story escapes custody

Dr P had used a felt-tip pen. She had watched him drawing the lines around her face, over her eyes, under her chin, around her nose. She had felt good. Decisive. Like a woman taking control. What did she want? She wanted to be able to look at herself in the mirror at any time of the day, including first thing in the morning, and to feel good about what she saw. She wanted to catch herself in the reflection of shop windows and see the tight, taut, freshness that she had enjoyed well into her late thirties. She was now 53 and she wanted to see her youth again. She wanted other people to see it. She wanted everyone to have that same pleasure of resting their eyes on her smoothness. She lay in the dark, her face towards the ceiling, and she longed to sleep. She longed to close up, even for twenty minutes. But she could not. Why? Because her eyes no longer closed. The full surgery had cost $35,000. And she was left looking. Forever. Forever and ever and ever at her taut, tight, smooth skin. She had dreamed of drowning in her beauty. She loved her blondness, the way that other women told her she was like a china cup. But as the weeks passed, she began to hate her reflection. She began to feel trapped. She could never escape it. There was no going back. Not even the compensation would be able to reverse the damage. Her reflection would always be there. And she would always have to see it. She could never choose to look away. She was held in the grip of her remaining skin. Always seeing, always staring. Another true story that should have stayed inside the author’s imagination but managed to get loose.

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