls the restaurant and is put on hold. Fifteen minutes later, he’s still on hold and puts the phone on speaker as he rushes to the bathroom with the return of his illness. After about a half hour, we get through. John’s still in the bathroom though, so I get on the phone and take it off speaker. The woman on the other end says they don’t deliver to his address. It was just maybe 2 blocks outside of their delivery radius, so after asking the manager, she said they could bring it over. So I place our order. A large chicken soup for him, and baked chicken for me. “White or dark meat?” she asks in a heavy Spanish accent. “Dark.” I respond. Just then I hear a noise coming from the bathroom. The door swings open, exposing John in all his, um, glory. “DARK MEAT! TELL HER YOU WANT DARK MEAT!” He barks. I don’t know why he’s so adamant about this. I mean, if I forgot to tell her I want dark meat, then it’d be no one’s mistake but my own and I’d either have to just eat the white meat or nothing at all.

About 30 minutes later, the delivery man rings the bell. John tells me to get his money and pay the man. But before the delivery man arrives at the door, John gives me one more order. “Give him a two-dollar tip! Don’t give him more than two-dollars!” he says sternly over and over. Now two dollars again was not an adequate tip, especially since the man had to go a few blocks out of his way. But I tell John ok, then secretly slip the young man a five.

After dinner, the beast is weary and retreats to his bed. Somehow I survived day one with this monster. I put sheets on the futon and prepare for bed myself. As I lay there in the dark, dank apartment, I debate in my mind if I should leave on the first bus in the morning or hope John’s sickness was causing him this mental illness. Finally, the thought of big city shopping helped me make my decision. I would stay, but if he didn’t straighten up, I would spend the day hunting for deals and only return for food and shelter.

Ok readers, so in Act I I told you this story would have just two parts. Well, I didn’t realize how long and complex it really was and did not want to deprive you of anything from my experience. So stay tuned for the FINALE of this harrowing tale! (Dun-dun-DUUUUUUNNNNNNN!!!!)

March 8, 2010

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Act I)

Filed under: Uncategorized — missscarlett19 @ 7:59 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Oh boy! Where the heck do I begin with THIS one people! I guess I should just start at the beginning, so here we go! Buckle yourselves in for the scariest ride of your life! A man with two VERY different personalities!

Technically, it was Valentine’s Day. I’d gone out on the 13th, but it was now after midnight, and it sounds more romantic to say it happened on V-Day. Anywho… I was out with my girl Julie. (BTW, like my 10 best friends are ALL named Julie, so don’t get confused. I guess I chose them as friends because it makes it easy on me to remember their names. Like there was a name shortage from 1975-1982). We attending the most high-profile event in Capital City, as we had been doing so for the last 5 years. I saw this older gentleman as I passed through the halls earlier. I noticed him noticing me, so I had to put him on mental notice. He was nice looking. Not generally my type, but I was trying to expand my horizons and try new things. But I never saw him again for the rest of the night.
The night was finally over and Julie and I were putting on our coats. I had not seen my sexy stranger since our passing in the hallway. Then, like a stealth bomber, he sneaks up behind me and says “Here’s my card. Call me some time.” And just as quickly as he came, he was gone. POOF! Right into thin air! I did not get a good look at his face, but caught a glimpse of his distinct facial hair. I searched the room for this mystery man, but he was nowhere to be found.
I was about to dismiss him as a crazy man preying upon beautiful, young women such as myself. That’s the kind of event this was anyway. Although it was supposed to be professional, the politicians, top executives, etc., will hunt for an easy score. Especially among delusional young women who will be impressed by their resumes.
Just as I was going to rip his card into pieces, Julie stops me and says “Oh! That’s John Sapoloco! Guuuuuurrrrrl!!! You need to CALL him!” She then gave me a synopsis of his bio. Older man, one adult child, great job, owns several houses. “Okay,” I say, “I guess he can take me out to lunch.” When we get back to Julie’s I text John. We agree to meet for lunch after church. Lunch… on Valentine’s Day!
I arrived at his five-star hotel after a beautiful church service. Waiting for him in the lobby by the fireplace. Finally, he comes down and apologizes for being so late but says he had a major crisis he had to handle at work. It’s okay with me because he did call me to tell me and I was reading the paper cozied up by the fire.
John and I dine at the hotel’s restaurant, sharing great food and conversation. We talked for several hours over shrimp and steak. I had been to this beautiful hotel several times before for events, but had never seen a room. So he asked if I wanted to see his. I know, it sounds kinda prostitutish, but Miss Scarlett ain’t that kinda chick! We sat in his room for hours, telling the stories of our lives. He had worked on pretty much every presidential campaign in the last 20 years. He’d never been married and was looking to settle down. He’d served in the military and in the streets and had the wounds to prove it. He was smart, handsome and charming. Our lunch was just about to turn to dinner. But he had to get dressed to attend the black tie affair, which I was not attending. We agreed to meet up at the party after.
Later that night, he’s chatting with a friend and colleague. I come up to him and he stops his conversation, gives me a hug, and introduces me to his buddy. “This is the lovely young lady I was telling you about!” John says excitedly to his friend. Then he continues, “We got married this morning!” I try not to choke on my drink and quickly ask “Where’s my ring then?” They both get a chuckle out of that and his friend offers to find a 24-hour pawn shop. “It’s okay. I can wait until morning so we can go to Tiffany’s” I say.
John then takes my hand and whisks me away to the dance floor. After several twirls around the floor, he says he wants to take me around and introduce me to his friends and some very important people. I think about it, but decide it’s probably not in his or my best interest to go meet these people after knowing him for just under 24 hours. I didn’t want him to look flighty if this didn’t work out and I already knew a few people that he may have introduced me to. “I’d love to John, but my feet really hurt.” Yes, I used that old standby. “Oh, it’s ok,” he replies, “Let me give you some money to go buy some drinks.”  I really wanted to take that money and put it toward my shoe fund, but instead I do the right thing and tell him I’m only drinking water.
The evening came to an end, and he insisted on taking me out to breakfast. So I suggest one of my favorite diners that he, as a visitor to Capital City, had never been to. Normally he would dine on a road adjacent to his hotel and had suggested we eat at Denny’s. I told him this place in the opposite direction was 100 times better. We get there, and John loves the atmosphere and before even ordering declares he will let his co-workers know about this great little diner. I sit down in the booth, and he slides in next to me. That’s how we dine. His arm around me the whole time.  
When we’re finished, he raves about how WONDERFUL the food and the service was… and leaves a $2 tip. The bill was at least $20, so that was less than a 10% tip. Seeing this, I tell him “Whoopsies! I dropped my glove! You go ahead to the register, I’ll be right there!” And quickly through the only two singles I had in my teeny tiny wallet on the table to give the wonderful waitress a more respectable tip of about 18%. Still not what I would have tipped her, but at least it wasn’t a figurative slap in the face. I think his tipping is odd, but figure he just doesn’t know. Although I don’t really see how it could be possible. I mean, a highly successful, professional man, over the age of 25 MUST know that you should tip at least 15%. But I just shrug it off as somehow he slipped through the cracks, and began devising ways to secretly address this issue. I figured it’s just one flaw. Not a deal breaker. But if I had only known it was only the beginning of a whole mess of mental issues with this man!
So now my friends, we have come to the end of Act I in this gruesome tale of deception and disappointment! Stay tuned for the harrowing conclusion of… DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE!!! (Dun-dun-DUUUUUUUUUUN!!!)

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