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Since I've Been Loving You

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Link Neal was a practical man, and he led a practical life.

He lived in a clean, modern home, drove an environmentally and economically friendly car, and wore his hair and his clothes in whatever way the other men around his office did. Every morning he followed the same routine: wake up, shower, have a cup of coffee and eat his breakfast while reading the newspaper. He would then head into work at seven thirty on-the-dot so he always maintained a certain standard of earliness.

Link was one engineer out of dozens at a local contracting firm. He worked a nine to five shift Monday through Friday, and pulled a liveable salary. He spent his lunch break making small talk around the water cooler and writing the next days to-do list in his cubicle. It was a very practical job, and he was quite lucky to be hired so soon after college.

Link considered himself to have an incredibly successful life, therefore he forced massive levels of positivity into his outlook. He sang along with the radio on his way home from work. While he was cooking dinner, he made sure to turn down the volume on the television if the evening news took a morbid turn and averted his eyes from the screen until it seemed safe to peek.

Yes, Link Neal led a very, very practical life. At night he hopped into bed in his plaid pajamas, his alarm set for six a.m., and curled up knowing his mother was right when she said he was blessed. There really was no better way to live.

And if lingering thoughts about the life he’d once wanted stirred in the back of his mind, he fell asleep far too fast to notice them.