She sat and compared the products her life had become.

By: Lydia Crow


The more she thought about it, the more it all seemed a little bit crass. Hollow, even.

She’d dreamed of being financially secure, dreamed of being able to afford all of the beauty potions that sat before her on her antique French dressing table. Everything she had done had been to engineer a lifestyle like this.

She wasn’t sure if time was her enemy or not. She could defeat it cosmetically, courtesy of her husband’s millions, but part of her was horrified to discover that she considered the rapid patter of the clock nothing more than a slow trudge. Too slow.

It was a bright Wednesday afternoon when she drove her car to the deserted cliff-top car park and stepped out, feeling exhilarated for the first time in years as the fresh sea air hit her. She wandered along the edge for a while and then climbed over the fence, ignoring the warning signs, and sat there watching the waves beating the rocks below. She removed a handful of notes from her purse and put them in her back pocket. She set her handbag on the ground and stood up.

The waves were beautiful. She’d never felt more alive.

Then she climbed back over the barrier and walked into the village to catch a train with some of the only cash she had left. She died, thirty-seven years later, in a city one hundred and seventy-three miles away. People always said she was the happiest beggar they’d ever seen.


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