Their eyes did not meet as they walked past each other in the hall. It would be the last time they’d be in each others presence in silence. In a few minutes, they’d be outside, in front of the world, and told to yell at each other, and scream, hoping to get the loudest applause. The louder the clapping, the longer their families could eat.
By nightfall, both of them collapsed and neither awoke.
But their families shared every meal from that day forward. They just couldn’t look each other in the eyes.