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An Almost Ordinary Day

There's not much about this day that is different to any other; not really. The sky seems a slightly darker shade of blue, but that could be her imagination. There's a paper cut on her finger that's bleeding, and she supposes that on another day she would have tended to it by now. Her voice was perhaps a little quieter when she greeted her co-workers good morning, she's sipping her morning coffee a little more slowly, her fingers aren't sliding over the keys on her computer quite as fast. But most things are the same. She came to work, she made a coffee, she sat down at her computer. Now she's shuffling through papers, signing, dating, proofreading. She scans her diary for appointments, checks her emails, makes a couple of phone calls.

There's not much about this day that is different to any other, except for one thing. Today is the day she gave up. She doesn't know what it was about that exact moment that made it hit her; the beaming smile on the child's face, the way her mother held her hand so tightly, the way their shadows fell on the pavement, two shapes merging as one. She doesn't know exactly why, but that was the moment she knew. Knew that the only thing in life that she'd ever really wanted she was never going to get, knew that her time had passed and she'd missed all her chances, knew that there was no point, now, in building up false hope for herself. It was simply not meant to be. She didn't like it, of course she didn't. But, in that moment, she accepted it.

She's forgotten her coffee and it's grown cold, it's sunny outside but she hasn't opened the blinds, and she frowns when she realises she's read an entire page without remembering a single word. Most people won't notice; it's just another day, she's still Dr Gillian Foster, and she's conducting herself in the usual way. But it's only an almost ordinary day. And it's the almost that's killing her.