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A guard stood to the side of the door waiting as I glanced one last time at the barren walls that had housed me for seven years. The room was straightened—toothpaste scum washed down the cracked sink, table cleared off, bed neatly made. I didn’t need to do those things, but habits are hard to break. In my hands, I carried three items: a copy of Orwell’s 1984, a photo of my wife and kid, and my toothbrush. Maybe it was stupid to bring the toothbrush, but I didn’t want to leave anything personal in this place. I turned my back on the room and followed the guard into the maze of hallways and gates that would lead me outside to where my family waited. A strange feeling swelled in my chest, something absent so long I almost didn’t recognize it: hope.