In the Corners of Her Mind

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The bitter morning cold emerged within the darkness of the sky. As her alarm sounded, she crept out from the safety of the bedcovers, into the frigid air and onto the hard wood floors. The house was dark and musty as she trudged through the hallway. The only light that shone through was from the bathroom mirror. Staring at her reflection, she poured makeup on her face in attempt to cover up the things she disliked about herself. She spent an hour pounding the blush into her sickly pale skin, and smearing eye makeup over empty blue eyes. She did anything to hide what was really beyond her skin, and she was continuously trying to achieve the perfection that she always wanted, but nobody really had.

Through the gray and misty fog, she drove to school squinting to see what lied ahead. The music was turned up just loud enough to drown out the thoughts lurking from the corners of her mind. As she drove over the bridge, she was able to catch a glimpse of the same old town she had been living in all her life and the sun had yet to shine over the place she called home.

She arrived at school at 7:55 like she did every other morning. She went from class to class not really conversing with the other students, like a soldier in combat she listened and obeyed orders, nothing more and nothing less, but dreaded every second she spent weaving through the seas of people in the hallways. She was disconnected from the others; day after day she watched the clicks of friends flash by her side as she kept to herself. She felt that no one really cared about her opinion, so she kept it to herself. In her silence, she longed for something to occupy her throughout the rest of her high school career.

At lunch period, the hallways were empty as she walked past the musty tan lockers. To her surprise, a small note with no name was attached to her locker. It read, “Report to room 123 as soon as possible.” She followed directions as ordered to the old classroom that was no longer in use. There she found a large dusty mirror with an ornate dark frame around it. Another note read, “Handle with care, use with caution.”

Later that night, she placed the mirror on her bedroom floor and gazed at herself contemplating on the things that should have happened. After a few minutes past, something started to appear in the mirror like a shadow coming through light. She said to herself, “I’m just seeing things,” but the image in the mirror grew more prominent. Her heart started to pound like a nail beneath her chest. From the corners of her mind, a new image enveloped the mirror.

The image appeared to be that same girl in appearance, but looked slightly different. She had bouncy curly hair, more color in her face, and had an effortless beauty about herself. The real girl was first traumatized at the sight of this, but was quickly intrigued by her grace.

The real girl would sit and watch the dream girl for hours at a time. It was like an alternate reality, but every time she touched the mirror nothing happened. The dream girl could not see through the looking glass like the real girl did. The real girl longed for the same confidence and image of the dream girl, and soon became obsessed with what she wanted instead of what was going on around her. Every day she watched the dream girl live out her own life, the sky was darker and gloomier in her own. She felt more and more depressed when she left the looking glass. She didn’t want to live she just wanted to stay home and see the dream girl live out her dreams.

One day, the real girl became depressed and heartbroken because she wasn’t the dream girl. She wanted people to just walk up and talk to her like the girl in the mirror but it never happened. Every day she watched the mirror fade into an alternate reality while she faded out of her own. The real girl trapped her desires in her mind and never talked to anyone about them. She began communicating less and less to people in the real world. Outside her window, it started pouring rain.
On a day like any other, the real girl stares into the mirror at the dream girl who was giving advice to a friend in need of advice much like herself. The dream girl stared straight back at the mirror into the real world, and right into the eyes of the real girl. The dream girl declared, “Everyone only has one life to live, you can either look back or watch other people live theirs to the fullest or live your own, make your own ideas, your own paths, make your own friends and have your own voice.” Shocked, the real girl took a step back from the mirror to soak in the meaning of those words. A minute passed and with all her strength, the real girl obliterated the mirror into a million tiny pieces.
The next morning the real girl woke up and rose out of bed into the cool morning air. She went into the bathroom to brush her teeth and her hair. Before she took out her makeup, she stopped and looked in the mirror. She smiled and put the makeup kit back where she found it. While driving over the bridge, the real girl could see the sun rising in the east over the town, and she knew that if she just made that extra effort to be more open, she would slowly turn back into the girl she always knew she was.





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