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The small house was dark, for the curtains were still drawn. In the living room, Abby pulled aside the curtains her mother had made, and let the brilliant morning light stream into the room. Then she went to the kitchen, and began to make breakfast.

Back in Jake's room, the smell of buttered toast and hot coffee aroused him from sleep. Puzzled, he got out of bed and sleepily trudged down the small hallway to the kitchen. There, Jake found Abby cracking an egg into a skillet, and then taking a bite of toast. For a moment, he looked at her as though he were still asleep.

"I was just about to come and wake you up," said Abby, pouring a cup of coffee and handing it to the startled man. "Breakfast is almost ready."

"What are you doing here?" he asked, rather gruffly.

"I thought that was obvious," replied Abby, stirring the eggs in the skillet, so they wouldn't burn. "I'm fixing breakfast."

"How did you get in?" he demanded.

"I got the spare keys from Dad," she answered, her voice challenging his indignation. "Why? Should I have asked your permission before entering? I thought as your nearest relation, it entitled me to some degree of liberty."

"I don't like surprises," he muttered, taking a sip of the hot coffee.

"Sit down, while I get breakfast on the table," instructed Abby, as she turned the flame down under the eggs. "I hope you like your eggs scrambled."

Jake silently did as he was told.

"You don't look so good," she observed, scraping the eggs onto his plate.

"I had a hard night," he replied, in a low voice.

"If you needed me, you should have called," said Abby, sitting down at the table.

"I can't expect you to come over every night," he retorted.

Abby was silent for a moment. This made her think of something that John and Izumi had brought up, only that morning.

"My parents wanted to know if I was moving in with you," she announced, waiting to see his reaction.

Abby didn't have long to wait. A look of dread quickly crossed his face, and he started to turn pale white, right in front of her eyes.

"Don't get nervous," she assured him, seeing that he was obviously jumping to the wrong conclusion. "They were referring to your spare room-- not your bed."

At this, Jake relaxed a little, and nervously took another sip of coffee.

"Sorry," Abby apologized, "I didn't mean to scare you like that. Did you have a very bad night?"

"I've had worse," he mumbled.

"If I slept under the same roof as you, I might be able to help you more," she reasoned. "As it is, I can only come if I hear you screaming from my room across the way. Don't make up your mind right now, but it might be worth considering."

"There were many times," remembered Jake, his face still a bit shaken, "when I was sure I wouldn't last the night. After they were done with me, I'd crawl into a corner and shut my eyes as tightly as I could, and I'd make wishes that I knew would never come true. Somehow, the hoping for it made the pain more bearable. But when despair came, hope only made me feel worse."

"What did you wish for?" wondered Abby.

"I don't know," shrugged Jake, suddenly becoming quiet.

"Come on," she coaxed. "What did you wish for? I promise not to tell anyone."
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