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That was the problem. Everything was always the same. As she was.

But, deep inside, she remembered.

Looking at herself in the mirror, seeing only a thin, frail, helpless reflection, a tear slid between the hills and valleys of her cheek.

Too late, she thought, and a sob escaped.

I wanted to do so much! The weight of the loss of her dreams caused her to stumble back to bed.

She had to get hold of herself - put on a happy face for her family, who were visiting. They expected her to be happy and insulted if she just wanted to be.

She loved them but they didn’t understand. She never wanted to be “the same.” She wanted a life of adventure. Her life wasn’t over! But they thought it was… and sadly, she had begun to believe it, as well.

Her grandson called. Breakfast was ready. Chamomile with milk was waiting for her.

Sighing, she tested her smile in the mirror her son brought her as a gift, an antique mirror with mysterious carving around its corners.

He told her he found it in the basement of a home he sold. The owners, a young couple, left only this mirror.

Called again, she walked by the mirror to the door and stopped, as though a hand reached out and held her still.

What did she see out of the corner of her eye? Nothing.

Her name was called again, nearer this time. She slowly turned to the mirror, and seeing her reflection, stumbled back letting out a small cry. There in the mirror was her image as she had been when she was 25.

How cruel was this? Now she was losing her mind as well as her dreams?

She closed her eyes tight, hot tears escaping down her face. She opened them slowly, realizing it was only an illusion of youth. That was all.

Her younger self smiled at her gently.

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