30 Years

We sit across the table
The conversation drifts
To lifecycles
There is a pause

“30 years,” she sighs
It’s what the doctor said
Is the probable reduction of her life span
The cloud descends

Knowing that the statistic is meaningless, I try logic
I go online and pull the actuarial table
She is a 58-year-old female
Her life expectancy is 83.7 years

That means she has 25.7 years yet to live
If her life expectancy was reduced by 30 years
She’d be dead
4.3 years ago

She smiles and points out that she is not dead
I agree
The conversation moves on
Until, looking lost, she murmurs, “30 years.”