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When we are born, we are born with a line made out of small dots that flow up the arm from the wrist.

Each dot represents a year of life.

Some get a long line reaching up to the side of the neck and even up to the temple.

Some lines reach up to the elbow. Most reach up to the shoulder.

The heartbreaking ones only reach less an inch from the wrist.

No matter how long or short the lines are, what remains to be true is that we are born knowing how long we get in this life.

Some say it’s a good thing. Some say they’d rather not know.

Elise wasn’t sure where she stood in that matter.

One of her friends did everything he could to prolong his life. He exercised, ate good food, drank enough water, and slept enough. He may have succeeded in that endeavor if only he didn’t accompany that with drinking everything “guaranteed to prolong your life!” peddled to him.

In the end his body gave up from all the chemicals, three years shy of thirty – the number of dots along his arm.

Apparently, the dots signify a limit to the length of your life, but is not a guarantee.

One friend simply accepted her twenty-two dots and lived as beautifully as she could. She went where she wanted, she explored different cultures, and built happy relationships with people she loved. Elise vowed to do the same with her years.

On the day of her fortieth birthday, Elise woke up slowly, savouring the quiet of the morning.

Another year, she thought.

Elise stretched languidly, the line on her arm illuminated by the sun filtering through the window shades. As it has been her routine for several years now, Elise ran a finger down the line, silently counting the dots.

Thirty-three.

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