Mirror on the Wall

By
She sees a lot of herself in me. Today, she is wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans. She wears a sleeve from her elbow to her hand, hiding all her secrets. Her shoes are worn and torn, and they need to be replaced. Her hair is the same, beautiful, chocolate brown as always, and is feathered around her thin face. Her reddish brown eyes are tired, and rimmed with faded-red eyelids. Her lips are not in a smile, but in a blank frown. Her expression is empty, but I know the truth, I’ve seen it. She sighs and runs her pale fingers through her thin hair and walks out of the small room, turning the light off as she goes. I will wait for her until she gets home from her high school from hell.
I stay in one place, collecting a very thin and almost unnoticeable film of white dust, watching the day go by. I watch the room change as the sun moves around the windows, stretching shadows this way and that. I wait for her. I wait patiently. I will be here for her when she gets back. I will witness her tears, without ever telling her how sorry I feel for her. She hates pity. I do not talk. I just listen to everything she says, it doesn’t matter that she isn’t talking to me. I hear the door open, and I know she is home.
She comes in and drops her bag, next to me, against the wall. She pulls her sleeve off and lays it over the computer chair. She runs her hand gently along the cracks on her arm, tracing the lines with her fingers. She sits on her bed and looks at me, seeing exactly what I see. Her eyes are irritated, and wild. She looks angry today. I wonder why, but I do not ask. Her hair is windblown from her walk here. She runs her fingers through the delicate tangles, combing them out easily. She observes herself differently than I. she sees a pathetic, worthless, broken girl. I see a tortured, depressed, lifeless young woman. If only she would understand that. If only she would talk to someone. Maybe then she wouldn’t cry so much.
She watches her tired body quiver with the silent sobs. I do not know what she is thinking about, and I do not ask. She watches her face twist painfully, then the tears fall. Her lips pull back, showing her teeth, grinding them together, trying to fight the inevitable emotion that is consuming her. Her fists tighten, and she digs her nails into her palms. It looks painful. I want to comfort her.
Instead, I watch with her. I endure the unnerving sight of her pain as she sits across from me. She crushes her teeth together and lets out a livid growl. She is very angry. The tears are streaming down her red face. Her eyes seem to glow dimly with the thin, red lines that are cracking the white. She closes her eyes, tight; trying to force the bad memories from her thoughts. She rakes her fingernails down her left arm, breaking open the healing cuts from previous fits, not so different from this one. I hope to myself that she does not reach for the razor blade again.
But against my silent hopes, she pulls the familiar, red-stained metal from her window sill. She looks at it, contemplating doing it again. It is the only thing that makes her feel better. She presses it to the inside of her wrist, but does not move it. Instead, she returns it to the window seal and gets off her bed. She walks across the room to stand in front of me. She places her hand on my smooth, cold surface and watches the tears fall uncontrollably. She stares at her battered features; her almost bruise-like eyes, her bitten bottom lip, and her bleeding scars and cuts shown in her reflection. She stands here for a long moment, just staring. She drops her hand and takes a step back. I begin to think she is going to leave again, but instead, her angry expression returns. She is angry at herself.
She draws her hand back, balled into a tight fist, and punches me. I do not move. I stare at her distorted image through the webbed, white cracks that cloud my view. I can see her hand. Her knuckles are bloody, and have splinters of my face lodged into the pale and bleeding flesh. I see that she is not done. She lets out a broken cry of pain and she swings again. This time, I shatter, crumble, and fall to the floor, broken. I look up at her from a thousand eyes. I want to know what is so wrong. She never said anything. I’ve always known that she was hurting, but I never knew why. I want to know what happened. Please, tell me what happened.
I do not ask.





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