Juggling the Pieces

by Pink Panther

Chapter 14

December 2010

We're in the car, heading home from Auntie Sarah's house. I take out my phone and check the football results.

"Reavington got a one-all draw at QPR," I announce.

"That's a decent result," Dad comments. "QPR are having a good season."

"That's what I thought."

There aren't any details, but that doesn't matter. We'll be able to watch highlights tomorrow morning. The important thing is that playing away against the league leaders, they managed to get something from the game. It's exactly what Scott said they needed to do.

So here we are. It's Monday morning and we're watching The Football League Show. With QPR being at the top of the Championship, theirs is the first match on. Midway through the first half, Reavington take the lead, with Scott getting yet another assist, which draws enthusiastic comments from the pundits. In the second half, QPR demonstrate their quality by fashioning an equaliser. But despite all their opponents' pressure, Reavington hang on the claim a draw.

"They did well," Dad says thoughtfully. "Scott's a real talent. For sure, he needs to get stronger, and to be better at getting up and down the pitch, but he knows that, and he's worked out how he's going to deal with it." He pauses for a moment. "Have you got anything planned for tomorrow?" he asks.

"Not really," I respond. "I'll probably do some drawing and some reading. That's about it."

"Excellent!" he says, smiling. "The thing is, I've got a little surprise for you."

"What sort of surprise?"

"If I told you that, it wouldn't be a surprise, would it?"

"Cool!" I say, grinning at him.

Actually, I've got a pretty good idea what it's going to be. But if Dad wants to keep it as a surprise, that's fine with me.

It's just before three o'clock when I arrive at Scott's place. This morning, he's been over to the club to do some light training; active recovery as he calls it.

"You did pretty well yesterday," I comment as we stroll into the lounge.

"We competed superbly," he responds, flopping down on the sofa. "We were determined not to let them dictate the play the way that Burnley did. It wasn't pretty, most of it. Fortunately, we were able to produce one piece of magic that led to the goal."

"And you were involved in that piece of magic."

"What you have to remember is that I'm just one of the team. I got the opportunity because we were all on it, playing the way the boss had asked us to."

"The pundits on The Football League Show were saying that there's talk of you getting a move to a Premier League club soon."

"And that's all it is: talk," he says, smiling. "There may be a few Premier League clubs sniffing around, but nothing more than that. I've talked to my agent and to the boss. We're all on the same page. Nothing's going to happen, because I don't want to go and the club is in no hurry to sell me." He pauses for a couple of seconds. "You know what the plan is," he says. "I just need to be patient."

After a while, we move to the bedroom. As usual, we sensuously undress each other. I'm wearing a pair of the Tommy Hilfiger briefs that he gave me.

"Hmmmm! Very sexy!" he purrs, running his hand over my cotton-clad erection. "It looks like someone's pleased to see me!"

"Oh, he's always pleased to see you!" I quip, giving him a cheeky grin.

Scott's also wearing his Christmas present. The black, slightly shiny trunks give him a quite different look from the one I'm used to.

"I think the big, bad wolf's pleased to see me, too!" I suggest, returning the favour.

With our underwear removed, we get onto the bed. As I expected, our love-making is gentle and affectionate. That suits me. I think it's great that we can change things according to our mood and the prevailing circumstances. For Scott, this is going to be a really tough week. Conserving energy will be crucial. I find being able to play my part really fulfilling.

A little later, we cook a meal together. Once we've finished eating, we spend an hour chilling out on the sofa. Shortly after eight, Scott drops me back at home. In less than twenty-four hours, he'll be back in action. He needs to make sure he's ready.

It's Tuesday morning. At about half past nine, Dad comes to my room.

"We'll be having a light lunch at twelve," he says. "You and I will be going out around quarter to one. Okay?"

"Sure!" I tell him.

Lunch consists of the inevitable left-over turkey, served with crusty bread rolls, lettuce and tomatoes, with fresh fruit to follow. As soon as we've finished eating, I head to the bathroom to clean my teeth. When I come back downstairs, Dad looks me up and down. I'm wearing jeans, trainers, a polo shirt and a hoodie.

"Okay!" he instructs. "Coat, hat and gloves! Scarf as well if you want. We're going to be outside for well over two hours."

"Have a good time!" Mum urges as we make our way out.

Dad and I get into the car. A few moments later we're on our way.

"I take it you know where we're going?" he says.

"To Reavington to watch the football match."

"Correct! Twelve months ago, I'd resigned myself to the fact that this wasn't something we'd ever do."

"And now we are."

"Yes; I thought it was about time you saw a live game. How do you feel about it?"

"Excited; a bit nervous."

"Don't worry; you'll be fine!"

An hour later, we reach the outskirts of Reavington.

"The trick now," Dad says, "Is to find somewhere to park that's not too far from the ground. I'm not going to try getting too close, because we won't find anywhere. Then we'll be driving around for ages. So, it'll be about a 15-minute walk. That should be no problem for a fit young man like you!"

"Cool!" I say, grinning at him.

A few minutes later, he's parked the car, and we're on our way to the stadium, father and son, walking along stride for stride, the sense of togetherness so strong, I can almost touch it.

This is so totally outside my experience, the butterflies in my tummy are working overtime. Back in the summer, when we went to the English Schools Athletics Championships, there were around four thousand people there. That's the biggest crowd I've ever been in. Today, they're expecting around four times as many.

But that's not the only thing. Although the crowd at the English Schools was enthusiastic, it was friendly and good-natured. Crowds at football matches are very partisan. At times, that can make them pretty scary. Today though, I'm reassured by two things: I'm with Dad, and we're supporting the home team. Of course, the other reason I'm nervous is that I'm desperate for Reavington to do well; Scott in particular. It would be so disappointing if they had a poor game.

We arrive at the gate. Dad produces the tickets and in we go. Just beyond the gate, we're stopped by a big guy in an official-looking blazer.

"Good afternoon, sir," he says, addressing himself to Dad. "Are you new here?"

"Yes," Dad confirms.

"Will you be supporting the home team?" the man queries. "We wouldn't want you going into the wrong part of the ground."

"Oh, very much so!" Dad responds, smiling. "We're friends of the Paxtons. Ian goes to the same school that Scott went to."

"Oh, that's great!" the man says, smiling. "We're always pleased to see new supporters!" He turns to a much younger guy standing close by. "John," he instructs. "Show these guys where to go and make sure they know where everything is." He turns back to Dad. "Have a good day, sir! I hope we'll see you again!"

As John leads us towards our seats, I am seriously impressed. I simply hadn't expected to be met like that.

"Did I hear that you're friends of the Paxtons?" John asks as we head into the main stand.

"Yeah!" I confirm. "Scott was in my sister's class."

"Oh, he's made such a difference since he got into the team," John enthuses. "It's great to see one of our youngsters come through the way that he has."

After showing us to our seats, and pointing out where the toilets and refreshment stands are, he leaves us to it.

"That was good, wasn't it?" I say as we sit down. "That big guy must have one hell of a memory!"

"Not really," Dad explains. "We're not wearing club scarves or anything, so as he didn't recognise us, he had to check. Of course, once he'd done that, his priority was to make us feel welcome. The clubs regard that as very important. Like he said, they want to see us again."

I look around, trying to get my bearings. We're sitting about halfway back, between the goal to our left and the halfway line.

"I picked to sit here," Dad says quietly, "so that when Reavington are kicking from right to left, Scott will be right in front of us. Of course, when they're kicking the other way, he'll be way over on the other side."

As kick-off time approaches, the atmosphere builds steadily. The expectation among the home supporters is almost palpable. Following a win in their last home game and a draw away at league-leaders QPR, they're looking forward to another good result. If I'd been here on my own, I might have found it intimidating, but with Dad sitting next to me, I'm not scared at all; I'm excited!

As the teams come out onto the pitch, a huge roar goes up. It's so powerful, I don't just hear it; I can feel it. After the usual preliminaries, the match begins, with Reavington attacking the goal to our left. Scott, playing on the left wing, is directly in front of us, just as Dad said he would be.

The first twenty minutes are pretty cagey. Reavington launch a few attacks, but their opponents, defending in numbers, keep them at bay. With the opposing right-back paying him close attention, Scott doesn't get many opportunities.

Suddenly, he breaks free. Picking up the ball near the halfway line, he evades his marker and sprints along the left touchline, the ball at his feet. The crowd is in uproar, myself included. This is what we came to see!

A couple of yards short of the goal-line, Scott puts in a cross. Unfortunately, the defenders are well organised and get the ball away, producing a collective sigh of frustration from the Reavington supporters.

For the next few minutes, the game goes quiet again. Then the opposition mount their first meaningful attack. Watchful and alert, Reavington's defenders win the ball back on the edge of the penalty area. It comes out to Scott, who's lurking near the halfway line.

With his usual marker out of position, Scott immediately sets off on another run, the Reavington supporters roaring him on. This time, the opposing defenders are scrambling to get back. One of them comes across to try to cut off the run, but Scott evades the challenge, taking the ball almost to the corner flag.

He whips in a cross, striking it much more powerfully than the previous one. With the defenders still struggling, Femi, the tall black guy who plays as Reavington's central striker, rises above everyone, powering the ball into the bottom corner of the net. The crowd goes nuts, and I'm right there with them! I've never been involved in anything as exciting as this!

Having turned a cartwheel in celebration, Femi trots over to Scott, giving him a man-hug as the pair of them are mobbed by their teammates. With the crowd still going wild, Scott and Femi wave to the Reavington supporters as they trot back to the halfway line to prepare for the restart. Although I still don't understand the game all that well, I totally get what the attraction is. Being part of those moments of magic really is very special.

Following the goal, the game goes quiet again. There's lots of passing the ball around in the middle of the pitch, but neither side is able to make a really telling attack. With half time approaching, Scott gets the ball directly in front of us, about five yards in from the touchline. As the opposing right-back moves to block his path, Scott feints to go left, as though intending to take the ball along the touchline as he did before.

Instead, with the guy having gone the wrong way, he cuts inside, sprinting towards the corner of the penalty area, the opposing right-back struggling to catch up. For some reason, rather than challenging for the ball, the other defenders back away. It's a big mistake. From just inside the box, Scott curls a beautiful shot into the far top corner.

The crowd goes even crazier than they did after the first goal, and I'm part of it. I am ecstatic! I was right behind him when he took the shot. At first, it didn't look as though it would go anywhere near the goal, but the way it curled back in was just incredible! I've no idea how you do that. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen!

Typically for Scott, there's no extravagant celebration. After being mobbed by his teammates, he trots back to the halfway line, quietly waving at the Reavington supporters. A couple of minutes later, the referee blows for half-time.

"Well," Dad asks, "how was that?"

"Awesome!" I tell him, still trying to get my breath back.

"Hmmm!" he quips. "I thought you were enjoying it! Fancy a Cornish pasty?"


As we stroll to the refreshment stand, I'm overwhelmed, my brain going a mile a minute. Dad buys us a pasty each. As we head back to our seats, I try to make sense of it all. A year ago, I'd never have imagined that I could feel part of something like this. But here I am. Wow!

We sit back down just as the second half is about to start. Even though he's right over on the far side of the pitch, it soon becomes clear that Scott now has two players marking him. For the next half an hour, it's stalemate.

With less than twenty minutes to go, the visitors suddenly change tactics, replacing a midfielder and a defender with two attacking players. Reavington's response is to take Scott off, putting on a defensive midfielder in his place.

With the visitors now throwing everyone forward, things are quite tense for a while, but showing a great deal of resilience, the Reavington defence stands firm. Suddenly, they catch the visitors on the break, and with their opponents hopelessly committed, they add a third goal to seal the result. The remaining minutes are like a continuous celebration. Reavington have won, and their supporters will go home happy.

Being in a crowd of almost 17,000, it takes us more than fifteen minutes to get out of the ground, Dad and I taking care not to get separated. Finally, we head back to the car.

"I think we came on the right day," Dad says.

"Definitely!" I agree, still unable to stop myself smiling.

It's eight o'clock when I get to get to Scott's place.

"You did well today!" I say, beaming at him as I stride into the flat.

"Yeah," he says modestly. "It went okay."

"I know. We were there. Dad took me."

"Really? That's wonderful! Is he coming over to watch Match of the Day?"

"Yeah, definitely!"

"I must thank him for taking you," he says warmly. "So, you enjoyed it, then?"

"Yeah, it was awesome, especially when the goals went in!"

"Oh, that's always the best part."

"Actually, I think it's something Dad would have liked us to do when I was younger, but back then, I just wasn't interested."

"Well, I'm glad you are now!" Scott says, drawing me close.

"I was sitting right behind you when you scored. I couldn't believe how much the ball curled back towards the goal."

"Yeah, I struck it well. But they weren't putting any pressure on me, so that's what I should have done. To be honest, we were quite lucky. They've got a few problems at the moment with key players out injured. If they'd been at full strength, it would have been a far tougher match than it was. Fingers crossed; we've been quite fortunate as far as that goes." He pauses for a moment. "So, what would you like now?"

"Whatever you want!"

"Well," he says, standing up. "We're not playing again till Saturday, so I think we can loosen up a bit, if that's okay with you?"

"Sure!" I say, grinning up at him.

He extends a hand, helping me to my feet. I think what he means is that things could get quite a bit more energetic than they did the last time I was here. That's fine by me. If that's what he wants, I'm more than up for it.

I'm right about things being more physical than they were on Monday. Following the match, we're both still as high as kites; me from watching it, Scott from playing in it. He removes my jeans, revealing another pair of Tommy Hilfiger briefs. He's pretty well salivating. Oh, yes! This is going to be hot!

It is too. Although we keep to our usual lovemaking position, Scott totally goes for it. Wow! It's exhilarating and then some! Just before Scott comes, I shoot all over our chests and stomachs, making us both seriously sticky.

"Remind me where you'll be on Saturday?" I ask as we head to the bathroom.

"Middlesbrough," he tells me. "We're going up on Friday afternoon, and won't be back until late on Saturday evening."

"Yes, I remember now," I acknowledge. "We won't be having a romantic New Year's Eve then?"

"I'm afraid not," Scott agrees. "That's what you get for having a professional footballer as a partner."

It's quarter past ten when Dad arrives. Scott escorts him to the lounge, thanking him profusely for taking me to the match.

"It was my pleasure," Dad assures him. "You guys played fantastic! We were delighted to be there."

It's Friday morning. I'm just doing some reading while I'm waiting for the other lads from the cross-country squad to arrive so that we can go out running together. Unexpectedly, I get a call. It's Anthony.

"Hi, man!" he greets. "How was Christmas?"

"Good, thanks! You?"

"Okay, I guess. Are you doing anything this evening?"

"Nothing special, why?"

"I wondered if you'd like to come over here. We could hang out, yeah?"

"I take it Jayden's not around?"

"Nah! They don't get back from Portugal till Sunday."

"That's cool then. What time would you like me to come over?"

"What time suits you?"

"How about eight o'clock?" I suggest.

"Yeah, that'll be fine."

"I'll just need to make sure I know how I'm getting home. I think Dad will probably pick me up, but I'll have to ask. I'll call you if there's a problem."

"Cool! I'll see you later."

As we end the call, I can't help wondering just what sort of a relationship Anthony and Jayden actually have. They don't seem to spend much time together, which wouldn't do for me. I can't see it lasting once Jayden heads off to university. But it's not my business. Unless Anthony wants to talk about it, I won't say a word.

January 2011

It's New Year's Day. Spending yesterday evening with Anthony was pretty cool. With music playing in the background, we talked about all sorts of things, like how art and music can influence the debate on topics like climate change and LGBT rights. Jayden wasn't even mentioned. For sure, it wasn't an evening of wild celebrations, but to be honest, I didn't really want that.

Having got up a little later than usual, I'm having a quiet day, mainly getting ready for going back to school. After almost two weeks, I'm ready to have a bit more structure in my life.

Late in the afternoon, I check the football scores. Reavington won two-nil up at Middlesbrough. It's their best away result of the season, and moves them into the play-off places. I can hardly wait to see Scott tomorrow afternoon. I think things might get quite exhilarating again.

As the evening draws to a close, Dad and I snuggle up on the sofa to watch Match of the Day. Some people would think it was strange for us to be sitting so close together, with Dad's arm around my shoulder. I don't. I mean, there's nothing sexual about it. We're just bonding, father and son, making up for what we weren't able to do when I was younger.

It's Sunday, just coming up to lunchtime. A little earlier, I trained with the guys from the cross-country team. Without overdoing it, we ran well and we're all looking forward to racing again. Most of all, the atmosphere was great. These days, I'd find it hard to imagine not being part of it.

Having had a shower, I return to my bedroom. After lunch, I'll be going to Scott's place. So what am I going to wear? Opening my sock and underwear drawer, I take out a pair of Tommy Hilfiger briefs, but something tells me that they aren't what I want. Since Christmas, I've worn them every time I've been there. Today, it's time for something different.

I try to imagine how Scott will be feeling. After a great result yesterday, and a good night's sleep, he'll have spent the morning pottering around, getting hornier by the second. Given that we haven't had sex since Thursday afternoon, he's going to be gagging for it.

I decide to push the boat out a little, putting on my Reavington football strip, training pants and a hoodie. Heading downstairs, I stash the briefs in my coat pocket, in case I need them afterwards. This is going to be interesting!

As soon as I arrive at Scott's place, I know I've got it right. I can see it in his eyes. Hanging my coat in the closet, I follow him to the bedroom. As soon as I've removed my trainers, he helps me take off my hoodie, revealing my football top. In a change to his usual routine, he moves onto my training pants, skinning them down my legs before kneeling down to pull them over my feet.

So here I am in my full Reavington football kit: top, shorts and socks. Scott looks up at me, licking his lips. Running his hands up the backs of my thighs, he slips his fingers inside my shorts, quickly discovering that I'm not wearing anything underneath.

"Oh, you sexy boy!" he growls, his eyes filled with lust. "I know what you want!"

"Yeah!" I respond, going into horny schoolboy mode. "Come on, mister! I want your big cock up my bum!"

It's the third, maybe even the fourth time we've done this, so we know what to do. Within a couple of seconds, I'm bent over the bed, my hands resting on the mattress. Scott, wearing shorts and a muscle shirt, doesn't bother to undress, his finger working K-Y into my starfish. Oh yes! This is what I expected to happen. The difference this time is that I'm still wearing my top and my socks. Somehow that makes it feel even naughtier; more exciting than ever.

Eventually, the finger slides out. Moments later, Scott's penis is working its way up the leg of my shorts, homing in on my anal ring. He stuffs it in. Holding me around the tops of my legs, he draws me onto him until he's balls-deep inside me. Almost before I know it, he's fucking me like the world's about to end.

"Oh yes!" I moan. "Come on, mister! Fuck me hard! I want your spunk!"

Scott's eighteen; I'm sixteen. We're two horny teens. After three days of enforced abstinence, there's no way that either of us is going to last long. The climax is quick and explosive, almost violent. As I ejaculate powerfully into my shorts, I'm aware of Scott's hot cream flooding into my rectum. Wow! That is wild!

After a few seconds, Scott carefully withdraws. As I stand up, I realise that we've just done is to engage in some really intense role-play, in order to indulge one of our fantasies. I don't see any harm in it, as long as we know that that's what we're doing, and we both enjoy it.

I head to the bathroom. After ejecting Scott's spunk and having a quick shower, I rinse out my shorts, leaving on the shower screen to dry. On the way back, I retrieve the briefs that I stashed in my coat pocket. I thought I might need them. Finding Scott lying naked on his bed, I snuggle up next to him.

"So how was that?" I ask.

"Amazing!" he breathes, rubbing his nose against mine. "You are so sexy!"

"You enjoyed it then?"

"Of course! You enjoyed it too, didn't you?"

"Yeah, definitely!"

"That's okay then!"

Our lips meet in a wonderfully sensuous kiss. Suddenly, we're back to gentle affection, mutual respect and all the other things that make our relationship work. What we did earlier was wonderful and exciting, but in a sense, that was fantasy. This is real. This is the important part.

"When are you back at school?" he asks.

"Tuesday. Tomorrow's a bank holiday."

"Right! So, would you be able to stay around for a while? Later on, we can pop out for a bite to eat; then come back. I'll drop you off around ten."

"Sounds good to me! I'll give Mum a call to let her know."

At half past four, we get dressed and head into the town centre.

"It's a bit early to be eating, isn't it?" I query.

"Sure!" Scott says, smiling. "But there's somewhere I'd like to take you."

Turning into one of the side streets, we enter an old pub. Scott buys us each a large glass of coke. In the far corner, four guys are playing what I recognise to be jazz. One of them is playing a saxophone. It looks similar to Franny's, but bigger.

"D'you know what sort of saxophone that is?" I ask quietly. "My cousin's just started playing. He's got an alto."

"Oh, that's a tenor," Scott tells me, "which is quite a bit bigger than an alto. How old's your cousin?"

"Thirteen. He's just done grade 8 clarinet and got a distinction. He's hoping to go to Chetham's in September."

"Impressive!" Scott says, smiling. "Obviously a talented lad."

"Yeah! He's been a cathedral chorister for the past four and a half years, but he's having to stop because his voice has started to go. But he'll stay at the choir school until July."

"That sounds about right."

"Tell me about it!" I say, grinning. "I'd just turned thirteen when my voice broke. It dropped like a stone! Anyway, Franny wanted the sax so he could play jazz. He reckons that when he's had a bit more practice, he'll be looking for a group of guys to play with."

"Sounds good! Does he do anything apart from music?"

"Well, I know he's mad keen on rugby, but I don't know how good he is."

"So how is he related to you?"

"His mum is Dad's sister.

"Well, that's good pedigree!" Scott says, smiling. "Your dad's a star!"

We turn our attention to the band. In addition to the saxophone, there are guys playing keyboard, bass guitar and drums. As they finish the tune they've been playing, the small crowd applauds.

"They sound pretty good," I say.

"Oh, they're all decent players," Scott says. "Nothing special, but they can all play."

"Thank you!" the saxophonist announces. "We're going to continue with a Pat Metheny tune called Song for Bilbao."

The music ends just after six.

"Time to get something to eat," Scott says as we make our way out onto the street. "I'm starving!"

After a light meal in Nando's, we stroll back to the flat. As soon as we're inside, Scott's all over me. Gravitating to the bedroom, we undress each other and make love. The contrast with what we did earlier could hardly be starker. This is gentle and affectionate, a wonderful expression of the way we feel about each other. I can't believe that there's a better way for us to end the day.

It's Wednesday evening. We're back at school, and I'm back into the routine. That means I'm busy again. To be honest, I like it this way. In this afternoon's race, I finished seventh, and we only lost the team race by three points. I'll settle for that!

I'm working on my maths homework when I get a call. It's Mike Griffiths.

"Hi!" he greets. "Yesterday, when I got into work, it occurred to me that I hadn't found out what was happening with Xavier's case. Well, I made some enquiries, and I can tell you that he pleaded guilty to all charges, which was what I expected. He's due to be sentenced on January 27th."

"Thanks. D'you have any idea how long he's likely to be locked up for?"

"It's difficult to say exactly, but it'll be an extended period."

"Thanks for letting me know," I say. "I'll see you on Sunday."

I end the call. I'm taking 'an extended period' to mean years rather than months. What a waste!

It's Saturday. This afternoon, Reavington have been playing a home game against Crystal Palace in the third round of the FA Cup. Crystal Palace also play in the Championship, and aren't doing very well, so this is a match that Reavington are expecting to win.

Just after five o'clock, I check the scores. Reavington have won two-one. The good run continues, and right now, that's all I need to know. I'll get the details later.

Another week has gone by. To be honest, it seems to have flown past. Since we've been back at school, things could hardly have gone better. All the work I've put in is starting to pay off, in maths especially. There's still no room for complacency, but I'm definitely getting there.

As an added bonus, we won this week's cross-country race. Okay, the opposition wasn't the strongest we'll ever face, but winning builds confidence, and will encourage us to keep working.

It's Saturday afternoon. With Reavington playing away against the team who are bottom of the Championship, I'm up in my room, working on a history essay. Unexpectedly, I get a call. Although it's from a number I don't recognise, I answer it anyway.

"Hello, Ian," a warm, familiar-sounding voice says. "It's Linda Paxton, Scott's mum. I'm sorry to call you like this, but I need to tell you that Scott's been injured. He got hit by a really bad tackle. He's been stretchered off and taken to hospital. They think he might have broken his ankle."

I'm totally speechless, unable to think of anything to say.

"His dad's fuming!" she goes on. "He was watching Final Score and they showed it. He reckons it was one of the worst tackles he's ever seen. And he's not the only one; the tv pundits said it was an appalling challenge."

"Did the guy get sent off?" I ask.

"Oh, yes, but that's not much consolation, is it? Scott will be out for months!"

I'm devastated. It's so unfair! Scott's worked really hard for what he's achieved. But just as we'd got things going the way we wanted, this comes along and bites us on the bum. Fuck!

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