The Real Me

December 10, 2008
My alarm went off with way too much enthusiasm for so early in the morning. I hadn’t slept well, again. For many nights my dreams had been focused on everything I’ve tried, and failed, to do in my life: trumpet, dancing, soccer. None of these were truly in my range of capability. The dreams made me feel empty; it was quite depressing. With a deep lungful of air, I rolled out from underneath the blankets, my hands and knees slapped onto the hardwood floor with an echoing pop. “Mmmmmmmm.” Much easier to stay on the floor, I started dragging my hollow, heavy limbs out my door and slid around the short wall to my left to the bathroom. Pop. Pop. My hands slapped onto the counter and began the arduous process of hauling my body upright. I glimpsed my face in the dim light, but I barely looked. The cool water called my attention more efficiently than my tired reflection. On about the third splash my mind finally put a subtitle to the picture of me I had just seen in the mirror. Different. My eyes rose to meet my own…blue eyes? “Wait!” My voice sounded soothing and thoughtful, a comforting sound; not at all like the sleepy, sandy rasp I had expected. I continued to focus on my eyes, and I was shocked to see- clouds. My eyes honestly looked like they were reflecting the sky. Then my hair entered my awareness. Instead of the flat brown I was accustomed to -- each strand was a different shade, from dark brown to light pink! A few strands here and there were neon orange, purple, and other bright colors. Maybe it was the fact that I felt like the exact same person, although my face was not my own, maybe it stemmed from all my dreams, maybe I was so tired I was delusional- whatever the reason, after noticing these things I simply accepted them, and my mind formed a theory. This reflection was more me than my old reflection had ever been. My eyes were the sky, my love for it, my eternal optimism, my constant need for understanding; my hair, so many different aspects of me, some similar, some diametrical, some blending in, some sticking out, some normal and some freaky. Contrasts. Surprisingly, this craziness made sense. My skin was clear, open -- no lies, no secrets. My ears were larger than my old ones, thankfully not disproportionate, because I listen to so much. My nose was straight, to the point. Where once my ears were pierced, there were slits in the shape of a cross, a sign of my chosen faith. My body was completely balanced, no incongruity, the balance I strove for in every part of my life. My voice, I then remembered, portrayed the love and comfort I wished with all my heart to give. I bounded from the room with strength and determination permeating from my steps.
At school I was shocked to discover three things. One: my hands were like soft clay, molding perfectly around everything I touched, like a tactful politician artfully convincing a crowd of a point. Two: My fingernails changed color according to my mood, my heart out for all to see, eliminating my need to explain my feelings to people. Three: No one could see the difference. No one at all. Rather than use my time wondering why, I focused on finding more new things about my appearance. I noticed that I was moving with more grace and precision than usual. Everything I did and said seemed to be well thought out even if I only had one second to think. “My soul,” I whispered. It had come to me very suddenly. I looked to my right, into my sky-eyes, in a glass bookshelf. The clouds moved quickly into a straight line. My fingernails turned purple (my favorite color). Correspondingly the purple strands in my hair became more prominent. Discovery. My soul was on my exterior. Was this how I looked to God? How many other people could see their souls as clearly as I saw mine? In answer to my question a boy I had known, though rarely spoken to, met my eyes. His eyes were blazing flames, his hair painted in white and black extremes, his skin dark as onyx, it looked as hard as pavement would feel after a long fall. All but his hands looked this way, but they seemed as eager to do and say the right thing as my own. It was surprising how fast I recognized him, considering he usually had blond hair, brown eyes like my old ones, translucent skin and a silent air about him. The difference was appalling. I approached warily; his fiery eyes raged with…uncertainty?
“How long…?” He understood my unfinished question.
“A few weeks, I was the only one until now. And you?” His voice was like gravel in a small bag, hard.
“Today,” I wanted to understand that fire desperately.
He could see the clouds in my eyes that had intensified and moved in faster configurations as the fire in his blazed brighter and stronger than ever. “You want to understand people, and you wear your heart on your sleeve,” he was stating not asking. I didn’t answer, so he qualified, his voice strangely getting softer by the second, like a bean bag now instead of gravel, “Your eyes draw people in while mine keep them out, your skin is clear where mine is dark, and your fingernails betray your feelings.” His fingernails, I now noticed, were the same color as his hands, camouflaged; he was defensively camouflaged.
The more we learned about each other’s souls the more his voice softened and my eyes grew calm. His eyes no longer flamed; they glowed like embers of a fire still warm until he glanced away to someone else, at those times they blazed brilliantly anew. My fingernails turned from the multicolored hues of confusion to a pure crayon red from a child’s hastily drawn heart. The more we stared into each others’ souls, the more we saw the true face of love in the other.
Over the years we saw others with God’s amazing gift. Only those people could see our souls, as only we could see theirs. Absolutely no one’s soul is the same, many are unexpected, none are easily seen, but the way to deep satisfaction is the knowledge of one’s own soul and the way to deep love is knowledge of another’s soul.

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AquariusSun&Moon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 13, 2009 at 9:06 pm
This is wonderful!!!!! I absolutely love it!!!
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