My Hidden Lives // Prose

37. a liar

a part of my smile

*

The mirror is a false friend. It shows only the surface and leaves my darkness hidden to me. I can smile with blood red lips and flutter my lashes at it, revealing amber eyes and the whites that never cry. I can look into the blacks and see nothing but my own reflection, mirrored in the still, polished glass. Some would call this mercy and proclaim the mirror a friend, but no redemption can be found in denial. I proclaim it a liar.

There was an inch of my smile which belonged to him that the mirror couldn’t see. The absence of it is unbearable, yet the reflection does not alter. It is the same photographic smile, the same image of me infallibly depicted on the cold surface. My face in it is smooth, so is the smile. My flesh does not seem to change. There was a figure behind me, holding my hand, somewhere in the infinite space of this small room, barely touching my body, grazing his soft skin against my back. He seemed so close in the mirror. It was almost as if we were one.

I did not think to make a memory out of that moment because I believed there would be many more. It is only now that I realize there is no security in belief.

The mirror is a false friend. When I gaze at it fleetingly, I catch a glimpse of an inch of a smile and a figure of a tall, awkward boy stares happily back. I stop and turn around to find a blank wall too close for comfort, and a stuffy space I once thought infinite. I swear under my breath and proclaim the mirror, for the umpteenth time, a liar.

*

mirrors

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