Going wider, this premise can be seen as a metaphor illustrating the tension between the desire for stasis and the need for change. We live in a world that is constantly changing, and we’re constantly changing within it. It’s natural for us to want to impose our control on such chaos, to attempt to preserve the status quo. So many of us fear change (and I’m certainly no exception), even when the change is largely positive in nature. And yet, what if that potential for change was taken away from us? What if everything really did stay the same, even our own bodies and the hormone levels coursing through them? As much as I sometimes dread change, this story illustrates one of my true nightmares: the attempt to suspend change.
We’ve all heard the old saw about how the only sure things in life are death and taxes. But whenever I hear that, I always think that in reality, the only sure thing in life is change. Life may trundle along on an even keel for a while, even for many years, but ultimately something will happen to disrupt its direction. Sometimes we choose the change; sometimes it chooses us–like death, a natural disaster, or a shift in politics or the economy. Sometimes we have to fight for change, like the protagonist of my story. And sometimes change comes at a high price, at which point we are called upon to decide: how high is too high?
On a more personal note, this story is one of my own favorites. I don’t know if this is true of other writers, but I definitely have the stories I’ve written that are especially meaningful to me and stay close to my heart. Right now I have three of those special stories, and this is one of them (the other two are still looking for homes). The fact that my first pro sale was made with this story in particular makes me feel especially pleased.
So tell me: would you want to stay a teenager forever?