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Hakim woke early the morning of the half-marathon—six A.M.—the last Saturday in August, though the race didn’t start until seven-thirty. Sarah, his renter, had to be at the Yeast-I-Can-Do at five, so she made coffee before she left, though never strong enough, and he added a spoonful of instant to the carafe. Sarah had an upstairs room—renting, for Hakim was an experiment whose verdict was still out. The house was too big for one person, and Hakim liked having the extra money for utilities, which in a small town were expensive. He didn’t mind Sarah’s peculiarities. She kept an odd schedule, sometimes in bed at seven, sometimes going out with friends and staying out all night. She was tall and had wild red hair and had come from Vermont to ice climb, though it was summer when people got work and fall when rooms and apartments opened up. She had broken up with her boyfriend, with whom she’d been camping, and maybe because she was twenty-six, half as old as he was, he found himself focusing on her comings and goings more than he wished to.