They gave me a choice. It was important that there was a choice. I don't remember what it was. That was also important. But today I woke up knowing that a decision had been made--one that would shape the course of the rest of my life. I didn't know what that future was but it was laid out so clearly in front of me. I walked outside to look at the world--which was still running along just as planned. I think I expected a skyline on fire, a desolate wasteland. I expected ruin. Whatever choice I'd made felt apocalyptic. I felt like I had destroyed something precious, something I could never get back to.

And yet here we were. The grass was green. The flowers were starting to bloom. Everything was so beautiful and new, like the world was created just then.

I opened the newspaper. Everything I'd ever fought for in my life was happening. All the causes I'd campaigned for were seeing real changes. Optimistic spokesmen said they thought they'd see a real, equal America in their lifetimes. We'd won, almost overnight. I read the entire newspaper and it was all beautiful news.

Except for the obituaries. Quietly in the night, unexplained causes. The doctors said it was peaceful. She was young and had a lot of hope for the future. "She was full of love," her mother said in an interview. "The world's going to be a lot lonelier place with her gone."

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