Her eyes stared blankly ahead, her face stoic and emotionless. She couldn't recall how long she'd been standing there. Had it been seconds? Or was she coming up on hours? Her entire being felt numb. Unable to move, she simply stood. No words were spoken and no tears were shed. All she had the strength to do was stand. She could feel her legs shaking and it took all she had to not tumble to the ground. She watched as the reflection staring back at her swayed back and forth. She could hardly believe gravity hadn't pulled her down completely. Her eyes scrutinized the image in front of her. There was no way she was staring at herself. The woman before her was so – different. This woman's eyes held almost nothing. A small fleck of fear and despair could be detected but only if you looked closely. This was the polar opposite of the joy, the love, and the glimmer of a happy life that she remembered being in her eyes. She studied the rest of the reflection's face. The lips were drawn in a tight line as if keeping in all the words she yearned to say. Her sleeplessness was clear through the almost bruise like shadows that had found permanent places below her eyes. The color from her cheeks had faded, leaving her look pale and somewhat sickly. There was no way this reflection was her. She could recall the ache of her cheeks from smiling too much and the scratch in her throat from saying one too many words. Memories of peaceful nights' sleep and glorious dreams filled her mind, She could even almost feel the heat of a blush appearing across her face when some had delivered her a compliment she could never convince herself she truly deserved. And if she could remember all this, how could this reflection possibly be her own? An image so horribly different from the one in her memory. She continued to stand motionless and had almost convinced herself that the woman staring back at her was someone else entirely. A figment of her imagination perhaps. But then she felt it. A small twinge. Her hand went automatically to the source and it was then, as the reflection's movements matched hers exactly, that she could no longer deny it. She was the reflection. The reflection was her. Both sets of eyes followed the movement of the hand to the growing bump of her stomach. This was different too. And extremely unexpected. Her other hand wrapped protectively around the bump and the new life it represented. The tears that had not fallen before flowed freely now. She was going to have to do this alone. She'd made a choice and she was now responsible for the outcome. Her eyes trailed back to her reflection. Blurry through the tears, she memorized every detail. This was the beginning of something bigger than herself and it was time to leave the girl in the mirror and become someone strong enough to do what needed to be done. She had another life to care for now. And she was going to do the best she could. With or without him. He'd gotten her to this point. It was her job to move past it. And she could do it. She had to. This little one was counting on her. She said good bye to the girl afraid to try and hello to the girl whose strength would prevail. Because she wasn't alone anymore. Her hand gripped tighter to the miracle inside her. They would make it. Together.
The Past Is Just A Conduit
August 20, 2011