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“Is that water for Patient 21? I can-”

“No, Amy. You can’t.” Dr. Moser stopped her by the elbow. He glanced around then led her to a nearby office. He closed the door.

“Amy, Dr. Churning knows,” Moser said. “He knows about you and 21.”

Amy flushed, but tried to pass it off as indignation. “What? NOTHING is going on between Patient 21 and me,” she said.

Dr. Moser sighed. “We log everything, Amy, especially water rations—for obvious reasons. I can read you the total volume you’ve brought to him in the past six weeks. Outdoor pools don’t take that much water.”

Amy flushed brighter. She hadn’t considered that. Six weeks of extra water; six weeks of visits; six weeks of secrets.

Finally, she dropped her chin. She nodded, although she wasn’t entirely sure what unspoken command she was agreeing to.

“You know he leaves tomorrow?”

“Yes,” Amy said, looking up. Her eyes were glassy with memory.

Dr. Moser thrust the water bottle back into Amy’s hand. “You’d better get going, then. I think Patient 21 is thirsty.”

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