She has almost finished reading the magazine when something falls out and flutters to the floor of the waiting room. It is shiny and promising: a chance to win £100,000.

She does not win. But she can’t help but wonder how easily she might have missed the chance and, by extension, how many other chances she might have missed. Not just to win money, but also holidays, white goods, and husbands.

These chances, which do and do not exist, float in the air around her until she is quite dizzy with the chances she has not taken, and she resolves to check all magazines carefully from now on, to make sure she takes all her chances, or at least those that fall out from between glossy pages.

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