There was no warning. You expected one, didn’t you – the solemn chat in the doctor’s office, the fruitless rounds of treatment, the medicines jangling on the counter. Hair falling, body swelling, or shrinking, depending.
Or maybe a different run-up – the sudden grasping pain; the stumble, gazing at lights from a gurney, hearing hushed voices, waking to find you can no longer hold a spoon and fork.
But none of these tried and tested paths were laid out for you. In death, as in life, you had to be different. You went to bed, and positioned your slippers as you always did, in the exact perfect spot so that when you swung your legs out in the morning your feet would find their warm cover.
But the alarm came and went, beeping into empty air.
The slippers grew cold, unworn.