Mrs. Oferween examined her face on the mirror. Every wrinkle, every dimple, every pockmark, every curve and every fold, she scrutinized with as much precision as an expert geologist reconnoitering some terra incognita for its potential for a new development, and she, involuntarily, frowned.
“Damn, not another wrinkle!” she growled in frustration. It takes 47 muscles to frown, she pounded once again into her head. With great effort, and struggling not to make the mistake of scrunching up her skin again, she forced her face back into a blank expression. The resting bitch face. Some reality TV star in her 30s had recommended it as a way of preventing the creation of wrinkles.
But Mrs. Oferween was pushing 60 now, and even with her diligent use of creams and toners and moisturizers laden with Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C and antioxidants with ginseng and gold powder and quantum age nourishment, the natural curse of aging had taken its toll on her face and on her body, and it showed. There was no hiding the little creases here and there, the crow’s feet sprouting quickly from the corners of her eyes, which were now with evidently lighter irises covered in a layer of translucent goo, the beginnings of what could turn out to be cataracts. Her eyebags were saggier now, and so was the skin on her neck, and her breasts, which were round and perky some three decades ago, were also losing their battle with gravity.
Mrs. Oferween closed her eyes. She could no longer recognize the face in the mirror, even though she had examined it last only yesterday. It was as though the image on the mirror was that of a stranger — some older, uglier, more frightening stranger. A monster. It wasn’t her. It wasn’t her at all. In her mind’s eye, she still looked as beautiful as she did three decades ago, back when men chased her and gave in to her every whim. Back when it seemed as though her beauty and her power would last forever.
The next day, as she was lazily swiping through photos on her phone, an advertisement caught her eye. It read: “Young Forever! The only anti-aging miracle that works!” And below it, a pair of pictures. On the left, the face of an old greying crone. On the right, her much younger counterpart.
“Pssh. Probably a mother-and-daughter pair,” she muttered, careful not to strain the skin of her face. As much as she would love to believe the advertisement, Mrs. Oferween was naturally skeptical. She continued to swipe down.
A few images later, the ad appeared again. This time, it read: “You can be Young Forever! Watch this video to see how!” Below it, a video of an old woman slowly transforming into a beautiful, young lady. Mrs. Oferween looked closely at the video (no longer minding that she was pushing her eyebrows together), searching for some evidence of video editing magic, but could not find any.
Her curiosity now roused, Mrs. Oferween continued to watch the ad. A kindly-looking handsome young man, perhaps in his early 30s, in a plain green polo shirt and denim jeans, appeared and said, “One treatment. One treatment is all you need, and only for $500, for life. It will work, you will be young again and young forever, we guarantee, or we will give you your money back.”
Well, I suppose I’ve got nothing to lose. She gave the number on the ad a call, and within an hour, she was driving on her way to the clinic.
The clinic was in a posh mall in an artsy-looking town. Despite her appetite and her knowledge on the elegant and the luxurious, Mrs. Oferween had never visited this mall before. It was designed in the style of Victorian conservatory, with glass walls and a free flow of clean, cool air, and decorated with green healthy plants, Renaissance-style paintings, and marble statues of male and female human perfection. Its impression upon Mrs. Oferween was that the mall was a celebration of youthful beauty. All of the customers, and there were only a few, were young, attractive, hip, wealthy and fashionable. They wore the trendiest brand clothing, sipped expensive lattes and talked on the newest gadgets.
Feeling even better about her decision, Mrs. Oferween went into the clinic, a brightly-lit section on the second floor. She was immediately greeted by a voluptuous young receptionist, who could easily pass for a lingerie model, and was advised to seat herself at the waiting area, as the doctor would be seeing her soon. A couple of minutes later, the doctor, who was the same handsome young man from the ad, but now in a pristine white doctor’s coat, met with her. When he shook his hand and smiled, she blushed, and she felt like a teenager again.
“Mrs. Oferween,” said the doctor, as he sat down on an armchair beside hers, “first you’ll have to settle the payment. I’m afraid it can’t be the other way around, as we’ve had patients who ran from paying as soon as they saw that the treatment had worked. Will that be fine?”
“Yes, no problem at all,” she replied, smiling as sweetly as she can. “And you have a money-back guarantee in case it doesn’t work, right?”
“Yes, we do. Although I am very confident that we won’t need it. The treatment is very effective.” He lightly brushed her chin with his hand. “You’ll be forever 25 in no time.”
Mrs. Oferween let out a girlish giggle. “That’s all I needed to hear,” she said. She quickly wrote a check for $500 and gave it to the doctor, who then gave it to the receptionist.
“This way, please, madam.” The doctor guided Mrs. Oferween into his private clinic.
He closed the door behind them and removed his coat, so he was now in the same green polo shirt and denim jeans that he was wearing in the video. His shirt was slightly tight and revealed the texture of his alluring musculature. Mrs. Oferween’s eyes grew large in shock, but she also felt warm in anticipation of something very exciting.
“I don’t like getting my white coat dirty,” he told her, with a smile. “This procedure would be a bit messy, I’m afraid. I hope you don’t mind–”
“Oh no, not at all,” she giggled.
He then guided her to lie down on the cot and covered her eyes with a warm piece of cloth. Mrs. Oferween heard the metallic tinkle of medical instruments. The doctor then said, “Now, I’ll be injecting this into you. You will feel a small prick, and some warmth, and then it’ll be all over. Are you ready?”
“Alright. That’s good to hear.” Mrs. Oferween then felt a cool brush of cotton on her left hand, and then the doctor’s voice said, “Here we go. This will only hurt a little. Please relax.” She then felt a light prick, and a rush of warm liquid into her. Within seconds, she felt warm all over her body, as though she was having a slight fever.
“Doctor, is it okay?”
“Yes, everything will be done soon.”
Mrs. Oferween started to feel ominous. Did she just make a huge mistake? But it’s too late for that now. She could feel the drug working all over her body, especially on her face, which felt like it was on fire. She wanted to scream, but she couldn’t. For some reason, she couldn’t say anything. She almost couldn’t move at all.
But then, abruptly, all that pain, and all that warmth, stopped. She was still speechless, but at least she was feeling better now.
“Now,” said the doctor, as he removed the cloth from her eyes, “see how you look.”
Mrs. Oferween opened her eyes. The doctor was holding a mirror in front of her face; and she almost screamed in shock. The face that looked back at her, was the same beautiful face she had when she was in her 20s. Gone were the wrinkles and the age spots; now, she had her smooth, vibrant, youthful skin back. Her eyes were clear, bright, and a rich dark brown, and she had lost those dreadful eyebags. And her breasts — she felt her breasts, so firm and round and perky, that her saggy old bra no longer fit.
She smiled. She could smile again. No longer did she fear having laugh lines; she smiled her best, as she looked at her plump pink lips and her straight white teeth, a welcome sight after almost three decades.
She was now young forever! She thought of how the men would worship her again, how they would fall once again under her control, in their lecherous desire. She wanted to laugh; oh, how she wanted to laugh her triumphant laugh — but found that she couldn’t. She couldn’t laugh at all. Her smile, suddenly, had become frozen on her face. There was no trace of fear in her beautiful brown eyes, but she could feel that fear just the same.
She wanted to ask the doctor what was happening. She pulled herself to sit up, but the doctor pushed her back down on the cot.
“No, we already have so many sitting up, standing up. We need someone lying down,” he told her, “so you should lie down.” He smiled. “It will be all over soon, don’t you worry. And you’ll be young forever.”
Mrs. Oferween glanced quickly at her legs. To her horror, she saw that they had turned a pure marble white, and she could no longer move them. Quickly, the marble white crept upwards, to her thighs, to her hips, to her waist, and then to her chest. And she remembered those finely-sculpted marble statues, and how they looked so real…
The transformation was now complete. The doctor took a piece of cloth and began to buff his newest creation, spreading white marble dust all around.