The Decision


By Helen Merrick

She stared at her reflection: streaks of silver, laughter lines, dark circles beneath her eyes. She looked middle-aged, was middle-aged. Where were the white hair and deep creases of later years she’d expected to see as her end neared?

Too soon … way too soon.

Thoughts of a missed future — of grandchildren, long summer days pottering in her garden, retirement holidays in far-flung places — threatened to bring tears. But she wouldn’t cry. No self-pity. Instead, she focused on her steely eyes as she touched her breast.

Not yet, she vowed. This is not the end. I will beat this.

When she’s not teaching, Helen Merrick writes short fiction and poetry for fun.

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