She had a week.
Well, less than a week now, considering that Thursday was nearly over. But nonetheless, in seven days time, it would all be over.
She'd never really thought it would happen so soon. But now the moment was nearly upon her.
For fifteen years, there had been innocence. The innocence of a child, carefree and ignorant. Unknowing and uncaring of the world beyond today.
Tainted, of course, by the kind of things that teenagers were subject to, but there had never been the thought that it meant time was running out.
And always, there was the assumption that she'd never be one of them.
Never reach that time in her life when all the childhood dreams and silly fantasies would be pushed aside for something more.
Something real.
The cold, hard truth of the world that was waiting out there for her. Deep down, she always knew that eventually it would happen.
Eventually she'd have to leave the games, the mystery, the magic behind.
But she wasn't ready for it to happen now.
Surely it hadn't been that long?
Nearly sixteen years... to anyone above that age, sixteen was young. Carefree. But to her, it meant the end of her childhood. The stretch of years that had been so perfect.
There had been tough times - there always would be, but none compared to the worries of the outside world. The world beyond the safety of childhood.
She should have seen it coming, really. There were changes - subtle, but eventually they built up to the final line. And when she crossed that line, she would no longer be a child.
And along with the reluctance to grow old came a rising fear.
Soon would be the end.
Every decision would be hers to make and hers alone. Her responsibility. It was putting her entire life, her entire future into her own hands.
And she had no idea what she was supposed to do.
What would happen, if somehow, it all went wrong? There was no backup plan.
There wasn't even a plan.
It would be touch and go, but this time, there would be no-one to fall back on. No-one to blame but herself.
She could remember a time, years ago, when to them, sixteen was the big one. The age when everything happened. They were intimidating, they were cool, but above all, they were mature.
Not like her.
But she knew that she would change. Already, everyone else had. But this change was unwelcome. Not forever, of course, but right now, she wasn't ready.
Right now, she'd give anything to turn back time, even just a few years. Just so that she could relieve the moments before they dissapeared with her innocence, and became nothing but forgotten threads of memories from long ago.
But now everything was coming to an end.
This chapter of her life - the only life she knew how to live - was coming to a close. The rest of the book was blank from thereon.
And with only seven days to live, she knew that the rest of the story would have to be written by her...