The Mirror Inside

The mirror stood proud and tall, on the side wall of her bedroom. She remembered it being there since forever, no one knew where it had come from, her mother had said it once belonged to her great-grandmother, but she had not sounded very certain. It didn’t matter to her where the mirror had come from, it was beautiful, tall and gilded with elaborate bronze artwork on its sides. But more than that, the mirror was special, and just for her. Everybody else just saw their reflections on it, like on a plain mirror, but to her it showed her reflection differently. Every morning when she would stand in front of the mirror, it would exactly show how she was feeling; even if she pretended to be happy while being all sad inside, the mirror would just reflect a sad, slouchy form of her. Sometimes, it showed her other things too, like her wearing the beautiful dress that she saw hanging at the shop window that she crossed on her way to work or her holding the books she wanted to read. Of course, she wouldn’t always do what the mirror showed her, she could never afford to buy the clothes or jewelry that the mirror would reflect however beautiful she looked with them and of course she could not possibly have all that food the mirror showed her at times!

One fine morning while getting ready for work, she saw someone else with her in the reflection. It was not new, she would sometimes see the people she liked or despised in the reflection with her, sometimes enjoying a meal and sometimes screaming at them. This time it was different, it showed her with the new guy who had joined a few days back, they were enjoying a meal together and holding hands. She blushed and looked away with a secret smile playing upon her lips. That day she walked passed his cubicle thrice before she could gather up the courage to speak to him. Imagine her elation, when few days later he started coming to her cubicle just to talk to her. They would go for lunch together and also on the evening breaks. Two weeks later, they were going out. She was the happiest when he was around and pined for the time when they would be together again. She was forever distracted and walked like she was on not on the ground anymore.

It was a Friday, all the girls in office had decided to have a girl’s night out, dinner and dancing in some ridiculously over-priced restaurant in some five star hotel. She would have wanted to go out with him, but suddenly for the past few days he had been away most of the times or busy and strangely aloof. She had decided to ignore those signs, the mirror nowadays only showed a stricken reflection of hers. So she decided to go with the girls. At the party, her heart was not into it, while all the others were swaying to the music with a glass in their hands, she kept looking for an escape route. One of the girls broke away from the group and came to her smiling mischievously; she immediately excused herself saying she had to go to the bathroom. The bathroom was across the lobby. While stepping out of the bathroom, she saw him, his arm around another lady, laughing and planting kisses on her, coming out of the lift. She turned to stone and her blood went cold, for a few minutes she couldn’t react, and then the world swum in front of her eyes. She staggered and clutched the door handle for support, then took a deep breath to steady herself but her insides were churning. She walked out of the door and into her car.

All the while driving back to her home she kept repeating to herself that it was okay and she would be fine, she was after all a strong, beautiful woman. By the time she pulled up in front of her building, she was feeling better. She walked into her room and turned on the lights and there strewn across the floor in a thousand glittering pieces were little fragments of her reflection looking back at her with desolation and sorrow clearly etched on the faces.

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