Distorted Images

December 4, 2010
The fog of the mirror obscures her view. She takes the towel and wipes it away. Now she looks in the mirror and sees bright blue eyes, a small round nose and rosy cheeks. Her hair falls down to her shoulders and it’s darker than she remembers. This isn’t the face she is used to seeing. The one she remembers from her childhood with golden hair and rounder cheeks. The only thing the same is the bright icy blue eyes.

She moves her hand and touches a cheek. The skin is soft and warm beneath her small hand. There are no blemishes there, well, none that the naked eye can see and she loves the way that feels. And she wonders if it will feel the same to someone else touching her skin. Another hand, rougher maybe, and bigger; the hand of a boy. This brings her to thinking of this is how the world sees her. A soft natural girl with big blue eyes and soft rosy skin.

She moves her face left then right and back again. Then she picks up the black eyeliner and start applying it to her eyes. The liner feels smooth and flawless as it is applied to her lid. She looks back in the mirror and sees a transformed eye. The blue stands out and looks like the sky with silver clouds in it at times. She continues to finish this transformation to her eyes and looks back once more and sees someone different.
A stranger.
A young woman staring back at her.
Then she picks up another product. Mascara to make her already long lashes longer. She still wonders what is going to happen when she walks out into the world. If people will recognize her. She wonders if he will notice too. When she’s done she stares some more and touches the corners of those eyes. Her eyes. She checks to make sure those are still her eyes instead of a stranger that she has become. The next thing she does is pick up the bright red lipstick. The color was chosen by her best friend, the one person who seemed to truly see her. As the lipstick glides on her lips she sees the stranger in the mirror become more of a different person. A girl she wants to be but never thought she would.
The doorbell rings then. She gasps and drops the lipstick. Her heart beats faster causing her cheeks to become flushed. She’s nervous and wonders if she knows what she is getting herself in to. She breathes deep and calms herself enough take one last look at the girl in the mirror. She takes in the brown hair and the rosy cheeks and the icy blue eyes and the slender body with the dazzling blue dress and the bright red lips. Then she sees standing next to that girl; another one. The one with golden hair and baby fat and no makeup and the one with the jeans and t-shirt, but she doesn’t recognize that girl. Those thoughts stream through her head like a river, all of them tied together but going to the same place. She breathes deep again and steps away from the reflection. The last thing she saw was the ruby red lips of a stranger whispering, “You’re ready.”
She walks down the hall and opens the door and lets out the breath she didn’t know she was holding. He stands there and smiles. Snowflakes stick to his hair. His eyes sparkle with their own light. She takes his extended hand and walks out into the cold winter night. His hand is warm in her and his voice is soft and caring. Now she wonders which girl he sees. The sweet girl with no alteration or the other girl in the mirror standing next to her; the one with the ruby red lips. He watches her and the lips he longs to kiss. He doesn’t see a stranger but the girl he loves. He watches as she looks at him and looks away many times as she wants to say something but can’t create a sound loud enough for him to hear.
He knows she wonders if he sees her. The real girl that he met years ago, the one with the never changing eyes that he could swim in. The same eyes he is beginning to drown in now. He hugs her close and whispers in her ear. And he kisses those lips. And now she knows that it doesn’t matter how much makeup she wears or how much she renovates herself. He likes her for her. That’s all that will ever matter. This all seems perfect until the moment she wakes up and all of the doubt and built up anger spews back in her. This will never be true, fairy tales don’t exist in reality, only in dreams. Now she takes the towel and wipes the slate clean hoping to start it over again.





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