The girl found her old diary, a dark blue volume an inch and a half thick which it had taken her eleven months to fill as she climbed out of her sickness. Opening it eagerly, she prepared to make the journey again, looking back on it from the other side.
And then, just as suddenly, she didn’t want to anymore.
It wasn’t fun to read. It was sad. She didn’t think it would be, because she hadn’t been depressed when she wrote it. But it was a sad, lonely volume, and if she read it she would feel sad and lonely again.
She didn’t want that.
Two days until her birthday. Two days until she would turn twenty-one.
The girl sat on the trampoline, head aching, throat sore, watching the tiny fireworks in the distance, their thundering booms making the kittens skitter in fright across the yard.
She had been sick for five days.
All alone. How had she managed to survive this for a year? The girl couldn’t fathom it. She must have been a very strong person.
Her old self, the self from the huge blue diary, was berating her.
“I wasn’t a strong person. I was a wimp, and you know it. I HAD NO CONTROL.”
The girl wanted to cry. She knew that if the sickness would choose to come back, she would have no control. It wouldn’t matter how much of a wimp she was, it didn’t matter how weak she was, the sickness would trump it all.
The girl thought that her biggest regret in life was all the time waited lying in bed sick. She could see that good had come from it, in the end, but what did it matter? Good had not come during it, and the blue diary still bore the marks of that pain.
All in all, the girl thought she would rather be twenty-one than seventeen.