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December 28, 2002
Sammy got drunk before his big date. It was Saturday. He tasted the air and felt his lungs tighten up. Too much wine did that to him. So he stopped to lean against the brick wall that felt hot under his palm. The night didn’t feel right. In his mind, Sammy was consciously aware that walls should feel cold, but the brick seemed to burn right through his bones. Bad ticker, docs told him. He’d be damned if he died alone; Sammy had a date to make.

Leanne watched an ambulance leave. Sammy never showed. She caught the next cab.