• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 08

What If

The room was silent. Dalmyra closed her eyes. Looking through a kaleidoscope, an image emerged; a symmetrical replication of herself. It was clearly her, but there was something in the shades of the image that diverged. There was addiction, but to healthy things. She had a fantastic job as a physicist that was all consuming. She was an athlete and could dance; the enjoyment felt familiar. She had travelled to far-flung places and could speak to strangers at parties. She once had dozens of interesting lovers. Her favourite friends: Adraxas, Tinsley, Phoenix, were an avant-garde set. She cared; helping all lost abandoned creatures that crossed her path: she had capacity and loved completely. Her high came from her own soaring mind. She was happily married and there were happy children in her home.

Dalmyra struggled to open her eyes to the room where assessments were about to be made, about her and her drug-dependent baby. How different that vision of herself was, yet in many ways also identical. She felt the weight of this pivotal moment. Those ‘what if’s’, illuminated moments in her life when the choice made could not be reversed, just like this one.