for the first fifteen years, she doesn’t age.
(no one minds)
people comment on it, youth and genetics all in one neat parcel. one year, she has a boyfriend who comments on it: young and beautiful and somehow tragic. tale’s as old as time, but he doesn’t know how it’s going to end. no-one does, not even herself, so she just drifts through the life they’ve got going until she claims tedium and runs off.
(goes on the run even though there’s nothing to run from but time, calls it escapist fantasy because she’s hoarding money and time and has too much of both)
so she roams the world, picking up people midway through their lives and outliving them all. she pretends to be sister, daughter, cousin, aunt – never mother, because that’s the one implausible.
this is what it’s like to be frozen in time.
if she stands too long in a cold breeze her blood becomes ice though it no longer runs through her veins. or maybe it does, but it’s so slow that she doesn’t notice it.
she sees the world, and when she gets down to it it’s always the same: buildings, language, different pieces of a puzzle. only the people change, and she never goes to the same place twice within a century.
(no need to accelerate boredom)
in every city she charms someone into taking her photo and disappears. every photo is spaced a minimum of a week apart, and she lines an ancient apartment with photo albums of herself.
when she’s feeling especially morbid she studies them, tries to convince herself that she has aged a day, when the reality is she’s iced over, encased in a thin layer of preserving ice.
and then she does.
she is old, so very old and has created for herself a long long line of adopted family. she’s seen the world, ruined and created things for sport. she has loved and left, danced and stolen and wept and laughed.
here’s the thing: it begins to wear off.
somehow her blood begins to warm over again, and age creeps in so slowly as to go unnoticed. so maybe she’s millennia old now
(she loses track)
and she begins to age.
anyway, her blood runs warm again after so long that the warmth is an unfamiliar sensation.
for the last fifty years, she ages.