To Die in Paradise

They told me I wouldn’t live to see my 41st birthday. And I believed them, if only because it was a miracle of God when the cancer went into remission the first time. I knew better than to count on lightning striking twice.

Today’s the big day. Seems the doctors were wrong, after all, but only slightly. So here I sit in the sand, crystal waves lapping around my feet, this margarita in place of the traditional marble cake. The seagulls’ croons help me ignore the stabs of pain in my breasts. I close my eyes for what seems like hours and pretend I have my strength back.

I was certain I had gone insane when I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Jamaica—my friends told me as much. But what’s the point of sanity in circumstances like these? It took my last nickel to get here. But I’m here. I will die here.

A tap on my shoulder alerts me to company. A security guard in a hotel uniform. Next to him is the wry bartender, arms crossed.

“This is a private beach, ma’am. And you’ll need to pay for that drink.”

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