Mirror

by Elara

I looked into the mirror and I didn’t see me.

Only a stranger. A lie.

“How are you?” people asked. All the time. 

Did they really care?

For the first time I glimpsed what lay hidden. That secret truth.

I ran.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(They didn’t get to know the truth; nor did I)

I didn’t feel myself. I ate very little.

People worried. Or said they did.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t know why, I do now)

I had love, briefly. It was wrong. False.

Not her. Me. I wasn’t me.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(But who am I)

My life was taken over by study,  every waking moment consumed.

I wasn’t very good at it.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(I can’t think, no room to think, maybe a blessing)

I saw and lived a wider world.

Discovered life isn’t so limited as I believed.

My mind expanded. 

My thoughts ran wild.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(But who am I)

One cold afternoon alone with my thoughts. I looked beyond that veil again.

I didn’t run.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(I’m not who I thought I was)

I hunted information.

I searched both the internet and myself.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(Why did you keep this from me)

She. Her. Hers. Girl. Words that sparked joy.

I don’t know why it took me so long to understand.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(Is this who I am)

I talked to people. Some listened and loved.

Some didn’t.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(But you hate me for trying to be me)

I found others like me. I knew, for the first time, I wasn’t fake. 

Only lost.

I thought I could trust family. I was wrong.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(I’m alone and scared)

It was too much. Too much hate. I planned behind their back. I ran.

This time I ran towards myself.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(I have no home of my own)

A needle in my arm. A piece of paper with official words scribbled on it.

I stuck a patch on my side. A pill in my mouth. For the first time I breathed.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(I can cry again now)

I discovered deeper truths. Binary is false, life is infinite.

I lived a lie all my life. I was broken. Lost. Betrayed.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.” 

(Maybe one day)

I found love again. She loved the real me. Not the mask.

She was like me. She understood.

“How are you?”

“I’m healing.”

I looked in the mirror and I saw me.

In all my beautiful, scarred glory, I saw me.

Published by aaaliteraryjournal

A literary journal dedicated to Asexual, Aromantic, and Agender storytelling, through poetry, essays, fiction, creative nonfiction, etc. We will publish on our page when submissions are open. You may now also follow us on Twitter at @AaaLiterary.

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