I turned back to Shane, standing there, hands dangling at his sides, dusk wrapped around him, white-hot stars bouncing off his wet eyes. His voice came out smaller than ever.
“Is there someone else you’d rather be with?”
“It isn’t that. It isn’t any one thing. It’s everything. It’s here in these maples, and in these corn fields, and in that dumb well.”
“What’s in the trees, Ann Leigh? What is in the corn fields?”
“Bars. Iron grates. Shackles. I’m a prisoner. Locked away. Locked up tight as a drum. Don’t you get it, Shane? I can’t breathe.”
He stared at me, brows hooked up high, thinking I was stark raving mad, no doubt. Then, without a sound, he stepped in and slowly, so slowly, laid his arms around me, pulling me into his chest. “And you think if you go someplace else and change your name that means you’ll be free? Listen, Ann Leigh. Love is in the air. It’s oxygen. Love me right here and you’ll breathe
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