Boldly she stood in the center of the room. Mirrors enveloped us, and neither of us could hide. I stood cowering in the corner; shoulders turned inward, my reflection only cast in small parameters of my reach. I wanted to be her, I watched as she pulled her shirt over her head efficiently, effortlessly, without thought, or consciousness.Her image refracted and bounced across the room, for all, especially me, to admire.
But then I didn’t, admire her, not, not look. Snaking down her stomach was a dark shriveled line. It was thick, thicker than a broad-tipped Sharpie. And it wasn’t a scar; it wasn’t red or raised, just raisin-esque. I wondered what condition could have possibly marred her with that ghastliness, the ugly. There were more winding around her abdomen in a haphazard pattern, and I wondered why she didn’t hide in a corner, like me. Involuntarily, I turned to face the corner, maybe hide for her. But her image was still in front of me, in the mirror, confidently, trying on a marled sweater.
No one else seemed to be watching her.
No one else seemed to notice.
Hastily, I tried on the skirt I brought into the open dressing room, careful not to expose my large thighs, and complementing backside. After a few minutes and sweaters, she went on her beautiful way.
I’ve since learned of her condition, and know that there is no suffering from it, but only love, that child can give.
I’m still suffering from mine though, not visible, not scarring, but more debilitating. And there’s no one’s love that will heal it, only my own.