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Mirror My Love
by Larry Hodges
Like so many others who have gazed upon my face, I could not take my eyes off those brilliant green eyes as they stared back from the mirror over the bathroom sink.
My wedding was tomorrow, and yet hour after hour I gazed. Sometimes I'd break for food and other tasks, but always I'd return to again stare into those wondrous orbs of mine. I ignored the people knocking on the door and yelling about wedding preparations. Was there anything of greater splendor than me?
"Yes, there is," a deep voice said.
My eyes went wide in the mirror. The voice seemed to come from all directions.
"Who said that?" I asked, painfully pulling my eyes away from the mirror to look about. No one else was in the room.
"Does it matter?"
"Yes, it matters!" I said. "This is my bathroom, you pervert! If you want to see me, then get in line tomorrow for my wedding."
"But is it really a wedding?"
"Of course it is! I'll have the finest wedding dress, which proves I'm getting married. Now leave or I'll scream."
"A wedding should be between two people who love each other."
"Of course!" I exclaimed. "When I look at him, I have nothing but love."
"When you look at him, you look at your reflection in his eyes."
"I do not!" I screamed, stunned that the voice knew.
"You should not marry until you learn to love another."
"Who are you?"
"You wish to see me?"
"Look into the mirror. You will see what you wish to see."
I looked at the mirror, but all I saw was myself . . . those dreamy eyes that made men wobble and women's eyes glisten with hate. Ahhhhhh. . .
"You are a thing of beauty."
"Yes I am." It's not bragging if it's true.
"Then look upon yourself until you learn to love another."
I quickly forgot my visitor as I continued gazing into my eyes. I could do it forever, but the rest of my face also deserved looking time. I tried looking down, to observe that perfect nose . . . but could not!
I was completely paralyzed.
"What did you do?" I said in a throaty whisper, but there was no answer.
This would be a blessing for anyone else, to look into my beautiful eyes from just inches away when most must do so from afar. And yet, there was so much more of me to see!
The grandeur wore off quickly. Dad once said that beauty is only beauty in contrast to that which is not beauty. I thought him silly, but as I sat there, hour after hour, day after day, I realized he was right. Perpetual beauty, even mine, becomes average when that's all there is.
Where were Mom and Dad? Why didn't they rescue me?
And so I sat, without hunger or thirst, my eyes never drying up, as my heavenly situation turned to hell. For if looking into my eyes and finding the sight only average is not hell, what is?
I remembered the voice's words: "Then look upon yourself until you learn to love another." But there were no others that I loved. My presumptive husband? I only wanted his money. Did I love his money? No--just the things it bought for me. Did I love those things? No; I just loved having them, and that's not loving another.
Who could I love? I didn't have an answer.
And then, one day as I stared at my eyes in the mirror, I realized it wasn't my eyes I stared at. It was the reflection of those eyes.
Which came from the mirror.
And what a beautiful mirror! Dad bought it for me eight years ago when I was twelve, the greatest gift I'd ever received. Why hadn't I appreciated it? Its front was clean and clear as water from the freshest snow, and smelled faintly of Windex. I could imagine light bouncing off it as it reflected my beauty so that I may enjoy it as others did. If that's not love, what is? How could I not reciprocate? I had never felt this way before.
"Okay, okay, you win." The deep voice was back.
"How long have I been stuck here?" I asked.
"Far too long, and yet not long enough. Two years for you, zero time for others."
"Two years!" I exclaimed.
"Two years and still counting."
"Who are you?" I asked. I was no longer paralyzed. I stretched my neck, then gazed back at the mirror and my beautiful reflection.
"I am that little voice in one's head that tries to talk sense into those with no sense. I rarely succeed." The voice sighed.
"Then why do you do it?" But the voice never spoke again.
I had stared at my eyes in that wondrous mirror over the bathroom sink for two years; it was time for a change. I carried the mirror to my room. Where were Mom and Dad? Maybe I should check on them later.
The mirror fit nicely over my desk. I sat and beheld it.
Later someone pounded on my locked door, but I ignored it and continued to gaze upon my true love.
Kind of strange. I liked it, tho.
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