The New Girl in the Mirror

October 18, 2011
By MannequinAmerican BRONZE, Milton, Delaware
MannequinAmerican BRONZE, Milton, Delaware
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I look around the room, not recognizing anything, anyone, or myself. That’s my same perfect blond hair, my long legs and the silver stilettos I bought last week. I remember working out to get those toned muscles, buying that outfit and getting that manicure, but this isn’t me. Standing in the middle of a party I wasn’t supposed to go to, wearing clothes I should never have even looked at, holding my fifth beer of the night. That’s not my life. It’s like I’m having an out of body experience. The kind I’ve heard heroes have, like when a firefighter sees himself saving a little girl from a fire; or when you see yourself dying. Except I’m not saving anyone, I’m the one dying.

All of a sudden I remember someone. A girl only 8 years old and innocent, who never dreamed she would be a part of any of this, and I’m killing her. Instead of swallowing that pill from God knows where, she chews a Flinstone vitamin each night. She would have gone to bed hours ago, though I see no prospects for sleep soon. That drink in my hand would never have been in hers, and although the worst word she can imagine saying is shut-up, my extensive vocabulary goes far beyond that. One of those bouncing songs that are played at parties comes on the stereo, and I start to dance; but in the back of my mind, I still see the little girl, lying on her bed doing homework, singing quietly along to Hawk Nelson or Starfield.

I tell myself it’s okay. It’s fine that I’m not the perfect angel she always dreamt I would be. Everyone grows up and I need to get over that; but I can’t. I can’t let go of the fact that I failed at her dreams to become world famous and that I’m not on every sports team possible or first in my class. I know that the life she always dreamed of just isn’t realistic, but why don’t I believe it? I failed miserably at all her goals. She should be ashamed of me. I’m ashamed of myself. Ashamed that I came to this party, even though I knew what I was getting myself into. I’m ashamed that I didn’t even stop to think before I picked up the drink in my hand; and that I’m letting myself fall for the guy staring at me from across the room, though I know he has no interest in me, just my perfect athlete’s body. The one dream I fulfilled, to be the greatest swimmer in state, is fast slipping away. I abuse my body with drugs and skip practice half the time to hang out with the people I call my friends, the ones who invite me to places like this. Yet it means nothing to me.

Just starting middle school, that little girl went to church every Sunday and youth group that same night. She listened to all the Christian bands and went along on every mission trip possible. Now, I’m 17 years old and too hung-over on Sunday mornings to even think about getting up for church. I don’t care about youth group and I can’t remember the last time I went on a mission trip, or even went out of my way to help somebody. I let her down. She should be screaming at me, yelling at me to stop ruining my life and fix it. So why doesn’t she? She just looks at me with those big blue eyes filled with disappointment. Hurting her makes me sick. The room spins, I can’t tell what’s real and what’s not anymore. Sprinting into the bathroom, I lock the door behind me and vomit into the porcelain bowl that has become my new best friend.

I’m scared out of my mind, freaking out with no idea what to do, but instead of trying to focus and calm myself down, my solution is more cheap vodka. The boy approaches me from the other side of the room, and whispers something that the little girl wouldn’t even understand, but would make my mother faint, and for the umpteenth time tonight, I don’t think, don’t care, and make another bad decision. He leads me into a bedroom of the house we’re in. The girl from my past screams out. She’s horrified, disappointed, sad and scared. Why don’t I listen to her? I can’t take it anymore. Wrenching my hand from his tender yet sickening grasp, I run. My mind is racing, I have to get out of that house, out of that life.

It would be against the law to drive this whacked out of my mind, even though I’m thinking clearer than I have in a long time, so I run. Sprinting down the streets, the cold November air detoxes me from all of the poison that’s been clouding my mind for as long as I can remember. I race straight into my house, up the stairs and into the bedroom I’ve had since I was 3. The little girl is there, waiting for me. Smiling up at me for the first time, she welcomes me home.

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