This is a tale about desperation, about panic, about flight. It is a tale of what people will do to escape from something terrible, something fatal - and how even the good can become corrupted. It is a tale of venality. But most of all it is a tale of hope, sheer determination and love. And love conquers all.
My right hand was a feathery pressure on her hips; my lips memorized her eyes, her nose, her lips. And though she was a proper girl from a good family, she sensed the strangeness of the night and allowed my arms to embrace her collarbone like a necklace. She must have known we were saying good-bye. This first kiss would remind me, whenever my hometown seemed an impossible dream, of who I had been.