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The sad tale of the girl who didn’t read the Daily Mail

For no other reason than for my own amusement, I’ve turned 20 Daily Mail stories into a narrative about somebody who recklessly ignored all the warnings:

Karen smiled as she logged into Facebook, a glass of red wine in her hand. Damn this cold, she thought. I’m so bunged up I’ve no idea whether I’ve put on the right amount of deodorant. She had always been prone to colds, ever since she was little. It was a pain.

Still, Facebook was funny. Bob had been in touch. They’d been close ever since the primary school days when they’d share a bag of chips every lunchtime. They became lovers in secondary school. Karen thought about the time they’d been caught by a teacher in the book cupboard, Bob’s trousers at half-mast and Karen on her knees. She’d been mortified, but of course it was thrilling too.

Tonight, though, Bob was on the other side of the world. Karen cobbled together something to eat – a fry-up and a bowl of soup – and as always, made sure she took her vitamins afterwards. She went back to the computer and absent-mindedly tugged at her bottle blonde hair, browsing the online shops for swimsuits and sun tan lotion. She’d be flying out to meet Bob in two weeks. She couldn’t wait.

Bored with the computer, Karen decided to run a bath. She had a long, luxurious soak, grudgingly getting out when her skin started to wrinkle. A dash of talc and a daub of moisturiser before shrugging on her favourite dressing gown.

She was hungry again. No wonder. She hadn’t eaten much of dinner, and hours had passed since then. Karen munched her way through the remaining Pringles, wolfed down a packet of Hula-Hoops and some organic crisps, and ate some chocolate. You greedy cow, she admonished herself, making a note to go back to the gym tomorrow. More often than not she didn’t go. The hospital was understaffed, and X-ray technicians were in particular demand. She decided to pack her gym kit anyway and hope she’d finish work at a reasonable time.

Karen checked her mobile phone for messages, and saw that Bob had sent her a text. “Love you XXX”, it said. She smiled. Not long now.

Karen went through the usual routine, remembering to give the tooth whitener the full ten minutes. She rinsed with mouthwash, took a book to bed, and was asleep within half an hour.

Karen died of mouththroatbrainbreastlungstomachbladderskinovarianbowel cancer that very night.

[All links via The Daily Dust]