Older Lady

People only age when they are unhappy.

My grandma told me that once. I didn’t think that much of it. She was old and definitely looked the part. I assumed that it was one of those crazy things that grandparents say as they are on their way out. It would be four months before I realized how right she was.

I was sitting in class, listening to the teacher drone on about lithium ions or something. The Principal came in looking for Margaret, my best friend. I don’t know what he said to her, but I could tell that it wasn’t good news.

She came back to her seat weeping. Her face was buried in her hands, so I couldn’t see her face. But her hair, it started to thin.

Margaret had flowing brown hair, but as she cried it started to thin and get straggly. I reached out to comfort her, but her voice frightened me. It was deeper. Not boy deeper, but chain smoker deep. Her hair continued to thin, and the brown started to fade to silver.

What had the Principal said?

Margaret looked up, her youthful face now covered in wrinkles and spots, “My dad died.”

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