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The hotel throws quite the party to ring in the New Year. Hannah kisses Nick at midnight, laughing, with confetti and snow in her hair.

"We won't keep in touch," she says, when he asks for her e-mail address, but she gives it to him anyway. He wishes her luck with college; she wishes him luck with his first campaign.

Over the next few weeks, they'll exchange a handful of half-hearted e-mails and then fade out of each other's lives.

Of much more interest -- and inportance -- to Hannah is the e-mail she writes the next morning from the lobby, while her mother checks out of the hotel.

To: Samuel Keith <sjk08@mail.com>
From: Hannah Griffith <thenext6count@earthnet.com>
Subj: Happy New Year
Sam,
If you're still interested, I was SO worth the wait. If you're not, well, guess that's my loss.
Happy New Year.
Hannah


"Hannah?" asks her mother, coming over from the reception desk. "You ready?"

Hannah takes a breath, hits send, and closes her laptop.

"I am."

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Hannah Griffith

June 2009

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