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Riches Promised

The treed avenue held an air of bleakness in the depths of winter, bare branches like broken fingers stretched into the overcast sky, the trees grey bark and dirty snow laying on the ground added to the sadness Sinclair felt. He walked with his head down, avoiding melting ice and the deposits of dogs left by irresponsible owners. This week, this month had passed in solemn despair as he fell into a depression. There was nothing he could do now, there was no changing the outcome – Celeste was gone, now and forever.

He trudged toward home not looking where he was going just knowing the path well. An everyday event for years, to and from work, his route never changing. He’d crossed his arms in an attempt to keep the cold at bay. His nose dripped and he wiped it on his coat sleeve. If anyone passed him, he did not acknowledge them. In his depressed state everyone looked happy and that just made him sadder and angry. As he turned the key in the front door lock, he uttered a deep sigh. The interior of his house would be silent and still, debris from takeout meals scattered on every surface and the floor beside the sagging brown leather sofa, the television screen blank and cracked, the bed unmade. There was no use caring for anything anymore. Sinclair had no joy, life was pitiful, sad and seemingly endless. When Celeste said no to his proposal, his life stopped having meaning.

As he turned to shut the front door, he noticed a cardboard box laying on its side between the step and the