The One in the Mirror (Portraits of a Mary Sue)

That feeling is sitting in my ribs again. The emptiness. The nagging that something is not right. The certainty that I’m missing something important.

It’s 2 am.

I should be asleep.

Why can’t I just sleep…

I stumble into the bathroom, flick on the lights, wince under the yellow blaze.

The one in the mirror doesn’t have bloodshot eyes. She isn’t afraid of her own skin. She can bite her lip if she wants to. She can blog about it if she wants to.

My legs are shaking. My fingers grip the edge of the bathroom counter.

The one in the mirror wears armor, but she also wears her heart on her sleeve. Her hair is short because she’s done lying. She’s not afraid to have opinions. She’s not afraid to try new things.

I’m getting dizzy.

The one in the mirror blinks at me. She looks sad tonight. She never looks sad.

I stare back.

She touches the glass with a finger like a butterfly kiss. Then she pulls back her arm, fingers clenched into a fist.

White cracks across silver as the mirror shatters.

I hear quiet sobbing. My throat aches.

The one in the mirror has disappeared behind the lace.

My fingers rest on my side of the mirror, still smooth—and so very, very cold.

Blood runs down my hand.


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