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The METRO wasn’t as busy on Memorial Day as it would have been on the forty six non Federal Holiday Mondays but METRO Center was still bustling. A large, sullen looking teen sat hunched in the handicapped seat by the train’s entrance. His earbuds were blasting so loudly that Bill could hear their beat, beat, beat and he figured he’d have to work his way down the train to find Gabrielle a seat. The teen looked up, cocked his head to the side, appeared to do a quick calculation and said, “Here, take my seat,” and walked to the middle of the car where he grabbed a handrail.

“Well I’ll be damned,” Bill whispered in Gabrielle’s ear. “So, what? Did you lose your eyesight in an accident?”

“No. I have Stargardt’s. Ever hear of macular degeneration?”

“Is that a joke? I’m almost 62, I’ve definitely heard of macular degeneration.”

“Stargardt’s is similar but it affects young people. Mine hit in my early twenties and progressed from there. I’m ‘lucky’ in that I have the most aggressive and invasive case anyone has ever seen in the USA. After almost 15 years I can barely see a thing.”

“Fifteen years!? I was shocked when you called Professor X your husband, I figured you were barely old enough to vote. No offense.”

“None taken. I’m used to it.”

“So what do you do when you’re not masquerading as Julia Carpenter?”

“Well I work out a lot, but if you mean work I’m a medical transcriptionist. Know what that is?”

“I think so. You listen to recordings of doctors saying, ‘Wa, wa, wa, wa ,wa ,wa’ and then type up what you hear?”

“Close enough. I started doing it in college because I could work odd hours. I had no idea I’d be doing it 17 years later. How about you? You still working or are you retired?”

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