Wicker and propane

I reached up and wrapped my fingers around the bright red valve. Before I could turn it, a delicate hand brushed against mine, and I turned to look in the eyes of my beautiful wife, Eleanore. Her message was clear: everything we did, we did together.

Since the beginning of our journey, we had seen little more than hills blanketed in green and the occasional meandering river. I had broken down, but Eleanore convinced me to press on. “It has to be there,” she said, “It has to be because I can feel it. You’re scared, and so am I, but it’s the fear that will keep us going.” I pulled her to me and held her tighter than I ever had. Eleanore always had been, and still was, the reader to my book.

The mountains ahead looked promising, though I couldn’t help but regard them with a degree of skepticism. Eleanore’s face lit up and she craned her neck to get a better view, but no luck. We were at the mercy of the balloon. Then, like a sunrise, we saw it: the tiny settlement that was to be our paradise. Our Eden.

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