She lay there wondering how it had happened this way. What could she have done differently? Nothing? Everything?

Any tiny thing at all that could make her go back to when this wasn’t her reality. To see her life, flashing before her eyes. Knowing she was done for. That she would never beat It.

It would win. And she wasn’t the only one losing. Her family would lose. Her friends. People she hadn’t even met yet. All because she wasn’t strong enough. How was this fair?

And then it hit her. Life is not fair. Not for anyone. Least of all for those called to Rise. To Rise to meet the challenge It threw in her face.

She would not be overcome by this.

So she opened her eyes, brushed back her hair from her tear-stained face and looked at It. She smiled into the horrifying face of everything she feared, all the potential for failure looming before her.

And she laughed. So hard and so long, that she probably should be unnerved.

She squared her shoulders and took a deep breath, calming herself to face It head on like the warrior she felt she was. She scolded herself for utterly overreacting. All she had to do was get out of bed.

So she did.