She freezes as she reads the anon message.
Are they right? Is she too old?
She had known this day would ultimately come, known that one day, she would no longer be allowed to enjoy the things around her, or use the internet anymore other than to send work emails, but she had hoped that day was still far off.
True, she did have a child. Perhaps that should have been her first clue. After all, becoming a mother goes hand-in-hand with dedicating your life to clipping coupons and driving carpools. And with all of that, who has time to enjoy good acting, or a wonderful story-line, or art?
She looks down at her hands sadly. The anon is right. She is now an “old peep”. She should be ashamed of herself.
She sheds one single tear and shuts off her computer. She then unplugs it and carries it to the trash. Her place is no longer among young persons. Her child is asleep upstairs for the night. The house is quiet and dark. She grabs her child’s purple crayola marker and writes “old peep” across her forehead, then moves to her living room, turns the tv on, and changes the channel to the news.
Yes. This is where she belongs now. Tomorrow she will make sure to throw away all of her young person clothes and buy ugly beige sweaters and ruffled white blouses. She will give away her pathetic collection of fantasy books the local library, and throw away the autographed photo she got from her favorite actor two years ago. These are not things she is allowed to have anymore.
She begins her life as an old peep, sitting in the dark, watching the news, thinking about taxes and diapers, grateful to the anon who pointed out the error of her ways.