It doesn’t end. It just… vanishes.

I got some very bad news today, and I don’t know how to explain it except in the most melodramatic terms. This is because the pain is still fresh, I suppose. Hopefully I’ll be able to put things in perspective soon.

She didn’t know how it happened. One moment she was standing there, as if on the precipice of some majestic hillside, looking down over a promisingly bright future. What seemed like only heartbeats later, it was all gone. Everything was in shades of black and grey, chaotic and undefined. Nothing made sense.

Everything that mattered had vanished. Questions raced through her, around her. Plaguing her like the fictional hounds of the greek underworld. They nipped at her heels, stealing her courage. How can I tell them? What will they think? What will they say?

Most importantly, what will I do, now that my dreams have crumbled into nothing? She had been planning this escape for as long as she could remember. So long that it had ceased to be about the escape itself, becoming more like a fictional, perfect afterlife. She’d be obscenely happy, belong effortlessly.

Everything would finally be hers, and no one else’s. But for whatever cruel reasons life can devise, it wasn’t to be.

Now, she sat on her plastic-wrapped couch at the edge of a bare living room, surrounded by boxes. Looking down at the evidence of her perfectly planned life.

She was like the things in those boxes, she decided. They had a purpose, they had a reason for being there. But until someone picked them up and took them away, they had no function. All they could do was sit, and be. And wait. It was her own fault. She had confronted her future and been declared unfit for the journey. Relegated to a storage space in nowheresville, never to reach her intended destination.

Maybe if she’d spent more time preparing, more time making herself ready, she thought. But it didn’t matter now, none of it did. The reasons, the excuses, even the obvious mistakes she’d made along the way. They were nothing more than smudges on a page. Tracks on a long-forgotten path. Memories buried in a box.

There was nothing left for her to do but sit and sift through them all, searching for something that would help her pass the time. As she began to unpack the boxes that she’d so meticulously filled, there was no excited rush this time. No exuberant haste.

After all, she had all the time in the world.