“Hey pumpkin, are you feeling better?” my mother asked as she walked in the hospital room door.
“I’m fine, but I really need to go to the bathroom, can you walk me there?” I mumbled with my eyes trying to stay open from the sleepless night before. She rushed over, gently pulled my blankets off, and grabbed my arm to try and keep me balanced as we slowly made our way over to the dreary hospital bathroom. It had been a few hours since I last went to the bathroom, so I tried to speed up the pace, but the faster I walked, the tighter my mother’s grip on my arm got, for she feared I would fall and yet again, injure myself. When we finally entered the bathroom there was a worn down sink, a silver faucet, and a dusty mirror above. The mirror was what scared me most because I had no idea what my face looked like since the blue minivan hit me, but only what the road burns looked like going up my arm, and the bloody cuts on my feet. I never thought about what my face looked like until my mother quietly asked with fear in her voice, “Do you want to look in the mirror?” All I could hear was silence, even with nurses and doctors in the hallway discussing other patients’ status, my mind was somewhere else. I slowly started to turn my blemished face towards the wall with my reflection, and all I could think about was what kind of damage had been done to the thing I used to call my face. With fear of wanting to run away from my own reflection, I looked in the mirror. What was only a few seconds of turning to glance at myself, felt like a lifetime of thoughts and emotions running through my mind, which was now pounding with “what-if” questions. What if I had looked both ways before I crossed the street? What if I never even crossed the street in the first place? What if I did not look in this mirror and never knew how ugly I was while I was in that depressing, and anything but uplifting hospital room? After what felt like a series of everlasting thoughts, I finally built up the courage, and decided to come back to reality to face my fear. My fear was not the mirror, but what I was going to see staring back at me in the reflective glass hanging on the dim grey walls. Once I finally faced the mirror, I looked at myself for a second, and what was just a glance seemed like slow motion. I immediately saw thick and bloody scabs piled on my face from forehead to chin. The only place I looked normal enough to recognize myself was my eyes and nose, where I could still see some of the brown freckles that used to cover my face.
I may have only glanced at myself that day, but from just a quick look I saw more than just a bruised face. I opened my eyes that day, and finally feared something I thought I could never be afraid of. I was scared of my own reflection. I did not look in another mirror for months after that day because I feared that I would look like a monster for the rest of my life. I learned one thing from that thirty seconds of my life, fear is something you cannot run away from, but something you must face.