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An Altered Reflection
Sean woke with a jolt and sluggishly rolled out of bed at the blaring sound of his alarm. It was a Saturday morning, which usually meant he’d be sleeping in until noon, but today was different. Sean had made plans with a few of his friends. They weren’t doing anything grand or exciting, they were just hanging out, but being seniors in high school getting ready for college, it was important. The school year was coming to a close, which meant that they wouldn’t see each other for awhile once college starts, and they wanted to make sure they didn’t lose contact with one another.
Growing up, Sean never ran into any real problems. He had a wonderful family who cared for him deeply and supported him throughout anything. His family had also been quite wealthy, but Sean had never let it make him feel any more entitled than anyone else. He had great friends, namely Mike and John, who had helped him survive all 4 years of high school.
He made his way over to the bathroom, washed his face, and looked into the mirror. Staring back at him was a tall, scrawny, and slightly introverted 18-year-old with a smile stretched across his face. Quite frankly, Sean was excited to meet up with his friends once more. Sean felt that he could relax and be himself when in the company of his friends, something that he sometimes struggled to do around others. At that moment, Sean’s phone began to ring. Ready for the day to come, he answered the phone.
“Hello?” answered Sean.
“Hey! How are you doing man?” responded Mike, one of Sean's close friends. “You ready to hang out later?”
“Of course I’m ready. We’re going over to John’s place, right?”
“You got it! Oh, and make sure you bring some food or snacks over, I have a feeling I’m going to want something to eat,” joked Mike.
“You always seem to want food.”
“Exactly! That’s why you need to bring some snacks over!”
“Alright, alright,” responded Sean with a snicker, “I’ll bring some chips or something.”
“Perfect! I’ll see you later!” exclaimed Mike, shortly before hanging up
“I guess I should bring some snacks,” Sean chuckled to himself, still amused by Mike’s final remark.
Rather than going out and buying snacks, Sean looked around in his pantry, grabbed a bag of potato chips, and hopped in his car. It was time to head over to John’s.
Sean parked his car just outside of John’s home, grabbed the bag of chips that Mike had requested, and began to walk towards the front door. Rather than knocking, he walked in as if it were his own house. John and Sean had known each other long enough that even considering to knock felt bizarre. Sean made his way down to the basement of John’s home, eventually finding Mike and John sitting on a couch, talking to each other.
“Hey guys,” said Sean, waving to them. “I brought you your chips, Mike.”
“Give ‘em here!” said Mike with his hands wide open, as if asking for Sean to toss the bag at him.
“What’s going on?” Sean asked, taking a seat next to Mike and John.
“We were just talking about college,” replied John. “It’s crazy just how fast it’s come up, isn’t it? It feels like only yesterday we were freshmen.”
“I know, I keep thinking about it too”
“Speaking of college, have you thought about what you’d want to major in yet?” asked Mike, shoving a handful of chips into his mouth.
“I’m not really sure yet, to be honest,” replied Sean. “I was thinking maybe film production, but I’m not sure about it yet.”
“Hey, you of all people shouldn’t worry all that much about it,” said John with a smirk.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, I don’t want to be rude or anything, but you are loaded,” replied John. “Worse comes to worse you can just choose another college.”
“Just because I have a wealthy family, that doesn’t mean I’m able to live life however I want,” said Sean with a confused expression. “You realize that, right?”
“Compared to us, you’ve been living in paradise!” shouted John.
“Alright, alright, let’s break it up,” said Mike with a nervous smile, attempting to get between the two. “Let’s just take it easy.”
“You’re helpless without your snobby parents,” muttered John.
For whatever reason that last statement caused Sean to snap. He pushed past Mike, wound his arm back, and threw a punch right towards John’s nose. As his fist made contact with John’s face, an intense feeling of regret overcame the rage that he had just felt. Sean looked down at his hands as if he could not comprehend what he had just done. He knew he was no longer welcome and left John’s home in shock.
After returning home, Sean looked himself in the mirror, just as he had earlier that morning.This time, however, he didn’t see the cheerful person he was staring back at him. Instead, he saw someone pained by regret and remorse.