I always think that I have seen everything. But that is never the truth. Whenever I see people, all I expect is another face, another stare. I never knew that there would be so much more. The secretary that comes so early every morning, with her dress all mended and the sleeves covering all her bruises and stares at me with hollow eyes, swollen from the tears that have left her haggard and sleepless. The only moment she seems to relax is the second that she pauses in front of me, trying to maintain her lost dignity. Then there’s the girl with the shiny straight hair that flows down her shoulders who comes before the doors open to fix her face. She pulls out blush and mascara and practically lathers it on like lotion. Her eyes gaze at me with longing, wanting to see someone of worth. But after searching and searching, she turns away, ashamed, and trudges down the hallway in her disguise. I see numerous people walk by, glancing at me, but when the people all disappear, it is only then that he comes. The boy who sags with his belt on and a blue cap on his head comes to look at me. He runs his calloused fingers through his brown hair and attempts to smooth out the bags under his scarred eyes. He cusses when he sees a newly formed scab on his wrist and hides it under his enormously large jacket. He shuffles back to class, hoping that his act was unseen. During noon, people pass by, their eyes catching me and holding my gaze for a brief moment before going away. Most of the time, I am unnoticed, but there are times when someone comes up to me, searching for answers. As much as I wish to respond, to comfort the secretary’s broken and battered heart, to tell the girl that she is beautiful without the mask on, to understand the boy as he vents his doubts; it is impossible for me. But every day, I keep hoping and praying that there will be a person who will come and look at me. They will tell me that they are the one who reassures and encourages and listens. They will be the one to do what I cannot do. But until then, I am only a mirror.
May 22, 2012