She likes Wednesdays. Wednesdays are quiet and humble. Her favourite Wednesdays are at 6:49 in the evening when the skies dim and shadows lengthen. Autumn is creeping in early this year. The black silhouettes of naked trees slide across the sidewalks and she watches the world silently slip out of its colours.

From where she stands on the driveway she can see the city skyline, a sharp neon-white under the fading sun. It is good to be home.

She lifts the rusty copper lid, cleans out the day’s mail, and unlocks the front door. The familiar scent of jasmine and wintergreen greets her — so different from the odours of grief and antiseptics that always haunted white hospital rooms. She kicks off her heels and drops her purse on the coffee table. There are a couple phone calls she needs to return later tonight; then there is the fat envelope that arrived last week from the Cancer Circle of Hope. Maybe it is an immaculate letter thanking her for her generous donations or words of comfort and encouragement signed by a stamp and proofread by Microsoft Word. Maybe it is a stack of pamphlets and brochures. They might be colour-printed.

She is too tired to sleep. She presses her forehead against the carpet and feels her house in the darkness of the living room. Her jasmines have wilted and the wintergreens are shrivelled. There’s no taking a break. Everything around her is dying, again. She tries to hide herself with her body, covering her warming cheeks and stinging eyes. She hates it when her nose is runny because she feels lonely and pathetic when she cries. She is only allowed to cry in spring when there is pollen. But she is staring too hard now and listening, waiting for the anxiety, and she feels so afraid. She hates being afraid; being afraid is defeat. She hates thinking; thinking too hard is weakness.

But she cries, shivers, and thinks anyway because that’s what people do. She once wrote a piece about it in her head as she sat watching fireflies disappear in the thick summer nights. Maybe she will write about it in the little blue notebook tucked away in her bottom drawer. Writing things down helps a little, sometimes.

It has been exactly one year since she walked into her doctor’s office in pieces and exactly eleven months, thirteen days, eight hours, and forty-nine minutes since her first appointment with her psychiatrist. It’s been a long time and an even longer road to recovery. But she holds onto the only words she remembers and the only sentence she has left. Things are finally getting better, and even if they aren’t, they will be soon.