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Norwegian Wood
thesundaytrain

Naoko took her left hand from her pocket and squeezed my hand. "Don't you worry," she said. "You'll be OK. You could go running all around here in the middle of the night, and you'd never fall into the well. And as long as I stick with you, I won't fall in either."

"Never?"

"Never!"

"How can you be so sure?"

"I just know," she said, increasing her grip on my hand and walking along in silence. "I know these things. I'm always right. It's got nothing to do with logic: I just feel it. For example, when I'm close to you like this, I'm not the least bit scared. Nothing dark or evil could tempt me."

"Well, that's the answer," I said. "All you have to do is stay like this with me all the time."

"Do you mean that?"

"Of course."

Naoko stopped short. So did I. She put her hands on my shoulders and peered into my eyes. Deep within her own pupils a heavy, black liquid swirled in a strange whirlpool pattern. Those beautiful eyes of hers were looking inside me for a long, long time. Then she stretched to her full height and touched her cheek to mine. It was a marvellous, warm gesture that stopped my heart for a moment.

"Thank you."

"My pleasure," I answered.





"I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?"

"Always," I said. "I'll always remember."

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That book was really awesome. I could just read it over and over again.

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