The responsibility of her own life was all that remained. The others pushed daisies or grew up, starting families of their own, buying homes, launching careers – becoming stable. Adolescent-like adults, not capable of self-care let alone child-care, filled her formative years. They had long ago ash’d. All that was left was the open end of her own life, her unwritten story, pages abound.
But freedom petrified her. With the burden of other’s wrecked lives gone, the fear of making her own wrong choices left her stagnant, unchanging, unable to feel fully formed, clinging to the idea that adulthood would be better.
Freedom from obligation, you see, was actually a prison of self doubt.