“Oh crap! I’m late!”, Anansha’s voice couldn’t hide her irritation. As she jumped off the bed, the sheet trailed behind her and settled precariously on the edge as if threatening to be the first fallen domino in her life. In less than 5 steps she was in the too-small-for-her-taste bathroom, cluttered with his clothes and towel. She cursed under her breath. After 3 years with Demba she still couldn’t figure out why this man found it difficult to pick his own clothes up after using the bathroom. More and more lately she’d been drifiting, slowly at first but faster of late, into a “why bother” place. Why bother working at this marriage? Why continue to give and work when Demba seemed to work at little more than adding new frustrations to her daily life?!
Turning on the tap, she heard the powerful swoosh from the showerhead and automatically felt a slither of tension ooze out her 5’ 4” frame. Water always had that soothing effect on her. Waiting for the water’s temperature to shift from brrrr to ahhhh, she leaned forward on the basin, her head in her hands. “Slow, deliberate breaths” she told herself, and willed her body to obey. It tried. One slow, choppy breath, followed by another, its exhale betraying the goal of calming her. She felt a melt down approaching and wanted to push it back under the surface. Already two tears defiantly trailed down her face. “BREATHE Nansha! BREATHE!”, she begged, as the third tear burst, the forth and fifth too close for comfort.
“Awww now, come come my dear, why tears? This room has more than enough water already!”. Startled, Anansha lifted her head, her melt down paused by her surprised curiosity. Who the hell was that?! Looking around, she confirmed for herself that she was, as she thought, alone in the bathroom, but she knew what she heard. “Oh God! On top of everything else I’m going crazy!” she said to herself out loud.
“Hahaha! At least your sense of humour is still here” the voice replied. The voice came from the mirror but, how could that be? Anansha moved closer to the mirror spying her reflection, seeing nothing unusual. It was just her. She touched her cheek and saw her image do the same. She turned her head to the right; her reflection followed suit. It was her, and only her! Then suddenly… it spoke again.
“Don’t worry child, you’re not going or coming crazy!”. Anansha’s jaw almost hit the basin as she watched her image’s mouth move while hers remained shut. “Anansha, let’s not waste time with surprised disbelief. YOU aren’t crazy and I AM speaking to you! But only because you called me. I was minding my own business you see, hoping you’d call of course but not freaking out about it either way. And you did. Well, to be technical, that 3rd tear of yours did… so here I am! And I gotta tell you sweetie, its good that you did because you look a perfectly hot mess! You see you face, child?!… I mean, lately?
“Oh close your mouth and stop panicking girl! You’re safe with me. I’m only here to help you.
Life has been rough lately, I know. It happens. But this latest blow really hit you harder than anything before, hasn’t it? And I know what you feeling now… you’re feeling trapped, like you can’t do anything other than stay married to Dumba., ooops, I mean Demba (never could get his name right) even though he hasn’t been the husband you’d hoped for. You feel like ignoring your unhappiness and making the best of a frustrating situation is the only way to move forward. You’re feeling more alone now than you ever have. I know, darling. I get it.”
“But I also know there’s more to this than you realize. I know this madness you call life right now is a testing, a training to develop some things you need but don’t yet have. This chaos is to prepare you for that next chapter of your life… I got a sneak preview of it and it’s a beautiful next chapter I might add. You don’t see it yet; you don’t feel it right now either but this is really just where you must be right now… but it won’t be for very much longer. Betta mus come mi chile! And I’m here to remind you that its coming.”
“So do me a little favour darling, dry those tears, wash your face and skin, and shave your legs too. Take your time putting on your make-up today. Don’t worry about being late, you’re already late and can’t be late twice. Better arrive stunningly you than still late and blah! Pick that other outfit you were considering , not the plain Jane one you settled on, the vibrant blue with white pinstripe, THAT’S the one for you today. Take your time, dress and make it count. Step out today knowing whatever isn’t right, whatever is uncertain, whatever is falling apart, its all coming together, even in its imperfection, for you! Okay?!”
“Now, pick that bottom lip off the good, clean basin and get on with your day… and if you need me, just know that I’m only a 3rd tear away.”
The mirror slowly started to fog over as Anansha stared at herself in astonishment. “Wait, wait, wait, don’t go yet”, she shouted as her reflection slowly faded from the mirror. “Please just tell me who you are?”
“Who am I?! Hahahaa! You mean to say you don’t know?! You call on me everyday and don’t even recognize me when I show up?! Tsk, tsk, tsk. I forgive you, this time, because I know you don’t know any better and you’ve always been a little slow. But look at me good and tell me if you really don’t recognize me.”
“Of course I recognize you” Anansha quipped “you look just like me. But…WHO…are you? I know you aren’t me…you can’t be… just tell me who you are… please?” she pleaded. A precarious silence floated through the room as the two, Nanasha and her confused, this-must-be-what-crazy-feels-like thoughts stared pleadingly with the other, or not other, Nanasha staring matter-of-factly back at her in the mirror.
“Anansha I’m the collective image of your ancestral mothers. I look like you because I AM you! And you are us! Now go, do as I’ve said, and live!”.
With that, her image disappeared completely leaving no reflection of herself for a brief minute before returning as normal, her own reflection.
Sighing a deep what-on-earth-just-happened-to-me breath, Anansha slowly turned on the basin’s faucet and splashed cool water on her face, took another deep breath and stepped into the shower, grabbing her shaver on the way in.
Writing prompt challenge: in 15 minutes write about this – MIRROR MIRROR: what if your mirror started talking to you?