My Reflection in the Mirror: Short Story

By: Ariane Dushime

I used to look through the window everyday admiring the passersby’s relationships. Those faces remind me of the beautiful warm feelings I lost the day I saw my father take his last breath. My heart breaks as I look at other people make memories that I will never make again.
My life has dimmed little by little as days pass by. I never thought I would hit rock bottom like this. For the first few days I didn’t believe he was gone. I always thought he would pop up and brush my tears away saying it was all a prank and that everything was okay.
My room is a mess; it is almost like a dungeon. My mother gave up on helping me clean it. She says I am all grown and have to start being responsible. My father was the bridge between me and my mother, but now that he is gone we are like two river banks bound by blood.
I made it a ritual to sit on my window seal and watch the traffic outside every morning. My therapist thinks that I should leave my house to breathe and exercise a little. He makes me ride my bicycle or walk to his office. Sometimes he picks me up himself. I wonder why he tries so hard when I have already decided to not accept reality. My relationship with my mother doesn’t help either.
I had accepted loneliness as my life, but then one day I didn’t see any people on the road. I thought I had gone crazy. It went on for a week, and everyday i felt more and more confused and concerned. I might have been depressed, but looking at others go about their lives made me smile. I learned all I could from them until my life was back on track.
I heard from my mother that we were in a pandemic and that I wouldn’t be able to meet my therapist in person. I couldn’t believe how behind I was on world news and that I couldn’t see my therapist. I missed the streets suddenly. I missed everything I didn’t let myself enjoy when I was caught up in my lonely little bubble.
One morning, I sat down on my window sill with a cup of coffee in one hand, ready to stare at the empty road as I hoped for a sign of people, regardless of the news I had watched the night before. I was not over my father’s death, and I was devastated by the lack of happy faces on the street. I saw those cautiously making their way home with masks on; I didn’t even see a scowl.
As I was lost in my thoughts, a pair of eyes stared back at me. I blinked, they blinked. For the first time I felt like I had lost myself completely. The old me would never sit down doing nothing. The old me would not stay away from my family. I was looking for love and forgot I had myself. I forgot what my mother had once told, “Put yourself first in every situation.” I smiled and ran down stairs. Life was about to get better. I had the love I thought I had lost.

hard when I have decided to not accept reality. And my relationship with my mother doesn’t helpeither.I accepted loneliness as my life but one day I didn’t see any passers-by. I thought I had gone crazy but no one was outside. It went on for a week and I was ready to be admitted to a mental institution. I might have been depressed but looking at other go about their lives made me smile. I learned from them all I would once my life was back on track. One day I heard from my mother that we were in a pandemic and that I won’t be able to meet my therapist in person. I couldn’t believe that but on top of that, how behind I was on where the world was. I missed the streets suddenly. I missed everything I didn’t let myself enjoy when I was caught up in my little lonely bubble.One morning, I sat down on my window sill with acup of coffee in one hand ready to stare at the empty road hoping for a sign of people regardless of the news I had watched the night before. I was not over my father’s death but I wasmore devastated by not seeing people on the streets with happy faces. And those I saw supplying home had masks on, I didn’t even see scowl at least. As I was lost in my thoughts, a pair of eyes staredback at me. I blinked they blinked. For the first time I felt like I had lost myself completely. The old me would never sit down doing nothing. The old me would not stay away from my family. I was looking for love and forgot I got myself. I forgot what my mother had once told, “Put yourself first in every situation.” I smiled and ran down stairs. Life was about to get better. I had the love I thought I had lost.

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