As she does every weekend, the roommate brings home something new from the lab. She is standing in your bedroom doorway, pinching a diamond-shaped pill between her thumb and forefinger. "This one's called Liveforever, for the time being," she says, "Personally, I think the name's dumb, but you know how the marketing people are." She brings it to you. In your hand, it looks even smaller. It's a shade of yellow that reminds you of spring, of wildflowers.
"Yes. Yesterday. So far, so good." She laughs. "I mean, they're estimating a very, very tiny percentage of people will experience a side effect. Like, an infinitesimal amount. One out of a million, give or take."
"The side effect being?"
"Well, you kind of... your body just... freezes up, is the best way to put it, I guess. But your mind still works – you don't die."
"Oh," you say. You set it down on the table. You both stare at it.
"Come on," she says. "That scared you?"
"I'm saving it for later. With dinner."
"You don't need to take it with food. Just–" Her hand reaches out, but you beat her to it, thanks to that dosage of Quikreflex she gave you last week.
"I thought we had a deal," she says, frowning. The pill is in your closed hand, and she is standing so close to you, you can see the constellation of freckles running across her chin. "Are you... breaking... our deal?" It's been so long since you first moved in, since you explained your situation. You remember what will happen if you don't, and so you do. You open your hand. The pill is chalky at first, and then sweet, and then dissolves as it goes down, breaking apart into a million pieces, into every inch of your being.