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RIP OLTL and AMC.

When we all went to our separate colleges after high school, I started writing silly stories about our little group of friends. We called it Days Of Our One Life of All Judy's Young & the Beautiful Children As Mt Washington Turns Without A Major Hospital. It's been QUITE some time since our stories have been revisited. With the passing of two of our namesakes, though, and just because sometimes I miss all those people...this is the beginning of a new chapter of our story. Don't read it because it's crap. But I cracked myself up writing it.

Without further ado:

When she closed the lid of her laptop, the only lights left in the room came from the seemingly endless columns of fountains and aquariums she had collected for her office. There was a rather large desk for her to sit at while working, but something about working from this soft, brown leather couch made this whole arrangement less official. Less formal.

She brought the fish and fountains because the mere idea of them soothed her. For all those years, while her now-ex-husband had been polluting her brain with various narcotics and psychotics to make everyone around her think she was crazy, the only time she felt safe was in the water. Baths, pools, oceans; it didn't matter. The idea of a freedom from gravity while slipping through the weight of the seas was comforting.

This office...her office, was quite stunning, actually. She allowed herself to smile at the way opportunities had presented themselves after the truth about her marriage came to light, but only for a moment. The fear was always there, waiting just out of reach. When every basic trust is broken that violently, the next ambush is forever barely beyond one's peripheral vision. Ima was in prison and had admitted everything when confronted, cooperating with the investigation thoroughly. Yet she still feared. He may have given her literally everything he had amassed over the years when they divorced, but he was still a powerful man. The money was never the fulcrum, allowing him to do what he pleased to whomever he pleased. It was his charm, his charisma that drove his persuasiveness. It was what had won Debra over so easily.

But this new life felt familiar, despite being new. She was lucky enough to have had a group of lawyers on her side, led by Armstrong Family Law, that expedited the divorce and facilitated her detoxification in one of the most exclusive and private rehabs in the world. She emerged from the entire ordeal wanting to pick up the pieces and work at creating bridges for the gaps in her life.

It had barely been a year, but here she was. She stood and took a quick inventory of the locks on windows, doors and filing cabinets before putting on her boots and grabbing her jacket. Glancing down the 43 floors of Mandalay Tower, which was now owned by Exotix4U, and across the pond into the large piece of land, trees and seemingly-endless buildings that was the whole of Mandalay Manse, and it was still hers.

Now clear-headed, she had gained an appreciation for air in addition to water. stepping out onto the balcony locking the glass doors behind her, she took a deep breath. There was no stopping the soft laugher as she clipped herself into her harness, grabbed her purse and lowered her goggles. Just after blowing a kiss goodbye to the fish, leaving a hint of Exotix4U's timeless best-seller "I'm Goin' A-Whorin' Tonight" red lipstick on her glove, she kicked off of the balcony and rode the zip-line into her back yard.

Freedom from a life previously lived has its advantages.

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