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Sometimes, one has to face his or her fear of the unknown and venture forth into the abyss. So it was for the young woman looking out over the vast, shimmering mountain landscape, arms wrapped around herself, trying to stay warm, under a cold, bright sunrise unfolding over the San Juan Mountains. She inhaled deeply, filling her lungs with the sharp, thin mountain air.

She had stood at the edge of this ridge, at eleven thousand feet, high above the valley below, many times over the past years, never tiring of the expansiveness that seemed to let her heart sail free. She was comforted that there was no one else around, that she was completely alone. But it was only for the moment; her memories were still there—all of it was still there, haunting her, following her, surrounding her, like a pack of hungry wolves, waiting their time to attack and devour her very soul.