The woman smiling back at me

I stood, transfixed, mirror. I was looking at it, and it was looking back at me. But it shimmered. And changed shape. And then, I wasn’t looking at me, but through me. 

I felt myself get lighter; emptier. My emotions drained away and I smiled, feeling numb, but content. The aching in my shoulders eased and I relaxed, letting the weight bearing down on me slip away.

I watched as I grew taller, slimmer, curvier, fuller. I watched as she became beauty personified. She was beautiful. 

The rosy colour of her cheeks, the crinkle in her eyes as she smiled back at me in awe. 

I moved my mouth to speak, at the same time as she did. 

“You’re beautiful”.

“You’re beautiful”.

Her words echoed mine, her mouth mimicking mine just a fraction too late. 

The smile shifted slightly to a frown, and we each raised a hand to the mirror. 

I touched the glass first, and felt the cool reflective material soften as her fingers touched mine. 

We pushed each other, each trying to push through our glass, trying to get into each other’s world. 

If she was beautiful in her world, then I could be too. 

I heard a door creak behind me, and my daughter peeked in.

“Momma, why are you fighting with the pretty lady in the window?” 

“Window?” I looked at her puzzled. 

“Yea. She waves to me every night. She looks a lot like you momma. But happier. Can she visit sometime?” 

I lowered my hand, but her hand held me and she pulled.  I fell forward and landed on the floor of my room.  Except now I was looking into the mirror and seeing the beautiful version of me. She was hugging my daughter, comforting her. 

“Let’s leave the woman in the window alone” I heard the words, come from my mouth, but they were here.  She took her hand and I screamed, rattling the frame of the mirror. She looked back at me and smiled, an evil grin. 

I hit the mirror, trying to get through it,  but it was solid. 

“Let me out! Let me back!”

“You didn’t enjoy your world.  Let me do it for you.” She smiled and walked away. 

I smashed the mirror to pieces.  Stuck in this room forever. I never saw myself again. 

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