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She got the bad news later that day, after getting the cortisone shot. Her knees had swollen up, though they were to be less stiff if she gave them time. She wasn’t supposed to be out exercising, but she needed a walk after the news. Stupid, stupid boys, she thought as she trudged down the gravel lane, camas fields and pastures on either side, overshadowed by deepening dusk.

Her knees were stiff and ached. But the pain felt good, and she pushed herself harder.

It was raining out, but the coldness felt good on her face—mingling with her hot tears.

It was dark out—but it fit her mood. She would walk in the rain and the darkness until the pain went away. It couldn’t last forever, could it?