"Ordinary – adj not special, unusual, or different from other things"

It was another ordinary day in her life, filled with ordinary people and ordinary things. Trivial, came the word in her mind, as it always did when she thought of them.

So what if it was Christmas? It was just another day with a name. An excuse for people to celebrate. She didn't believe in Christ and she didn't celebrate Christmas. Christ wouldn't have allowed it to happen.

She despised ordinary people. They didn't have to worry continuously about death. They didn't have to look over their shoulders every morning, to see if the Grim Reaper was about to catch up with them. They didn't have to stay quietly at home, drinking in the city lights but unable to go out, unable even to move.

She remembered being ordinary once. It wasn't so long ago that she had had books, friends, toys…laughter. Indeed, she believed she had had more of that than most people – her parents had spoiled her, but she hadn't known why. One day, though, she had heard. The doctor who came to visit her every week – she had assumed that it was normal, though now she knew it was not – had said that she might be going to die.

Of course it shattered her world of dolls and playhouses when she found out that she was the mistake; the experiment that wasn't supposed to happen. Of course she had understood immediately that she couldn't be ordinary, what with having to take five different kinds of medicine every day – slowly increasing to six, then they had to put her on an IV.

Her life could end the next day, the day after next, the next week, the next month, the next year. Nobody knew when, but they all knew she couldn't live for very long. She couldn't be allowed to live for very long, or she would be proof that cloning was all right. Yet her parents wanted her to live, not only because they were the scientists who had created her, but also because, without a doubt, they loved her.

Life was very complex, she had found out – at six years of age.

Only the doctor came to visit her now. He was a very ordinary, cheerful doctor, and always brought pictures of the world outside for her to look at. Somehow, even though she didn't think much of them, she wanted to be like ordinary people.

Today the picture was of children ice-skating. She gazed at it and tried to remember what it was like to go outside and build a snowman. It had been too long ago, maybe six years.

"Is it cold outside?"

It was a silly question to ask. It was snowing, so of course it was cold. She knew that. She had really meant to ask if it mattered. Did it matter that it was cold outside, as long as you were allowed to go out and feel it?

It was always warm in her room. It had to be, or she would start to cough and not stop. Somehow, though, she felt that it wasn't a good thing. It wasn't real.

"How long have I got left?"

There was no answer. Of course; she had asked another silly question. Nobody actually knew, so how could they answer her? She wondered if she wanted to live at all in the first place. It wasn't normal to continue living in this state.

It was ordinary to die, yes? Death would make her ordinary, in a way. Somewhere deep down there, she wondered what it would be like to die, because, really, all she wanted was to be ordinary again, to build that snowman, to laugh as she hadn't done in six years…to celebrate Christmas because she believed. That was what ordinary people did, and what she couldn't do.

"You know, I wonder if Santa will come this year."

"Aren't you a little too old to be believing in Santa?"

"I suppose, but, you know, there's something I want this year."

"What would that be? If it's something money can buy, you know you'll have it."

She knew there was no point continuing the conversation. They wouldn't let her die, of course, and neither would they take her outside. There was no question of it.

Of being ordinary.