The sun had been up for less than an hour before Agnes’s delicate blue eyes opened. The mornings had always been her favorite time of day. She took a deep breath in through her dainty nose and then a smile grew from ear to ear as she let the fresh air flow from her mouth. In no rush, she sat up and turned her hips. She pulled her plush white comforter from her frail body and her cotton nightgown. Her feet fell slowly from her bed into her slippers that sat just beside her night table. She hunched forward and leaned onto her walker for balance. She inched her way into the washroom and did her morning duties. She grabbed the counter top to pull herself up from the toilet and stepped in front of the mirror, leaning the front of her body onto the counter. She picked up her favorite brush and ran it through her thin silver and white hair.

She gazed into the mirror and with every stroke of the brush through her wise silver hair, she imagined it to lose age. She watched her hair grow thicker, longer, healthier and she saw her hair regain its natural light brown hue. As her hair transformed to its youthful ways, she witnessed her wrinkles fade away and she saw her pale, saggy skin grow pink and tight again. She watched her waist thin out and her bust rise above her belly button. Standing in the washroom was Agnes’s eighty-seven-year-old body, but looking back at her in the mirror was the beautiful and youthful nineteen-year-old Agnes.

The modern baby blue wallpaper faded and changed before her eyes into the light brown wallpaper that her mother personally decorated with yellow sunflowers when Agnes was a child. Agnes could hear her mother and father talking and laughing in the kitchen, just around the corner. She caught a breeze that carried the delicious smell of bacon and eggs. They were making breakfast for the family, just as they did every Saturday morning. Agnes smiled and placed the brush down gently onto the counter before she pranced into the kitchen to say her how do you do’s. Her mother told her that breakfast should be done soon, and then asked Agnes to retrieve her two younger brothers from the creek. Her father suggested that she take their golden retriever, CJ, so he could stretch his legs. Upon hearing his name, a youthful CJ came running into the kitchen and shoved his face against Agnes’s legs as he wagged his tail maniacally. Agnes crouched down and hugged him like she had not seen him for decades. She tied his rope to his collar and they set out the front door to fetch her brothers, Jimmy and Hank.

To the left was a dirt path that eventually led to the main road, but to the right was an open field that led to a forest with a creek running through it. That was where Jimmy and Hank spent every moment when the sun was shining and they were not in school. Agnes frolicked through the tall grass and stopped to smell every beautiful flower in sight. She had always done that, because she truly appreciated every little thing that God created. (And CJ was not impatient as he liked to smell the flowers too.)

The beautiful young lady and her golden best friend reached the forest and seemingly stepped through to a new world. The tall green trees cast shadows over the rocks and the creek. The air had become more clean and crisp with all the trees surrounding them. The temperature had dropped a few degrees, but it was so hot outside of the forest that it did not bother them. Agnes stepped on a stick and she saw squirrels race up into the trees and birds fly up to their nests in fear. She softly told them that she was not there to hurt them, she only wanted to bring her brothers home for breakfast. CJ gave a few friendly barks to the wild animals, but they had no interest in making friends with a dog.

CJ ran over to the creek to drink some water and then walk along the shallow part to get his paws wet. Agnes was right beside him, along the edge of the dry rocks. She hopped from big rock to big rock, as long as they were in safe distance, to please her inner child. (She did many things to that end, because she believed that a happy child made a happy woman.)

They had reached the designated tree that Jimmy and Hank were told not to pass without Agnes or their parents being present. She called out for her brothers, but there was no response. Not even so much as a ripple in the water. After several shouts of both of their names, she grew worried that something might have happened to them. It was not like them to go farther than they were supposed to, and it was not like them to ignore their big sister. CJ, sensing the worry in Agnes’s voice, began to bark and sniff around for his young lost owners. He found one of little Jimmy’s shoes floating upside down in the creek and frantically barked to get Agnes’s attention. Seeing the clear evidence of trouble, she began to cry out her brothers’ names.

Agnes had felt someone grab her shoulder and she struggled to get away and screamed for help. As she pulled and tugged, she turned around to see who it was. To her surprise, it was two nurses that were trying to calm her down. She faced forward again and saw her reflection in the mirror with wrinkles on her face and thin silver hair on top of her head. Her waist had widened to how it was when she awoke, and her bust was back down to her belly button. The wallpaper was once again baby blue.

She looked down into her hand and it was still firmly gripping her brush. She had stopped struggling, so the two young nurses stood there and waited for her next move. They were no longer being forceful, but each nurse held an arm for support.

Agnes began to cry, and then the nurses helped guide her back to her bed.