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Girl in the Mirror
My fingers glided across the smooth, reflective surface of the mirror. Faint smudges were the only sign that I had even touched it. Light from the slim window behind me filtered through my mother’s floral curtains, making my rebellious hair turn gold. My hand unconsciously went up to smooth down my unruly hair, but it didn’t stay flat for more than a few seconds.
This mirror was simple, harmless even. But I feared it so.
Many would have laughed if I told them I feared my reflection, I bet you are laughing now, but I am not. I blinked, the mirror copying me. My hand traced the dark circles under my eyes, the curve of my eyebrows, and the bridge of my nose. Of course I knew I was no beauty, I was normal. But I, like many others, wished for the lovely face that would be admired by all.
I was about to turn and hurry away from my reflection, but before I could move, the image changed. The flat surface rippled and shifted. Once it had settled, all that was there was my reflection, but this reflection was not me.
The eyes of the reflection were dark; a beautiful yet scary darkness. My - no, its- lips were curled into a smirk. It ran its fingers through its light brown hair and looked right into my eyes. “You should really comb your hair more.” she said casually. She grabbed the ends of her hair and turned it up and inspected the ends. A grimace crossed her face. “How many split ends do you need to have before it’s time to for a trim?!” Her piercing laugh bounced inside my skull.
I swallowed and blinked rapidly. “I - I don’t have split ends-” I began, taking a defiant step forward, but she cut me off.
“Trust me hun, you do.” she smiled, the darkness in her eyes glittering. I felt like a mouse, and she was the house cat. Then she looked down at the clothes she was wearing - my clothes actually; my purple Jungle Book shirt and a simple pair of blue jeans. “Who dresses you!” she cried, busting out in wicked laughing. “This is what elementary kids wear, not a high schooler. My, my, these jeans are so boring. Just. Like. You.”
“I’m not boring.” I whispered, playing with the end of my shirt. Her words stung like a slap to my face. I could stay there and deny it, but deep down, it felt like she was speaking the truth. Speaking the way I felt. Tears pricked at my eyes, but I forced them down.
She laughed again. “Aww, did I hurt your feelings? Well I’m sorry for telling you the truth! Gosh, you’re pathetic.” she ran her hand down the front of her shirt. She rested her palm on her thigh. “Someone needs to lay off the sugar...” she muttered.
I had had enough. Grinding my teeth together, I turned. Again, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the mirror ripple. My curiosity took over and I turned back to the mirror. Once the image settled, I gasped. The reflection I saw was not me, but it was the me I always had wanted to be.
The girl that stood before me had long, slightly curled golden brown hair. An unseen breeze ruffled her curls. Not a single hair strand was crooked or out of place. Her slim face beamed down on me. Her face was the apex of perfection; no freckles and no acne. Absolutely smooth. When she smiled, all of her teeth were pearly white and straight.
My eyes fell onto her clothes - the expensive kind. All name brand and designer, clothes I could never afford or look good in. She wore a silk purple strapless shirt with sparkling golden lace, and designer jeans with gold embroidery. Her arms crossed her chest and I noticed her finger nails look like they had never been bitten before.
She ran her fingers through her hair and smiled at me; a smile that said ‘I’m so much better than you, and you know it.’ And I did know it. Looking at what I’ve always wanted to be, I knew then that I would never be good enough. Every time I looked in this mirror, I had to face how I felt.
The girl in the mirror looked right into my eyes and I saw the darkness again. It glittered in her eyes and threatened to swallow me whole. I didn’t know what lay in that darkness, but whatever it was, I didn’t want to find out. I took a step back and the girl snickered. Closing my eyes for a second I took a deep breath. Deep inside me, I felt something break and energy flowed through me.
I opened my eyes and smiled. The girl looked surprised to see my smile. “You know what,” I asked, looking down at myself, “I know I’m not the prettiest, and I know I never will be.” I looked up into her dark eyes and saw my reflection, my real one. “But I don’t care. As long as I have people who care for me, it doesn’t matter how I look.”
The girl laughed. Her laugh growing louder and louder until it was insane and high pitched. She looked back at me, the darkness growing in her eyes. “Don’t you get it? No one cares about you! Never have, never will and -”
Before she could finish, I let out a scream and I kicked the mirror with all my strength. The mirror shattered, pieces flying past me in all directions. In every shard I saw glimpses of the girl with the dark eyes. Her mouth was open in a silent scream. Once all the pieces had settled, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. When I opened my eyes again, the mirror was whole again. I had imagined it all.
My reflection - the real me - looked back at me and didn’t say anything I wasn’t saying. I swallowed, but my mouth was like a desert. My eyes drifted across the mirror and settled on the faint smudges on the surface. The smudges were the only sign I had even touched it. The only sign I was ever there.