Forty-seven years had passed since her birth to Carl and Cordelia Fletcher. She lived with her parents and siblings in a humble bungalow with an expansive apple orchard and pristine white picket fences. Life was a dream.
It began slowly at first. One morning Sylvia looked at herself in the mirror and there they were. Wrinkles. Although the rest of her body seemed in order, she did not care. She valued her face over everything else. In order to rid herself of these unpleasant features, she had bought a month’s supply of anti-aging cream from the drugstore. She didn’t know which brands would work the best, so she purchased an assortment. She didn’t dare ask the shop assistant. Everyone knew that the drugstore assistants gossiped like merciless eighth graders. If she told anyone, it would definitely reach one of her friends. None of them would have a wrinkly blemish on their skin for another five years at the least. Alas, there was not a soul to offer her advice in her desperate quest for smooth skin.
Michelle sipped her tea smugly, peeking at her with a raised eyebrow over the gold rim. It was apparent that Sylvia had been asked a question. But she knew enough to know that whenever Michelle asked something of someone, the correct answer was always yes. “Oh, but of course,” Sylvia mumbled, breaking eye contact. Michelle smiled and turned back to the other ladies, engaging them in exhilarating conversation revolving around the décor of her new penthouse, the one they were currently sitting in. The giggling and pleasantries exchanged between the ladies faded into an interminable hum in the background as Sylvia once again sank into her thoughts.
She had always wanted a penthouse.