burn my memory, burn my outline
the tears scream to scar your unpierced flesh
shattered mirrors reflecting back your face
'let your defenses fall'

                          [ Black Tape for a Blue Girl]

Chapter6: Decisions
The three patients had spent the time between lunch and diner in their own way. Mandy had wandered through the garden. For her the decision had been made beforehand. From the moment she'd climbed the stairs she hadn't been able anymore to turn back. Dorothy had been with Gavin, constructing a training plan that was both ambitious and realistic. Gilles on the other hand had decided to talk to Björn again. He'd preferred to talk to Lana but the woman was unavailable, or so he'd been told. She was a veritable ice queen but all together he thought he preferred her doing the surgery.
The clock had struck seven times and then once more. All patients and staff sat around the dining table. During dinner the atmosphere was relaxed and casual. The 8 of them conversed about daily annoyances and current events. Everyone seemed to avoid talking about surgery, illness and beauty. But despite the pleasantries, the air was tense and several people kept checking their watch as the time drew near.
Finally Lana stood up, put her chair under the table and left. She did not speak a word but clearly expected everyone to follow her. By the way the others followed her unspoken command she'd toroughly established her superiority and authority. Hurrying the three patients followed them. They gathered once more in the meeting room downstairs.
"We all know why we're here." Björn said when Lana kept silent, "Let's make it quick."
He first turned to Gilles, "You my friend, what did you decide since our talk."
Gilles gathered his thoughts for the last time. He knew for sure that there was something fishy going on. On the other hand he didn't think the surgeons were frauds. He was so close to becoming his ideal. What would a few bumps on the road matter?
"I'm in." he nodded.
"And you?" Björn asked Mandy.
"I was in when i entered Friday evening." Mandy shrugged, "There wasn't much of a decision to make."
This was her only option. She did not have the money to pay for an operation elsewhere and she wouldn't ever get enough to appease her mind with a promise.
"That leaves you." Björn said."
Dorothy looked around to the others. She took a breath, swallowed and then said:
"I'm declining the surgery."
Murmurs rose and Dorothy continued,
"For now that is. I've decided to lose as much weight as i can on my own. That is if you'll allow me."
Björn shrugged, "Why wouldn't we?"