Reflection on the Wall

When I was thirteen, I sat in front of my mirror once, twice, too many times, seeking assurance that my reflection still looked pristine.

I looked at the girl behind the glass, a little confused, I asked, who should I be? My mirror answered and showed me the face all wanted to emulate.

I saw her, surely, as clear as destiny, with her eyes like jewels, so bright, so green. Oh, but her hair, so long, like a waterfall of golden shimmer, cascading down her narrow back.  

When I was thirteen, I saw her for the first time, walking down a crowded street. Vicky Vaughn was hard to miss – her very essence begged people to notice her.

And I did; I was the little girl that sat in the corner, every afternoon, waiting for the red painted toes to make an entrance, and leave their scarlet marks on the pavement.

I watched her in awe, wondering what it would feel like to step into her high heeled shoes, even for one splendid second, and encompass a tiny piece of that space around her.

What would it look like? To be at the center of all the commotion, leaving little trails of light for people to follow – and I thought, Vicky Vaughn is a lucky girl.

Her days were spent perfecting her sleek locks, for she never stepped out unless she lived up to that expectation, of a cover without any cuts or scars.

Little did I know about the turmoil beneath the facade; she was, after all, Vicky Vaughn – an untouchable, unbreakable, radiant doll.

When I was thirteen, the most beautiful woman spoke to me; crouched in a corner of the street, her words hit me like fire, exposing my well of insecurities.

My skin too dark and my hair too big. My face too long and body too curved. But she! Oh, she is a beauty, a slender queen, and I, in my lonely adolescence, was nothing more than a thick wall of fears.

Her grandeur was noted, her sway admired! I sat shaded, hidden, stumbled upon by accident, bumped into, as if I was invisible to their glances that always fell a few inches short of reaching me.

Years passed; Vicky Vaughn grew into her mask. I met her when I was thirteen, but now, I stand tall, a full-grown woman.

I found solace between my books and bared my emotions until they became raw and free. I uncovered stories behind my tears, diamonds in my tunnels and dimensions around my edges.    

I am no longer thirteen, but I find myself sitting in front of a mirror, and the ghost of old doubts re-surfaces,  I ask, who should I be?

Then, I saw her, for the first time, in a long time, in a moment only fate could have brought – Vicky Vaughn’s reflection filled the mirror.

She has reached midlife, her face less recognizable without the vibrancy it once held. I see her hair, frayed with age. I see her skin, wrinkled beneath fabric.

And her eyes, her eyes are vacant, her smile no longer existent. So concerned she was with chasing the Sun, she did not explore her nights, nor the life that could have been.

She sits now, drowning in pieces. The mask she carefully crafted, lays broken and shattered. I take one last look at her wispy blonde locks, realizing the fragility of the flawless Vicky Vaughn.

I did not have the courage then, but holding the power of this pen in my grasp now, I smashed that mirror to the ground, turned my back and walked away from the reflection on the wall.

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