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Was it the stench of stale curry that lingered around his ‘tache? Or was it the way his nose wobbled in the wind? Sophie recalled the time her knees weakened, the moment she met Phil.

The setting sun fired crimson rays into the summer sky as Sophie stepped out on to the porch. ‘Lemonade?’ she enquired, clutching her soulmate from behind whilst he sheared the thick bracken that carpeted the house side.

Phil paused, dropped the rusty shears to the floor and turned to Sophie with a cold gaze and tear-filled eyes. He was so utterly, indescribably in love - he knew not of the perfect way to show it.

Moving his hands slowly from her hips to her ribs to her breasts, he eventually rested his open palms on her neck. Then clasped her throat. And squeezed tightly.

This was it. The universe stood still. Sophie’s face turned from peach to mauve but she put up no struggle. Phil was sure she was smiling. To him this was perfect. Perhaps Sophie agreed but now didn’t seem like the right time to ask. The moment became infinite. Perpetual perfection; undying love even in death.

Phil smiled outrageously, tears falling from his widened eyes as Sophie’s stare turned hollow, and Sophie's legs turned limp.

He held her heavy body up by the neck for what seemed an eternity before her lifeless hands fell away from his shaking arms. He placed her carefully on the squeaking porch swing and gave her a gentle push. Back and forth she swayed, five times or so. Then the swing fell silent.

He stole one last kiss, her cold lips against his, then wept.

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