Maycos often saw Sydiad, though he did not know her name. Sydiad often walked through the part of town where Maycos lived and worked, and he would see her walking by as he mixed mortar or wheeled a load of fresh bricks out of the kiln or even at the library. Every time that he saw her, Maycos would remark to himself how full of life Sydiad seemed. He was not sure what about her gave him this feeling, but he had never dared speak to Sydiad. She could never be interested in a humble bricklayer, after all; her clothes were finer than his, and he had seen her go into restaurants he could only dream about.

It so happened that Sydiad had often noticed Maycos as well, remarking to herself that the young bricklayer looked sharper and more interested than the others. Most bricklayers were coarse and unpleasant; Sydiad remembered that they had said dreadful things when her father’s building had been built. They had thought no one was listening, but she had heard them as they talked about her father and how much they hated him.

For it so happened that Sydiad’s father was the wealthiest man in the city, and lived with his daughter in a magnificent apartment at the top of the highest building in the city. At night it would be lit by a thousand lights, so everyone for miles around could marvel at the sight. Sydiad’s father was named Sejan, and he owned many buildings throughout the city and was always building more. The city had fallen on hard times, and many people had lost their jobs or their homes. Many were forced to stand in line for hours to get a single loaf of bread and cup of cold soup from the churches.

Sejan had decided that these hard times were good for his business, and bought up many of the houses people had lost. Though he was not a cruel man, he thought that one person’s loss was another’s gain, and tried to gain as much as he could. The great, tall building where he and Sydiad lived had once been houses, but he had torn them down. Several other tall buildings were under construction nearby; it was in fact thanks to Sejan that Maycos had not lost his lob like so many others.

Maycos was grateful for the work, though he was a little jealous. Many of the other people who worked for Sydiad’s father felt the same way, and so did many of the poor people who would stand in line for bread and soup. Many that saw her walking around town knew who her father was, even if Maycos did not. And more than one person thought of kidnapping Sydiad in order to get money from her father.

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