She stared at her reflection: silver-streaked hair, 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 laughing grandchildren, long summer days pottering outside, retirement holidays in far-flung places – threatened to bring tears. But she wouldn’t cry. No self-pity. Instead, she focussed on her steely eyes as she touched her left breast.
Not yet, she vowed. This is not the end. I will beat this.