Mary carefully lowered herself into the chair, once she was sitting she let out a small sigh of relief. Everything hurt these days, she reached out and picked up the hand mirror sitting on the small table beside her, carefully she studied her face. It was breath taking. Not a wrinkle or a blemish, just smooth, beautiful skin. Even now almost a month later she still found herself marvelling over the change. The treatments were experimental, and expensive, but with no family and only a year or two left she decided that she might as well splurge on herself. It wasn’t like she could travel the world, not at her age. They had warned her before the treatments that she would be the same age and have the same energy, but she would look young and for Mary that was more than enough. Her body was still hunched over slightly, her arms thin and weak, but she was beautiful again. After a moment her arms started to tire, carefully she returned the mirror to its place. She glanced at the clock, Denise would be here in an hour or so to tidy around the house and cook some food for her. Mary hadn’t thought that Denise would disapprove of the treatments, but since she had undergone them it seemed like Denise avoided her, spending as little time around her as possible. Denise had told her that she was being silly, but Mary could still see it.
Part of her suspected that it was because the youthful appearance was jarring with the slow, jerky movements and the voice of an old woman, but then it wasn’t for anyone else. She rarely left the house these days after all, ever since Harold had died about five years back she’d become a bit of a recluse. The outside had begun to unnerve her, all those people and noises. Mary had always preferred silence and solitude anyway.
Mary was so tired and her body felt heavy. She leaned back and closed her eyes, it wouldn’t be the first time Denise had found her like this, Mary had begun to enjoy dozing off in her chair in the last few months. There was something different about this though, it wasn’t the usual, comfortable tiredness she had grown accustomed to. As Mary’s breathing began to slow she realised she was dying, they had told her the treatment was intense, that it would shorten the time she had left. There was no fear, or pain, Mary was content, even if it had taken time from her it was worth it, and soon she would be reunited with Harold. Mary let out a soft breath and the steady rise and fall of her chest stopped.