It was the cheers that woke her, the raucous cries at three am; she knew Virginia went blue then.

It was the metro the next morning, emerging from that dank tunnel to an Autumn morning that had a celebratory feel. Like the last day of school.

U street glimmered, and the trek up 13th wasn’t a burden. The red of Ben’s Chili Bowl sparkled in the dawn light, welcomed her to this new, audaciously hopeful world.


Eight years later, the day was gray and windy. The mountain peaks hid under thick bilious clouds. Here – now – the sky was always falling.


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