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The first time I saw her I was heartbroken. Her eyes told no story, no secrets, no hope I wanted to search for. Instead, they showed whispers of a smothered fire, a forgotten life years ago.

If I had one word to describe her, it’d be ‘broken’.

Her crown was rusted, her skin a putrid green, no longer the shimmering bronze it was years ago. She holds a flame but her arms are shaking. In her hand she holds a stone tablet that matches everything on her body. At her feet it shows a promise that was broken years ago, a promise she can no longer hold.

The water that surrounds her has since been muddied and bloodied, lies told by those who had drawn her as children.

Atop her head sit windows, adults and children peek out with wonder as they stare at the water below.

She is magnificent. She is beautiful. She is broken.

The first time I saw her my heart broke.

I never saw her a second time.

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