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  • We were just south of the bridge, and you could trace its span across the river into Manhattan. Boats passed by in front of us and behind them was the financial district with countless, indistinguishable skyscrapers. There were people around but not nearly as many as there should have been. From our bench, you could make out the Empire State Building through the bridge to the north. Everything was shockingly bright from the sun but there was a small tree right behind us that kept us cool.

    We didn’t speak for a while but it felt natural. Even though there was so much to see, I felt that we must have been looking at all the same things. I watched a helicopter take off from a landing pad and I began to disregard all the noise around me so that I observed the city in silence. Everything from the people around us to the cars on the bridge and the boats in the river was in motion. I was thinking how it was a nice place to stay for a long time and watch the world go by, when I heard her whisper, “God, I love FDNY,” and remembering that I was sitting next to someone, I turned and saw Brett staring at a fire boat slowly heading up the river. I watched her, expecting her to turn and look at me but she never did. I thought she might start crying, but her eyes remained transfixed on the boat. She looked as beautiful as ever, and I wanted to put my arm around her and move much closer to her and all I could think about was everything she had lost and how I could never see the city the way she did.

    We continued to sit in silence for a minute or so before she proposed we cross town so I could meet my sister in Manhattan. We walked south a little more along the water so I could get a better view of the Statue of Liberty before walking up to where the Subway station was. We crossed under the river and got off at Washington Square Park, where Meg had said she would meet me. Brett was staying on the subway, so just before my stop I hugged her good bye. When the doors opened I got off and walked up the stairs and out of the subway.
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