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Moaning and gasping, I crawl helplessly to the bathroom door, pushing and dragging myself across the cold tiles. Leaning my weight against the door I manage to open it, only to have it cede against my weight making me fall pitifully onto the beige tiles. I lie there a moment, dazed, disoriented and confused. My hand twitches and I stare at it wondering for a second what this thing might be. Perplexed I try to move it and realize it is only my hand. I clench it hesitantly into a fist and pick myself up off the floor and hoist myself onto the bathroom counter. There I watch myself crying, pain etched in every one of my features. I cower against the mirror; huddled together like an injured animal, I whimper. Tears flow out of my eyes, a seamlessly ending torrent of salty water cascading down my face.
I howl, out of pain, out of fear. I stare back into the mirror and see the image of a girl crying alone. Snot leaks out of her nose and lose strands of hair fall around her face as her ponytail starts to undo itself, but she does not notice. At first I only note her odd and contradicting clothes, she wears only a purple leotard the material clinging to her body, hugging her. Over her flimsy polyester leotard and small black cotton gymnastic shorts a cherry red winter jacket sits on her shoulders half sliding off, but she does not notice. However, what intrigues me the most in that moment are her boots, big brown and furry, they hide her feet, creating the impression of grizzly bear paws. I stare at those boots longer and become puzzled, why is the girl wearing big boots while huddling in her sink. I frown, now confused, and stare down at my own brown boots. But the image of the girl in the mirror compels me again and I focus on her face and gasp. Her eyes filled with terror and pain, she stares straight back at me pleading me with her eyes to help her, to stop the pain, the fear. We blink as we watch with wonder our hands reaching towards each other. I stretch my fingertips out straining to touch her hand and comfort her, but my hand only crashes into the mocking surface of the mirror. I cry out in agony as I realize I was the other girl, that the pain is all mine. My heart starts racing and I begin shaking uncontrollably, my body spasming, no longer responding to my commands, I panic. Sobbing uncontrollably, I now start to choke as mucus runs down my throat; I focus on swallowing. The shaking finally slows down and I lie there curled up into a ball wailing hysterically.
I concentrate on my pain, trying to focus; I only feel a pounding in my head, as if millions of people were drilling holes in my brain, trying to escape. The pounding so fierce that my head seems to have a heartbeat of its own, fills my thoughts and I moan. I moan to hear a noise other than the pounding, to feel the vibration in my vocal cords. I reach a numb hand into my coat pocket. Carefully extracting my cell phone, I type my mother’s phone number with a shaky hand, mumbling the numbers to myself. The phone dials and I press it up against my ear begging my mother in my head to pick up. My prayer is not heard and I groan as I hear the shrill noise of the voicemail’s beep. Unable to think of anything else to do I leave a message. “Maman” I blubber into the phone. But I break down into tears again, concentrating; I take a couple of shaky breaths and try again. But all I manage is a pathetic, “Maman j’ai mal, j’ai tellement mal.”
I hang up and shrivel back into the bathroom sink, staring back at the girl in the mirror curled up in a ball, a primordial fear in her eyes as she whimpers to herself and attempts to lick her wounds.




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