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Author: Jennifer Courtenay-Hall

Just Twenty-Four Hours

I feel relieved. Tomorrow it will be done. I smile to myself, clutching the letter tightly in my hand as if it was the key to a new life. I will forget my pain, I won’t remember how I have let so much of my life slip past me, and I will not remember him. I’ll be free.

Just one thought of him crept into my mind and suddenly, I felt swamped with grief. He will be dead to me.

I must go to him, just for a glimpse of him one last time.

He is in his garden, he is sat with her . . . There’s a pull inside my stomach at the sight of her, a deep jealousy and hatred of this girl who he chose over me. She doesn’t know I exist and yet there is no one I loathe more. She doesn’t know that he needs me, that he loves me and not her. She doesn’t know that he runs to me at any opportunity that he can escape from her. I am his truest love, who his heart longs for. I feel no guilt or pity for her, she took him from me and I will never forgive her.

But then . . . he chose her over me.

It’s my last twenty-four hours and I am here watching him. I am not with my family or my friends. I’m not writing letters or organising photo albums. I haven’t left myself any messages. I want to be new. I want to leave it all behind.

So here I am, hidden in the trees watching him. I’m watching him be with her. They seem so happy just to be together. The pain rips through my body unrelentingly but I can’t tear my eyes away from them. I imagine it is me. That he is looking at me like that.

It’s morning now and I am at the hospital. I’m ready.

The Doctor appears, his face concealed by a white mask, his large brown eyes stare down at me, “Close your eyes and count back from ten”

I close my eyes.

“10, 9, 8, 7 . . . ”

Flash Fiction by Jennifer Courtenay-Hall
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