Photo by Rene Böhmer on Unsplash

Reflection

The street is crowded with people returning home after a long day of work. We look beyond each other not noticing the brush of our shoulders as we clutch our purses and bags and race to make the light at the crosswalk. The noise of the city is deafening. Taxis screeching through traffic, cars honking, voices raised, the whooshing of buses stopping and starting as they make their way through the city. A slight turn of my head just enough to catch a glimpse of my reflection in a store window stops me cold.

In that mili-second, time slows. I can hear my heart beating as my eyes lock with the eyes of my reflection. The noise of the city melts away and a powerful silence takes hold. We connect in familiarity yet silently acknowledge that we are not one. I am overcome with feelings of self-betrayal. Who have I become in order to quell the need to be seen as anybody but myself? The eyes in the window are knowing and longing, but patient. The whispers of truth softly beckon to me but I look away unable to sustain in the presence of such rawness, for to stay any longer would give rise to truths long buried. My heart expands in sorrow for it knows what I will do.

I grip onto myself tightly as if there is a sudden chill in the air. I turn away from the window and sharply walk on, leaving truth to wait another day. As I hurry down the street and about to step onto the next crosswalk, I glance back at the store window now a half a block a way. I imagine I still see my reflection there watching me, knowing me better than I know myself. I wonder at what point I decided I wasn’t good enough to play me in the role of my own life?

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