It was her masterpiece.

Jutting out of the water, everyone around could see what she'd created - what *she* had created.

Some, she knew, would say it was ugly. Some would say it was an eyesore. Some would say it was totally unnecessary, but she wouldn't let any of that bother her.

It was her creation, her mark on the world, and that was all that mattered.

She wouldn't live to see it, but as it happened, she was right. She left her mark, and as she'd ignored, everyone hated it. Everyone, by extension, hated *her*, and rarely did a...

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Leaving was the easiest decision to make, and the hardest action to take. That's what she kept telling herself as she drove through the beckoning water drops falling down both inside and out. She could hardly see but knew it was the right thing to do. There's no way she could stay, he hated her for what she was, what she had achieved. It wasn't her fault he resented her for wanting to do what was right.

Crash - and it all was over. Her last thought was her baby and how she would make a great mum, visions of...

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She couldn't go outside very often, but when she did, it made her feel like the cancer wasn't as bad as it was the day before. It was summer; Lea had to go outside in her almost hospital-like pajamas; sanitary and sterile for her safety. Her mom sat on their apartment stoop as she watched Lea splash in the Manhattan fire hydrant. The trees looked dead around her still, and made her worry about Lea; her only daughter, at 12 she was already dying. Terminal illness doesn't warn you when it's taking over; it's not like the President declaring war...

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Goodnight... I didn't think I would wake up. Well, maybe I did. Seventeen pills ought to have done it. It didn't. I guess I had known that. My sophomore-year project on suicide told me that. That seventeen wasn't enough. And I shouldn't have told anyone either. I got dragged to a counselor in front of my crying father (who never cries). I got dragged to a therapist, whom, thank God, realized the insanity of my life, and my mother (who refused to talk about her issues). Maybe I would have gone a different route, used talking, anything else, other than...

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She'd have preferred the electric chair. The clinic's lobby was a stale tan color. It was April, and there was a Christmas movie on TV for Christ's sake.

Her name was called, and she went to sign the form, pay the co-pay, and was assured by the lady at the desk that this was indeed, confidential. She was asked if the man next to her was the father, or her boyfriend, or something. She lied and said no. He looked upset but ultimately should have been glad that she said no, he'd probably end up getting arrested for rape, anyway....

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