Lost Years

The dark brown skin on the back of her hand lightened on the palm, over deep lines of age. Her fingers trembled, and this barely perceptible movement was humiliating, though she didn’t know why.

In her days as a surgeon she had been known for her steadiness. The only sign of this past, though, was the doctor’s staff and snake tattooed in to the flesh between her thumb and index finger. She sat in the austere room, looking out on the snow-covered ground, and wondered what her mother would make for breakfast, when she would hear back about her medical school application, if the hospital would give her this Christmas off to spend with her family.

She lifted the butter knife for breakfast, and her hand was still. A remnant from years now lost.

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