On Her Own Terms

Caroline Fisher might as well have been aging backwards. She only seemed to get surlier and surlier with age, as the wrinkles set deeper into her face. She would glare at anybody who made eye contact.

Of course, it wasn't as if anybody ever bothered to ask Caroline Fisher why.

Her mother liked to call her up every month or so to badger her about her lack of husband or children, and Caroline hung up on her every single time. She liked her house plants just fine, what use did she have for children or a spouse?

On occasion, her brother made himself known as well in the form of a frigidly typed email that was obviously written by his secretary, Kathy. Caroline's younger brother only got more and more bossy as he got older, such are the perils of seniority.

Her older sister, gone placid in her ancient years, now sends her flowers on holidays that always smell like laundry detergent and funeral homes. Caroline wonders in the absent hours of the day why the hell April can't buy flowers that don't make her want to retch.

That's the problem with people, she decides. They grow older and older and they change. Their heart shrivels up into a little brittle mass in their chest cavity, never to be seen again. They grow insufferable or vegetative. Caroline decides early in life to never end up like her siblings, or god forbid, her parents.

So, here she sits, with her butler Norman worrying over her because she refused to go to the hospital after her little "episode", because damn it, if she's going to die, she's going to do it on her own terms.